Travelling with one young baby can be stressful enough, but what if you have two? Our Marketing Manager Sarah and her husband recently took their first overseas trip with their 6-month-old twin girls. Here are their first-hand tips on how to make it work…
Go somewhere you know
We’d been to Lanzarote before, so there was no FOMO when we spent 99.9% of our time applying sun cream/changing nappies/dressing/undressing/feeding/cleaning and all the other obligatory baby chores that seem to take up most of the day.
Forget about getting a tan: babies who have only ever known a UK winter will not cope well with a beach in 30-degree heat. We lasted about an hour before we packed up and went to hide in a cave. Not just any old cave though – this one came with a bar, a pool and a theatre. It was gloriously cool in every sense of the word, and one of our favourite days of the trip.
Pack a variety of clothes
Even if you’re going somewhere with almost guaranteed year-round sunshine like Lanzarote, pack wisely – because YOU NEVER KNOW. We took a tonne of cute cotton rompers and little else. The first two days of the trip were windy and it got pretty chilly in the evenings, so we ended up having to wrap them up in makeshift towel-based outfits.
Take someone else with you
We had the genius (if slightly crafty) idea of cajoling my sister into coming with us for a few days of the trip. Sorry sis! She was (mostly) delighted to tag along and spend some quality time with the girls, and we got an extra pair of hands. It also meant we had the chance to go out for a meal without jiggling babies on our laps and making those funny faces/noises you start doing as soon as you become a parent. Result!
Beware of night flights
We thought we were being really clever by booking a night flight on the way back – the babies will be tired and just sleep the whole way home, right? Nope. Throw in intermittent turbulence, loud tannoy announcements and bright plane lighting, and we quickly realised sleep for any of us was not going to be on the cards. We arrived at midnight to long queues when all we wanted was our beds. Obviously all babies are different, but if yours have a fairly routine bedtime like ours (a must with twins!), night flights are not much fun.
And one more tip for anyone thinking of starting a family sometime in the not-too-distant future…
Tick off a few trips from your bucket list beforehand!
We couldn’t really afford it at the time, but looking back at everywhere we went in the years before the girls arrived, I’m so happy that we did it anyway. Those memories will be with us forever and they are some of the best of my life. We went on safari in Tanzania, had the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience on a tiny coral-ringed island off Zanzibar, stayed in a royal palace and tented jungle camps in Rajasthan, perched in a lofty Kasbah in Morocco’s High Atlas, slept in huts hidden in Sri Lanka’s ancient heartlands, and bathed with elephants on the beach in the Andaman islands.
I also crammed in trips with family and friends during my pregnancy, knowing that it might be a while before I got to spend some quality time with them again. I know some parents are totally fearless and continue to travel in exactly the same way as they did pre-kids, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t changed since becoming a mum. My priorities are different now, and whilst I still have major wanderlust, I’m under no illusion that this isn’t a new chapter in our travel lives.