Only 18 months ago, it was just us two eagerly, and nervously, awaiting our first bundle of joy. Fast forward to today, and here I am writing about how to vacation with two babies under two. Far from having it all under control (I mean, do we ever really have it all under control?), I did it. We survived traveling abroad with a 17-month-old and a 6-week-old (I know. We're ballsy and I love it!) and made it our best family vacation to date. Since motherhood is a lot about trial and error, below are some tips based on what I did and one on what I didn't do but should have.
TIP #1 : OVER PACK!!
Remember the good old days when packing for just one baby felt like a lot? Now just for fun let's add another one to the bunch and you'll quickly see how traveling overseas with two babies will have you feeling like a fugitive packing everything you own to never come back. Not only do you need to pack everything times two but you also need to find a way to magically fit it all into the ridiculous limit most airlines have on suitcases.
Think of possible scenario's at your destination and try to be ready. From medicine in case they get sick (which hopefully they don't) to nursing pads and a manual pump if you're breastfeeding to nasal aspirator and nail clipper to keep them nicely groomed.
TIP #2 : FLY LATE
The plane ride is usually the most dreaded for parents and trust me, I know why! Our toddler is beyond active so keeping him strapped down at 7 am for over 4 hours was no easy task. Taking breaks to the bathroom, just to let him move around, he would run down the aisle while stopping every few seats to say Hi to the rest of the passengers. Coming back home was such a different story. We booked to depart at 2 am which meant they both slept the whole plane ride home.
So yeah, try to book late night flights in the hopes your little one is still in sleep mode when you board that plane.
TIP #3 : DOUBLE STROLLER
Don't make the same mistake we made. Our 17-month-old is very independent so when it came to a double stroller we decided to skip it. Big No-No being that we spent the first week at a resort which meant we were basically outdoors from 8am to 11pm. No matter how active your toddler is he will need a comfy place to crash or he will find a way to crash your plans.
Our Lillebaby carrier saved us on the nights Achilles was all partied out and ready for some ZZZ's. But if you you want to be completely "free'' once they fall asleep or you just need a break from all the running around after your little party animal, double strolling is the way to go.
TIP #4 : FOLLOW THEIR LEAD...
...Sometimes. We quickly noticed that once Achilles and the other toddlers tired themselves out in the pool they would relax with the swaying of the water and fall asleep in their floaties. Once he was deep asleep, we would lay him on a lounge chair where he would nap for another 2 hours. Bliss. He would recharge his batteries and we would get much needed grown up time (a cocktail or two at the swim up bar).
TIP #5 : ROCK-A-BYE BABY
Babies and Toddlers need to feel safe and at home even when away from home. So pull out their swaddler and favorite blanket or plush toy and stick to their bedtime routine as much as you can. You're on vacation so of course every night is different but helping them feel comfy and safe is key for a good night for everybody.
If you're going to be staying at a resort (or hotel) make sure to specify you will have two babies with you so that you're room is already set up with two play pens on your arrival.
TIP #6 : FAMILY TIME
Being that it was an extended family trip, we had more hands to help which meant we got some time on our own and my parents and the rest of the family got to enjoy the cuties on their own too.
If you know me though, you know I have always been a sucker for quality family time so enjoying my loved ones was my #1 priority. Of course the much needed relaxation is nice and more than necessary when raising two little ones but those everlasting bonding moments with your loved ones will live with you forever.
TIP #7 : BE ADVENTUROUS... AND LET THEM BE WILD
Do something you've never done. See something you've never seen. Push your limits and try new things and motivate your toddler to do the same. Let him get dirty. Let him enjoy the view. Let him enjoy his vacation as much as you.
TIP #8 : ENJOY EVERY SECOND
Don't let the things you can't do steal the joy of all the new experiences now that you're a family of four. You're in paradise with your little gang, enjoy it. Take lots of pictures, laugh as much as you can, be in the moment and be grateful.
'Til next time lovelies!