For kids who love planes, it doesn’t get cooler than this: a hostel built out of a real Boeing 747. Based outside the Stockholm airport in Sweden, Jumbo Stay is two star hotel accommodation inside a plane. The 1976 747-212B no longer flies but they’ve worked hard to maintain it’s original look and feel so while there you don’t have any of the inconvenience of the changed cabin pressure or turbulance, you will have a flat bed, shower and entertainment right inside a plane. If you’re visiting Stockholm with kids, this is one attraction not to be missed.

[For more travel tips on other unique family-friendly accommodations in Sweden, see the suitcases&strollers story Treehotel.] 

As you leave the city and near the Stockholm airport, you can’t miss the Jumbo Stay accommodation. Don’t be fooled by their use of the word “hostel” – Jumbo Stay is family-friendly accommodation in Stockholm and not just for backpackers. Just the sheer novelty of the airplane conversion will make this a memorable family holiday activity. [For another unique airplane experience, see the suitcases&strollers story Hello Kitty Jets.]

Throughout the plane the original features have been maintained where possible to make the experience authentic and amusing. For instance in the bathrooms there are etiquette instructions and the warnings for the doors have been preserved.

It’s the small features that keep it interesting too – outside there is a swing made out of a plane tyre for kids to play on.

One of the wings also doubles up as an observatory deck that  airport that visitors can walk out on to or sit and soak up the view.  

And the engines have actually been converted into rooms as well. 

If your budget is tight, there are traditional-style hostel rooms where you sleep in bunks and can share with other travelers.

But if you are traveling with kids, a private room is probably more practical. Some of these come with showers and toilets. Or ask for the premium accomodation – the delxue suites at the back of the plane and in the cockpit.

If you have already planned your accommodation in Stockholm but want to see the Jumbo Stay, they do allow day visitors to take a tour of the plane and stop for a snack in the onboard café as well.

The Practicalities

While the hostel does have a café and breakfast is included, it is quite a basic offering. Outside of the airport and surrounding airport hotels there is nowhere else to get food, so if your kids are fussy eaters, bring some snacks with you. [For more travel tips on travel-friendly foods, see the suitcases&strollers story here.] There is a microwave onboard parents can use to warm up bottles or food.  

There is an elevator to get to the entrance of the hostel but this is a plane, so everything is compact and there isn’t a whole lot of space. Wheeling your stroller around while onboard is not a practical option.

If you are arriving in Stockholm after a long haul flight, it is a good idea to plan your Jumbo Stay experience at the end of your trip on your last night before you leave Stockholm, rather than on your first night after you’ve just left the airport (and the novelty might be somewhat lost).

Jumbo Stay offers shuttle transfers to and from the airport. There is a walkway if you prefer to use your feet, however this is not a practical option in the winter.

A night at Jumbo Stay could be a unique way for kids (or adults) who have a fear of flying to confront their phobia. For more travel tips on how to deal with fear of flying in kids, see the suitcases&strollers story here

Images: Lioba Schneider