Traveling with three toddlers is not for the faint of heart. For real.
Our girls did surprisingly well, but it was still a struggle… and just a bit exhausting.
It’s worth it! But it can be draining.
This was our first time traveling such a significant distance with all three girls. We’ve driven the 7 hour trip to visit my parents, we’ve flown to Florida with just Kit twice, but this was the first time we were outnumbered on a flight.
We learned a few things along the way! Since I went more in depth a few weeks ago with my first Florida post about what we did, I thought I would share some tips for traveling with babies… in other words, you get to benefit from our trial and error!
Before I begin, know that traveling with multiple children is doable. Don’t expect it to be easy, don’t expect it to be relaxing, but you can do it. I believe in you!
Here are my tips for flying and traveling with toddlers:
For the airport and plane ride:
:: most airlines allow you to bring (at no extra charge) basic baby items: strollers, car seats, diaper bags, etc. Whatever airline you’re flying just google: “Delta flying with baby” and a page should come up with their list of what’s allowed. We brought our triple stroller and all three car seats. You have to decide what makes sense for your situation. We didn’t want to pay to rent car seats from the rental company (you can do that!) since we were there for such a long time, but if you are only traveling for a quick weekend that might be a good idea. But we did decide to rent pack and plays (more on that below!) so that we didn’t have to lug both into the airport. Because the airline we flew through (Allegient) allowed free checking for car seats, we checked them so we didn’t have to get through the airport with them. So glad we did this! All we had to deal with was our triple stroller, and our carry-on’s which was no big deal.
:: getting through security is not as bad as you think it might be. Just discuss your plan before hand so everyone is on the same page. David and I each had “tasks” to get everyone through with limited fuss (I mean there was some fussing lets be honest). Basically, we put all of our bags on the belt first. I was in charge of getting liquids out into trays and he was in charge of electronics. Then Kit came down, Ella and Rosie were handed to me and he broke down the stroller (yes they make you break it down so they can send it through the machine). Then the stroller is handed to security, Ella and Rosie went to David and Kit came with me. This actually went really smoothly because we discussed it beforehand. And you know what? Everyone was super kind and helpful… other passengers, security, you name it. We didn’t have a single rude person. I think everyone can see that you have your hands full and are willing to be patient. Don’t go into it assuming everyone is out to get you!
:: we bought food in each airport after we got through security so the girls would have something to keep them busy, and we found an area of the gate that was less busy so they could get down and stretch out a bit. This was where things started to get a bit hectic because Ella and Rosie wanted to explore beyond where we are. But despite the meltdowns, we mostly survived waiting for the plane. I took Kit on a couple walks just so she could move around a bit. If the twins were walking they could have come with us, but they’re stubbornly clinging to their crawling!
:: on the plane we had to separate because each row of seats has only one extra oxygen mask (we brought Ella and Rosie on as lap babies). We didn’t realize this on the first flight so we ended up super far away from each other (David took Ella and I took Rosie and Kit) on the plane. On the flight back I chose seats that were across the aisle from each other. The girls all did surprisingly well on the plane! The ride back was much worse, but it was a super early flight and they were tired. I packed a backpack full of all new toys to them and things that I knew would keep them busy. Books and stickers are very motivating for Ella and Rosie right now so they mostly kept busy with those things. Kit we kept busy with an iPad and Toddler headphones. David told me that Ella fell asleep for a bit on the way down. Both Ella and Rosie slept on the way back, but it was pretty rough when they were awake. Thankfully they didn’t really cry, but they were throwing toys and trying to get down… basically the trip back was not at all relaxing.
:: to get their ears to pop, I saved some food that I knew they would be 100% focused on for the take off… basically junk food ha! And I put juice in their bottles so they would want to drink. It worked perfectly. Kit complained of her ears once, but after I told her to drink from her water bottle, she was fine.
All in all we felt super accomplished when we got through both flights ha! I was expecting it to be way worse, so I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t completely terrible (I promise I’m usually an optimist!).
Some other traveling tips:
:: try to get a suite if you can, or do a rental with multiple rooms. The first few days while we were visiting family we were in a hotel room with just one room, and sleep was a joke! We didn’t get much, the girls didn’t get much, meh. The up side was that hotels have pack and plays so we were able to utilize theirs, and it had a pool which was a huge hit. Even Ella and Rosie were okay with being in the water (which is actually kind of a miracle)!
:: for the second part of the trip where we were at the beach we stayed in a cottage that had a living area and a bedroom. So yes, we shared a room with the girls, but we were able to be out in the living room while they were falling asleep and napping. So much better! We ended up renting a bunch of stuff for them so we didn’t have to pack it: pack and plays for Rosie and Ella, a cot for Kit, two booster seats for the twins, a monitor, and toys (yes toys!). I was on the fence about the toys, but I was SOOOO glad we went for it. In the mornings and at night when we had down time it was so nice for them to have something to do! We went through this company, but it’s specific to the area. They delivered everything to our cottage and picked it up so I highly recommend them if you’re ever in the St. Petersburg area. Otherwise just google baby equipment rentals for the area you’ll be at, and you’ll find something.
And those are my tips! It’s probably not an exhaustive list, but it’s what I can think of right now. Have you flown with your kiddos? How did it go? Any tips to share with the rest of us? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,
Things I recommend for the plane: