When you first have a baby the last thing on your mind is travelling and getting away from, it all. Truth be told you may need to get away to see family. You may need to attend a wedding. You may need to move countries. There are a whole lot of reasons for why you and baby end up on a plane.
I have travelled with very little ones as none of my family live where I reside. I have either borrowed or bought any piece of equipment that I have been told was useful. I have travelled by myself and I have travelled with my husband and even girlfriends.
I’m hoping this will help you in your sleep deprived existence to help cut through what you actually need and what a baby shop will sell you. This is suited for baby’s and toddlers.
I know there are so many different brands on the market and everyone has their preference. I choose this one as it is a brand I trust and the back support was the essential feature for me. I recommend the mesh version for breathing and air flow. Regardless, a baby carrier is helpful for getting through an airport and allowing you a free hand to carry luggage or hold the hand of a toddler. However, you need to be aware that the carrier has to be removed to go through security. If you are travelling alone getting one of these off and one whilst holding baby is difficult. If you have a tiny baby then a sling may be easier. I have used a cocoon/ sleeping bag from my pram as this was much easier for me, but the company doesn’t stock or sell them anymore.
Whilst a carrier is fine for short walks you can’t expect to use this for long periods of time whilst you are out and about looking at the sights if you planning to be out all day. The reality is with a small baby you will have to stop and feed often, you will most likely not venture too far from your hotel as a result. I have always packed one but I have had various levels of use from it dependent upon location, weather and other factors. There are some areas of the world where a pram just won’t work – Asia and some cobbled streets in Europe as an example.
Babyzen YoYo stroller
This is the best thing I have ever bought. If you follow my blog you will see photos of my baby in a Maclaren stroller. The airline broke the wheels off on one trip and I needed to buy a new one. Thank god I listened to reason. This stroller folds up! I kid you not – the best travel pram there is. I have used my pram to the gate and then airline staff collect them as we are boarding and put them on the plane. This is not always possible but where it is – do it! Try not to use the airport stroller s – they are horrid. Dirty, unstable and just yuk. Those trucks at the airport that you see over weight or very elderly utilising are also available for mothers with small children. Ask the staff and they will organise for you. Remember mothers and small children are meant to be boarded first. Make sure you let the crew know where you are at the gate so they can board you first. The great thing about having a pram with you means you may be able to put baby to sleep in the pram for some exploring during sleep time. You could also sneak out for a dinner with the pram next to the table.
I have in the past packed my big huge pram with me. I even bought a stupid case for it to travel in. Great having your super duper pram with shock absorbers and the ability to travel over most roads, carrying room for the families junk. Shame we had to get an extra taxi everywhere to transport it!
I have in the past also organised for the concierge to take delivery of a stroller that I had ordered before I arrived. It saved us having to haul it with us en route when we were not going to be using it. It was relatively inexpensive in the grand scheme of things.
**I saw a new pram that has just been released – similar concept but you can throw it open. It folds up so small it fits in an over the shoulder bag!
I picked this model as it was the lightest on the market at the time. If I was then going to be hauling my 12 kilo kid around – it needed to be light. You have to remember you will also add things like a nappy, wipes, bottle, water and other things which add weight. I am still using this same pack – mind you he is at the tail end of its use, but he is 2.5 and we are still using it. It looks brand new as it is very easy to clean. It packs flat (ish) and it has allowed us to walk for long periods of time or distance without having to take little-people steps or slow down to the rate of a Galapagos turtle. If you want to do even one hike – this is worth it. If you want to explore for the day and you know the road or pavement is rough going, then this is for you. Click the title for details. (You can see my little guy in the pack on our feature photo)
If you are questioning what to take in relation to one or the other in relation to an older kid. I would still use a pram. My hike might not happen as a result but it is difficult for little ones to sleep in the pack so the pram wins with that one point.
Enjoy your holiday. Little one’s love to explore and helping them with the occasional ride will make your day more enjoyable.