Thank you all, this has been so helpful! I think I'm going to postpone the trip slightly until the girls are at least 6 months old as this should make the whole thing a bit easier. I wasn't planning to book before they're born (just day-dream and itinerary-plan!) as it will obviously depend on their characters and health as well. It's great to know that there are ways to manage it though, with car seats etc, so thank you all v much indeed!
I did a lot of things with my twins, and was not easily put off trying anything, but your trip sounds difficult to me.
Whenever we flew with our pre-walking babies, we had to be super organised. There is often only one spare oxygen mask per row on the plane, so DH and I were normally in different rows, which means you have to cope with 'your' twin pretty much single handedly from boarding. Since you can't leave baby on your seat (because its not next to your DH, or in tour case because there is no DH), you have to take your baby with you if you need the loo , and then there is nowhere in the loo to put the baby down except a high changing space behind and above the loo so you have to manage the loo in a small space while holding a baby. Getting things out of the overhead locker is also difficult, but easier to get someone to help!
Having said all of that, you may be able to pay the airline to provide some sort of assistance. If you could afford a more expensive airline/first class you'd have some space, and you may be able to secure a promise of air steward assistance. I would arrange this in advance though. You would also have to be absolutely certain they would bring the buggy to the door of the plane in landing too - often we've been able to use the buggy right up until boarding, but then the buggies are sent straight to the carousel for collecting . IME it tends to be the big airports like Heathrow/Gatwick that do this, while airport where you disembark down steps into the tarmac they'll put the buggies at the bottom of the steps for collection.
The airport bit of your journey sounds less scary than the flight to me. I would take a double umbrella fold buggy and find a way to attach the inflight car seat to it (strap it to a buggy board? Board would then stay on buggy for loading into hold?) Hand luggage would then be a rucksack. You could manage independently if you took main luggage in a large rucksack on your back, hand luggage rucksack on your front, car seat on buggy board, babies in umbrella fold buggy, but it would be difficult and you would need to allow tons and tons and tons of time. TBH despite my try-anything-once attitude, I don't think I could have done that with 4 month olds - maybe by 1 yr, when babies can be soothed for a minute by talking, needs can be anticipated a bit more etc. But that's just the airport bit - the flight would be logistically too hard for me I think.
I don't like admitting that its too hard to do something with two babies that can be done with one, but I think this one would have me beaten. Sorry.
Which way would you fly - east or west?. Both are problematic.
Would you be able to use the car seats in NZ?. Some countries have very strict requirements on car seats (Australia for one) and such a seat too would likely not fit any standard aircraft seat so it may well have to be put into the hold. Also at 4-5 months of age they'd be likely too big to fit into a bassinet.
I would wait until the twins are a bit older and for your man to also travel with you. It'll be a lot easier all round for you all. Also you would be looking at more than one flight to arrive into NZ; at the very least you are looking at 2 separate flights with time spent at the airport in between stops.
I guess it depends what kind of babies they are and how calm/ high maintenance. Pray they are not teething! We took 1.5yr old twins to Sri Lanka. I had my dh with me and my parents (also a 4 yr old) and it was a bit of a nightmare. The worst but was that they wouldn't fit in the cot properly and were quite big for laps, which should be ok for you. I'd think about things like changing nappies, feeding, possible puking etc. If you think through the worst and you feel you could cope, then go for it.
I flew on Emirates as the only adult when my twins were 11 months so it's not true that you can't. Check with the airline.
I needed a car seat for one twin and the other went on my lap. It was actually a bit difficult finding an FAA approved car seat that would fit but I got one eventually.
If I remember correctly they let me take the double buggy down to the gate and then brought it to me when the plane landed. I didn't have it when we changed planes at Dubai though so I had one in the sling, carried one in the car seat and had my nappy bag over my shoulder. Heavy! But I managed.
Ah Hesto I would have to agree with Patricia, it definitely sounds like a recipe for a nervous breakdown! When my twins were 4 months old I struggled to brush my teeth each morning let alone fly alone with them for 30 hours!
Plus all the stuff you will need! If FF you are looking at about 18 feeds over that period. Where will you wash and sterilise these bottles on the plane and in airports? A couple of feeds would be manageable but for me 18 feeds would not have been. I also didn't feel physically well enough to have traveled that far alone with two babies.
I don't mean to put a downer on your plans but I would seriously consider booking these tickets after the babies are born and see how you feel.
DP and I are taking them on their first holiday next summer when they will be 20 months.
I suspect your biggest issue will be finding a flight that will take you. For example, BA, Cathay and Etihad will allow you to travel with 2 under 2s on your own, one on your lap and one in a car seat, but the one in the car seat has to be over 6 months. Malaysian and Emirates airlines insist on one adult per infant under 2 as you have to hold the child on takeoff and landing and you can't hold two. I think you will really struggle if you want to fly when they are under 6 months I'm afraid.
I suspect they are trying to save you from yourself as much as anything ;-) 30 hours on flights with infant twins on your own sounds like a recipe for a nervous breakdown!
I may be completely insane, but I'd like to take a trip to New Zealand to stay with friends who live over there. My twins will be 4-5 months old when I'm thinking of going and obviously I won't go at all if they have any health issues etc, but providing all goes well I think it should be manageable. The issue is that DP won't be able to join us so I'd be travelling alone with them - this should be fine once I get there as I'll be with good friends who can lend a hand, but I'm not sure about the flight. The basic rules for flying seem to be one baby to one adult but perhaps there's some flex is you take a compatible car seat? Also, does anyone know about help with carrying stuff around in the airport? I'm guessing I'd have one in a sling and the other in a car seat but would need some hand luggage too as well as checking in a double buggy, second car seat and suitcase...
Hmm... Please tell me if this is totally bonkers to even be considering!