Bring the sippy cups, empty, through security. You can fill them after you get past it. They’ll let you bring milk for babies. 18 months may be reaching a point where they’ll ask you to dump.
Give yourselves extra time, so you’re not rushed. You should be able to carry one kid at a time through the scanner.
I used to dress mine in matching shirts. I didn’t usually do the twins thing In day to day life, but if we got separated at the airport it made it easy to spot them, plus everyone thinks it’s cute. Take every advantage you can can get.
I bought presents they could open on the plane. Games, crayons, whatever I thought might hold their interest, and then once we were on the plane I started handing them out.
I told them in general terms what was going to happen before we got there and reminded them at each step of the way. Mine traveled from infancy, but one reason kids cry is because takeoff can be scary. Make it a game. “We’re going fast! We’re going high! Isn’t this fun! Can you see the clouds?”
Decide who is going to sit where before you get on the plane. Window seats and who gets to sit by mom or dad are important! Then switch it up, so everyone gets a turn.
My secret weapon: portable DVD player with 2 headphone jacks or a splitter. Toys aren’t cutting it? Fire up Dora ::shudder:: or the soporific of your choice and let them watch it. I wouldn’t let the kids chill out to the boob tube at home, but on a cross-country flight? Darn-skippy. It’s not like you can get off. Throw the rules out and let their brains rot, figuratively speaking.
Encourage them to chew something during landing or take off. Practice making funny faces that help pop ears in the lounge while you’re waiting.
Bring diapers and snacks and their favorite lovey/blanket.
Board early!!! Take advantage of that if your airline still lets you. Ask the flight attendant for any tips, if you’re worried about anything. They are experts at helping kids pop their ears.
Get off last. Everyone will appreciate it and you won’t feel nearly as rushed and pulled.
I used to do this a lot. I also got a lot of compliments on the kiddos. DVD player is my top tip, if you want only one.