Which is the best pram for travelling? It’s a great question, but before we answer it, consider this: should you take a pram at all?
The answer to that is below – but also, if you’re just interested in reviews – fast forward to the end of the post for our top two prams for travelling, or read Sue’s recent Mountain Buggy Nano review.
Consider these three questions before deciding on the best pram for travelling (or no pram):
- Where does your baby sleep during the day? (If they will only ever sleep in a cot, maybe a lightweight stroller or a carrier like an Ergo is better).
- When out for a long period of time, do you usually put your baby in a pram or a carrier? (If the idea of carrying bub in a carrier for a few hours in a row makes you shudder, you really will want to take a pram with you.)
- What kind of holiday are you planning? Will you be unlikely to leave the resort very often, as your main plan is chilling by the pool? In this case, maybe you don’t need a pram, especially if you’re in a country where the footpaths are bumpy or non existent. Or will you be out for full days, and needing to lug a lot of gear, as well as have a ‘rest/sleep’ option for your baby?
Take the pram if you use it for day sleeps, but otherwise consider leaving it at home. Sue, HIGHLY valued her pram for her baby’s afternoon sleep when he was between 9 and 12 months, and couldn’t have imagined travelling without it (she took her large – by European standards – Baby Jogger City Mini – pictured).
It was a total pain at times (it’s bulky), but was awesome for lugging stuff when out all day and she knew her baby slept longer in a pram than a baby carrier. If she’d had her time again, she’d have bought a purpose-built travel pram like the ones we suggest below as the best prams for travelling. (FYI: by the time her son was 16mths, she thought, “hmmm, maybe I won’t be taking a pram much longer, there will be better solutions.)
Should you keep your pram with you at airports?
Sometimes you’ll find you’d like to keep your pram with your at the airport, so you have it during transits and when you get off the plan. It’s possible, but unless it’s one of the travel strollers which airlines allow onboard (or you have an airline with englightened policies on prams), this can get complicated, particularly as airline policies vary.
Sue’s solution: at airports she keeps her pram with her if there are long transfers where she’d like her son to sleep reclined. But remember: only some airlines will let you take a full sized pram right up to the gate and check it in there. Etihad is one. Virgin Australia is another. (They WILL all take a small, light umbrella stroller to the gate, like the YoYo Zen, which we recommend below).
One problem to look out for: Check that keeping your pram doesn’t cause a hassle with checking the rest of the baby’s luggage straight through -ie: travel cots etc that you want to check in at departure and not have to see until arrivals. What do we mean? Well sometimes the check in counter staff will say, “If you want to check your pram at the gate, you’ll have to collect all your luggage again when you transfer. (Crazy AND annoying.)
Another solution? If you’re simply worried about lugging your baby around the airport, many airports have little umbrella strollers available to loan you can wheel right up to the gate (those aren’t necessarily the solution for day sleeps as they don’t recline, they are good if you just don’t want to lug a heavy kid – we suspect more useful at the toddler stage). Don’t forget – a baby carrier like an Ergo is REALLY helpful at an airport. Our packing post is too!
Will you use your pram while you’re away?
Public transports and a pram can be a hassle. Cities like Paris (with steps galore) are a pain, while London is still a hassle but slightly less of a pain. However, in either city people WILL help you carry pram down stairs; you just have to ask. If you’re alone with a baby you’ll find that at least 50% of the time people will help you without being asked. (Put the baby in a carrier while that’s all happening though!)
If you’re in a developing country where there are potholed roads or no obvious smooth pedestrian footpaths, you may prefer a baby carrier to a pram. (The downside – these get hot, so you’ll both end up fairly sweaty if you’re already in a hot climate.)
Which are the best prams for travelling?
Through all of our research, the following two prams come up trumps. They’ll fold up small, and airlines will often let them on as hand luggage or, at the worst, be checked in at the gate.
Mountain buggy nano:
Pluses? Folds up small.
Minuses? Reclines partially, not fully.
Baby Zen Yo Yo:
Pluses? Mostly allowed onto the plane as carry on.
Minuses? Only takes a baby up to 15kg.