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My wife and I and our son (who will be about 7 months old at the time) are going to Wichita, KS, USA for a vacation early this summer. We need to take one of our strollers with us, and can't decide which.

On the one hand, we have our umbrella stroller, which is nice and compact and will count as carry-on luggage on the plane. However, it is a bit short (I am tall and have to bend over slightly to push this stroller) and it has no space to put things like a diaper bag.

On the other hand we have our Graco Travel System stroller. It is positively huge (barely fits in the trunk of our car) and we would need to "gate check" it at the airport, incurring a $35.00 fee each way. It is easier to push and has a place to put a diaper bag.

We are planning to do quite a bit of walking (the zoo, a space museum, a science center, the park across from the house we are staying at).

So, really the question boils down to, is it worth it to suck up the $70.00 charge to have the better stroller with us?

asked 19 Mar '10, 18:32

Matthew%20Jones's gravatar image

Matthew Jones
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I assume you've double checked that you have to pay $35 for the stroller? Even now, many airlines have a fee exception for "baby items."

(19 Mar '10, 20:06) Kiesa ♦
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We just travelled this past December. We pushed her in the her stroller dropped it off on the ramp before entering the plane and they had it waiting for us. We didn't have to pay a thing.

(19 Mar '10, 20:38) Tammy ♦♦

I would go for the umbrella stroller if,

  • it has a reclining position so your little one can nap comfortably
  • if you have comfortable to carry baby change bag like a rucksack for example.
  • if prolonged usage doesn't give you backache
  • if it has a protective cover for rain
  • if you are planning to use public transport or need to open and close it frequently.

If most of your answers err towards no, then I would spend the extra money and take the Graco to ensure a comfortable trip for you and your partner.

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answered 19 Mar '10, 19:13

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Emi
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We are planning to do quite a bit of walking

I think it's worth $70 to have the features of the nicer stroller over the longer period of the vacation. If it was just a day, or maybe two, then I'd be fine with a diaper bag on my shoulder and pushing the umbrella stroller.

If cost is an issue, you may be able to check the stroller as regular luggage and carry your baby in the airports (but the stroller is a convenient place to keep and entertain the child while waiting for the plane as well).

You might also consider taking the umbrella stroller, and borrowing/renting/buying a second-hand stroller during your vacation. Put an ad on an internet list service local to your destination, or check out the second hand shops. Takes time away from the vacation though...

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answered 19 Mar '10, 18:58

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Adam Davis
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Do you have a baby carrier? We used an Ergo for a while, and now have an Olives and Applesauce and an Action Baby Carrier. We just went on a 10 day trip and didn't pack a stroller at all for our 7 month old.

If it were me in this case, I would take the umbrella stroller if you must bring one.

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answered 19 Mar '10, 23:20

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Fun2Dream
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That would depend on the size of the baby and how in shape you are I guess. We took our daughter on vacation when shew as 8 months. We had the carrier with us but you wouldn't be able to carry her around for long without ending up with a sore back.

(21 Mar '10, 13:16) Tammy ♦♦
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I think that depends on the quality of carrier. If you have a good quality carrier, it shouldn't hurt your back, and especially if you use it in a couple of different carries (front carry sometimes and back carry sometimes, for instance). I rarely get backaches from wearing my baby - and we even went hiking in the Smokey Mountains on our recent trip. No back problems whatsoever :)

(22 Mar '10, 19:05) Fun2Dream

I would definitely be wanting a stroller with you. When we have been on a long holiday we have always taken on a stroller of some sort or borrowed one. I like Emi's checklist. If you are staying with family/friends are they able to borrow one for you? Alternatively would it be cheaper to hire one than pay the $70.

Also you comment that your big stroller only just fits in your boot. How will you be getting from the airport to where you are staying? I.e will you be able to fit everything in the car.

Another thought is that if it is only for a couple of day trips that you need the big stroller does the zoo and space muesuem have ones that you can hire. I know that lots of places here have ones you can use, the zoo is $10(NZ$) for the day.

$70 seems quite a lot of money, the times we have flown with our buggy it was included in our luggage allowance.

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answered 20 Mar '10, 00:39

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K D
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Actually, I'd take my $70 and buy a new umbrella stroller that isn't too short, would count as carry-on and that covered all the things on Emi's list before I left!

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answered 21 Mar '10, 04:08

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Neen
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We recently went on a trip and debated bringing our massive Peg Perego Uno stroller or renting a small umbrella stroller. Ultimately, we decided to bring the big one. It has all the features we like - it reclines fully, there is lots of storage, a place for my coffee, etc.

But I felt that the most important factor was that my son is used to his big stroller and naps in it almost every day when I take him for a walk. When you are travelling, all your surroundings change. I thought it would be nice for our baby to have one place where he could go that was familiar and would easily nap in.

During the trip, we never regretted having the big stroller. And incidently, like some other people commented, we also gate-checked the stroller and did not have to pay any fee.

Hope you have a great trip!

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answered 24 Mar '10, 03:34

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cat_g
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+1 for keeping familiarity

(24 Mar '10, 08:12) Lin

When our daughter was just over a year, we went on a trip to Rome (from Canada) and took our full-size Graco Coach Rider stroller with us. It turned out to be a great decision.

Cons:

  • it's big, so it was sometimes tough lugging it up/down stairs, on and off trains, or around Venice (we took a side trip there from Rome)
  • it got a bit dirty and beat up when we left it at the door of an airplane to be checked in there

Pros:

  • she could sleep in it, completely protected by the bonnet and boot (that's not shown in the picture.
  • on a couple occasions, we loaded it up with probably 50 lbs of bags and stuff, basically using it like a luggage cart
  • one day it was pouring rain, but she was fine, completely covered up in the stroller
  • the seating/sleeping area is big, so there was always room for a blanket, some toys, whatever she wanted
  • we could carry lots of stuff with us when we went out, food and clothes/coats for us and our daughter

More recently, we bought a Wike stroller/bike trailer and took it to Disneyland. We drove on that trip, so getting it on and off a plane wasn't an issue. As with the Coach Rider, the Wike was big enough for her to sleep in when necessary, fully covered, so nice and warm. It also had lots of room to carry stuff, which was nice when walking around at Disneyland all day. The downsides were that it took longer to get through their bag-check lines, and we sometimes had to wait for a less-full tram when shuttling from parking to the park.

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answered 15 Apr '10, 18:30

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Ward
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edited 16 Apr '10, 21:36

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Asked: 19 Mar '10, 18:32

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Last updated: 16 Apr '10, 21:36