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A small My Pillow Pet usually travels with us, but I was interested in taking the large size on our recent long haul flight to Asia (Hong Kong and Tokyo). Airplane pillows, even in first class, are not as comfortable as a My Pillow Pet (especially the large size) and I believe that familiar items like pillows, blankets, and pajamas help kids sleep on airplanes while traveling.

I’ll show you how the large My Pillow Pet and blanket worked out on our last trip and recap why they’re great travel aids, especially because they help kids personalize an unfamiliar space.

We were already My Pillow Pets fans before Lulu Leopard arrived, but when she did it was quite an event. Not only was there a large (18″) Lulu Leopard My Pillow Pet inside—the matching blanket, slippers, and hat were included too. To my dismay, my daughter immediately declared that all four were coming with us in a carry-on. I thought she’d forget, but she slept with all but the slippers (naturally) for weeks prior to departure.

Lulu Leopard Pillow Pet Blanket

Eventually, I stuck the Lulu Leopard blanket in my carry-on and she carried the pillow. It worked out fine.

We had huge seats in Cathay Pacific business class from LAX to HKG (15.5 hours), which to my surprise, made having the large My Pillow Pet even more critical. She ditched the relatively nice comforter and pillow provided by the airline for her Lulu, snuggled in her seat and watched way too much TV. The blanket has a Lulu Leopard head on it, which she also cuddles with. Not only does Lulu’s head provide extra cushion, but it enables her to keep the blanket from slipping off by holding it or I’d snap the seat belt just underneath the head to totally secure it.

After two airplanes, three airports, and 24 hours of travel, I somewhat nervously sent Lulu Leopard to the hotel laundry the day after we landed. Both pillow and blanket washed beautifully. Thanks, Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong.

Lulu Leopard Pillow Pet Washing

Among many other planes, trains, boats, and taxis, Lulu Leopard also enjoyed the journey to central Tokyo on the Narita Express train, I’m told.

Lulu Leopard Pillow Pet

In all honesty, I thought that carrying around a large Pillow Pet was going to be a pain. It wasn’t because she willingly did it and was able to wear a backpack and pull her Trunki at the same time. Let’s recap the benefits:

  • Kids can prop My Pillow Pets up against the airplane armrests to use them as pillows. La Jolla Girl used to wake up bumping against the armrest while shifting positions in her seat.
  • They’re much more comfortable than airplane pillows if you even get one.
  • My Pillow Pets provide familiarity in an unfamiliar space which helps manage jet lag in kids.
  • The 18″ size is supportive enough to substitute for a real pillow.
  • Lulu’s head on the blanket helps keep the blanket in place when you buckle the seat belt just under it.
  • They’re pretty cute.

Lulu Leopard is a very popular style right now, and I still highly recommend My Pillow Pets for flying with kids, including the blanket. The hats are also ridiculously cute. Which My Pillow Pet does your child have?

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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  1. Any advice for flying coast to coast on a red-eye with young kids? (Other than ‘don’t do it!’) Will land and check into hotel for 6 hours before our next short-haul international flight so hoping they continue getting Zzzz in the room, even if it’s 2 extra hours….

    1. That’s a tough one! I will say that since they are destined to be tired because they’re sleep will be disrupted during travel, this actually may help them deal with jet lag if you’re headed to Europe (perhaps not so much if heading to the Caribbean or South America). Try to keep them on their same schedule in the new time zone, if you can and avoid naps at odd times. I think you were smart to get a hotel room. Bring lots to do on the plane (but you know that already). Like little wrapped presents to reset their moods if they get fussy. And lollipops work wonders if your kids take time to actually lick them. My daughter was not able to handle red-eyes at all but I know plenty of parents who swear by them as peaceful journeys since the kids are sleeping!

  2. Hi-Just curious…the large (18″) My Pet Pillow not the jumbo size (30″)? The Jumbo size seems huge but in the picture above…it does look kind of on the bigger size. Thanks so much!