I’m often asked for advice on what to do with your car seat and buggy/stroller when travelling.
Living in HK, I have a very lightweight stroller (Maclaren Volo) and don’t have a car. So I’ve asked my sister (who is based in the UK) to help out with your FAQ:
Should I buy a lightweight buggy for travel, or take my bulky two-piece buggy?
What will you be using it for? A lightweight buggy is great if you’ll be getting in and out of cars often or just using it for short walks. On the other hand, your comfy bulky buggy might be better for longer walks, naptimes and if you want your child to sleep while you go out for dinner. Also think about whether you’ll need a sunshade and/or raincover.
When our little girl was less than six months, we preferred to use our bulky travel system with the carrycot attachment and car seat (like a Bugaboo Cameleon). Now that she is older, we have a Baby Jogger City Mini, which is much lighter and folds like a dream. Or if you want something even more lightweight then most retailers sell a basic budget buggy which has no frills but can get you from A to B easily.
If you have two children who will need a buggy, you could invest in a cheap double for your holiday. Alternatively you could use a Pushchair Connector to clip together two buggies, or you could try out a Buggypod Side Car. I haven’t seen either of these in action, but they look interesting!
Save money by asking around and seeing if your friends have a double stroller that you might be able to borrow. Check out this Graco RoomFor2 I stole from my neighbour for our Texas roadtrip!
Should I take my car seat on holiday with me?
Make sure that you check out the local regulations on car seats before you travel.
- UK car seat advice
- Hong Kong car seat advice
- US car seat regulations vary by State
Infant Car seats – These seats are generally the most portable and many airlines will allow you to check them in free of charge. If you usually use an Isofix base, then make sure that you know how to install it using a seat belt for when the base is not available. You should also check that the infant car seat you have is legal to use at your destination e.g. the ever popular Maxi Cosi does not meet Australian car safety laws.
Toddler Seats – These seats can be more bulky and tricky to install so most parents prefer not to have to take them on holiday. Many car rental companies offer child seats for an additional fee, and these seats will meet local safety requirements, but they may not be as clean and comfortable as your own seat at home.
Child Seats – There are a few products on the market that fill the gap for older children. Check out my review of the Trunki BoostaPak and you could also have a look at the BubbleBum.
There are a few interesting products on the market that allow you to combine a car seat/stroller in one e.g. the Lilly Gold Sit ‘n’ Stroll. This is a single product which converts from car seat to stroller and back again. You might want this if you are desperate for your child to be in a car seat on the plane and don’t want to have to carry a car seat and a stroller. I haven’t tested one of these out yet but welcome any feedback if you have!