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The Ultimate Guide of Traveling with Twins

The Ultimate Guide of Traveling with Twins

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the thought of traveling with twins? Do not worry! You are not alone, and I am here to help.

We have flown multiple times with our twins, from as young as four months old to only a few days shy of two years old. We have also gone on several road trips with twins, including a 7-day road trip in Oregon, an epic 2-week summer road trip in the Midwest, and weekend trips from Dallas. 

We have also taken our twins on hikes to waterfalls in the Columbia River GorgeOlympic National ParkHot Springs National Park, and more. We have done it all! And with our singleton in tow, who is only 20 months older than the twins.

Parents traveling with twins and a toddler hanging on his mom's legs at the airport.

So yes, we have lots of experience traveling with twins and 3 kids under 3. If we can do it, then you can too! And I am here to help you guide you.

My ultimate guide to traveling with twins has everything you need to know, including a FREE packing list! From flying with twins to going on a road trip and what to pack—I have all the tips for a happy and memorable family trip.

Traveling with Twins

A couple traveling with twins at a splash park in Tulum, Mexico.

First, from one twin parent to another, you are doing GREAT! So take a deep breath, and let’s dive in on how to travel with twins!

I will share how to save money when traveling with twins, how to fly with twins, tips for road-tripping with twins, and more. Plus, I have a FREE downloadable packing list for you!

Lastly, this guide will be most helpful for parents traveling with twins until they are 2-3 years old. I wouldn’t say it gets easier after twins turn two, but you don’t have to worry about packing two of everything, seating arrangements on flights, etc.

Be a Part of Our Community and Join the Double the Adventure: Twins & Multiples Travel Tips Facebook Group!

Travel Hacks for Traveling with Twins

Double the love, double the diapers, double the luggage, double the pack ‘n plays, double the fun. Everything adds up quickly when you have two! So, we learned how to save money and space when traveling with twins.

A family traveling with twins at Columbia River Gorge.

Get an Airline Credit Card

Consider an airline credit card if you are flying with twins and want to bring two pack ‘n plays. A stroller and car seat can be checked at the ticket counter for free, but a pack ‘n play will count as checked luggage.

The first checked bag can cost between $30 and $40, and the second checked bag can cost between $40 and $50. So, if you are a family of four traveling with twins as lap infants and have two suitcases and two pack ‘n plays, your checked luggage for a one-way flight can cost up to $180!

An airline credit card is my favorite way to travel and save money. Airline credit cards have several benefits, including the first checked bag free of charge for the cardholder and up to six additional passengers (on domestic flights).

Moreover, with just one credit card, you could get your first bag checked for free and earn enough miles to fly to Europe for FREE!

Diaper Tips

When I pack diapers and wipes in a suitcase for the twins, they take up an entire compartment! Therefore, I will pack diapers and wipes in the car seat or ship them to our accommodations. 

This is my favorite travel hack! As I briefly discussed above, car seats count as free checked luggage. So we will put the car seat into a car seat travel bag and stuff it with diapers. Now, the car seat is being checked for free as a suitcase full of diapers. 

Another way to save space with diapers is to ship them. If you travel within the United States and stay at a hotel or AirBnb, ask if guests can receive packages. If you are visiting friends or family, shipping and receiving diapers should be easy. 

Flying with Twins

There are multiple ways to fly with twins. Whether you are flying solo with twins, bringing a car seat, or flying with twins as lap infants, I will cover them all. I will also discuss tips for flying with twins for the best success!

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s crucial to note that these are general tips. Always double-check your airline carrier’s domestic and international flying rules to ensure a smooth trip. 

Flying with Twins Using a Car Seat

One of my favorite and safest ways to fly with twins is with car seats. Car seats provide the most familiarity and comfort to a child. You can fly with two car seats, but sadly, you must separate as a family.

Most airlines require a car seat to occupy a window seat. Therefore, one adult sits in the middle, with one child in the car seat occupying the window seat. The second adult and child will do the same.

The best option to stay together with both twins in a car seat is to sit behind/in front of one another. You can still pass items back and forth behind/in front of the seats.

Make sure you have FAA-approved car seats. You can check if the car seat is FAA-approved by looking for the sticker on the side of your seat. It will say, “This Restraint is Certified for Use in Motor Vehicles and Aircraft.” 

Flying with Twins as Lap Infants

A mom and dad flying with twins. Each parent holding a twin on the aisle seat.

When a child is under two years old, they can fly for “free” as a “lap infant.” The cost for a lap infant is typically the taxes and fees or 10% of the adult ticket. 

Flying with a lap infant is a budget-friendly way to travel. Some people will argue about a child’s safety not in their own seat (with a car seat), but you are the only one who can make the best decision for your family. 

Yes, you can fly with twins as lap infants. However, you must have two adults. One lap infant per adult. Moreover, only one adult with a lap infant per row because each row has only one extra oxygen mask. Therefore, families will have to split up. 

The best option is to have both adults with a lap infant sit on the aisle seat. This way, you will have easy access to get up for diaper changes or walks down the aisle. It will also be nice to stay at arm’s length from each other across the walkway to pass items back and forth. 

The infant must be under two years old for the trip. If they turn two during a trip, you must purchase a seat for them. I would also bring a copy of their birth certificate in case the desk agents ask for it.

Flying with Twins: One Lap Infant and One Seat

Another option with two adults flying with twins is to stay together in one row. One child can be in a car seat in the window seat, one adult in the middle seat, and the second adult with a lap infant in the aisle seat. This would be the best option to have a little of both worlds.

Read next: 35+ Best Travel Toys for Babies (0-18 Months)

Flying Solo with Twins

A mom holding her twin boys in the pool.

First of all, you are amazing! Secondly, always give yourself grace because you are amazing! People will offer generous help, and I recommend taking it (as long as it makes you comfortable). 

The best option, especially for flying solo with twin toddlers, would be to purchase a seat for everyone. You can sit in the middle and have each twin sit next to you. You can also have the twin on the window seat sit in a car seat. This can help you have one less hands-on kid. It might also be the only option if the airline requires one child in a car seat. 

Otherwise, you can purchase two seats—one for you and a lap infant and one for the other child. This might be the most ideal for flying with twin babies. 

Most importantly, make sure you check with the airline that you can fly solo with twins under two years old. Major airlines usually allow one adult to fly with two children under two, but one child must be in their own seat with an FAA-approved car seat.

Flying with Twins Seat Configurations

To simplify the information above, here is an infographic I made to show the seating options for flying with twins:

Infographic of Flying with Twins airplane seat configuration map. It shows four different ways adults can seat with twins on an airplane.

Tips for Flying with Twins

Three toddler boys with backpacks walking down an airport aisle.

Now that we have the seating arrangements figured out, here are a few tips for flying with twins. Learn how to navigate airport security, bring breast milk, formula, and other liquids, and more.

TSA PreCheck

We LOVE TSA PreCheck, and when we travel with twins, we love it even more! What is TSA PreCheck? 

TSA PreCheck is a Trusted Traveler program that allows travelers to pass through an expedited security screening process. TSA PreCheck travelers have the luxury of keeping their electronics in the bag and keeping their shoes, jackets, and belts on. 

When an adult has TSA PreCheck, their benefits apply to children 12 years old and under. So, I recommend applying for TSA PreCheck to make the security screening process seamless.

Baby Wear vs. Double Stroller

The best way to pass through the TSA screening process with twins is to baby-wear. The TSA allows parents or guardians to baby-wear infants with a sling (no ring) or soft-structured carriers through the walk-through metal detector.

We are big fans of a double stroller through the airport. However, you cannot push a stroller through the metal detector. 

Once you get to the metal detector, you must take the children out and fold the stroller to slide down the conveyor, or a TSA agent will take the stroller from you to screen it themselves. Then, you walk through the metal detector with your child in your arms and retrieve the stroller and the rest of your belongings.

Can You Bring Breast Milk, Formula, Milk, and Water Through Security?

Yes! You can bring breast milk, formula, milk, and water through security. You can also bring ice packs, fruit puree, and yogurt pouches. 

There is no set limit to how much you can bring. Generally, you should only carry what is needed to get you through the duration of the flight.

You do not need to worry about fitting your liquids into 3.4-ounce bottles or putting them in a quart-sized bag. Pack the necessary liquids to feed your baby as if you were going on an outing near home. 

When you get to TSA security, inform a TSA agent that you have breast milk, formula, and water for it or milk over 3.4 ounces. Remove the liquids from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from your other belongings. Then, a TSA agent will either push the liquids through the conveyor belt to be screened by X-ray or run some tests to validate the liquids. 

To learn more about your rights to travel with liquids for your child, click here.

Gate Check a Double Stroller

You can check a stroller at the airport counter for free, but I recommend bringing a double stroller through airport security and gate-checking it for several reasons. 

The only hassle with bringing the double stroller is getting it through TSA security screening. Otherwise, there are great benefits to bringing the double stroller through security and gate checking. 

Whether flying with twin babies or toddlers, pushing your twins through the airport in a double stroller is convenient. You have less risk of the double stroller getting damaged with checked luggage. 

More importantly, rather than waiting for the stroller at the oversized baggage claim area, when you gate-check a double stroller, it should be one of the first items unloaded from the cargo and waiting for you when you deplane. So you can quickly put your twins in the double stroller, get to baggage claim, and be on your way! 

Road Trip with Twins

A family traveling with twins and a toddler, enjoying one of the best things to do in La Romana - a visit to Altos de Chavon, a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired village.

One of the best ways to begin traveling with twins is to go on a family road trip! Road-tripping with twins is almost as simple as road-tripping with a baby. I would know; I have done both! The success of road trips comes down to expectations and preparation. 

So whether you are driving three or six hours or going on an epic week-long road trip, here are a few things to know about road-tripping with twins.

Read next: Tips for Road Tripping with a Baby – A Complete Guide

Go on a Day Trip Test

I always say that the best way to learn to travel with kids is to go on a small trip or staycation. The last thing you want to do on a long-awaited family vacation is figure out all the trial and error of traveling with kids on the trip! So, do a test run on a day or a small trip.

Use the tips below and go on a day trip or spend one night in a city within three hours of your house. This way, you can get familiar with going on a road trip with twins and see how they adjust to being away from their daily routine, new sleeping environments, and more. 

Plan for Several Stops and Itinerary Changes

A dad in the pool with his twin boys in swim floats.

You will need to plan for several stops when road-tripping with twins. Depending on your twins and their stage in life, you may need to plan a stop every 1 – 3 hours.

The best way to take breaks is to incorporate fun activities, tours or stops at cute little towns. As a family that loves to hike, we plan our stops around hiking places. It will also help to prepare these stops around bottle/breastfeeding.

Keep in mind that there will be unplanned stops for diaper changes. We never know when someone will have a blowout, and with twins, you might be stopping two times more. 

And we do not oppose stopping/eating at McDonald’s with indoor playgrounds. McDonald’s has been a lifesaver on road trips with our twin toddlers. Everyone can exercise their legs in a safe environment while grabbing a bite to eat. 

You can also expect to change your itinerary multiple times. Going on a road trip with twins can be challenging. You may get behind schedule, but that is OKAY! 

Set a goal for Plan A, knowing you most likely will end up with Plan B or even Plan C. This could mean taking an activity (or two) out of the day, eating in the car when the kids finally nap, taking the highway instead of a more scenic route, etc.

Try to Drive Around Nap Time

Try to drive around the twins’ sleep schedule. If they are on different schedules, do your best to find a time that works best for everyone. For a road trip over three hours long, we begin our drive 30-60 minutes before a scheduled nap. 

Drive a Minivan

I know. I always told myself I would never be a minivan mom, but three kids later, I could not survive without my minivan. Even when we fly to a destination and need to drive, we rent a minivan. 

You are going to be packing a lot! Two pack ‘n plays, multiple suitcases, a double stroller, at least two car seats, a cooler, and more—everything is going to quickly add up. 

Additionally, getting belongings and kids in and out of a minivan is a breeze. Through trial and error, a minivan has been the best vehicle for road-tripping with twins (and our toddler). Otherwise, a large SUV will be good, too.

Pack the Car with Easy Access 

What is a road trip without snacks, right? Moreover, what is a road trip without easily accessible snacks? When you pack the car, make sure you can easily access the snack bag. 

That also goes for all the essentials. Whether that means a cooler with baby bottles, a bag of toys, or a diaper bag, you want to be able to reach these items.

New Toys or Rotate Toys

We are a Montessori family and love the Montessori Method of rotating toys. We do this at home and find it helpful for road-tripping with kids. 

Before a road trip, we will remove a few of our children’s favorite toys. Then, when we are on the road trip, we reintroduce the toys so that they are “new” and exciting. You can also buy new toys for a road trip. I am a sucker for always buying new gear for our trips. Oops. 

I know it can be tempting to show all the new toys you got your kids for a road trip, but it is important to give a baby or toddler one toy at a time. This way, when they get bored with one toy (because nothing lasts for more than 30 minutes), there is a new one to play with.

Read next: 20+ Best Travel Toys for Toddlers (18 Months – 3 Years Old)

What to Pack When Traveling with Twins

Three toddler boys watching planes at the DFW Capital One Lounge.

I remember the first few trips we traveled with our twins. I felt like I was packing the entire house into a car. In actuality, that is not far off from the truth. We always have to pack more because there are two kids! 

Obviously, we have to pack the essentials, but we can pack smart with twins in a few ways.

Rent Your Gear

To save yourself from packing two car seats, two pack ‘n plays, and two of anything else—rent your baby gear from BabyQuip

BabyQuip is an equipment rental service operated similarly to Turo or AirBnb. People offer their baby gear to visitors to rent for a set period. BabyQuip is available in over 1500+ cities across the US, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Australia & New Zealand. 

All of the products at BabyQuip go through a specific cleaning process and quality check. You can rent everything you need for a trip, such as car seats, pack ‘n plays, strollers, high chairs, bouncers, toys, and even hiking equipment. All you would have to pack for your twins is their clothes! 

Rent your baby gear here!

Request a Crib at the Hotel

If you want to avoid renting or packing a pack n’ play, another great option is to request one from your hotel. Many hotels and resorts worldwide offer guests a crib/pack n’ play complimentary or at a charge. 

The downside to requesting a crib from a hotel is that sometimes it’s not guaranteed, may not be up to your quality standards, or you might only have one. Sometimes, a hotel may not have sheets for the pack ‘n play. That has happened to us. So, I recommend packing your own. 

If you request a crib at a hotel, I would get it in writing to confirm they are holding one for you.

Packing List for Twins

Twin boys sitting in travel high chairs in a hotel room waiting for their food.

Here are a “few” items to pack when traveling with twins:

  • Two car seats
  • Two pack ‘n play or a twin bassinet pack ‘n play
  • Two toddler travel beds or inflatable bed bumpers
  • Double Stroller
  • Two travel high chairs
  • Plenty of diapers (you can always buy more at a store or get them delivered)
  • Plenty of baby wipes (you can always buy more at a store or get them delivered)
  • Portable changing mat
  • Portable diaper pail
  • Portable white noise machine
  • Blackout curtains or cover tent
  • Baby Monitor
  • Swaddle blankets and/or sleep sacks (at least 3 in case of blow outs)
  • Pack ‘n play sheets
  • Loveys
  • Diaper Bag
  • Baby bottles, sippy cups, or water bottles
  • Travel sterlizing bags for bottles
  • Breastpump 
  • Bottle soap and brushes
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby body soap
  • Portable bath seat
  • Baby toiletries (diaper cream, sunscreen, lotion, nasal spray, bug spray, etc.)
  • Diaper wet bag or plastic bags
  • Small soft-shelled cooler bag
  • Travel toys and books
  • Batteries for any toy
  • First Aid Kit
  • Baby/children’s medicine (Tylenol, Motrin, and Benadryl approved by your pediatrician)
  • Thermometer
  • 3 sets of clothes per day
  • Pajamas
  • Socks and shoes

Sleeping Arrangements for Twin Babies and Toddlers

Traveling with 3 kids under 3, we have experienced all the sleeping arrangements under the sun. We have done some co-sleeping, a twin bassinet pack ‘n play, two pack ‘n plays, bed bumpers, and an inflatable travel bed. We just roll with the punches by adjusting to our children’s needs and growth.

How do you pick which sleeping arrangement to use? It comes down to replicating as closely as possible the sleeping arrangements at home—and more importantly, what works best for your family! If possible, I also recommend trying your travel sleeping arrangements at home before your trip. 

A family traveling with twins and a toddler—laying on a hotel bed.

One Twin Bassinet Pack ‘n Play

If you are traveling with twin babies that cannot roll over or support themselves on their elbows, a twin bassinet pack ‘n play is a great option. This is also the best option if the twins already sleep in bassinets. 

Moreover, you will only have to pack one pack ‘n play, saving space in the car/checked luggage and the hotel room. In the future, you can also use it as a portable crib for one baby.

Two Pack ‘n Plays

Once your twins outgrow the bassinet, you will need a portable crib, aka a pack ‘n play. Thus, you will need two pack ‘n plays. This is also the beginning of packing more, additional checked baggage fees, and losing space in the hotel room.

Inflatable Bed Bumpers

When a child has outgrown their crib, and you use a rail guard, what do you do when you travel? The answer is inflatable bed bumpers

We love the Hiccapop inflatable bed bumpers. These portable bed rails can be easily blown up within 60 seconds without special equipment. 

You place them under the covers, and they help keep your toddler from falling off the bed. There are several ways you can do inflatable bed bumpers when traveling with twins. 

If your twins need space, you can book a hotel room with two queen-sized beds and a sofa bed. The parents have their bed, and each twin has their bed. 

If your twins can sleep together, you can book a room with two queen-sized beds or a king-sized bed with a sofa bed. 

In both cases, the most challenging part will be keeping the twins in their beds to fall asleep. Sometimes, this is when co-sleeping comes into play. A parent will sleep with each twin and have a bed bumper on their side (so you only need one set of bed bumpers).

Parents sitting on the bed looking lost traveling with twins and a toddler.

Inflatable Toddler Travel Bed

An inflatable travel bed is another excellent solution for twin toddlers. Like the inflatable bed rails, the inflatable travel bed is perfect for transitioning a child from a crib to a bed. Its built-in bumpers make the child feel comfortable and secure. 

It is also lightweight, comes with a travel bag and an electric pump, can be inflated within 30 seconds, and fits a standard crib sheet. If your child needs a blackout environment, you can also place a cover tent over the inflatable travel bed. 

Regarding space in a hotel room, you can think of two inflatable travel beds as having two pack ‘n plays in the room. You could also book two queen-sized rooms and have one twin in a bed with inflatable bed rails and one twin on the floor on the inflatable travel bed. 

We love the Hiccapop brand, but the travel bed is larger than others. If you like SlumberPod, they have a smaller travel bed that fits with their cover tent too.

Co-Sleeping with Twins

I understand co-sleeping with babies can be a controversial topic, but I always believe a parent knows what is best for their child and situation. So, if you co-sleep with your twins, you can do it while traveling too. Replicate everything you do at home but in a hotel room, whether you co-sleep in a king-sized bed or two queen beds. 

When our twins became mobile toddlers who outgrew their pack ‘n plays, we switched to co-sleeping. One parent co-slept with our oldest, one co-slept with a twin, and the other twin, who needed personal space, slept in the inflatable travel bed. 

I hope you have found my guide to traveling with twins helpful. You might find yourself in difficult situations, but trust me—it is all worth it to make those family memories!