If you follow along closely on Instagram, you know that last week I took both girls to San Diego on a super last minute trip to visit my family! It was so much fun and a great way to spend the last week of my maternity leave. My mom works for American Airlines, so she literally booked us a standby ticket for a flight that left two hours later. Here’s how I handled the craziness of this spontaneous trip, and how I kept two kids happy on our flights by myself!
Don’t Overthink Packing
Since I had about an hour to prepare for our trip, I ran through the house like a crazy person pulling clothes and dipaers out of drawers and just stuffing them in our bag. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this, I didn’t have time to overthink and consequently overpack for anyone. The girls both had plenty of outfits and diapers, and while they used everything I brought (and I had to do some laundry) we didn’t need anything extra for them during the week. The one thing I forgot was Reagan’s swimsuit, but she didn’t like the beach anyways and I just had her swim naked in the little kiddie pool in my parent’s yard.
I did end up underpacking for me, but I just borrowed some of my mom’s clothes and made it work for the week! I know that when I have a lot of time before a trip, I start thinking about every little thing that the girls might need and I pack way too many things. I was able to pack for all three of us in one carry on bag and it was great not having to check a bag!
This is an absolute must when traveling! I used my soothe shirt from Lalabu Baby and highly recommend this over wrapping if you’re traveling with a newborn. It was so nice to just slide Elliott in and out when she got cranky or needed to eat instead of re-wrapping her every time. And I liked not having to deal with a ton of fabric! Everyone at the airport was super interested in my kangaroo pouch shirt, and it was a good conversation starter with flight attendants who then wanted to take extra good care of you on the flight.
Reagan was doing really well walking through the airports on her own, but by the time we landed in San Diego it was four hours past her bedtime and she was just too tired to move. I had the thought to let her “ride” on my suitcase and she loved it! She straddled the handle and I just wheeled her around which allowed us to get places faster than if she were walking. And it ensured that she couldn’t run away from me 🙂
Bring Snacks and an iPad
On our flights out, both airplanes had the media screens on the seats so I turned on Zootopia and Reagan was happy with that (even without headphones). On the way back, we were on older planes that didn’t have the entertainment, so I whipped out our iPad and let Reagan play with that. She was occupied with the iPad or looking out the window for the entirety of our trip! It was great not lugging around toys that she would get bored with, and I even got some rest when she was playing and Elliott was napping, so win win!
I packed a ton of snacks for Reagan in her little backpack so they were easily accessible and all in one place on the flight. It was much easier having them separate and in something she felt special carrying around than trying to dig through my diaper bag to find them. The flight attendants brought around pretzels, and I always asked for an extra bag and stashed it for later in case the next flight didn’t offer them.
Shmooze the Gate Agents
We flew standby, so we weren’t guaranteed a seat on any flight until everyone else showed up and had seats. We knew ahead of time that the flights we were trying to take were relatively empty, so when we got to the gate I made sure I was extra nice to the agents in hopes that they’d give us our own row in the front of the plane. Once they saw I was traveling alone with two kids (and that I was a nice person), they made sure we got great seats with plenty of space around us. Having the whole row was really helpful when it came to getting things out of the bag or needing to lay Elliott down to help Reagan. I even changed a couple diapers on the extra seat since I don’t love airplane bathrooms.
One cool thing that happened to us this time was that the flight crew from our San Antonio to Dallas flight was the same crew as our flight from Dallas to San Diego. So when they heard we were on their flight again they walked us part way to our next gate and were extra helpful during the flight. I’ve flown quite a bit and that has never happened to me, and it was pretty cool having that relationship already established from our previous flight!
I plan on doing updated versions of this post as we travel more and as Elliott gets older (two toddlers, yikes!) but I’ve had a lot of people saying they were impressed that I was able to do this, and I wanted to let ya’ll know how doable it was! If you have any specific questions about traveling with 2 under 2, let me know and I’d be happy to answer them!