Tips for Traveling With A Stuffed Animal – Stuffed animals make wonderful traveling partners and friends to accompany your kids (or you) on any journey. They’re agreeable, comforting to be with, and are up for anything. They make great vacation mascots and are always ready for a good hug.

A stuffed animal teddy bear on a chair - tips for traveling with a stuffed animal

For anyone who has ever traveled, you’ll know that glitches and road bumps come up with any vacation, and the last thing you want to do is lose a loved stuffed animal, or see him or her get damaged. I’ve put some valuable tips together and answered some common questions in regard to traveling with a stuffed animal while keeping your fuzzy travel mate safe and secure.

1. Make Sure Your Child’s Stuffed Animals Are in Good Condition to Begin With

Traveling is stressful enough as it is for humans and accessories, not to mention all the preparations before leaving. Before leaving, double check your stuffed animal to see if it’s showing any signs of damage (broken stitches, missing eyes, etc.), and get those things fixed prior to departure. It’s another “to-do” for your already long list, but it’s a preventive step that can save you and your child troubles while en route.

2. Make Sure Your Stuffed Animals Meet Size and Weight Requirements

This tip may seem obvious enough, but many people make assumptions only to be disappointed later. Before leaving, check with your airline, bus, train, boat, etc., to find out what the size/weight requirements are for carry-ons and personal items. Ideally, you’ll want to pack the stuffed animals in a checked or carry-on bag, but some children prefer to travel with their little buddies in their laps.

While most carriers tend to be sympathetic to this, if your child’s stuffed animal is too large, you may run into a big snag that could cause you unnecessary delay.

3. Have a Separate Bag Especially for Traveling Stuffed Animals

If you’ve ever lost anything on a trip, you can probably at least imagine how many bags, sunglasses, wallets, and yes, stuffed animals, get lost by people while traveling. Your child may insist on carrying their favorite little travel friend themselves, but you’d be better off explaining to them how much safer and more comfortable the stuffed animal in question will be if he or she is packed securely in a check-in or carry-on bag. In fact, why not get your child’s stuffed animal his or her own carry-on travel bag?

No worries about the little creature getting carelessly left in an airport seat, restaurant, or restroom. The stuffed animal will be kept safe, and will always be on-hand whenever your child wants to play with it. 

4. Disinfect Your Child’s Stuffed Animals Frequently if You’re Using Public Transportation

Due to high levels of bacteria, germs, etc. circulating around in public transportation environments, it’s important to keep your child’s stuffed animal as clean and free from contaminants as possible. Launder stuffed animals and their travel bags as occasion permits, keep your hands washed and your child’s hands washed frequently, and use plenty of hand sanitizer.

Don’t leave stuffed animals on the ground (this is another reason why getting a travel bag just for your child’s stuffed animals is a good idea), and keep a safe distance away from individuals who are coughing or sneezing. Running a sanitizer wipe over the surface of your stuffed animal frequently is a good idea, too.

5. Frequently Check That Your Stuffed Animal is With You and Your Child After Stops and Transitions

There are few things as traumatizing for a child as losing a beloved stuffed animal companion. Knowing how easy it is to misplace and forget something while trying to keep up with your travel itinerary, it’s always good to remind yourself to double check that your child’s stuffed animal (and child, for that matter) is still with you as you make changes, stops, transitions, etc. while traveling.

Preventing your child’s stuffed animal from getting lost is one of the excellent reasons to justify getting a travel bag, especially for the furry passenger in question.

Can I Bring a Stuffed Animal on a Delta Flight?

Most airlines, including Spirit, are stuffed animal-friendly, as long as the items in question meet size and weight requirements, and as long as the stuffed animals can fit in the overhead luggage bin or under the seat in front of yours. Ideally, you would pack them either in carry-on or checked luggage. Either way, the stuffed animal will have to pass through airport security like any and all other carry-on items going on board. If your child insists on carrying his or her stuffed animal in their lap, flight attendants are usually OK with it. 

Can I Bring Stuffed Animals on Spirit Airlines?

You can bring any kind of stuffed animal on a Spirit flight, ideally in either carry-on or checked luggage, as long as it meets the size and weight requirements, and passes through the security checkpoint like any other carry-on item. The stuffed animal might have to travel in the overhead luggage bin or under the seat in front of you, but flight attendants are usually empathetic toward children who insist on carrying their stuffed animals in their laps. 

Can I Bring a Stuffed Animal on an Airplane?

Yes, you can bring your stuffed animal onto a plane with you–with some size and practicality requirements. Most airlines these days are OK with children (and even adults) who like to travel with their stuffed animals.

Ultimately, bringing any item on board with you will depend on your airline’s baggage policy, on the flight attendants’ discretion (the stuffed animal may need to be put into the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you), and on the final decision made by the TSA agent on duty (the stuffed animal will have to undergo the same baggage screening process as any other item taken on board the plane). Most stuffed animals are allowed to travel hassle-free, however.

The best way to travel with your (or your child’s) stuffed animals is to ensure they are packed in your checked or carry-on luggage. Keep close tabs on your extra stuffed passenger so he or she doesn’t get tragically left behind.

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