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Bring stroller or not in international trip with 4 month old ?

Bring stroller or not in international trip with 4 month old ?

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Old Feb 6, 19, 8:56 pm
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Bring stroller or not in international trip with 4 month old ?

Would you bring a stroller or stay light and only bring a baby carrier (the ones where you wear a baby for an international trip spanning multiple countries that involves multiple countries/continents with a 4 month old ?

Regardless, I plan to bring a car seat for use when I drive a rental car.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 11:51 pm
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In our experience a stroller was invaluable when traveling with our daughter. We travel a lot to Europe and for just over ten years we used a stroller for our daughter. It definitely worked for us and her, and based on our experience, we’d suggest taking one (there are some drawbacks however).

We found the stroller really helpful at the airport. It took a few trips to figure it out, but we actually found the stroller helped with everything we were carrying. We always made sure she was in it (the only times she wasn’t, was going through security and during boarding) and one of us would push her while the other carried her car seat, and then we’d swap over if we needed to. She was always safe and it meant the only “extra thing” we had to think about was the car seat. We gate checked the stroller, which meant we could pick it up immediately after leaving the plane, and she stayed in it while we went through the airport which made things much easier.

We also found it really helpful in cities as well. It helped whenever she wanted to sleep (especially when she was younger), saved us some worry, and we made use of the stroller spaces on city buses and public transport as well which helped a lot when getting around. It also gave us an extra space to store bags and things we didn’t want to carry. Lastly, if you’re traveling a lot, then a carrier might work, but if you happen to be tired or get a back/shoulder/neck injury for any reason, it might not be as convenient if only one of you can use the carrier. A stroller would generally avoid those kinds of potential issues.

This said, there are some drawbacks. First, some kids will not want to go in a stroller, so you’ll have to work out what works for you. Also, some airlines have different policies on strollers so you’ll have to check with whoever you’re flying with to know if it’s convenient for your journey and situation. Also, we’d recommend investing in a decent stroller travel bag as it will protect it, but that is, of course, an additional cost. Also, there are some places where a stroller won’t really be best. For example, public transport stations/stops can sometimes be inaccessible, there can be places with lots of steps, and also (while very beautiful) cobbled sidewalks can be difficult with a stroller - we remember a few occasions where our daughter was out the stroller for the cobbled streets and got back in for the regular sidewalks.

It really depends on your situation, where you’ll be going, and what types of activities you’ll be doing. If you’re going to lots of airports and generally staying in cities, then a stroller would probably be quite helpful to have. If however, you’re going to smaller airports and doing a lot of hiking/walking in more rural places, then a stroller might not work so well.

I hope this is helpful!
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Old Feb 7, 19, 3:01 am
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I would definitely take a stroller. Having your baby in a baby carrier the whole time will be way too difficult.
We travelled extensively with our your kids and always had the stroller (even 2 at one point).
The best decision we did was also to choose a stroller that can be taken onboard as carry on. A few models like the babyzen yoyo+ are very light and are allowed as carry on on board the plane.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 9:25 am
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I'm a single mom and am still planning to take the stroller to NYC when I go next month with my 6 yo. A 4 mo can get really heavy after a long day exploring, plus they can get wiggly and uncomfortable. Mine always slept better in the stroller, plus she liked being able to look around. The stroller is also a great way to stow any shopping you might so, ensure you have the snacks and bottles, diapers. etc.

I loved my diaper dude cross body messenger style diaper bag. Plus it had the easiest hooks so I could clip it right to the stroller handle and save my back even more.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 9:37 am
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A dirt cheap umbrella stroller for a 4-month old is like having a third arm. It will immeasurably enhance your experience and the infant's as well! Don't forget to buy a stroller bag. Amazon has them for <$10 and they protect the stoller from the filth in the baggage hold to which you would never expose your child if you saw it.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 11:57 am
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Ok so I might just buy a cheap light stroller on destination if we feel it will be helpful
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Old Feb 8, 19, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Ok so I might just buy a cheap light stroller on destination if we feel it will be helpful
you might want to have for the flight: you will be spending time at the airport before your flight, needing to move around for a few hours. Once landing same thing...
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Old Feb 8, 19, 3:50 pm
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Trust me when I say you will need it. Unless you don't sit down for meals. the cheap ones are not always easy to find abroad. I would get a mclaren or similar - worth every penny. Or get 2nd hand if you want to leave it behind. There are also travel strollers that you can fold as a carry-on.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 10:26 pm
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Buying a cheap, lightweight stroller is definitely a good way to know if it will work for your situation. Depending on what types of activities you’ll be doing first on the trip and where you’ll be staying at the start, it might be worth considering buying the stroller before you leave for a few reasons.

First, you’ll be able to take advantage of having it for the entire door-to-door trip. There’s of course reasons why you might prefer to buy one after you arrive, but in our experience it was a huge help at the airport. If you have one before you leave, you’ll have more to go on to better figure out if a stroller will work for you. Things like being able to fit in the car, how you carry it with other baggage, how you find taking it through security, etc. They might seem small, but we found these things became valuable to know – the longer you get to test it out, the more you’ll know if it will work for you.

Second, it will provide them their own space for them to sit and relax (and possibly sleep) which if you get delayed – or like us you like to leave a lot of time to avoid any stress – will be really helpful. This of course applies whenever you have a stroller, but at the airport we found our daughter was much happier having a consistent place to herself. It obviously depends on the child, but we always made sure she was in the stroller as soon as we arrived. If we had to discuss something with airline staff, figure out directions, or get stuff from our bags, we were able to focus on that knowing she was safely buckled in and comfortable. When she was younger, we made sure she had a toy (attached to the stroller) and when she was older she would happily sit and read a book (she is a bookworm). It also has the advantage that if you’re trying to find somewhere to sit, the stroller can act as an extra seat so you only need find space for yourselves if the gate or seating area is really busy.

Third, you’ll save yourself some time when you are wanting to get out and explore wherever you’re visiting. If you know the type and location of stores at your first destination then that’s great of course, but if you are unfamiliar with the place you might spend a long time searching for somewhere to buy it. Also, if you’re dealing with any jet-lag or time zone adjustment (or perhaps even travel sickness) that could add hassle and stress, as well as taking up time you might otherwise want to use to explore.

Lastly, having a stroller at the airport will allow you to become familiar with the gate-checking process. Generally, we found most airlines to be very good about boarding and we always made sure we boarded earlier when we could. We found we needed a little practice to understand how we needed to do things (e.g. checking her stroller, boarding, then installing her car seat), so the more you can understand now, the easier subsequent trips will be. We were lucky that we learned fairly quickly what worked for us and that our daughter naturally travels fairly well, but setting up a routine helped us and our daughter a lot (by about 8/9 years old she was buckling herself in the stroller).

If you already have an idea about the sort of luggage you’ll be taking, you're confident with your plans for the airport, and you know your first destination well, then it of course makes sense to buy a cheap and light stroller once you arrive. This is only our experience of course, but when we figured out bringing a stroller made things much easier we invested in a really good quality one (two in fact as we got a larger one as she got older) which also helped knowing it could withstand the traveling. It’s different for every family of course, so be prepared for it taking a few trips before you know what works best for you. Hopefully this is helpful and have a great trip!
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Old Feb 11, 19, 9:14 am
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
Regardless, I plan to bring a car seat for use when I drive a rental car.
Seems to me you’ve answered your own question.
Why not just have a car seat stroller - basically a frame with wheels that you attach to and detach from the car seat.
I almost always carried my kid on me but this was the only kind of “pram” that was useful to us. (Used a Maxi-Cosi and Quinny combo)
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Old Feb 11, 19, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
Seems to me you’ve answered your own question.
Why not just have a car seat stroller - basically a frame with wheels that you attach to and detach from the car seat.
I almost always carried my kid on me but this was the only kind of “pram” that was useful to us. (Used a Maxi-Cosi and Quinny combo)
This is the best advice on this thread
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Old Feb 11, 19, 8:30 pm
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That's great, thank you! I will definitely shop for that stroller!
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Old Feb 11, 19, 9:00 pm
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What countries? Stroller definitely yes, depending on where you are going, the car seat can be a waste of time.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 4:06 am
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Originally Posted by MasterGeek View Post
That's great, thank you! I will definitely shop for that stroller!
Hope it works for you. Once my kid grew too big for the car seat, we detached the car seat adaptors, put the seat cover onto the frame and used the Quinny as a conventional stroller.
The Quinny has evolved since our purchase (about 9 years ago) but this was the only stroller we ever bought. It folds up small, if you get the tote (bag) cover it can be stored as cabin luggage and placed in an overhead bin.
Ours still gets used once or twice a year for unexpected tasks. The downside is that the wheels are a bit wider than one might expect. It was fine for us, but really annoyed my mother for that reason.
Do look ahead when purchasing, worth getting a stroller that is comfortable as a stroller for when your kid is older as well as being a good portable car seat holder now.
As I said, it’s been nearly a decade since our purchase, there may be better car seat/stroller combos on the market. I’m pretty sure I made my Quinny purchase having seen a recommendation on FlyerTalk. Being able to store it in an airplane cabin was invaluable when getting a sleepy three and four year old through airports (I live in London and have family in Spain and Japan). Even when you can take a stroller to the doorway of plane, you may not be reunited with a checked in stroller until the luggage carousel at your destination. Having it in the cabin brought real peace of mind.
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Old Feb 12, 19, 12:23 pm
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I also love my City Mini - I used it as soon as she was 6+ months.
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