13 ways of protecting your stroller when flying

After tens of hours of research and from our own experiences traveling with kids and strollers, here are our top ways to protect your stroller on your next trip!

Get a stroller bag

One of the best ways of protecting your stroller when flying is getting yourself a handy universal stroller travel bag, like the VolkGo Stroller Bag on Amazon.

This will keep your stroller free from germs and dirt, which is perfect if you’re flying or taking a road trip with the kids.

Be sure your stroller bag is waterproof and durable enough to survive being checked in, as baggage handlers don’t have the best reputation when it comes to looking after your luggage.

Things to look out for:

  • Make sure your travel bag fits your stroller
  • Ensure its waterproof
  • Don’t always opt for the cheapest
  • Check its quality and durability
  • Ensure your bag has a lock
  • Getting a bright color can make your stroller easily to find

I would recommend the VolkGo Stroller Bag or the Stroller Gate Check Bag (which is cheaper) as they both tick all the points above and have excellent reviews.

Take it on board the aircraft

The best way to protect your stroller when flying is to keep it with you at all times.

In order to do this, your stroller needs to be very compact and lightweight, such as the BabyZen Yoyo (Amazon)  or the Pockit Stroller (Amazon).

These strollers are perfect for flying, as you can fold them right down and easily fit them into the overhead bin compartment.

This is great as you can avoid gate checking your stroller, potentially avoiding any damage.

However, be sure to check your airline’s stroller policy before traveling as they are all different. So far we haven’t had any issues bringing our BabyZen Yoyo on board.

Bandage or wrap foam handles

A strollers foam handles are notoriously vulnerable for getting slashed if they come in contact with anything sharp or with force, a suitcases zippers might even do it.

So, to minimize this risk, a great little stroller hack is to wrap your strollers foam handles with bandages like these on Amazon or duct tape for added protection.

During your flight, especially take off, things can move around if they are not secured well enough. This hack will help prevent anything sharp from ripping your handlebars.

This is a great cost effective idea if you are gate checking your stroller.

Use bubble wrap or tape

If you’re thinking of gate checking your stroller then you should consider using bubble wrap (Amazon) combined with tape to help protect your strollers frame.

This will help prevent your stroller from getting scratched and scuffed when flying and also during transport to and from the aircraft.

The first stroller we owned came out battered from an American Airlines flight, I only wish then I had done something like this.

Use plastic wrap at the airport

For a small fee of between $10 and $15 your checked baggage can be wrapped in multiple layers of plastic film.

This service is common in most airports around the world now and if you’re carrying an expensive stroller it’s well worth paying for!

The plastic wrap will shield your stroller from dirt and germs but most importantly protect your stroller from potential damage from rough handling or weather conditions during loading.

If you’re going to use this service check if the airport offers courtesy stroller you can use around the airport and to the gate. If not then you might want to consider getting a baby carrier sling (Amazon)We love this one! So handy for traveling.

The DIY version is using bubble wrap and tape, however, this might not be practical if you need to use your stroller until the gate.

Use zip ties to stay collapsed

If you don’t have a travel bag and you’re worried that your stroller may open during the flight then getting some zip ties (like these off Amazon) might be the answer you’re looking for.

Simply, collapse your stroller as normal then wrap the zip ties around the legs of the stroller to fits frame. This will keep your stroller snug and prevent it from opening and causing damage in the aircraft hold.

A simple but effective solution! The only downside is you’ll need to remove the zip ties and may need scissors!

Use the airport courtesy strollers

There are lots of international airports around the world that offer courtesy strollers for transporting your children around the airport and to the gate.

This is great if you don’t fancy lugging a stroller around the airport, simply check yours in at the check-in desk and use the airports.

By keeping your stroller at home it will stay in one piece, however, you might find it hard carrying a little one around at your destination.

Consider bringing a stroller with you, but use some form of stroller protection mentioned above and check it in at the baggage desk with your cases.

Get a second stroller for traveling

If you’re worried about that expensive stroller getting damaged while traveling, that is totally understandable, chances are it probably will.

Therefore, you might want to consider getting a second stroller solely for traveling.

If you’re considering a second stroller look for a lightweight and compact stroller that will fit in the overhead bin compartment on the plane.

We love the BabyZen Yoyo (Amazon), but it’s on the expensive side, but you can get the Pockit Lightweight Stroller which is a cheaper option, but still an amazing stroller for traveling.

Buy a cheap or used stroller

If you want a second stroller and don’t want to break the bank, why not think about getting a used stroller?

You can get some amazing bargains out there, check out our guide for buying a used stroller, It has everything you need to know.

This way you can use your used stroller for traveling and you won’t be as disheartened if it goes get scratched.

Once again though, I’d still consider some of the stroller protection options above on your used stroller.

Put stroller accessories in your baggage

Whether you’re gate checking your stroller or taking It on board, I’d recommend removing your accessories.

Put your cup holders, hoods, umbrellas, and trays in your checked baggage instead, this way you’ll keep them safe.

It’s not uncommon for a strollers umbrella to get ripped or for cup holders to snapped, so better safe than sorry.

Use pool noodles for protection

You can pick us some pool noodles on Amazon really cheap and then cut them to size to fit your strollers handlebars, legs, and frame.

This will provide added cushioning and protection during transportation to and from the plane.

This option isn’t as practical as the others though if you’re going to do anything like this then I would probably opt for the bubble wrap and take.

Or even better, spend $10 and get the airport staff to do it for you and save yourself the hassle.

Keep your stroller in the box

Another way to protect your stroller when flying is to transport it in its box. By doing this, your stroller will be fully protected and most probably contain protective bubble bags inside.

To transport a stroller in its original box, you will need to check this in at the baggage desk and there will most likely be an additional fee due to its size and weight.

If you’re in any doubt, contact your airline before you travel.

Don’t take a stroller

Last but not least, you could leave it at home not bother taking your stroller with you.

You can make use of the courtesy strollers offered at the airport to get you around the airport at both ends

Once you’re at your destination you could buy a cheap stroller, borrow a friend’s or use a baby carrier.

Final Thoughts

Protecting your stroller when flying is never an easy task especially if it’s checked baggage, as you have no control over it.

Your stroller could be thrown around and potentially mistreated by baggage handlers, other items could be thrown on to your stroller or bad weather conditions could dirty it.

Hopefully, some of the tips above will help you protect your stroller on your next adventure.

I would personally invest in a lightweight and compact travel stroller that you can store in the overhand bin compartment of the plane. This makes life a whole lot easier getting from point A to point B.

There’s no waiting around, carry it off the plane and away you go. The beauty of having a travel stroller means that you don’t have to do any of the points above!

There’s no messing around with bubble wrap, tape or wrapping as you can take it with you and keep it safe!

If you don’t have a stroller like the BabyZen Yoyo then my personal favorites for keeping your stroller in one piece are:

  • Stroller bag
  • Bubble wrap and tape
  • Use the airports plastic wrapping machine
  • Or a combination of different methods

Please let me know in the comments what your favorite tip is, or if I’ve missed any that you would like adding to the list! Thanks for reading.

Kelly Bullock