Stroller or baby carrier – which one should you bring on your trip?
Typically, we would suggest travelling as light as possible, but in this instance we recommend bringing both. We always bring (or rent) a travel stroller and our best baby carrier for travel on every trip we take. This gives us the ultimate flexibility depending on the day and which attraction we want to see. It’s not easy knowing which to use in a given situation, so we have shared our experiences below to help you make that decision.
Not sure which travel stroller or baby carrier to buy? Don’t miss our posts where we compare all the best travel strollers and the best baby carriers for travel:
Stroller or Baby Carrier for Flying with a Baby
For the flight, we have always brought our baby in the baby carrier. More often than not, we got through security without having to take our baby out of the carrier, which was much easier than emptying and folding up a stroller to put it through the x-ray machine. We had the added benefit of having the carrier on the flight with us, in case we needed to spend time walking up and down the aisle.
We prefer to rent a stroller at our destination, but we brought our own with us on one occasion when we had purchased an airline seat for our infant daughter and therefore needed to bring a car seat. If you have purchased a seat for your baby and will have a car seat, we recommend having a stroller with you to get around the airport. Otherwise, we suggest you leave your stroller at home and rent at your destination.
Stroller or Baby Carrier for Getting Baby to Nap On-The-Go
Depending on your baby’s ability to sleep in a stroller, you may need to use a carrier while sightseeing to ensure your baby is still getting those much important naps. Our daughter has never been very good at sleeping on-the-go in a stroller. We’ve tried on several occasions and just ended up frustrated with a very tired little girl. If we needed her to sleep, we always used the carrier instead of the stroller.
Stroller or Baby Carrier for Eating
Travelling with an infant means a slower pace of travel and when your baby is eating solids, feeding them can take up a lot of your day. With such limited time, it’s nice to be able to make good use of your time as you walk with your stroller. As our daughter got older, we made better use of our limited time by feeding her snacks in her stroller. We found having a stroller with a snack tray makes this much easier.
Stroller or Baby Carrier for Sightseeing with a Baby
Not all attractions are stroller friendly. If the website for the attraction you are visiting doesn’t specify if it is stroller friendly, then look for information on wheelchair accessibility, which is a good proxy for how easily you can get around with a stroller. Depending on the accessibility of the attraction, we would use either the stroller or the carrier. If we were planning on being out all day and seeing multiple attractions, we would bring both.
To help you make those decisions, we have a series of posts following this one with our recommendations for stroller vs baby carrier for the top things to do in:
Stroller or Baby Carrier for Warm Destinations
One final consideration when choosing a stroller vs baby carrier is the weather. If the temperature soars, a baby carrier will result in both parent and baby being uncomfortable and sweaty. In addition, it’s easier to keep your baby out of the sun using a stroller with a good canopy than it is with a carrier. If you are visiting a warm destination, you will want access to a stroller.
Other Tips for Choosing Between Stroller or Baby Carrier for Travel with a Baby
Before you leave on your trip, ensure you have used your carrier multiple times and that your baby enjoys being in it. If you plan to have your baby sleep in the carrier or stroller, do some practice runs at home.
If you are like us and want to travel as light as possible, do research on baby equipment rental companies at your destination. We have enjoyed the convenience of renting a stroller several times. You can often have it delivered to your hotel before you arrive and have it picked up after you leave. This also eliminates the risk of your stroller being damaged during a flight.
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