One way you can help simplify your travels is by taking advantage of hotel portacribs where they are offered. By and large, hotels that offer a “crib” actually provide a basic Pack ‘N Play type of play yard, rather than a crib. And this makes good sense. For guests arriving with infants through toddlers, a Pack ‘N Play is a one-size-fits all option that few babies and toddlers can climb out of.
What I’ve found isn’t one-size-fits all about the hotel Pack ‘N Play is the bedding provided to go with it. Most often, you’ll get an extra hotel bed sheet sized for a queen or sometimes single rollaway bed. Sure, you can wrap the bottom mattress of the Pack ‘N Play like a mummy, and do your best to tuck away stray corners and smooth out the wrinkles, but even then you are often left with a cold, crisp mattress to receive your snoozing baby—as you lean WAY over to place him upon it while trying not to wake him.
I’ve always tucked in a couple of our babies’ blankets from home to help keep things cozy as we travel, with our familiar scent of home. But a smarter move I started making was to start bringing along my own snug-fitting, ultra-cozy crib sheet, laundered with same said familiar scent of home.
I always call ahead to see if the crib offered is a Pack ‘N Play or some other variation so I know if it will work for our child’s age and stage (eg. some minicribs are no match for an 18-month-old—in which case you might want to bring your own travel bed or rent baby gear at your destination). From now on when it’s a Pack ‘N Play, this cozy crib sheet goes in the suitcase.
What I love about this particular Eddie Bauer quilted playpen sheet (which I should mention I bought with my own dime) is that it’s not only soft and cozy, but the quilting also helps muffle the sounds of a rolling baby or tot that can sometimes disturb a sensitive sleeper. Including me when I stay in strange places.
The Ultimate Guide for Planning Trips with Babies, Toddlers, and Preschool-Age Children