I started writing this post when we first came back from holiday in January! I made a list of everything that we took and used, so not to forget anything. It does usually take me a couple of days to write a blog post now the twins are here but this one took a lot more of my time, partly because I wanted to make sure I covered everything.
As it’s so long, I found while I was writing it, that it was easier to split it up into pre-flight, flight, arrival and coming home. I’ve covered pretty much every question that came into my head before we went below in detail. If you haven’t got the time to read my novel below and just want to see our packing list, click here.
Besides our bedtime routine, this is probably the most requested post I get asked to write. Call us crazy but we booked to go to Tenerife in January when our twins were 7 months old (6 months corrected). They still couldn’t sit up on their own at this point and as the date got closer, I did start to get a little anxious.
I googled all kinds of questions in the run up to going and made lots of lists. I saw other bloggers with twins who showed pictures of carboots full of baby paraphernalia but actually looking back, we didn’t really take or need that much stuff.
One of the best things we did was, we booked to stay the night before we travelled at the DoubleTree by Hilton at Newcastle Airport. We’re only a 30 minute drive from the airport but we were flying at 9.30am and I didn’t want to be rushing around trying to get the girls fed/dressed etc and then in the car at 5/6am. They don’t normally get out of bed till 7am so this seemed like the best way to ensure we all got as much sleep as possible before the flight.
We stuck to our routine and they had a bath, bottle and then straight into the travel cots that the Hilton had provided for us. We hadn’t slept in the same room as the girls since they were 4 months old so getting ourselves ready for bed was hilarious tip toeing around them. When our alarm went off in the morning, they slept through it!
Confession Time: We actually asked Jay’s Mum to come up to the airport with us that night for a couple of hours. Once we got the girls into bed, she stayed with them while we went for a meal in the restaurant downstairs. It was such a treat! I hadn’t had a meal with Jay in a restaurant without them since they were born.
The next morning, we had to wake the girls up! We tried to stick to our routine as much as we could whilst we got ready and all had breakfast together in the airport.
Carrying milk through security was one of the things I had been dreading and I’d heard rumours of been made to taste it! However it just got scanned like everything else and it was that simple! I took powder in the dispensers that I usually use, and bought some ready-made milk for emergencies (along with a bottle of Calpol and Baby Nurofen) in Boots once we were in the departure lounge.
We’d asked to keep the pushchair until the airplane steps and that was a smart -move. We used our second-hand Britax B-Agile Double, which has zip close storage bags on the back and it was so handy to have extra storage for things we didn’t need up in the cabin.
On a side note I bought some memory foam universal seat liners for the Britax pram from Amazon before we went. We usually only use it for short periods out and about on the farm and personally I don’t think the seats aren’t the comfiest.
Edie and Mabel don’t usually have dummies but given they can’t suck on boiled sweets, I took some with us for the flight. We were lucky as they usually have a nap at 9.30, so they were already getting sleepy once we sat down. They’d left a bit of their milk from earlier so we gave them that, popped a dummy in and they both nodded off in our arms.
You are actually allowed to take a changing bag plus your hand luggage bag when you travel with a baby but instead we just combined ours. Jay took his backpack and I just popped a spare changing mat, nappies, cream, wipes and a dummy in it for him to use. And I used my Jem + Bea Marlow changing bag which I’d kindly been gifted from Alex and Alexa.
It is true that if you’re travelling with a baby on your lap, you can’t sit next to each other. However when we checked in, we just requested aisle seats so we were. (We were 26c and 26d) This actually was really handy, as we didn’t have to disturb anyone for nappy changes.
I asked one of the air stewardesses to wash my bottles for me with boiling water once the girls had finished and then got them to add boiled water so I could make up the next feed.
The flight was so easy and loads of people commented how shocked they were at how quiet the girls had been – I don’t think I’ve ever felt so proud. They didn’t cry once. We were supposed to be in the air for four hours but it took five because of a head wind.
When we arrived, I was really glad that I’d brought my baby carrier. Jay’s a bit stronger than me so this didn’t bother him but we weren’t able to get the pushchair back until after security. I just popped my carrier on though and it meant I could have my hands free for passports etc.
I’ve been to Playa de las Americas in Tenerife quite a few times now and it is fantastic for families. We’ve usually stayed in the H10 Gran Tinerfe however this is an adult only hotel, so this time went for the H10 Conquistador. Although our girls are too little at the moment, it has a massive kids club and sports club and it is right on the sea front. As soon as you exit via the poolside gate, you’re in front of a children’s playground area, not to mention there are plenty of supermarkets, pharmacies and pretty much anything you need, can be found within a five-minute walk.
At the time we went away, both girls were drinking 4 bottles of 8oz each day, so I actually took 4 boxes of Aptamil away with us. You can buy it in Tenerife and if you need to, it’s called Milupa but I’m super stingy and it’s a bit more expensive abroad. I just packed two boxes in my case and two in Jay’s.
To make up bottles abroad, I just used bottled water I bought from the shop. I asked my doctor when I was in for an appointment one day and he said to look for the lowest sodium content but not to worry about it. The hotel swapped our coffee machine for a kettle for us and though he never said I needed to, I boiled it before making the bottles up.
I took a couple packs of nappies with us and wipes but these I just purchased while we were over there. Pampers are readily accessible but I just used whatever brand was closest on the shelf and they were fine.
We tried to stick to our routine as much as we could while we were away. During the days when we were out and about, this was more difficult. Edie and Mabel quite often sleep in the comfort of their Bugaboo Donkey for naps at home but I think with the huge change of scenery and different noises etc, this didn’t happen. They did nap, just at different times and for shorter periods than usual. The great thing about the Britax pushchair is the hoods are huge just like the on the Bugaboo. I did take some pram clips and a couple of large muslins but only needed to use them once or twice.
We were quite lucky as we had family on holiday at the same time as us so we met up and on a night they were kind enough to sit with the girls in our room while we went to dinner. This meant we were able to put the girls down each night at the same time we would at home – if we hadn’t been able to get a baby sitter, our plan was to have an early dinner or get room service. Some people suggested taking the girls with us in the pushchair but to me, it wasn’t worth upsetting their routine just so we could have food when we wanted. They slept through 7pm – 7am every night… even through the very loud Michael Jackson poolside tribute act one evening!
We’d booked a Junior Suite to give us a little bit more room and this actually had a curtain that you could use to separate the room, which was perfect. The cots were in the living area, so on a night we made sure the balcony doors were securely locked, pulled the curtain across and they had their own little dark area to sleep in. It meant we could watch tv or leave a light on to read without disturbing them as they’re so used to their own room at home.
As well as bringing their sleeping bags with us, I also packed two plain cot bed sheets, which they use at home. I’m not sure if this helped them to sleep through or not but my theory was the smell might make them feel at home in an unfamiliar environment.
We had talked about the possibility of going on some trips but the girls couldn’t have cared less about zoo’s or monkey world. Instead we decided to take it easy and after a long breakfast, we spent our day’s going for long walks through the resort. We’d stop for mocktails or an ice cream, have lunch and head back to the hotel for an afternoon swim. It was so relaxing and just what Jay and I needed.
One thing to note that did start to annoy me: we were approached a LOT. It happened much more than here in the UK and quite often people would get quite close. I know I like my personal space so I’m fairly sure Edie and Mabel didn’t want a stranger’s face in theirs. One day we even found euros in Mabel’s clothing that someone had snuck in. We went away in January, which isn’t busy season so perhaps people just had more time on their hands but I did start to feel very much like we were other people’s entertainment. Having said this, it didn’t stop us having fun and I didn’t want to come home.
This was something that I couldn’t find any articles on whatsoever and to be honest, I didn’t really think too much about the consequences until we were on the plane. We were due to land at 6pm and by the time we got sorted and back in the house, the girls had taken a danger nap and it was 8.30pm.
Though we were shattered and just wanted to go to bed, Edie and Mabel were wide-awake. We’d picked up some take away on the way home so we let them play while we had food, then started our bedtime routine at around 9.15 and thankfully, they went straight down and stayed asleep till 6.30am.
Between coming back from holiday and the clocks changing, they started to wake that little bit earlier. I couldn’t really complain about getting up at 6 when they slept for 11 hours though. Once the clocks changed however, it’s sorted them out and we’re back to 7am till 7pm again.
This was such a long post to write but I’ve tried to cover everything that I questioned before we went away. To make things easier, I’ve made a downloadable packing list, which if you haven’t already you can get by clicking here. I’m sure that some people would add lots more to it but these were the things we took and there wasn’t once that I thought ‘damn it I’m missing x, y or z.’
The whole holiday went so well, we’ve now booked to go to Florida in November when the girls will be seventeen months old. No doubt my list will be completely different by then!
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for sticking with me and I really hope it was helpful! If you think I’ve missed anything or have something you’d like to ask, drop me a comment below or send me a message on Instagram – I’d be more than happy to try help!