Ask Shelly: Advice on travel beds for twins?

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Have you ever heard me say that one of the best parts of my job is hearing from real parents from all over the globe? It is! I love hearing what my readers are up to–and helping where I can. I believe this is my first letter from Kodiak, and from a Coast Guard mom (how cool is that?!).

Hello Ma’am,

I’m currently stationed in Kodiak, Alaska with the Coast Guard and will be trying to fly home to Michigan with my husband and now 15 month old twins. By the time we go home for Christmas, they will be just shy of 2. One loves to climb and the other loves to figure out how things work like doors, locks, zippers, etc. We are trying to find an item that is twin friendly (or wallet friendly, if we have to buy two) that we can fly with to save on having to buy a pack and play or two while we are in Michigan for 1.5-2 weeks. We will already be traveling with both of their car seats, luggage, and a stroller. We fear for them sleeping on a bed as they are still exploring the quick exit off of tall furniture. I thank you very much in advance and am looking forward to hearing from you and any advice that you might have.



I think there is one very simple solution that I hope fits with your plans, Felicia–rent the travel beds/pack ‘n plays you want for your twins at your destination because:

1) You’ll have two less things to haul on your journey (and airlines typically charge for checking travel cribs/beds, but not for car seats or strollers),

2) You should be able to get a low weekly rental rate–and possibly a special package rate for twins (you might get some other helpful things thrown in), and

3) You’ll have the secure sleeping arrangements for them that will help *YOU* get the rest you need as well (I know what it’s like to spend the night reaching out to make sure pillows and chairs are still where you left them beside someone’s bed!).

I see I currently have listings for Michigan Baby Gear Rentals in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area as well as Traverse City/Northern Michigan, and the West Michigan/Lakeshore area–and I believe at least one of these companies will even MEET YOU AT THE AIRPORT in case the service areas are not a good fit. (Note: We’re in the middle of a HUGE overhaul on the website–I’ll keep an eye out if there are additions to that part of the directory.)

For anyone else needing an inexpensive travel bed for twin toddlers solution, a couple of lighter weight/lighter budget options that might help are:

Inflatable bed rails:

Inflatable bed rails from the Shrunks.
Inflatable bed rails from the Shrunks.

When another bed is available (as it sounds like it might be for you, Felicia), these bed rails inflate quickly and tuck under the fitted sheet. They work especially well when you can push the bed against a wall on one side, but here they come as a $-saving 2-pack, so you’ll be hotel-ready wherever you roam. We tested an earlier version and found them helpful.

Inflatable toddler travel beds:

shrunks tuckair travel bed for toddlers
Not my first recommendation for this particular situation, but these travel beds for twins may be a perfect fit for many families.

I’ll say up front I don’t recommend trying to fly with a pair of these domestically on a regular basis, but since I found these available as a “twin set” (price break) on Amazon, and thought you could ship them directly to your destination ahead of time, that would at least save you on flying with them one way. If your destination–or that of anyone reading this–happens to be a relative’s home you will return to over the next couple of years, they could be waiting for a second or even third use!

Hope this helps! Best of luck, and if you get a chance, let us know what you decide! Here are a couple of other pages that might be of interest:

Flying with twins on separate rows (and why you might want to)

Best travel strollers for twins

Previous post: Checklist for getting an airplane bassinet

Recent work elsewhere: When are kids old enough for kayak adventures? and Take Two: A review of Columbia Silver Ridge III convertible pants for kids

Safe journeys,

Shelly Rivoli, author of the award-winning Travels with Baby guidebooks

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