Flying with a Pack N Play

Updated on June 21, 2008
S.B. asks from Hinsdale, IL
20 answers

We're going to be flying with our 15 month old next month and would like to take our Pack N Play. I've never taken a Pack N Play on an airplane. Do I check it, or carry it on, or have it stowed underneath with the strollers?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all your great replies! I called the hotels and inns ahead of time, asking them if their cribs were Pack 'N Plays, and sure enough they were. So we ended up not bringing our own and just using those in the hotel. One Pack 'N Play was an older model, though, so the fitted sheets we brought along were too small. We just used a regular top sheet, folded it many times, and tucked the edges under the Pack 'N Play mattress. My daughter slept in it as well as would be expected for a baby in a new environment. Thank you all again!

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

Most hotels have the Pack n Plays, even if they call them a crib. Just call ahead to ask and reserve one. Believe me, you'll have enough stuff with traveling with a baby (carseat, bags of toys, etc.), so leaving this at home will save some space and headaches. I always bring my own sheet and just wipe the whole thing down with sanitary wipes.

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M.H.

answers from Chicago on

Just thought I'd throw this out there, if you are staying in a hotel most hotel have pack n play's you can use. Just ask for a crib in the room. It might just make things easier for you.

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R.T.

answers from Champaign on

I fly between the midwest to visit my home/family on the east coast frequently and have always checked my portable crib. However the last time we flew they limited how many bags I could check and we had to carry the stroller and crib as a carry on that the flight attendants stowed once we boarded the plane. I havent flown since the majority of airlines are charging for baggage now so you may want to check on any additional costs.

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K.B.

answers from Chicago on

Most hotels have the Pack n Plays, even if they call them a crib. Just call ahead to ask and reserve one. Believe me, you'll have enough stuff with traveling with a baby (carseat, bags of toys, etc.), so leaving this at home will save some space and headaches. I always bring my own sheet and just wipe the whole thing down with sanitary wipes.

1 mom found this helpful
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V.L.

answers from Chicago on

I agree with those that said ask the hotel if you're staying at a hotel. If you're staying with friends/family, you might want to just pick one up at the local WalMart. You can get one for about $40-50. Airlines will charge you $25 to check it. And it might be worth the little extra to not have to deal with it on the plane. Then when you're done you can donate to a local women's shelter and get the tax writeoff.

Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Chicago on

You can put it in one of those big plastic bags that the airline provides (for carseats and such)-- then check it.

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

We always put ours inside an old duffle bag for protection and check it. I don't think they counted it towards our luggage since it was for the baby, but I am not positive- you may want to check with the airline in case you get charged more.

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S.K.

answers from Chicago on

Just a thought -- most airlines are now charging $25 for each additional piece of luggage. Some are higher than that. It might be cheaper to just buy one while you are down there and then find a church or shelter to donate it to. You can buy them relatively inexpensively at Wal-Mart and such. Good luck!

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C.K.

answers from Chicago on

Check it in as luggage. It will be fine, mine's gone all over the country that way.

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M.H.

answers from Chicago on

Just thought I'd throw this out there, if you are staying in a hotel most hotel have pack n play's you can use. Just ask for a crib in the room. It might just make things easier for you.

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A.

answers from Chicago on

I am a flight attendant, currently on maternity leave with my first baby.
My advice to you would be to check the Pack N Play when you are first checking in, versus carrying it to the gate with you, to avoid any potential problems. I am not sure when all the new fees start, so just beware of that. I would rather check that and take the risk of losing it, than checking my rollerboard(wheely suitcase) and losing all of my clothing!!!
Make sure you have it properly packed up, maybe by placing a piece of large bubble bubble wrap around it to avoid any damage.
Good luck and have a safe trip!!!
A.

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A.S.

answers from Peoria on

As a mom who has traveled 2-3 times a year with our 5 year old since he was 3 months old, I would say check your playpen. You don't want to haul that and everything else to the gates in each airport! They get really heavy, especially if you have to make a run for the plane.

Have a fun trip!
A.

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T.M.

answers from Chicago on

We just flew last weekend with our pack n play for the same reasons you are stating. I don't trust the portacribs. We checked our pack n play, I just ask for one of those large plastic bags to put it in at the checkin counter. It makes me feel a little better about it being under the plane. Then I keep the sheet in our checked luggage and put it on when we get there. Good luck on your trip!

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M.W.

answers from Chicago on

You have to check it. I would recommended putting it in a box to keep in clean prior to checking it.

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F.A.

answers from Chicago on

I've taken a pack n play and i've checked it in. It's very large and awkward so I wouldn't recommend taking it on the plane. One thing - put it in a bag. Mine came with a carrier bag but I also put it in a big garbage bag and put duct/masking tape ALL OVER IT. It protected it from scrapes and small tears. It still looks brand new!

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H.G.

answers from Chicago on

I have flown with my daughter ever few months since she was 2 months old. I strongly suggest not to take it with you if you are staying at a hotel. You can reserve a portable crib at a hotel (which 9 times out of 10 is a pack n play). I always carried with me a fitted sheet for a pack n play as well as a fitted sheet for a portable crib so I'd be covered no matter what the hotel supplied.

The airline will toss it around whether it's checked or goes underneath. It is too big to be a carry-on. It will end up damaged or ruined.

Good luck.

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M.O.

answers from Chicago on

I flew overseas with ours and checked it in and it was no problem. I know they will let you gate check a stroller or car seat but I don't know about a Pack N Play. It's probably too big to carry on I would think.

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D.P.

answers from Chicago on

S.,
If you do end up bringing it, you have to check it because it is too large to carry on and they won't allow you to gate check it like they would a stroller. (be prepared for an extra fee) Also, last time we traveled, we had to sign a release form because the airlines won't be responsible for damage since we only had it in the flimsy bag that comes with the pack-n-play.

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A.M.

answers from Chicago on

I BROUGHT A PACK N PLAY TO EUROPE & WE CHECKED IT WITH THE REGULAR LUGGAGE BECAUSE i GATE CHECKED THE STROLLER TO GET ME FROM GATE TO GATE--OR TO RETREIVE LUGGAGE, yOU WILL NOT BE NEEDING IT UNTIL YOU PICK UP YOUR LUGGAGE & LEAVE THE AIRPORT SO i SUGGEST CHECK IT LIKE LUGGAGE & GATE CHECK YOUR STROLLER SO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO WHEEL THE BABY AROUND IN THE AIRPORT. OH & DONT FORGET YOUR PORTABLE DVD PLAYER--ITS A LIFE AND SANITY SAVER!
A.

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S.A.

answers from Chicago on

Check it with the luggage.

Where are you going? Most places have cribs available. Like the beach houses we rent when on vacation have cribs you can rent. Even many hotels have them. (or use to)

Going to visit family? No one has a playpen that isn't being used?

You risk your playpen getting lost. And you will have to pay to take it along. I'm thinking that you could almost buy one for what they will charge you to check it there and back.

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Y.S.

answers from Chicago on

I just went to Europe with my kids and took a Pack N Play for my daughter to sleep in. Check it in.
Take as little with you on the plane as possible! Check in everything else. All I had was a backpack for diapers, water, food and some toys. Everything else was checked in....
Also, gate check the stroller. I don't believe in having my kids watch TV all the time, so I didn't have a portable DVD player like some moms suggest.... I just went to the dollar store and bought a few new toys for them to have on the plane....my kids did great - my daughter slept most of the way both ways (10 hour flight each way) and my son was playing with toys....

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N.T.

answers from Chicago on

I just got back from vacation with my 9 month old. If you are staying at a hotel call them and ask if they provide cribs. Ours did. It may cost a littlt bit more for the room but it was worth it. That was one less thing I had to remember. If you do need to bring one check it with your bagage.

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