When you’re going on vacation with a baby on toe, you need to be prepared for every eventuality. And you make the journey and the sight-seeing far more enjoyable by choosing a great stroller. One that’s safe, comfortable, compact, and lightweight. And that goes for however you’re travelling, whether it’s by plane, train, car or bus.
What features should you look for in a stroller to provide the most convenience and comfort during your family vacation?
The size of the stroller, in our view, will be one of the more important considerations, when it comes to transportation within a larger vehicle.
For example, you’ll need the stroller to fit into your trunk if you’re travelling by car. But not have it fill your trunk - you’ll need to be able to fit it in around all of your luggage.
Some of the strollers that are out on the market today seem to have been designed with this issue in mind. The Mountain Buggy Nano and the GB Pockit for example, will not only fit into your car’s trunk with ease but could even fit behind one of the front seats.
It’s worth noting at this point that some there are some strollers which will fold up very narrow but remain quite long, so that might be something to be wary of.
Some (very few) strollers can fold up so compactly that they can even fit in the overhead compartment on a plane. If you think this may be important to you, you should check out the Mountain Buggy Nano, the GB Pockit, or the Baby Jogger City Tour. But please ensure that you always check the specific carry-on regulations for your trip.
If you can get the stroller in the overhead apartment it would be a good idea. You don’t risk it getting bumped around with the luggage, and while you’re waiting for your luggage, you’ll have the stroller right at hand. This could be handy if the plane ride has made your little one tired, which is quite likely. And airports can mean a lot of walking around and waiting in queues.
A compact folding size really comes into its own when it comes to public transport where space can sometimes be particularly hard to come by. If your stroller was taking up a lot of unnecessary space while your baby is on your lap or on a seat, you may risk annoying other passengers.
Folding and weight
You will need your stroller to be sufficiently lightweight to allow you to easily lift it and carry it around short distances should you need to. When you’re travelling you often have a lot to carry around before you even consider the stroller.
Furthermore, you will want the folding mechanism to be both quick and easy, and preferably one-handed.
This can be valuable if you have a toddler who likes to walk around and doesn’t stray (or is on reigns).
Some strollers can be easy to carry along on your shoulder which is a handy feature. Then you can just take it down and open it again when the child wants to rest for a while.
Maneuverability & Handlebar
It can be important to have a stroller that’s easy to maneuver and steer, particularly if you might find yourselves in crowded tourist hotspots. In these sorts of situations, it helps to have a stroller that can take tight turns whilst not taking up too much space.
Also, you will find that a single, adjustable handlebar, provides more easy pushing and turning than the two small handle variety.
One of the main problems with the more lightweight strollers on the market is that they tend to have small wheels. Whilst small wheels may pose no problem on flat terrain, if you wanted to go off-road, say through beautiful countryside or one of Europe’s many cobbled streets and lanes, then the ride won’t be very smooth at all.
Small plastic wheels just aren’t designed for off-road use and don’t provide the smooth cushioned ride that you would get with air-filled tires
I guess it’s basically a trade-off and you will have to weigh up how lightweight the stroller is against how well it performs off-road.
Seat and Canopy
If you expect to be covering long distances on foot, you could benefit from a stroller with a reclining seat position, if it’s likely the baby might want to nap.
If your vacation is taking place somewhere with a hot climate and gorgeous sunny skies, you will want a stroller with a large canopy to adequately shield the baby from the sun.
At the same time, however, you will also want to ensure that the said canopy is properly ventilated. This is usually achieved by mesh paneling.
Unfortunately not every lightweight travel stroller has a large, expandable canopy or sunshade. The Mountain Buggy Nano and Baby Jogger City Tour both feature good canopies, so that might be something to consider.
We recommend that you go for a stroller with a large storage basket. This is because lightweight strollers don’t tend to be set up to carry heavy diaper bags from the handlebar. Plus, you’ll need somewhere to stash all the souvenirs you pick up.
Last but not least, accessories. Wherever you’re traveling you may not always be able to predict the weather. That is why we recommend that you get a weather shield for your stroller since canopies are not necessarily designed to keep off the rain.
Furthermore, if you’re in an area that’s popular with mosquitoes or other annoying insects, then you would be wise to get yourself an insect cover for the baby’s stroller.
So, there’s quite a lot to think about before you making your decision on what lightweight stroller to buy for your vacation. As I went through this blog post there were some strollers that came to mind more than the others, such as the Mountain Buggy Nano but you need to bear in mind that lightweight strollers don’t always fare well on rough terrain.