I have four children, with the youngest two being twins, so, it’s been quite the juggle learning how to navigate airports, long and short-haul flights as a family of six.
Along the way, we’ve learned a thing or two about flying with twins, which is inevitably different than flying with singleton babies or toddlers.
Twin moms know the juggle is real, and flying with two little ones that need our every fibre is difficult.
Preparation and being organised are key.
My first few times flying with twins and two kids were disastrous as I forgot basic things, like double-checking flight times and turning up at the airport at the right time.
Twins are the ultimate distraction, so simple things like checking travel documents in advance and cross-checking with mom/dad or partner are so important!
That’s just a basic thing, but I know my fellow twin parents will know what I mean!
Despite, these trials and tribulations of travelling with four kids, the reward of exploring a new destination is very much worth it.
From a young age, we’ve been lucky enough to explore tens of countries with our kids, including the twins. My motto as a mom is to remove the walls, get outside, and explore as much as possible.
Anyway, rest assured I have plenty of other helpful tips without pointing out the obvious. Read on to discover the ultimate guide to flying with twins.
Flying Twins Travel Tips
Plan Flights Ahead Of Time
Know The Rules Before Flying With Twins
When booking a flight with twins, especially infants or lap babies, it’s worth familiarising yourself with the airline rules and regulations.
There are certain rules around how many infants can be in a row, related to the number of oxygen masks.
For example, there are likely only four masks on a row of three bulkheads, whereas, on a central bulkhead seat with two bassinets, there will be 6. This may vary on different airlines, so it’s best to check beforehand.
Flying With Twins Alone
Similarly, if you plan on flying with twins alone, it’s really important to check ahead with the airline regarding their rules and regulations.
For most, single parents flying with twins will book an extra seat for those under two and install a car seat.
The other baby will be on their lap using a lap belt. However, some airline rules may stipulate each baby should be accompanied by an adult.
Bulk Head Seats With Twins
If you are flying with twins long haul, I highly recommend booking the bulkhead seats to access the bassinet attached to the bulkhead. Bassinets can accommodate babies up to a certain weight and height.
I have found that my son grew out of this very quickly, but his sister still fits in nicely, which is perfect for having a place to lay her down and have my hands free when flying with twins.
Even if both babies, do not fit in the bulkhead bassinet when flying with twins, it’s still worth booking these seats for a little extra legroom and space, especially when they are toddlers.
Of course, the need for a bulkhead bassinet is mostly important when travelling long haul. Short-haul flights may not be required or available for that matter.
Aside from bulkhead seats, certain airlines have some incredibly family-friendly options. Take Air New Zealand as an example.
They have a Sky Couch, which turns the entire footrest area into a flat surface, creating a giant mattress for families to lie down and rest. I made an Instagram reel about it here. This innovation is ideal for twins, be it toddlers or babies.
It works as a bed and stops toys and things from falling on the floor every few minutes, ideal for flying with twins.
We found this incredible product called a Cozigo, which pops up and shades the bassinet on an aeroplane. It also doubles as a stroller sun shade.
When I have flown long-haul with twins, I have chosen late-night flights. Getting onto the plane and settling them down was always a challenge.
However, I found it easier to have them sleep most of the flight rather than trying to manage and entertain two energetic babies or toddlers.
The time of flight is very much a personal preference. I can imagine a night flight may be some parent’s worst nightmare.
I would generally choose morning for short-haul flights, so it integrates with a late morning nap and again buys some time not entertaining two energetic twins.
So my point is, take a good look at flight time and consider your routine before booking. Sometimes, a few extra dollars can help to make the trip as smooth as possible when flying with twins.
Packing For The Flight With Twins
Most parents tend to overpack, even with singleton babies. I have learned that too much ‘stuff’ sometimes makes travelling with twin babies challenging. Let’s face it- our hands are already pretty tied up.
I hate to point out the obvious but make sure all your passports have at least six months before expiry and any required visas.
I’ve been travelling with kids for over nine years, and it can feel like something crops up every time we get to the airport.
You’d think we have it nailed by now, right? When flying with twins, give yourself time and space to investigate the requirements and prepare everything beforehand. I find having a wallet organiser for each passport useful.
If you are not travelling with both parents, having a copy of your kid’s birth certificates is a good idea, especially if your surname differs from the twins.
Carry On Luggage
I have always been a fairly proficient packer and tend to be a minimalist as much as possible.
I have been known to pack just one checked suitcase for the whole family, and I am not much different with my carry-on, especially when flying with twins.
First, I highly recommend packing your carry-on in small pouches so that whatever you need is easily grabbable rather than trying to find something with a baby on each hip.
I pack spare clothing into one, nappies, wipes, creams and a changing mat into another. I also have a pouch with some small toys and one full of snacks for flying with twins.
Pacifiers are also super important if you use them, as they may be needed to equalise the pressure in your baby’s ears.
I often breastfeed on take-off and landing to help my baby equalise. However, I can only do this with twins with one baby, so we need a pacifier for the other.
This has helped me to be organised when flying with twins. Compression-type pouches are great for getting more into the bag when I am tight on space when flying with twins, but any pouch is fine.
Whether your twins are babies or toddlers, you will probably need new things to keep them entertained throughout the flight, especially during the day.
There are tonnes of fantastic options on the market. Be it a busy board, suction cups, or we’ve had many hours of fun using jel window stickers on an aeroplane window when flying with twins.
Toys don’t need to be fancy. Sometimes, something as simple as the plastic cups given out can create hours of fun.
If you have some space and don’t mind carrying a slightly larger pack, there are specially-made ‘Keep Em Quiet Bags‘.
They are designed for different age groups and come in a small backpack. The idea is to keep little ones, including babies and toddlers, entertained for the whole trip, not just the flight. We’ve used them a few times and found them great.
I have boy/girl twins, so I always pack unisex clothes as spares. This helps to keep the extra bulk down of bringing two of everything when flying with twins.
If we are on a night flight, I tend to do a PJ change before getting on the flight. This helps us settle in quicker and get to sleep quickly.
We would be completely lost without our baby carriers for flying with twins. We use the Ergo Baby 360 carrier, one of our most essential travel items.
We don’t always travel with a stroller depending on our destination and what we are doing, but the carriers always come with us.
Not only are they a fantastic way of getting through the airport, but they’ve also helped us keep our twins asleep when travelling.
It’s worth trying to nail the whole ‘napping on the go’ before your first time flying with twins. Try it for a few morning or afternoon naps in the lead-up to your trip so it’s not so new the first time you step foot on a plane.
Check out this guide to travel carriers here.
Bringing a double stroller is a matter of choice and depends on your destination. For example, when visiting Sri Lanka, the pavements are unsuitable for a stroller, so we rarely use one.
However, taking a double stroller is viable for places like London and other cities if you plan to walk a lot. Just keep in mind that side doubles can be challenging regarding width.
Another good idea is to take a compact single stroller and alternate the twins between a carrier and a single stroller.
Many travel doubles, such as the Britax holiday double, are not so big and pack down nicely, which is ideal for flying with twins.
I tend to check in my stroller if I am travelling with it and not take it through security as it can cause lots of delays, and doubles don’t always fit through the gates.
If you need some hands-free time, a GB Pockit single is ideal with a carrier for the second baby. It can be folded up tiny and put overhead on a flight.
I generally offload my car seats at check-in. However, if you are travelling solo or plan to install a car seat in a purchased seat, you can use one that can be pulled just like a suitcase through the airport.
Your baby can sit inside the car seat with a handle and wheels like a stroller.
Snacks & Formula
If you want a meal for a baby/lap infant, it’s important to request this in advance from the airline. They are not given out routinely to babies.
I usually bring easy-to-carry food pouches such as Ella’s or Happy Tots and many snacks. With my four kids, I breastfed all of them, but one of my twins needed formula top-ups as a baby for his weight.
We’ve always found flight attendants quite helpful with formula preparation. I carried the powder in a formula dispenser, which is super handy for days out and travel. Check out my travelling with formula tips here.
We use bottled water and ask the flight attendant to heat the bottle as required when flying with twins.
Navigate The Airport Like A Pro
I have always been that gal who rocks up to the airport not long before check-in closes, as I have no desire to hang around longer than needed. When we started flying with twins, that attitude went out the window.
We need a lot more time to do the check-in process, navigate security, fuel up on a meal, do diapers and whatever else is required before heading to the plane to board.
Arriving early might sound obvious, but I recommend doing so when flying with twins.
On approaching the check-in desk, always watch for a family queue or ask staff if there is a special queue. We have occasionally been brought to the business class check-in to make it quick.
This doesn’t always happen when we are flying with twins. It depends on the airline, but staff generally want to help when they see two babies in tow.
Like I’ve already said, I offload as much as possible at check-in to avoid the hassle of extra luggage.
Another obvious point is to ensure all your baggage is within the weight limits in advance. We’ve always used these hand-held luggage scales to ensure we are on point.
Nothing is worse than rearranging a bag at check-in before flying with twins. Make sure to double-check your seat allocation before leaving check-in.
Navigating Security With Twins
I often make the mistake of trying to pass through security with sleeping twins in the carrier. Remember, often, you must take the baby out of the carrier and put it through the scanner.
So, if you have a pending nap, wait until after you’ve passed through security. It’s worth dressing in the easiest possible way to navigate security.
Simple things like taking watches and belts off and having them in your backpack in advance can help avoid the struggle whilst holding your babies.
I tend to wear loose-fitting clothes with no metal, especially shoes, as, again, some airports may ask you to take them off, which will be a hassle when flying with twins.
I’ve found some security quite advanced and don’t ask for all liquids to be separated; others still ask for this.
We lived in Abu Dhabi for a while, and passing through security when flying with twins was a breeze. We found London and other places we’ve visited a lot more challenging.
The staff are not always abreast with fluid rules for families travelling with infants. A few of my followers on social media and members of my family travel group on Facebook have complained about this.
The best thing to do is be aware of the rules for fluid and baby food allowances in advance by looking them up on the individual airport information. You can then show the security officer if necessary.
You are entitled to travel with enough food and fluid for your babies for the trips. However, anything over the trip should go into checked luggage when flying with twins.
In the UK, there is a service where you can buy formula in advance and pick it up airside from Boots. It’s called an airport click-and-collect service. It’s a fantastic service when flying with twins that will need formula.
In The Terminal
Once you’ve passed through security, hopefully, you have time to relax or let your twins run off steam if they are walking.
Many airports have fantastic family facilities, from playrooms to soft play and breastfeeding rooms. This is not the case for all airports, but seeing what’s available is worth checking before flying with twins.
For example, we found an incredible playroom full of clean and well-maintained toys in Switzerland. It was tucked away in Zurich Airport but was a fantastic way to spend time before boarding our flight.
If you read other blogs, many people suggest early boarding for families. I am a big fan of waiting to board until the end.
This helps to reduce the time (especially with toddlers) that they are expected to stay still with a seat belt on. The less time confined, the better, in my opinion.
On Board The Flight With Twins
I always take the necessary zipped pouches out of my bag and store them in the area in front of my seat. This allows quick and easy access to nappy changes or snacks for the kids.
Installing A Car Seat
If you are travelling with a car seat for one of your twins to use onboard, you will want to install this first. It’s possible to install both rear and front-facing car seats.
It’s important to ensure the car seat is FAA-approved. The seat should have a sticker saying if it’s approved to be on an aeroplane. Car seats should not block other passengers, so it’s only suitable for a window seat.
Many ‘how-to’ videos online about installing car seats on an aeroplane are worth watching in advance. Make sure to ask the cabin crew for help if you are unsure.
Lap Belts & Harnesses
Some airlines provide a belt extender if you have a lap infant for the flight. I have found there are quite significant discrepancies between US based airlines and the rest of the world. US airlines do not always provide lap belt extdenders, however pretty much every other airline in the world does!
This is attached to the adult’s belt and goes around the baby’s waist.
They must be front-facing on the lap and cannot be in their baby carrier. This is for safety reasons, as the baby needs to be easily released in an emergency.
If you purchased a seat for one or both of your twins and did not want to carry a car seat, there is another option.
CARES Child Aviation Restraint System is a certified safety device designed for children aged one and older, weighing 22 to 44 pounds (10kg to 20kg), with their aeroplane seats.
It enhances their safety during air travel by preventing them from sliding or flailing during turbulence or emergencies.
This FAA-approved harness works with the plane’s seat belt to provide the same level of safety as a car seat.
It takes just a minute to install, fits all airplane seats, except emergency exit rows, and weighs less than a pound (454g), easily fitting into a pocket or purse.
It’s an ideal alternative to a car seat for parents flying with twins as it significantly reduces the load.
Changing Diapers On The Plane
If it’s your first time flying with little ones, you may not be aware there are diaper-changing tables installed in most onboard washrooms.
I usually take a few alcohol wipes in my bag to clean it and pop a changing mat on top. It’s fairly straightforward to use.
Eating Meals On The Plane With Twins
Eating meals can be tricky, especially if you have two lap infants with two adults. Usually, we speak to the cabin crew in advance.
Ideally, we try to get at least one baby down for sleep, or one adult takes both babies, and we take turns.
Don’t Forget To Keep Hydrated
If you are a breastfeeding mama, remember flying can be quite dehydrating. Let the cabin crew know you will need regular water top-ups.
It’s also worth trying to keep your little ones more hydrated than usual. My kids always develop cracked lips and a dry nose after flying.
Ensure you have some Vaseline for the lips and a little decongestion spray in your bag.
We’ve already discussed the bassinet option in detail. However, if your little one is in their own seat, you may use an aeroplane bed that goes in the footrest area and creates a flat surface when flush with the seat.
Several airlines allow these devices, but ultimately, it is the discretion of the cabin crew. We’ve successfully used them multiple times with our kids. There are many types.
The Plane Pal is an easy inflatable rectangular-shaped pillow which packs away nicely.
Jet Kids Bed Box is quite good for toddlers as it can be used as a suitcase and a ride-on scooter, perfect for navigating the terminal. It is a bulky item, so it’s best if your little one can use all the functions to make it worthwhile.
The most superior bed we’ve tried has to be the Flyaway Kids Bed. It is an uber comfy flat mattress. It is like a first-class bed in economy!
With all of these devices, they cannot impede the footpath of other passengers, so only certain seats can be used. The window is the best bet.
Sleep devices are certainly a real help when flying with twins in their seats.
Disembarking The Plane
Some airlines allow customers to pick up their checked stroller as soon as they get off the plane, whilst others deliver them to the carousel with other luggage.
This is why having a baby carrier with you is always a good idea when flying with twins.
We’ve passed through several airports with free-to-use transit strollers, perfect for tired legs and to offload some weight. It’s worth watching out for these.
Make sure to have all your documents ready for passport control. There are sometimes landing cards and arrival forms required.
It’s best to have completed these in advance. Check your destination before flying to see if it’s possible to do this online.
If you are flying with twins long haul, the chances are the little one may feel the effects of jet lag.
Managing jet lag with babies and toddlers can be challenging, but with some planning and patience, you can help ease their transition to a new time zone.
Here are some tips to help manage jet lag in babies and toddlers:
If your travel plans allow, adjust your twin’s sleep schedule gradually in the days leading up to your trip. Shift their bedtime and wake-up time closer to the destination time zone.
Consider booking flights that align with your twin’s usual sleep schedule. Overnight flights can be beneficial, as they may sleep during a significant portion of the journey.
Maintain your twin’s routine as much as possible, including feeding and napping. Consistency can help them adapt more quickly to the new time zone.
Keep your little ones well-hydrated during the flight. Dehydration can worsen jet lag symptoms, so offer fluids regularly.
Dress your child in comfortable, breathable clothing for the flight. Layers are a good choice, as cabin temperatures can vary.
Pack familiar comfort items, such as a favourite blanket or stuffed animal, to help your little one relax during the flight and at your destination.
After arriving at your destination, spend time outdoors in natural sunlight during the daytime. Sunlight helps reset the body’s internal clock.
If your twins need to nap, try to limit naps to short, early-afternoon ones, to prevent them from sleeping too much during the day and being wide awake at night.
Gradually adjust your twin’s schedule to match the new time zone. Shift meals and bedtime by 15-30 minutes daily until you reach the desired schedule. Understand that your child may take a few days to adapt to the new time zone fully.
If possible, allow for a day or two of rest after arriving at your destination before starting any activities or sightseeing. This gives your child more time to adjust.
Ensure your destination’s sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to rest. Consider bringing blackout curtains and white noise machines if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions On Flying With Twins
Can I fly with twins?
Yes, you can fly with twins. Ideally, it’s best to fly with two adults. However, it is possible to fly solo with twins. Not all airlines allow this, so it’s best to check directly.
When should you not fly with twins?
Avoid flying with twins if they have severe health issues or are too young, usually within the first few weeks after birth. Consult your paediatrician for guidance.
How to travel with twins alone?
Travelling solo with twins can be challenging but manageable. Plan, pack efficiently, and accept help from airport staff and fellow travellers when needed. Use a car seat or CARES harness for at least one baby, and book a seat if they are under 2.
Tips For Flying when pregnant with twins?
Flying during pregnancy with twins is generally allowed. Still, it’s important to check with your doctor and the airline for specific guidelines and restrictions, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
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