Travelling is stressful but traveling on a plane with a baby or toddler in tow is a challenge best described as manic juggling.
Even if you manage to practically pack everything your little one will need from departure to arrival, you’ll have to deal with getting baby, the stroller, and your bags through security and onto the plane.
Investing in the best compact stroller can make everything a little more manageable. In recent years, there has been an influx of lightweight pushchairs better designed to suit modern lifestyles compared to the large, unwieldy prams of old.
Bringing a stroller with you on trips can seem daunting. How do you get it from point A to point B when you’re flying? Will it count toward your carry-on and baggage allotment? And what if you need to use your stroller in the airport?
You can pick how you want to travel with your stroller, depending on your needs. Here are the options:
Check the stroller with your baggage: Some parents unload the stroller during check-in and switch to using a baby carrier/sling through the airport instead. Pair a front carrier with a backpack-style nappy bag so your hands will be free to deal with other things. It could be worth investing in a travel bag to protect your pushchair against dirt and scratches as it is likely to be thrown around in the hold.
Note: If you have a large stroller, you may be required to check it as baggage anyway. Usually, this doesn’t count toward your baggage allotment.
Check the stroller at the gate: Want to use the stroller until you board the plane? You can check the stroller at the gate when it will be taken to store in the hold for the journey. It just needs to be tagged and then pick it up outside the aircraft door when you arrive.
Note: If you have a connecting flight to catch, waiting for your stroller to be placed on the jet bridge can take up precious time.
Take the stroller on the airplane as hand luggage: Many pushchairs are now specially designed fold up so small that they to fit into overhead plane lockers and can be carried onto the plane as a piece of hand luggage.
Storing the pushchair in the overhead locker means you will have instant access to it as soon as you land and eliminates the hassle of waiting for it on the jet bridge or at baggage claim (or losing it).
Upon landing it’s a simple case of putting up the pushchair, popping baby in and wheeling it off the plane. They are also lightweight so are great for navigating through the airport and lifting into the overhead lockers.
However, as with larger items of hand luggage, there’s not necessarily a guarantee that the pushchair will be able to go onto the plane so always be prepared for it to be taken off you at the last minute!
At My Buggy My Car we have selected our Top 5 Buggies that are worth considering if you’re looking for a lightweight, compact stroller suitable for flying.
1. Babyzen, YOYO² Stroller
The YOYO² stroller folds and unfolds in a moment, can be worn over the shoulder and tucks in anywhere.
It has a fast, one-handed fold and because of its super-compact size, it easily fits into an airplane’s overhead compartment. The Babyzen Yoyo folds into a record-breaking package of only 52 x 44 x 18 cm. Half the volume of a standard umbrella-stroller, it can fit almost anywhere. And not only is this buggy compact, it’s light, weighing only 6.5kg.
It also performs well out of its carrying case, too, steering through crowds and catching a lot of looks. Parents also appreciate that the seat cover is removable and machine washable because crumbs and spills happen.
If that wasn’t enough, the Babyzen Yoyo is suitable from birth with the newborn cocoon, travel system compatible and can be used with a buggy board too, so you can use it with two kids.
2. Mima, Zigi Travel Stroller
From the luxury modern brand Mima comes the Zigi, a lightweight (8.4kg) with a super compact fold (56 x 45 x 25 cm) so it is accepted as cabin luggage with most airlines. It is suitable from birth (with the carrycot) to 17kg, or around 4 years.
It is available in understated colours, a khaki green, charcoal/black and a navy blue. The Zigi is “for refined globetrotters”, says the brand, it is firmly at the high end of the compact stroller market.
The Mima Zigi boasts one of the simplest folds on the market. You hook your finger through a loop, pull once and it collapses into a small manageable folded position. The extended canopy that completely protects baby from the sun, it also has a peephole to keep an eye on your little one when walking.
Perfect for travelling but, it’s worth noting that the seat is only world-facing and there are only two recline positions.
3. GB, Pockit Lightweight Stroller
With its exceptional design innovation, the lightweight (4.3kg) GB Pockit when folded is one of the smallest and most compact strollers currently available on the market (30 x 18 x 35cm), suitable from 6 months to 4 years.
In only two steps, this stroller folds into a compact, light handbag-shaped package great for when you are on the move, and practical and easy to stow away when you’re not. It even fits into any plane or train overhead compartment! With the ability to switch from pushing to carrying in seconds, the Pockit is the perfect travel stroller.
The canopy and storage basket are smaller on this minimal stroller. Also, there’s no carrying strap or case, but you could load it into an oversized backpack.
4. Baby Jogger, City Tour 2
The Baby Jogger City Tour 2 Compact Fold Stroller is the freshest achievement of the Baby Jogger pram and pushchair family. Suitable from birth up to months to 22kg the City Tour 2 is a perfectly designed for city travels, weekend excursions and family vacations.
The stylish City Tour 2 features a comfortable handlebar with an improved one-hand folding system activator. Once folded, it fits easily into the included backpack-style carry bag making it effortless to transport, as it weighs only 6.5kg!
Light and durable chassis with rubber composite tires, including lockable 13cm front swivel wheels make the City Tour 2 easy to manoeuvre in tight corners. The suspension ensures a smooth and untroubled ride through the city streets. The deep multi-position reclining seat unit with integrated calf support allows your child to stretch out their legs for their daily nap.
An SPF 50+ expandable protective sun canopy and padded 5-point seat harness provide excellent comfort and safety. There is also a mesh peek-a-boo window on the top, which adds extra ventilation on warmer days and allows you to keep an eye on your little one.
5. Mountain Buggy, Nano Stroller
The Mountain Buggy Nano pushchair is a lightweight, ultra-compact urban buggy. It is multi-functional and can be used from birth with a flexible case or with the Mountain Buggy adaptable carry-cot (optional).
The main seat can hold up to 20kg. The Nano weighs 5.9kg and includes a large hood with an extensive sun visor and wind breaker behind the seat.
Practical, a single carrying handle lets you carry the Nano on your shoulder and for greater compactness the front and rear wheels can be removed with a simple push of the button.
It’s also lightweight and compact enough to easily fit into many carry-on luggage units on planes without removing the wheels. Nano folded dimensions 54cm x 31cm x 51cm, with a handle and strap for portability. The narrow width and front-wheel swivel makes it good for using on city streets or other tight spaces.
Please check your baggage allowance and restrictions with your airline before travelling. A comprehensive list from Skyscanner.net is available here: https://www.skyscanner.net/news/cabin-luggage-guide-hand-baggage-sizes-and-weight-restrictions
You can find the latest prices for buggies across the entire market using a price comparison tool at https://www.mybuggymycar.com/buggy