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Travelling with your dolls: issues/ideas/etc. Part I

Aug 20, 2004

    1. To those of you who travel with your dolls, how do you go about taking them on planes? Do you pack them as luggage? Do you take them with you as carry-on items? I'm going to AWA next month and would like to take Ginger along, especially since a meet-up is planned, but I'm wondering how best to take her, my laptop, my emergency clothes change, and the usual books and magazines onto the plane. I'm thinking packing her in my suitcase is right out; I'd be worried about the damage she could incur. I'd stash her in my backpack, but I think it'd be uncomfortable for me to have little hands and feet jabbing me in the back. The doll bags seem promising, but don't really help the laptop/other stuff situation. I'm not very concerned about security (unless someone's had an experience that says I need to be concerned). What have you guys done? What luggage configuration would you recommend?
    2. What you should get is a doll carrier! Volks makes them, as does Customhouse and a bunch of other korean bjd companies. You can find some on ebay if you search for "dollfie" and they are pretty reasonable priced. Having one definitely makes it easier to carry your doll from place to place. They also have extra pockets for you to store wigs/eyes/shoes/clothes.
    3. i have 2 customhouse doll cases and one volks that i use when travelling. they're nice because the doll is strapped in. i take them as carry on, wrap their heads with bubble wrap or soft cloth, and put them in the storage bins overhead on the plane. i make sure that also put either another piece of luggage in there to secure it so it doesn't move, or if they are wrapped really well, i think it's ok to put them in there by themselves. i used to worry about them shifting while in flight, but it's never been a problem. i don't know if you need a carry case, but i have an extra i'm about to sell...? i'll put it in the market place.
    4. when i returned from France to the USA, i had bought a large marionette. However, i had run out of space in both my suitcase and carry on, and they let me just carry her on the plane in her box. I'm sure if you take a reasonable sized backpack and put your laptop and clothes in it, they won't be picky about you carrying your doll bag as long as you don't also carry a purse. (stash your purse in your backpack)

      I've had a really bad experience with my checked luggage too. When i went to disneyworld with my family, i had bought a lot of nice souveneers, including an indiana jones hat that cost me $80 (this was when i was in high school, it had taken me forever to save up souveneer money!) In the same bag i packed those things, i also packed my game boy and all my game boy games, and all my summer clothes. The bag this was in got caught in the conveyor belt of the loading thingy and everything in it was ruined. The airplane company never re-imbursed me or my parents for it, and didn't even tell us our bag had been destroyed eventhough we had clearly marked our package with our names and phone number, they only told us after we called about it a week later, after assuming that it was just lost on another plane. so, i never pack anything more than clothes and toiletries in my check bag anymore.
    5. I cannot stress how important it is for you to hand-carry anything that is precious and nearly impossible/very difficult to replace. I've been raised as the kid of a ~20 yr. old employee and currently work for an airline.

      Luggages that are missing are insured, but the monetary amounts vary and don't begin to compare with the worth of your doll. Airline policies differ from company to company, so if you're inclined to check your bags in, you may want to give them a call -- just in case. Again, this is the worst-case scenario, but that's what you have to imagine when it comes to the airline industry -- even my own mother tells me so. ^^;

      As for damage, I have yet to meet someone who has filed a damage claim successfully. I have the feeling that if your doll does incur damage, you probably won't receive anything because the "damage was a result of poor packing." Workers who transfer baggage treat all luggages the same, even those marked "fragile." Baggage usually weighs a ton, and it's *thrown* around - ever see these guys unload a plane?

      Usually, you're permitted a bag/purse + carry on. My sister likes to take this roller-luggage thingermajig (aside from her purse), and puts *everything* in it: laptop, stationery sets, cd player, discs, and heaven know's what. I usually take a backpack and stuff it to max with my purse, electronics, magazines, underwear, and pens. If you take a reasonable (small - not those huge athletic duffels that would count as a check-in), you should be fine. :D

      Here's how I would recommend packing:
      Take a backpack (can hold a ton of stuff including a small purse, wallet, laptop...) and hand-carry on a small duffel which holds your doll. Put your clothes (and possibly hers) with her, to act as some padding. Check in the rest of your luggage (1-2 bags), and you're ready to go! :D

      An alternative to the duffel: whenever I buy cookies and junk food in Japan, they're usually presented in these large paper bags with handles. Department stores here give them to you if you a buy a lot of stuff (or you can order lots of barbeque ^_^). Oh, and keep the backpack. It's really, really handy. ^_^

      My apologies for the lengthy post, but you can never be too careful!
    6. I've never been on a plane with Bastion before, but I would feel better just letting him sit on my lap the whole flight.
      He rides on my lap in the car, so I don't see why I wouldn't have him on my lap on a plane, unless it's against airline regulations.

      I wonder if anyone's ever gone so far to buy their doll their own seat on a plane.
    7. I have to agree with everyone here. Personally, I think the doll carrrier (for your baby) and the backpack (for everything ELSE) is the best idea, if you can do it!
    8. I definately agree that a doll carrier is that way to go.

      I got my doll carrier from Dollmore on Ebay. It is AWESOME. My only problem is that the bottom sags cuz it isn't stiff. I'm going to be replacing the bottom with some foamboard, then some egg cushioning and then stiching it up with some silk fabric.

      I also think it would be best if you used the pillows your baby came to you in as part of a protective cushion. Put one of the pillows on the top of your baby before you zip him/her up. :)

      And wrapping in bubble wrap is -such- a great idea. Make sure any places where your baby's limbs are exposed as properly cushioned as well, to prevent further breakage. I stuff Aserassi's carrier full of her clothes on the sides and make sure to pack her in really tightly so nothing will happen.

      GL, I hope this information helps. :cow
    9. Last time I flew with my dolls I had Ioan and Una.

      Una I put in my carryon luggage, Ioan I carried in my arms.

      The stewardess even came and insisted that I buckle him into "his" (the seat to the left of me was empty) seat for safety, lol, she was hilarious and really loved him.

      I can't imagine having a doll in with the freight, for the reasons already listed in this thread. Keep those buggers with you!

      My advice is to take the face protectors Volks sends with you...it'll save your baby from crushed eyelashes.
    10. When I took Jaede on the plane with me to A-kon, I kept him in my lap at all times. I couldn't imagine storing him anywhere! Sure, people looked at me weird, but did I care? Nope. I wouldn't mind having a doll carrier, but I can't afford one now.
    11. I've hauled Zephque short distances, like to downtown Boston, and on longer trips, like to Provincetown. Perhaps I am less protective than many of you because on shorter trips I just carry him in my arms. If I know that the train will be crowded, I wrap a scarf around his face or pull his hat down over his head.

      When Zephque went to Provincetown with me, I just carried him in a tote bag, separate from my other luggage so that he wouldn't be married or anything. I used some clothing as padding, but mostly just watched him very carefully.

      I don't think you need to buy a carrier specifically for your doll, but I agree with eptrauma and others who say that you should watch your precious cargo very closely and maybe not even let it out of your grip!

    12. I've travelled with Shiina to the UK, France, Edinburgh, Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

      I generally wrap him up snug in something soft, and put him into my hand luggage (usually a bag with my passport, etc.) As long as you hand-carry your doll(s), there's little that can go wrong.
      I will probably get a doll carrier soon, though, considering how much he travels, and how soon there will be more than one doll to lug around. o_o

      Once, on the trip to Japan, he travelled in my check-in/freight luggage, but he was in a small box just large enough for him, liberally filled with foam, and placed in the middle of my clothes. He came out right as rain, but I'd still rather hand-carry him. ^_^
    13. That's so cute!

      I don't think I'd pack a doll away in anything but a carrier unless I had two of them and could only carry one.
    14. I will be leaving for Japan in 2 days and plan to take my Mez (SD13 Boy) with me. He'll be traveling in the Volks bag. Does anyone know if I will have any trouble carying him on the plane?
      PS I will also have a tote bag with my camera, books and stuff.
    15. I sure hope there will be no trouble!

      Agh! Usually I'm so conscientious about this, but I didn't call the airline and ask!

      Which is what I recommend doing right now. Call the airline. Ask for the maximum dimensions allowed for carry-on bags. Pray as they put you on hold... and hopefully their measurements will exceed your bags'.

      Carry-on reqs vary by airline and by destination. Call and take names, measure your bag, and hopefully Murphy won't be alive and well the day of your flight!

      *runs to get phone*
    16. I honestly doubt you'll have a problem - the only reason I would see there being a problem is because you would have 2 carry-on bags and some (most) airlines only allow one... If you can fit all your stuff into your Volks bag or the volks back into the carry-on bag and carry Mez with you out of the bag they might have an easier time of it...

      BTW, are you going to Dollpa?? If you are *begs and pleads* will you get me Mirai?? I can paypal you the money if you can!!!!

    17. Most international flights, you're allowed 1 carry on and 1 "purse". carry-on no more than 21 inches long, I believe. No specifcations for the purse. *laughs* But I'm assuming the same.

      I took my MSD on as carry-on on an international flight, and a fairly good sized purse, and didn't have any problems.
    18. Can't you order those through Volks' English site?
    19. Can you now? When I cheked last it only had them listed as being avialble at Dollpa...
    20. Okay. I'm on hold, surprise, surprise.

      Anyway, from the site:

      - One carry-on item, with a maximum outside linear dimension of 45 inches (115 cm) and not more than 40 lbs. (18kgs). This piece must be of a size and shape to fit under the seat in front of the passenger, or in an enclosed overhead compartment.

      - Customers may also carry a purse or briefcase or laptop computer.

      I'll be carrying one doll, and one backpack holding my laptop. Looks like I'll put my purse in the backpack temporarily. ^_^;