You know those families you see sitting on the floor of an airport with their suitcases open and their clothes tumbling out onto the floor? The ones you usually laugh at as you sail through the airport looking forward to your gin and tonic at the other side? That was us at the start of our first family holiday abroad.
In my infinite wisdom I had packed enough nappies and wipes for two toddlers for two weeks, along with tonnes of other stuff so that it would save buying things when we arrived. I’d been on flights before and I’d never been asked to weigh my hand luggage, but as we arrived at Gatwick the lady behind the desk smiled sweetly and asked us to place our flight bags on the scales. My heart sank. I knew that each was around 3kg over as I’d weighed them myself before we left home. Mortified, we had to go away and try to cram some of the stuff into our cases, fill our pockets with the heaviest things possible and take jackets out of our suitcases so we could fill up the pockets in those too. Thirty minutes later, sweating and with screaming toddlers in tow, we were allowed to go through with exactly the same amount of stuff as before, just with it carefully redistributed.
After rushing through the airport to the departure gate, thinking we were late, we found there was a long delay as the plane had a cracked windscreen and they had to unload everything off the plane and on to another one. Thankfully the boys were surprisingly perky to say they’d been up since 3am. T2 was so excited at seeing planes through the windows and T1 was loving people watching. Between them they entertained everyone else who was sitting on the floor waiting for the flight with us. Two hours flew by without tears and before we knew it it was time to board.
For some reason the boarding procedure was made as difficult as possible, taking in flights of stairs (with no lift in sight) and long waits for packed transfer buses. Given that we had four hand luggage bags, jackets (now filled with very heavy things), a folded up double buggy and two wriggly toddlers to manoeuver it was a bit stressful.
All of my fears about taking the boys on the flight subsided the minute we boarded. They never sit down at home so I was sure they wouldn’t sit for the flight. But once they were strapped to our laps and given something to eat they were fine. As we started to taxi we gave them their milk and both of them were asleep before we even left the ground. They slept soundly for most of the journey.
The portable DVD player, stickers and colouring books didn’t even get a look in but at least we felt prepared.
If you’re thinking of going on holiday with your twins don’t let the flight put you off. Taking this short one has filled me with confidence about going a little further next time. The only thing to be aware of is the airline rules. It’s usually one adult per infant, which means a pair of adults can’t take triplets or twins and a toddler under two. Also, we paid the extra to prebook our seats but then found out that you can’t actually sit together as there is usually only one extra oxygen mask per row. We sat one behind the other on the way there, but on the way back the lady on the booking desk sat us at opposite ends of the plane (which was nice of her seeing as we’d paid for our prebooked seats). I was fuming when I realised as we were about to board (given that our hand luggage had shared food and drink in it for the boys). Thankfully, after a bit of a heated conversation with the cabin crew we were lucky that there was a spare seat so we were able to move and sit close together after all. Sometimes I think that people like to make your life that little bit more stressful than it needs to be.
In terms of the actual holiday, we had a great time. It was sunny (most of the time). The boys started to (almost) like being in the water. They got over their fear of sand (they used to hate that it made their hands and feet dirty). T2 learnt that he liked to go dancing at night and T1 learnt that he hated dancing and much preferred running off at full speed towards the nearest doorway. As they were the only set of twins at the hotel they enjoyed the attention their twin celebrity status granted them. They ate their own body weigh in ice cream (and not much else) and we all enjoyed the ease of being on our first all-inclusive holiday. The hotel was fine (it had everything we needed) although the town it was in lacked soul as it was tourist focussed. But as it was a Thomson family resort it meant the kids could have meltdowns and we wouldn’t get stared at as everyone else was in the same boat.
Anyway, we did it and we all survived. We may need another holiday to recover from this one but it was worth every penny and I’d definitely recommend taking your twins on holiday abroad. Flying with twins wasn’t as hard as we thought and it only cost a little more than it would have cost us to spend two weeks in Cornwall. At least this way we avoided the torrential rain and wind.