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Stroller, Backpack Carrier or Both?

Husband & I along with our 14 month old daughter will be spending 6 days in Prague & 4 days in London in mid-October. We're debating whether we should take a stroller, a backpack carrier or both. We'll be walking a lot, taking some public transportation and seeing many sights. Do any of you have a recommendation based on your experiences?

Posted by
11805 posts

We've always been happy with an umbrella stroller. It's light, folds up small and you can sling a daypack over the handles. When you get to stairs, one person takes the foot strap, the other takes the handles.

The other really good option is to leave baby with her grandparents, giving mom and dad some needed time together. The trip will throw off sleeping and eating schedules for an expensive trip your daughter won't enjoy or remember.

Posted by
28 posts

Thanks, Brad for the stroller advice. I would guess that the appeal of traveling with small children is more of a matter of personal preference. We really enjoy traveling as a family and while we know that she won't remember the trip, that is not to say that she won't enjoy it or be affected by it, but I completely understand that the idea of taking a 14 month to Europe for 10 days might not be appealing to all. I am actually excited about planning an itinerary that moves at a slower pace and includes naptime (just as good for mom & dad), lots of parks and the Prague & London zoos!

Posted by
216 posts

Having been to both places, I would say GO FOR IT and take both.

I have friends who liked the Kelty backpacks and used them for hiking on the mountains around Vancouver. I've heard good things about the Ergo carrier: it's soft with padded straps and a hip belt. Also good for men and women. It can be used in front or the back -- not sure about weights, etc.

I am taking my 6 month old to Europe for 6 weeks and she may not remember it on her own but she will see the photos from the time she is able to register them and will always know that she went. Also, she will grow up with the stories. My mum took me to Asia when I was 18 months old and reminded me frequently that I spent the 12 hour flight running up and down the aisles. Mother guilt is a wonderful thang!

It's kinda cool to be a well-travelled toddler.

Posted by
251 posts

When my son was 7 months we took the Kelty backpack and to rural France and Paris. We rarely used it except for the rare hike. We found it very awkward to use it in the city.

Just recently back from Paris one thing I noticed is how big Europeans strollers have become, and they take them everywhere! We opted for the bus most of the time and was suprised to see often up to 3 big S.U.V. stollers on there (not folded up). We even saw them going up and around the E. Tower, in churches, and they get front of the line privalges at the museums.

I don't know much about Prague but I can't imagine that London is so different. (Remember real mothers live in both places too).

the stroller has the added benefit of being able to carry your stuff, having a sanitary place to change the child, and being able to keep them better protected from wind and cold, or sun.

Posted by
29 posts

I don't have any kids yet so take this with a grain of salt. I like to watch the locals and when I was in the UK this last time I noticed that nearly all the parents with babies were pushing good quality umbrella strollers. They relied on public transport, lots of walking, and were clearly away from home for long stretches of time; just like you will be. If you already have a Maclaren, I would take it. If not, buy something that is light, w/good wheels, reclines, has a comfortable seat and tall enough handles for you - you'll be pushing this thing for HOURS at a time. I would think the advantage over a carrier is that a stroller can do double duty as a luggage cart/shopping cart/car seat cart.

Posted by
3313 posts

We took our daughter when she was five months old with only a Baby Bjornn. We thought we could find a cheap umbrella stroller once there but never could. Only expensive McClaren-type strollers. So take yours, especially since your kid is bigger than ours was.

I absolutely agree about traveling as a family. Sure, it's not practical, but our daughter, now 5, is such a good traveler - used to airports, long car rides, and all manners of quirky hotel rooms - because she's always traveled with us.