Nobody can deny that it’s a handful dealing with twins, even within the comfort and safety of your own home.

Stepping outside the front door can be pretty daunting with two or more in tow and it’s a military manoeuvre just to go on a simple trip to the park or soft play! So the idea of going on holiday may be absolutely terrifying to you.

But with the summer coming up, a trip away may be already booked or might be something you’re considering. And it absolutely is possible to go away with your twins and have a great time!

Make your dictanation comfortable for you..

When my twins were born, my husband took shared leave and we had 4 months off together. During that time, we went away 3 times with the babies, the first time being when they were only 4 weeks old. I was still recovering from a C-section and our twins were most definitely not sleeping through the night and both had reflux! We knew it wasn’t going to be a particularly restful trip. But it wasn’t going to be any worse than being at home. So we figured if we were going to be sleep deprived anyway, we may as well do that in a more luxurious place, by the beach, without housework and laundry to be doing like we would have to at home! It took a lot of planning and our car was packed to the roof…. Double pushchair, two Moses baskets, steriliser, perfect prep machine and countless baby bottles! But we did it, and we had the best time and made some fantastic memories as a family of four.

Plan & prepare is the key..

Holidays with twins don’t need to be avoided. Of course they won’t be the same kind of holiday you were perhaps used to before having children, but nothing in life is the same after becoming a parent anyway. They don’t need to be stressful and a total disaster though, as long as you plan and prepare. Here are some tips to make your summer holidays successful:

• Pick a child friendly holiday destination: as much as a luxurious beach holiday or a week spent by the pool would be lovely, before booking anything think about how lovely it would be with children in tow! Being by a pool with babies is easier than toddlers who won’t sit still and you need to watch constantly by the water. Think about what you want from the holiday and also what it will be like there… is there suitable food available for your children? Is there enough space for cots? Is there somewhere to warm milk? Will it be easy to entertain them during the day?

• Write a packing list: this may be something you would do pre children anyway, but it’s even more essential with children as there are certain things you absolutely don’t want to forget! Take your time create this list and have it near you at all time since suddenly an item that you will for sure need pop into your mind, then add it. It is the small, but important, things can make your holiday less stressful 

• Take the essentials from home: we never went on any trip without a play mat or baby bouncer, a baby monitor and when the children were older we would take bed guards too. All of these things made the holiday more comfortable and less stress free. So have a think about what makes your everyday more smooth and can you bring it with you? 

• Ask your holiday provider what baby equipment they can provide: But maybe you don’t have to bring it all from home. Most of our holidays were so well equipped for babies and children! We went to some fabulous places that provided stair gates and highchairs, plastic cutlery and plates and some even provided toys and DVDs. It’s worth checking this all out beforehand to make sure you have everything you need. If you don’t ask you don’t know. 

• Take plenty of clothes: you may not mind doing laundry on holiday, but if you don’t fancy it or don’t have the facilities to do it then it’s much better to overpack.

• Keep cooking simple: we would often take snacks with us, and precooked meals or sometimes jars for the children’s dinner as it made life much simpler for us while away! If you have fussy eaters bring along what they like so you don’t have them screaming from hunger. Holidays are not a time to implement new strategies

• Take entertainment for the journey: long car journeys, boat trips or flights aren’t always fun with children! They may sleep for some of it, but for the rest of the time they may be constantly asking you ‘are we nearly there yet?’ So take entertainment for them! We bought DVD players for the car when our twins were little and these were amazing for long journeys and saved a lot of stress!

• Don’t stress about sleep: my twins were never great sleepers but even when they were, holidays would tend to disrupt their routine. They may be so busy during the day that they skip naps, or they may go to bed later if their bedroom is light or they just won’t settle. So try not to expect a routine to stay in place throughout a holiday- if it does then that’s great! But if it doesn’t, just do your best and work on re-establishing it when you return home. But do make sure that you get your sleep: nap when they nap or take turn having a sleep in etc. After all, it is your holiday too

• Don’t expect perfection: it’s best not to go away with the expectation that everything will be perfect and there will be no moments of stress. Going away with children does cause a bit of stress for sure, and so it’s best to be prepared for that. Take things as they come, and just go with the flow and enjoy the moments. If things go wrong, then move on with enjoying the rest of the day.

Best wishes 

Laura Byrne part of the Parenting Community Team