If you are one of the lucky Bunchers who will be traveling by air this holiday season, which begins next week by the way, you may be struggling with what kind of stroller to bring. We have received multiple versions of this question in the last week.
Q: I need some advice for traveling with my Bunch. We are heading cross country in a month and are staying for 2 weeks. My boys will be 1 year old, and just over 2. We are flying from VA and connect in Chicago. My double is a Baby Jogger Classic, and it's just way to huge and heavy to fly with. The last time we did this we brought the single Zooper and I wore the little one, but that was when he was 4 months old, he's to heavy for all day baby wearing now. I'm considering getting another travel stroller before we leave. Any suggestions? Should I get another double, or maybe just an umbrella single, since I'll be traveling with my husband?
A: Most importantly, you need some way to secure and transport all member of your Bunch. In these days of tight luggage restrictions, you may be tempted to forgo a stroller if your kids are big enough to walk. Do not delude yourself into thinking that your two year old, who behaves like an angel at the mall, is going to happily hold your hand and walk through five airport terminals to get to the gate. Even the most well-behaved toddler will either bolt or refuse to walk in this situation. Your mode of transportation will depend on the ages of your kids. When the baby was very tiny, we found it most convenient to throw him in a Baby Bjorn and put the big baby in the stroller. When they got a little older, the double stroller became handy.
However, a double stroller is not necessary, and may not even be preferrable for airport travel. If your youngest is younger than 1, you might try some kind of backpacky like thing (a Kelty or even the Ergo). But we support two umbrella strollers if in doubt. Why? They are cheap, light and can pass through most doorways and into bathroom stalls without too much issue.
So yes, our recommendation on this one is to take your single and get another single umbrella or just suck it up and get two umbrellas to save yourself the headache of ruining your current single. With more and more people gate checking last minute large bags, the baggage guys probably have less patience for any precious strollers that come their way. They will be flung on like the rest of the luggage. Since you're staying for 2 weeks you will probably need a way to transport babes once you're there so if someone else will be with you at all times, go for the two singles. If not, you may need to reconsider a double on the other end.
However, if you're looking for an "excuse" for a new stroller (like we need one of those) this new one from Maxi Cosi might be a fun option and one that you can use after the airport nonsense. Or if you are insisting on a double, a Sit n' Stand might provide you with some options along the way. Linda personally bought a double Jeep twin lightweight stroller for an international trip five years ago. The thing was light and easy to collapse, but the first trip across the Atlantic resulted in a casualty that meant the thing never folded right again.