A weekend of travel with the twins
We have finally settled down for the summer after a long weekend of travel! We set off from home in West Yorkshire on Friday night and headed to Hull which is just over a two hour journey. We had a lovely day at a friend’s daughter’s second birthday party, and then headed four hours down south to Kent, where we are due to stay for the summer. People always ask me how I manage long journeys with twin toddlers, but sadly I don’t really have any magic solution to making it easy.
As most of my family is based in the south, we have been doing the journey from north to south since the twins were just a few months old. We tend to visit at least twice a year, so we’ve done it plenty of times at this point.
I think a combination of getting lucky with children that don’t mind travelling, and having done lots of long journeys over the past few years has made things easier for us. Most of the time, both twins are perfectly happy to watch the world go by from their rear-facing car seats, and have a couple of snoozes along the way. We occasionally have wobbles where one or both of the twins get a little unsettled and upset. In these instances, I hand them a drink or a snack, and if that doesn’t work, we prepare to stop at the next service station for a nappy change and a bit of a leg stretch which usually gives everyone the refresh needed. When we stop at a service station to eat, I tend to let the twins eat comfort food (within reason) so I know they will be travelling the rest of the journey with full tummies. My twins can get really hangry, so I’d much rather let them eat nuggets and chips and know that they’re full, than them travel on an empty stomach!
Before any long journey, I always pack a bag of toddler friendly drinks and snacks. When we’re on the road, this is always in my footwell so I can dish out refreshments accordingly! Most of the time, the twins are happy to just sit in their car seats with empty hands, but sometimes I feel like they benefit from having something to look at or fiddle with. On these occasions, I let them keep something in their lap like a soft toy or small board book – I’m careful not to give them anything hard so they can’t accidentally hurt themselves with it if we ever need to make an emergency stop or make a sharp turn!
The final thing I do before we set off on a journey, is make sure I know where the rest stops are. I take a look at the route we are taking, and make a mental note of where the service stations are and what facilities each one has. Sometimes we only need to stop once on a long journey, and other times we need to stop a couple of times, but it always pays to know which service stations have the best facilities for us! Recently, we have come across a couple with great play areas. Being able to let the twins have a really good run around in a play area for 20 minutes is wonderful and I would always prioritise a service station with a play area over one without!