How to Choose a Stroller for Vacation
Choosing the BEST Stroller for Your Travelling Family
“In America, there are two classes of travel: First class, and with children.” — Robert Benchley
Travel with young children can be stressful. Aside from the packing and preparations, how to choose the best stroller to travel with takes some time. The stroller currently in the trunk of your car may be convenient for trips to the mall, but it might not be the best option for your next family vacation.
As far as strollers go, there are endless options on the market. There are lightweight strollers, umbrella strollers, double strollers, full sized strollers and more. With so many options available, it is recommended you do research on what is the best travel stroller for your family. Travelling with kids is complicated enough without the headaches of folding too bulky strollers or realizing three hours into your trip you really could have used a snack tray.
Before choosing which stroller will be chauffeuring your favorite child/children on your next vacation, consider these three things:
- The ages of child/children
- How many children will be walking versus riding in the stroller
- The type of vacation you will be taking (beach/amusement park)
Infants Up to Six Months
While full sized strollers are not a favorite to travel with because they are bulky, they are the best option when travelling with infants and babies up to six months of age. If you drive you can continue to use your travel system, which is the infant car seat/stroller combination. The infant seat snaps directly into the stroller, making transporting a sleeping baby a cinch. Road trips require plenty of stops, and you will be thankful you don’t have to unsnap the baby for each bathroom break.
For infants, full sized strollers are also the most comfortable option available. They offer full recline, which enables the baby to lay all the way back for naptime. This is ideal when you are planning on spending your days outside. Standard full sized strollers also offer extra padding in the seat, which is more comfortable for your child.
Along with full recline and extra cushion, standard strollers have more features such as a snack tray for all those cheerios, and a cup holder or two for bottles and juice. The undercarriage basket is typically larger to accommodate diaper bags, and the sun canopy offers full shade.
Another option to consider if you will be traveling with a baby is a lightweight stroller. These strollers offer many of the same features as full sized strollers, but are less bulky and usually easier to fold. While purchasing a lightweight stroller may be an investment you’d rather not make, you will be happy you did when you are scurrying to fold the stroller to hop on an airplane. Many lightweight strollers also accommodate children up to 55 lbs, which makes them a great investment for an active family. You can use the lightweight stroller for years to come.
Toddlers and Young Children
There are more stroller options to choose from when you are traveling with children above six months of age. The typical travel favorite is an umbrella stroller, which is the lightest and least bulky stroller on the market today. Umbrella stroller features differ greatly depending on what you are willing to pay. The low end umbrella strollers are extremely basic, usually without a sunshade or undercarriage basket. This is NOT ideal for travel. If you decide to purchase an umbrella stroller, spending a little more money goes a long way. You need a sunshade to block the sun, an undercarriage for snacks and drinks, and an option to recline is extremely helpful. Toddlers will appreciate the option to recline after a long day on vacation, and may even catch some shut eye while you push them from place to place.
While umbrella strollers are convenient, if you will be spending much of your time on the go, the lightweight stroller may be a better option. The extra seat space and snack tray is extremely helpful when you are expecting a toddler or small child to stay seated for extended periods of time.
Strollers for Multiple Children
When travelling with two or more young children, you will either need a double stroller or two strollers. If there will be two adults available at all times to push a stroller, it can be wise to take two separate strollers. While this may seem more troublesome, it gives you the freedom to accommodate each child easily. An infant can ride and nap peacefully in a lightweight or standard stroller, and a toddler can hop in and out of their umbrella stroller with ease.
If you decide to take a double stroller, they are available in two different designs, one is side by side and one is back/front. Both designs have positives and negatives. When trying to squeeze through crowds of people, a side by side option may be extremely cumbersome. However, in a back/front design, the child sitting in the back has a limited view and space.
Another option available for families with two or more children is a “sit and stand” stroller, which has a small seat for an older child attached to a full stroller with canopy for a smaller child/infant. These are excellent for families with two children; a baby and an older child who will to tire quickly when walking for extended periods of time.
Strollers to Consider
After you have decided what stroller is best for your next trip, shop around online and check stroller reviews and ratings. Sites such as Amazon.com are easy to use and include user ratings and reviews with each item. One of Amazon’s top rated strollers for travel is the Jeep Cherokee Sport Stroller, which is a lightweight stroller. It is affordable and features a one hand fold. Another top rated lightweight option is the Britax B-Agile. This stroller has a lightweight aluminum frame and also features a one hand fold. If you are leaning towards an umbrella stroller option, The First Years Ignite Stroller is top rated and features an undercarriage basket as well as a sunshade.
With so many stroller options available, it is imperative you take the time to access what stroller your family needs depending on what types of vacations you enjoy. With the right stroller, vacations can be less stressful and much more fun for you and your children.
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This post was written by Rick Magennis