K.G. asks from Oregon City, OR on July 23, 2011
What's the Best Inexpensive Stroller for Traveling?
We are traveling out of state for a wedding and will be taking our 7 month old with us. The current stroller we have is huge, heavy and impractical. (It was a poor purchase overalll.) I'm considering getting a smaller stroller that we could take with us on the trip. We will be involved in wedding activities all weekend, and unfortunately she is going to have to sleep on the fly sometimes. We will also be going to the Mall of America one day, and having her in the carrier seems impractical if I'm trying on clothes. We are not taking a car seat for her.
Can anyone suggest a stroller that is lightweight, but sturdy enough to check at the airport? And, that reclines so the baby can sleep when necessary. Does anyone else have suggestions for managing for a weekend out of town with a 7 month old?
I should add that we have traveled a lot by plane with our older daughter, but it has always been to see family. This is our first trip where we need to bring everything with us since we don't have family in the area to borrow from. We are also renting an infant car seat from the car rental company, since we are already carrying on one car seat for our other daughter. I don't know what kind of seat the car company has.
Thank you for the help.
E.C. answers from San Francisco on July 23, 2011
if your 7MO is still using an infant carseat, how about getting a snap-n-go and bringing the infant seat - that way you'd have a lightweight stroller frame that's easy to check and definitely enough recline for sleeping. You can often find them in good condition secondhand and they have good resale value too.
an inexpensive umbrella stroller (we had secondhand Kolcraft ones that were probably about $20 new) is handy for travel for older toddlers - very lightweight and portable, but doesn't really recline so probably not the best option for now.
1 mom found this helpful
V.T. answers from Dallas on July 23, 2011
I would stay away from the snap and go as your baby is almost out of the infant seat and you will have to buy another stroller, and at 7 months she should be able to sit up and support herself in a regular stroller. I know they are not inexpensive, but I would go with a Chicco, which you can get for around $80 or a MaClaren, which you can get for around $150 for one that reclines. The problem with a lot of the cheaper ones is that the handles are so low that you have to lean over to push it. I'm 5'2" and used a $20 fisher price stroller and kept stepping on it because the handles weren't long enough. Check a Babies R Us which usually has 20% off coupons or Buy Buy Baby where you can use Bed Bath and Beyond coupons.
D.P. answers from Seattle on July 27, 2011
We have an inexpensive Chicco stroller that has a bit of a recline - the sides "unzip" from top to bottom to allow the seat to recline another 30 degrees or so. It doesn't steer as easily as a Maclaren, but it did the job.
You probably already know this if you've flown before: children's items (carseats, pack-n-play, etc) can be checked like baggage without the baggage fee.
J.R. answers from Portland on July 24, 2011
I know it's not an umbrella stroller, but this one has rocked for all our travel and home needs for the last two years:
The Jeep Cherokee stiller can be found also at WalMart and should be under $50. It has the functionality of a full size stroller, but none of the weight. One handed collapse, cup holders and bags for gear. I'm a big fan.
J.D. answers from Phoenix on July 23, 2011
I have travelled by plane to MN multiple times with one or two of my boys at ages 3 mos, 6 mos, 12 mos, 15 mos, 2 years, and 2.5 years. You will already have your infant seat with you, so might as well use it. I suggest an infant seat stroller frame like the Graco SnugRider Infant Car Seat Stroller Frame. These are light, sturdy, and have a huge storage area (for shopping bags, toys, etc) underneath. These fold pretty flat and are lightweight. They have a couple of brands at Babies R Us and Buy Buy Baby that you can try with your car seat. As far as plane travel goes, some tips I have are
Change right before boarding the plane with an overnight diaper. Coat his/her bottom with diaper cream.
Bring a travel DVD player and movies like Baby Einstein Farm to distract.
Buy a a plane seat for your child and put them in their car seat for the plane ride.
Bring lots of baby wipes- and extra diapers and disposable changing pads and extra clothes for you and them.
If your baby is teething, bring a variety of stuff to chew on, and tylenol (put that in the quart size bag)
If you have any more specific questions, email me. ____@____.com
E.S. answers from Dayton on July 23, 2011
If we didn't already have the previous version of this, I'd get this one: http://www.amazon.com/Chicco-05060886970070-Liteway-Strol...
K.C. answers from Seattle on July 23, 2011
We have a Chicco umbrella-style stroller, and I started using it for travel when my first was 5-1/2 months old. It doesn't recline fully, but it uses zippers to give it 2 positions. Baby slept in it just fine. It was a lot of bang for the buck, and has held up for many miles. It also comes with a carry bag to protect it from plane dust, although I'd recommend removing the bonnet from the stroller if you're using the bag.
As far as the infant seat goes, we had a bad experience with the rental car seat. We were given a cheaper seat that didn't have LATCH anchors or a seperate base; it just used the vehicle seatbelt. We had to use a seatbelt clip (metal, shaped a little like an "H") to tighten into the car, which they didn't give us with the seat. Once we finally installed it properly, removing it to use as a baby bucket seat was too much of a pain, because we'd have to put it back in the car...
My recommendation? Take yours. Knowing how to install it easily in the new car when you're exhausted from travel AND being able to use your bucket as a familiar place for baby to sit, nap, etc. when you're away from home is valuable. If baby is riding on lap, you can check it at the ticketing counter for no fee.
S.S. answers from Seattle on July 24, 2011
We used to have an umbrella stroller that we took sometimes for our first, but the handles were kind of short (I'm 5'9"). I think McClaren does a nicer one, though, but for double the price. Renting a car seat can be quite expensive (about $10/day usually) and I have always found that the ones they supply are really horrible (old, hard to use, uncomfortable looking, etc.). It might make more sense if you bought a cheapo Graco stroller (or similar brand) that you can snap your car seat into and take the stroller and infant car seat. You can check both at the gate so you won't have to worry about carrying the extra car seat onto the plane with you. I have twin two-year-olds and a four and a half year old and we have done A LOT of travelling when we've had to take everything with us (two pack n plays, three car seats, etc.) One thing we do to cut down on bags to carry is to put a lot of stuff into the car seat bags. We use plastic bags to help keep it organized, but then we basically have one suitcase and three car seat bags and two pack n plays to carry. We went to Mexico for two months and that's what we had for luggage.
When the twins were two months old I went back to visit family and took a double snap n go stroller, which was handy for travelling, but at seven months your daughter might be too old for such an arrangement. Our boys were out of their infant car seats by the time they were six months (all three were 20 lbs by then), so I'm not sure what kind of a stroller she sits in at home.
Anyway, for our first son we bought a Graco stroller for $60 at the Burlington Coat Factory - it was the kind you could snap an infant car seat into. It was also handy to check it at the gate as then I had it when I got off the plane and didn't have to lug my son through the airport in a carrier with my diaper bag over my shoulder, too.
Have a great trip!