I have posted on this blog about some of our vacation trips and I want to write here today about one of the must have items if you plan to travel with young children. Whether you are going by air or car, you will be somewhat restricted with the volume of stuff you can bring. One area where you can save a huge amount of space is by getting a compact stroller.
Even during our trip to Florida in a Mini Van we ended up being short of space. We have 4 kids so that means a lot of bags and suitcases full of clothes. We were absolutely delighted that we had planned far enough ahead and had bought an umbrella style stroller that folds down into a very small package. This allows you to squeeze it into even a small trunk or an overloaded minivan.
When it comes to choosing an umbrella stroller, you really are spoiled for choice. There are cheap ones and expensive ones, and as with everything, there are good ones and bad ones. You need to do some homework, but I would generally say that you should not overspend on this if you plan to mainly use it for vacations. The BabyWheels site I link to has some really good advice.
Especially if you tend to fly places you can pretty much count on the fact that at some stage your stroller will be mishandled and something will break. When you have spent less than $70 you will not be too upset about it, and you will avoid long battles with the airline to get it repaired or replaced.
The advantages of umbrella strollers also come into play when you are at a vacation destination and you want to get in and out of restaurants or theme parks. When space is tight you simply fold it down and it is not a problem to carry or store it somewhere convenient.
When it came to us choosing a stroller, my husband took over. He grew up on a farm in Iowa and one of his life dreams came true when he started working for John Deere after completing his mechanical engineering degree. Heavy machinery and tractors were always John Deere on his home farm, and I think that his family’s motto has become “Nothing runs like a Deere”.
You will not believe the excitement of my husband when he found out that there was a John Deere umbrella stroller. Believe it or not, it actually looks quite nice, it has the company logo, and it functions really well. So, our final decision was made and we bought when we had our fourth child and it has really done a great job.
To this day we have not regretted it and in our family it has simply become known as the tractor or the Deere. If you have had some good or bad experiences with strollers why not share them here in the comments for others to read. I always like hearing from my readers.