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Everything You Need To Know About - Travel Buggies

Holidaying with kids can be so expensive and a travel buggy is just another ‘add-on’ that parents have to weigh up as a ‘necessary or not’ item. After all if you have a buggy already, why would you buy another one that you’ll probably only use for that short break?

At The Stork Exchange, we work with some of the airlines and can now reasonably spot buggies suitable for travel, and others that aren’t. We’ve trialled many brands too and would definitely have favourites.  We’re also big on learning from our customers, and have found a lot of our parents end up hiring a travel buggy because their own is too big and bulky to bring abroad, or because their little one has grown out of using them on an everyday basis, but when on holidays that walk to the beach or around the town is too much for little legs. 

Without further ado, here’s a simple guide to travel buggies; when your own buggy may not be suitable, what features to look for and our favourite brands!

When NOT to bring your own buggy

If it collapses in two pieces: Some airlines specify that you can only bring a buggy to the gate if it collapses in one piece; otherwise you are supposed to check it in. We’ve never seen it policed at Dublin Airport, but worth being aware of nevertheless. You will also be asked to put the pram through the scanner machine at security, meaning you’ll need to collapse it and put it up on the security belt, while holding on to your child! Finally, you don’t want ground handling crew under time pressure trying to work out how to collapse the pram; nor two pieces in the aircraft hold, more likely to get damaged or separated and cause issues at the other end.

If it’s a big or heavy buggy: See above! If in doubt, think in terms of getting on and off shuttle buses. Car boot space is also a factor to consider, as you will have to get the bags in too. Even for using around resorts, a buggy that is light and quick to collapse is far easier to manage.

If it’s expensive/new/loved: Unfortunately there is a risk of damage in transit, whether from baggage belts, heavy weights loaded on top, or mishandling. Most airlines will cover a damage claim if something is broken or torn and not fit for purpose; but scratches and scuffs don’t count, and it can leave you in a bit of pickle in the meantime while you sort for a replacement.

Features to look for in a travel buggy:

  • A full-recline for naps.
  • Lightweight, narrow, and easy to manoeuvre.
  • Easy, single-collapse mechanism.
  • An extendable hood / or parasol/ or sunshade and mosquito cover with UV protection.
  • A carry bag or strap can be very handy!

Umbrella strollers or Premium travel buggy?

Lightweight ‘umbrella strollers’ are a handy and affordable solution. They’re easy to fold, and most can fully recline (but as some don’t, do check first). They certainly do the job of getting from A to B. Bear in mind however, they generally don’t have the same features as a high-end buggy, and in my experience the frame feels less ‘sturdy’, especially with bigger children, which makes it more difficult to steer.

MacLarens make the best umbrella strollers: They are more expensive, but well worth the investment in my opinion. All of the key features built on a strong frame, means you’re almost guaranteed to use well-past the holidays, and through several children.

Premium travel buggies are a dream, but usually come with a high-end price tag. They’re purpose designed for travel and urban living, and usually include most, if not all the above features. We’ve tried and tested many buggies over the last few years but our favourite buggy is the BabyJogger Citi Mini, which isn’t specifically a travel buggy but a great all-rounder, followed by the YoYo Zen as a premium travel pram.

The BabyJogger is my favourite because of ease of use: It’s one hand fold/open and lightweight, fully reclinable, UV protected, and has an extendable hood. All that’s missing is a carry handle, and the travel bag is an add-on purchase item (although at the Stork Exchange, we offer all our buggies with free bags for travel abroad).

The Yoyo Zen is the ultimate premium travel buggy, and was designed purely with travel and urban living in mind. Very lightweight and easy-to-manoeuvre, it collapses down to the size of a cabin bag and is narrow enough to fit down the aisle of an aircraft. But beware: Not all airlines will let you bring it into the cabin. The Yoyo has a padded carry-strap, which honestly feels like carrying a bag around. It also has add-on accessories like a travel bag, mosquito nets and parasols: They’ve certainly ticked all the boxes for warm holidays! Points off because it is not as easy to fold when you’re used to the Jogger. Plus it’s an expensive buggy to buy, so unless you’re frequent travellers it’s probably easier to hire.

Ultimately it’s up to you whether you choose to use a travel buggy, or take your own on holiday, though if you want to bring your buggy, then we do recommend using a travel bag to protect it.

Want to find out more about the best buggies for travel, or to hire one for your next holiday? Get in touch with our travel experts at The Stork Exchange.


About the Author

I’m Olivia Mai, founder of The Stork Exchange and Mum to two small children. The Stork Exchange is a children's equipment rental service that was born from a dearth of options for parents traveling with infants and small children. It's not easy to travel with kids, much less lug everything with you and speaking from personal experience we found the car seats and cots etc that are provided by many car rental companies or hotels etc are not great quality... so we set up The Stork Exchange!   We offer everything from isofix car seats, holiday 'buggy-in-a-bag', travel cots and highchairs, all quality brands, sanitized and safety-checked before every single hire. Our staff are trained and insured and will install the car seat into your car for you.

We work closely with a number of airlines and car rental companies and have spent several years developing and investing in our product range. I am constantly asked questions by parents about travelling with kids; what equipment to bring, what not to bring, what’s allowed by airlines, what’s not. Being at the airport day in day out means I am pretty close to it all and as a result have built up loads of knowledge, tips and nuggets of practical and useful information I'm happy to share. We also learn from the experiences of other Mums and Dads. It’s genuinely great to be able to help make the journey and holiday a bit easier for parents. 

Want to get in touch? Email us at info@thestorkexchange.ie. Check out our website and social channels at the icons above.

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