Twin Adventures

Twin girls now rule the house.

Road Tripping with 16-Month-Old Twins

on November 19, 2012

At the end of October, my biggest sister got married. I’m guessing mostly due to the cuteness of toddlers in formal wear, the four of us were asked to attend. There are few people that I would go out of my way to please and my sister (Cheryl) is one of them, so we RSVP’d and started planning our first road trip with the girls! And not only was it a road trip, but it was a 16-hour drive road trip down to San Jose, California. Anton and I are planners; whenever we’ve done a road trip in the past (we’ve done two or three down to San Jose) it’s been planned out almost to the hour. This trip was no different. If anything, it was an indicator that both of us have a strong type-A personality inside, fighting to get out.

Our first decision was: Plane or Car. I think most people would opt for the plane ride. It’s faster right? Less travel time, more relax time. This is not what I thought at all when I started going over the pros and cons. First off, the airplane is ridiculously expensive! If we were going to fly, we were all going to have our own seats. The airlines that I looked at do not offer a discounted price for children (even those under the age of two) if you are getting seats for them. Most do offer an “on lap” policy: you only purchase seats for the adults and the children spend the flight on your lap (I’m skeptical about trying to keep a toddler on my lap for two hours). Secondly, we’d have to manoeuvre around two different airports while towing two toddlers, their car seats, their luggage, and our luggage. In addition, we would have to rent a car once we got down there (again, expensive and I was terrified of the extra charges we’d get if the girls happened to get car sick!).

So we decided on our trusty Toyota Rav4 to bring us down and back again. We figured the girls would be a little more comfortable in an environ-ment that they were in on a daily basis and if there were any meltdowns to be had… they were private meltdowns that only annoyed Mommy and Daddy! Being in the car also allowed us to stow away treats and toys into organized bins that were just an arms reach away. And we also had access to the things that we already had stowed in the car on a regular basis (Hello towels and spare roll of toilet paper!). On the money side of things we found (with the help of our researching and our Excel spreadsheets) it was more cost effective to fill up the car three or four times then to buy plane tickets and rent a car.

Now that one of the biggest decisions was out of the way, scheduling was next up. Maretta and Shula run on a good, firm schedule. We’re flexible of course, but for the most part the girls wake up, eat, and take their naps at the same times every day. We wanted to maintain that schedule even though we’d be in the car for a total of sixteen hours and staying a different hotel almost every night. We managed to do just that. We made sure to schedule our stops for roughly every two hours, at cities/towns that would have the right kind of amenities for us (read: food and a good place for the girls to stretch their legs). Some breaks were half hour stops that included having something to eat, and other breaks were just 10 or 15 minutes for the girls to run around. The PlayPlaces at McDonalds were an excellent pit stop. Nice and contained, it allowed the girls to run around without Mommy and Daddy having to follow right behind them.

Every night we stopped between 5pm-7pm and did the Bedtime Routine just like we would anywhere else. Walk-Bath-Bottle-Story. The biggest difference for them, I think, was sleeping together. The girls each sleep in their own crib and have since they were about a month and a half old. They are both movers and seem to enjoy having their own space. To keep things as home-like as possible, we had decided to bring two play yards, but the car was full enough with just one so we decided to leave the borrowed play yard at home. This didn’t turn out to be a problem. Although it took them a little longer to get to sleep, Maretta and Shula did an excellent job sleeping together. I was really surprised; this was probably the one thing I was most worried about.

The trip went really well. No meltdowns, no unforeseen problems, we didn’t forget anything, and other than at the actual wedding (200 strangers are not their idea of a good time!)… I think the girls enjoyed themselves! Oh, Anton and I did too.. surprisingly fun and a nice, short get away. It probably depends on the attitudes that you and your spouse possess but I would recommend driving over flying, especially if you plan it out properly and make sure to set your expectations low… that way you can be surprised when it turns out really well!

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