Saturday, April 23, 2016

Flying with Baby and a Stroller

When you're traveling with a baby or young child, bringing a stroller can seem like a great idea. It can help out a lot: your child doesn't have to walk, which means you can get from gate A to gate B faster, and they might even fall asleep in the stroller, giving you a bit of a break and them some rest.

However, bringing a stroller on the plane does have some drawbacks. If you have to check your stroller with the luggage, it might get damaged (this is actually quite likely to happen), and you will have to wait for it to come out of the plane at your destination. Sometimes the airline will allow you to check a stroller at the gate, and will also bring it out for you at the gate when you arrive. Even with that help, it still means you have to wait around before heading off to your next flight or the luggage carousel.

When my kids were younger, my husband and I usually brought either a baby-carrier like the Snugli or Baby Bjorn when they were infants, or a back carrier when they were slightly bigger. These were allowed inside the cabin and when we needed to check the back carrier, it was a lot sturdier and less likely to be damaged than a large stroller.

We did bring a stroller along on one of our long-haul flights. It was a collapsible umbrella stroller, and on some airlines we were allowed to bring it in the cabin and stow it in the overhead bin. On another airline, we had to check it at the gate. We decided it was not worth the trouble after that trip. Too much work and not enough use out of it.

Ultimately of course, deciding whether to bring a stroller or not comes down to both what your needs are and what you preference is:

Tips for Traveling with a Stroller:

  • If you need the stroller to transport your infant or child quickly and comfortably at the airport, do consider the baby carrier option: it leaves your hands free and is a lot easier to handle on board and at the airport.
  • If you're bringing the stroller mainly to use at your destination, then consider other options such as renting a stroller when you arrive, or borrowing a stroller from friends and family. It saves you the hassle of dealing with a stroller before and after the flight and at the airport, and you won't risk the stroller getting damaged after it's checked in.
  • If you want to bring a stroller, bring the smallest kind of stroller you can get away with. Dealing with a collapsible umbrella stroller is definitely easier than a larger kind of stroller.

The policies and regulations for bringing a stroller on board vary from airline to airline.

Maria Haskins, is a freelance writer and translator, as well as a mother of two. She was born and grew up in Sweden, but moved to Canada in 1991. Currently, she lives outside Vancouver on the Pacific coast, and right now her home includes two kids, one husband, and one big dog. Check out her blog at

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