Best Travel Strollers
You might opt to bring your child’s usual stroller on holiday and this has its benefits in that you know your child will be comfortable in it and it spares you the expense of purchasing a new one. If your buggy is big and bulky and you will be travelling around a lot with a baby over 6 months then you might opt for either a lightweight stroller or a fold up stroller.
Some people opt to take a light weight stroller with them when travelling with toddlers as these fold up easily and are light. this is a great option where your child will not be in a stroller for too long and allows you to travel by bus, taxi and train easily and efficiently. Some reputable lightweight strollers include:
1. The Maclaren Mark II (£170/ Suitable from 6 months/ stroller weighs 3kgs) – This has a 5-point harness, xtra-large UPF 50+ hood with mesh peek-a-boo window and extendable sun visor, the Mark II is also very compact when folded, so it will fit in the boot of small cars.
2. The Recaro Easylife (£189/suitable from 6 months/ stroller weighs 5.9 kg) – The stroller has a big seat, decent recline and one-handed fold and unfold mechanism.
3. The Quinny Yezz (£175/ suitable from 6 months/ stroller weighs 5 kg) – The Quinny Yezz is a bright 3-wheeler buggy. It is easy to fold and unfold and has a shoulder strap which is great for public transport.
4. Mamas & Papas Kato 2 (£79.95/ suitable from near birth/ stroller weighs 6 kg) – Suitable from birth months and is great as a holiday buggy. Its reasonable priced but doesn’t have a recline.
5. The Babyzen Yoyo – (£319/ suitable from birth/ weighs 5 kg) -This is one of the most compact strollers on the market and is also comfortable for babies and toddlers and has a good recline. when folded it measures 52 x 44 x 18 cm.
6. Backpack Strollers – These are another great option for travel is fold up strollers. these are particularly useful for city breaks and the stroller folds up and can be flung on your back like a backpack. These are great for traversing subway station stairs and train stations. There are a number of brands available on the market including the Quicksmart Backpack Stroller (£122/ suitable from 6 months/ stroller weight 4 kgs), which folds into a handy backpack and is compact enough for you to take on a plane as carry-on luggage. There’s no recline but it is easy to manoeuvre. Airlines have different policies on flying with a stroller. For further information on the various airline policies click here.
Best Travel Slings (Baby Carriers)
A baby carrier is a fantastic item to bring with you on holiday and can be indispensable when travelling as it allows you to have your hands free while being able to negotiate airports, trains and bus stations, steps and old historic sights without worrying about a chunky buggy. Ideally you will be able to bring both a sling and stroller with you on a vacation and these can be used at different times. A sling is especially handy when you have more than one small child as you can alternate between the stroller and the sling and negate the need of bringing a second/double stroller. There are many different types of slings and carriers to choose from, depending on the age and weight of your baby/toddler, and you can comfortably carry most children up to 4 years of age (20kg) if you choose the right carrier. If you will be using a sling a lot for sightseeing and general travel, don’t compromise on quality.
Unfortunately a lot of the good quality carriers are not available on the High Street (Ergobaby and LILLEbaby being the exceptions), only online, therefore it is well worth your while attending your local sling meet where you can try on different slings to see what suits you. If you wish to try before you buy, you can rent multiple slings from your local sling library at a low cost, usually just covering postage. Details of these can be found online.
Another option is to book a sling consultation with a certified babywearing consultant. There are 4 main types of carrier – Ring Sling, Wrap (stretchy or woven), Mei Tai and Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) – and depending on the sling/carrier you can front, back and hip carry. YouTube has many different tutorials as to how to do this with your sling. The most important thing to look for when choosing a sling is whether it adheres to the TICKS guidelines. This ensures optimum comfort for both you and baby. It is not advised to have your baby facing outwards, although many of the High Street carriers do advertise this.
If you are travelling to a very warm country a ring sling such as one by Little Frog or Neobulle or a mei tai (Babyhawk) may be the best option, stretchy wraps (JPMBB, Moby, KariMe) are great for younger babies (up to 4-6 months) and for toddlers and older children a SSC (such as the Ergobaby, Tula, Manduca, Connecta) gives the most support. The Ergobaby Performance is light and breathable and perfect for toddlers and the Solarweave Connecta Carrier blocks 95-99% of the suns harmful UVA and UVB rays and its quick drying fabric makes it ideal for use in the pool or at the beach.
Best Travel Car Seats
If you decide to bring your own car seat you can buy heavy duty travel seat holders for stowing in the plane from Amazon, the iSafe Universal Car Seat Travel Bag is £17.95.
A seat belt vest is useful for toddlers in taxis trains and buses where they are too small for the seat belt provided. They provide upper body restraint and some impact protection in case of accident however nothing will protect your child as well as a car safety seat and you cannot rely on seatbelt vests to keep your child safe in case of a serious accident they are designed more for jolts and sudden stops.
The Trunki Boost-a-Pak is not just a booster seat, it’s also a backpack which makes it perfect for travel. It is suitable for kids aged 4-11. Inflatable, portable booster seat for cars are suitable for older kids. Bubblebum sell portable, lightweight, brightly coloured, inflatable car booster seat for children aged between 4 and 11 easily deflate and folds flat. Unfortunately there are no similar products for younger children. Car seat luggage straps are a fantastic way to get through the airport if you are bringing a car seat. The car seat attaches to a roller suitcase and you can push your baby (up to a weight of 40 lbs) in the seat. The Go-Go Babyz Travelmate Car Seat Luggage Strap (pictured) (£50.62) can be used with any car seat and can be attached to suitcases on rollers which are 13 – 20 inches in size. They allow you to roll your baby’s car seat through the airport. Go-go Babyz do some other fantastic travel equipment, see the Go-Go Babyz website for their full product range.