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The Best Strollers For Travelling Abroad?

Author: Lolly Gautier-Ollerenshaw

Ste, Hector and I go on our very first holiday abroad as a family next month and I’m experiencing equal mixtures of excitement and anxiety. Excitement obviously because we haven’t ventured abroad since our honeymoon FOUR years ago and then anxiety because of fear of the unknown. How will Hector cope with the flight, with the fact he’ll be in our room for ten days (!), with the heat and don’t even get me started on the mountain of stuff we’ll need to cart with us.

We’re intending to spend a few days chilling by the pool (both boys adore swimming) but equally we’re hoping to make it out of the confines of the villa and take a few day trips (this mama has got to get her culture fix!). We’ve long since ditched his pushchair (pretty much from the moment he was comfortably walking) as he much prefers to walk so when my mum suggested that I really ought to be looking at taking a stroller with us I went into a bit of a panic.

Did we really need one? Would he even use it? And would it be a utter waste of money given that once we return home we probably won’t even take it out of the downstairs cupboard.

Despite my protestations, there was rationale in my mum’s argument (isn’t there always). When Hector inevitably gets tired of walking, either Ste or I carry him for a bit until he catches his breath. But….as it stands I’m beginning to find him a touch too heavy to carry for any real period of time leaving Ste to literally shoulder the burden. Add the heat into the equation and you’ve got one big hot sticky mess.

Popping him into a stroller would at least alleviate some of of this discomfort and may even double up as a handy place for him to rest his eyes should he so wish (never going to happen in a million years!). So I began to look…

I confess that I was a bit shocked when I began my search; in fact I still am. Unless I’ve been looking in all the wrong places I’ve found that strollers fall into one of two camps. Those that are high quality and practical but eyewateringly expensive and those that look like they wouldn’t be able to handle anything more than a plastic doll sitting in them.

I’m really not looking to spend anything more than say £75 but I want a stroller that’s a decent quality and that’s not going to fall apart after its first use. I’m not so bothered about any kind of storage or basket but it does need to be comfortable and ideally have a shade to protect small eyes from the glare of the sun. Can I find what I’m looking for? Can I heck.

I know that Charlotte speaks highly of her Babyzen YoYo which she talks about in more detail in her holiday essentials post. Classed as hand luggage and weighing about 5KG in weight, the stroller can be carried using a strap that fits over your shoulder. Whilst I love the look and feel of the product, from a cost per ‘wear’ perspective, it just wouldn’t be worth the money for us. We’ve come to the stroller a little too late in the day.

Some other friends have the Maclaren XLR which looks super comfy and has a 4-position reclining seat and an extendable UPF 50+ sun canopy. All ideal except for the £280 price tag. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s worth the cost just that it isn’t worth it for us given that it’s likely to have approximately ten days of use.

Perhaps the closest I’ve come to ticking all my stroller boxes is through Silver Cross’ Pop and Zest offerings. Funny really given that Hector’s first pram was the Silver Cross ‘wayfarer’ but which he has now outgrown (you can read more about it here).

I’ve always been really impressed with the quality of the brand and Hector’s pram still looks as good as new now so I have no worries on that front. Both look sturdy and come with the factor 50 sunvisor as desired. The Zest in particular is incredibly lightweight whereas the Pop possesses the widest seat on the market – perfect for growing boys. However they are both still out of our preferred budget.

I’ve considered looking on eBay for a secondhand stroller but a couple of previous bad experiences with the site and dodgy sellers have put me off the idea. Nor do I have any friends with strollers that I can borrow for the holiday that they aren’t using themselves. So I guess this is where I ask you for your thoughts and advice…

Do you have any stroller recommendations based on personal experience? Any secret bargain shops you know of that I really need to check out? Should I just bite the bullet and accept that I’m not going to get the stroller of my dreams unless I fork out the cash for it? I’d love to hear what you have to say…

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Author: Lolly
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52 thoughts on “The Best Strollers For Travelling Abroad?

  1. This post couldn’t be better timed! I am looking too – for hols only but with a younger baby a recline is a must and a decent sunshade. We are going to go secondhand as we have a pram for everyday just want a cheapy but good for hols. I’ve been looking for a MacLaren globetrotter or silver cross pop second hand.

  2. We could our travel stroller from Aldi. It was a £30 Hauck one and has served us well on a month long holiday to Mauritius when Miles was 9 months old, and a recent trip to the South or France !

  3. We got our travel stroller from Aldi. It was a £30 Hauck one and has served us well on a month long holiday to Mauritius when Miles was 9 months old, and a recent trip to the South of France !

  4. We have a mamas and papas tour 2 which we take on hols, I think it was about £90, which is only slightly over your budget, grandma uses it when she is doing the childcare. We’ve had it over a year, it’s still in good condition, It does the job and has quite a good shade but you would need an additional shade I think. I would definitely suggest taking one, it was great for walking back after a meal out and one of us took him for walks along the promenade for his nap each day. A lot of the cheaper buggies aren’t as flimsy as they look – it’s worth them checking out in person. You could always sell it when you return if you don’t want to keep it. Or check out gumtree if you’re not keen on eBay x

  5. My friend recommended the ‘Petit Star Zia’ to use on holiday. I found one on GumTree for £20! It’s light, folds easily, massive storage underneath,
    And (the important bit for me) it reclines completely so baby can nap in it comfortably.
    I would recommend getting second hand as the airlines chuck them around like confetti at a wedding.
    Enjoy your hols!!

  6. Chicco London. £60ish, reclines fully, and has survived a month of wet daily walks in Ireland, plus Tuscan cobbles and unpaved roads.

  7. Also think it’s well worth buying a separate umbrella type sunshade you can clip to pushchair but also use with floats, highchairs etc

  8. Have a look at the Zeta Voom on Amazon. It’s about £50 and has a really big hood to provide lots of sun shade. We’re taking it on holiday next month but have already been using it occasionally and sending it to the grandparents. I’m really impressed with how sturdy it is and the way it handles. Obviously it’s not the same quality as my Stokke but for the price I’m really happy

  9. We have the silver cross pop and it’s great – winning features being the fully reclining seat, massive sun shade and the fact it holds kiddies up to 25kg (rather than most only up to 15kg)… Not that I think we’ll need it when our little man is that big, but just in case!
    Picked it up on sale for £110 in Mothercare – so a little over budget but we decided it was worth it for a good brand and one that ticked all the boxes.
    Have a fabulous first abroad family holiday!

    1. Thanks Jules; I’m hoping the sun will be shining when we go!
      I’ve heard lots of good things about the Pop and the fact it holds up to 25kg is definitely swaying me…

  10. The zest is good, my mum bought one for when she has the kids and it’s handy to know there is a buggy at her house. W took it on hols last year like you our boy rarely went in the buggy by then but we definitely needed it on holiday. It reclines to lay flat so he can have a relatively comfy sleep in it.

    1. Good to hear from an actual owner of the Zest, Kathryn – the fully reclining feature is a draw and it’s the cheapest of the ones I’ve mentioned in the post too…

  11. Perfectly timed for me too as I’m also looking to buy a lightweight stroller as we are off on holiday in 3 weeks with our 8 month old. We are either insane or brave as off to Perth in Oz (at the time it was a great idea, now I’m not so sure!) so as an aside if anyone has tips on long haul travelling and managing the 8 hour time difference I’d love to hear them!

    1. Hi Hannah, we flew to Perth when our little girl was 9 months old. We requested a bassinet for her and she just fitted in it! Having the bassinet meant we got extra legroom seats so when she wasn’t asleep she sat happily and played on the floor. I don’t think there is an easy way of dealing with the time difference, it does confuse them and it takes a few days to settle in to some kind of routine again but just be patient and you’ll be fine. Perth is amazing for kids-you’ll have a great time, make sure you visit King’s Park, the aquarium at Hilary’s Boat Harbour and of course the beaches. Even in winter I’m sure it’ll be warmer than here! x

      1. Thank you Jenny! It’s reassuring to hear from people who have done it with a little one of about the same age and survived!! X

    2. My 9 month old coped with the UK to NZ time difference pretty well (12 hours!). She woke up really early a couple of days and so needed to go to sleep in the evenings pretty early say around 4pm but we managed to stretch this out pretty quickly. One top tip for the plane is to ask for one of your meals to come out first so that you are eating one at a time. Balancing a baby and trying to eat a plane meal off a tiny tray is not easy!

      1. Thank you Megan. Good tip about the meals and good to hear your little one coped well. Fingers crossed ours does too! X

  12. We have a travel buggy called a Zeta Vooom which we got off Amazon. Highly recommend it – it’s lightweight, got suitable shade (the canopy comes down much lower than most other travel buggies) and cheap – less than £50. It comes in lots of different colours too. We’ve bashed ours about loads and its survived several flights – skill in good working order. It’s definitely not anywhere near as good quality as our every day stroller but for a couple of weeks away it’s ideal (and the large hood/canopy is what really sold it to me as it really keeps little ones out of the sun)

  13. We also have the Silver Cross Pop – we use it for holidays abroad and also UK trips when we have too much other stuff in the boot to take the bigger travel system. I like it for all the same reasons as Jules mentions above. We’ve also recently started using it four days a week for the 25 minute walk to nursery when the second-hand Armadillo we bought cheaply on Ebay broke; I wasn’t sure it would stand up to clocking up all those miles every week but it’s been absolutely fine. We got ours on sale for £110 too, I think. My son is almost the same age as Hector and loves to walk but tends to run off without any regard for where we are so we still need the buggy sometimes to keep him contained!

    1. We’re very lucky Tanne in that Hector loves to hold hands. He doesn’t seem to have grasped that he can run off but instead grabs our hands and then runs with us! Sounds like I might have to check out the Pop then as so many people really rate it!

  14. We have a cosatto umbrella fold in a fox print (can’t remember the name but it’s completely awesome!). Paid £50 for it from eBay & it was practically new. I didn’t want to spend much as our daughter has an aversion to pushchairs but we’ve actually used it more than I thought.
    An alternative is the Hippychick “hipseat” which is fantastic for carrying kids between 1 & 3 yrs old. We took this on a couple of holidays instead of the buggy & we’re so glad we did. It’s a lot cheaper too! It does make the wearer a bit sweaty round the waist….but that’s the only downside. Might be worth considering….

  15. We’ve got the Armadillo City from Mamas & Papas and I love it, originally bought it for a holiday but use it all the time now instead of our original travel system because it’s so much easier and lighter and folds down small. It’s £149. Looking at the M&P website though they have quite a few umbrella type strollers under £100 so worth looking at those if you think you won’t use it when you get back! Have a lovely holiday! x

      1. We have the city too, it’s fantastic! So easy to navigate the shops, fully reclines with a huge hood for shade. And some gorgeous colours! X

  16. Another vote here for the silver cross pop. The massive hood was a win win for us.
    Long days and nights on our recent holiday meant our no napping toddler had 2-3hr naps in our Pop round the pool most days.
    I bought a travel bag for it off amazon and checked it in. Which meant I also had somewhere to stash a couple of bags of nappies….
    For sight seeing days we found a carrier was much better. Easy to stuff in our day bag and no pushchair to cart about when P wanted to walk.
    I’d recommend getting down to a sling library if you can and try on a few, if you decide to go this route. We use a connecta and they do a thin lightweight version that’s perfect for hot weather called a solar.

    1. Here’s to long naps Lou! I have a tonne of books to get through that I really need to finish before the end of the year. Thanks for the travel bag tips – will definitely be using this idea for extra and free storage!

  17. I just bought a silver cross zest from boots for holidays. It was reduced to £100 ( £99 in John Lewis) but I found a discount code which brought it down to £90, then I got £10 of boots points and used quidco cash back for £2.25( can get more). I was waiting for a joie nitro because they are often £40 in the sale but this seemed more robust. Almost in budget. X

    1. Nicky you sound like my kind of woman! I love a discount code; call me tight but I never buy anything online without googling a discount code first! I might have to check out your tips!

  18. Lolly,
    For the sake of a holiday, just buy something cheap that the airline can fling around and it doesn’t matter what happens to it.
    When Spencer got too big for the original pram we had since his birth we bought two new pushchairs, one a jogger, 3 wheel beast for dog walking and taking off road (we are a bit rural around us) and a cheap as chips, folds to nothing stroller that we used on holiday and if I need something lightweight if we go shopping or for when he gets tired of running around.
    I know Hector is a little older than my little boy (Spencer is 17 months) but I don’t think the weight restriction should be an issue with the £20 Hauck stroller we bought:
    http://www.toysrus.co.uk/babiesrus/hauck-go-s-red-stroller/0129335
    It fits into the boot of my C1 no problem, it’s lightweight and was perfect for our holiday to Tenerife in June, doesn’t get in the way and spent most of the time carrying our day bag while Spencer walked next to it. I didn’t see the point in getting something with a parasol because he worn his hats and was barely in the thing unless we went on a long walk to the beach or the next village, and because there’s nothing to it he didn’t get too hot and sweaty sat in it either. Highly recommended xx

  19. The Joie nitro currently £50 from toys r us – really lightweight and easy to use umbrella stroller. Reclines flat and has a decent sun shade. Think it’s usually £100 but few places have it for £50 at the moment.

  20. Lolly, I totally get where you’re coming from. I have a buggy hater, so spending a lot on a stroller is a definite no for us too. That said, we bought the Mamas & Papas Urbo Bug with vouchers as soon as she was big enough, because I hated our travel system – way too bulky. We needed a second stroller to stay at granny’s house and decided to get a cheaper one that we wouldn’t care about putting on a plane.

    I definitely do recommend taking a buggy on holiday though – the heat sometimes encourages a few extra snoozes (always welcome when there are holiday books to be read!) and it means he can sleep wherever you happen to be at the time. We went for the Chicco Echo, totally fit for purpose and a purse friendly £60 if you look in the right places (normally £100 but always on offer somewhere). We got ours in Tesco, where it was discounted and also in Clubcard Boost, so it was a bargain. There’s one here for £60 at the minute: http://www.discountbabyequip.co.uk/chicco-echo-buggy-stroller-sea-green.ir?src=froogle&gclid=CP69o8PQ2c4CFcQV0wod18ALzg

    The Chicco is great if you want to keep costs as low as possible, but to be honest if I was buying again I’d get the Silver Cross Zest. I didn’t realise there were models with lower sunshades at the time we bought, but if I had I definitely would have got one. They’re way better for sun protection and prevent the ‘sun’s in my eyes’ screaming fits that occur when it’s bright!

    Whatever you do, you’ll have a great time and Hector will love it. 🙂 x

  21. I second the Joie stroller, got it for around £50 in Mothercare sale and used it on holiday with no problems – pretty sturdy and got around cobbled streets fine, it also lies flat which was great for those naps in the sun! Only slight downside is the sunshade isn’t very big, so I just bought a separate one that you can attach from Amazon. My mother in law uses the stroller now once a week and never had any problems with it. We also bought a bag to put it in for the flight, this doesn’t get weighed and you hand it over at the gate, so can fill it with supplies such as nappies/wipes etc which then don’t count in your allowance! 🙂

    1. We got a bag too Kate, I forgot to mention that. It was my husband’s idea and it is genius – you can fill it with all sorts of junk and it doesn’t count in your baggage allowance! Also it protects the stroller a bit – they’re not exactly gentle with them in baggage handling.

      1. Totally agree with the buggy bag idea. We took a travel cot with us and it fitted in a Mothercare buggy bag. We stuffed it with bedding, nappies and towels as it wasn’t weighed, saved our luggage allowance for everything else!

  22. We have an Uppababy G-luxe which is incredibly light, has a shoulder strap and reclines for naps, which is handy. It’s quite long though, so not ideal for small car boots. We fly a lot due to family living in awkward places, so it’s been worth the spend. I also find it quite handy to take in place of the larger pushchair for quick trips out and about or family holidays in the UK.

    Have you considered looking on local facebook groups/ebay/gumtree for something second hand – loads of strollers change hands in our area for really low prices precisely for taking (and potentially abandoning) on holiday.

    1. We have an uppababy gluxe too and so happy with it! Just back from our holiday with a just three year old and a four month old and both used it at different points. Super light and good quality!

      Four month year old slept in it whilst we were out for dinner at night so worth the money just for that!

  23. Hauck one for us too. I got it from tesco using my points so it worked out really cheap.
    We did take one to Disneyland Paris for our three year old even though he was out of the buggy at home. The mixture of a lot of walking and the heat meant we were so glad to have it. He still did a lot of walking but just hopped in and out when he felt like it.

  24. Wow!! All these recommendations are fantastic!!!
    Thank you so much – I’ll start checking them all out now xxx

  25. Totally echo all the comments above. My parents bought the Joie for when they have my daughter & it’s been great value for money. We used it abroad last year with our then 18 month old who usually wanted to walk everywhere but due to the heat was quite happy to be pushed around.

    Worth bearing in mind that you may use it as Hector gets older. Both my daughter and niece were big walkers & hated the pushchair but as they turned 2 and a bit they actually wanted to go in the pushchair as we refused to carry them as they are so heavy!

  26. We have literally just bought a second hand Maclaren Quest for nursery runs and the like. We are really lucky in that we have a local lady who gets the lost and found from Heathrow and Gatwick when they are not claimed, she does them up and sells them on. So we have bought what seems to be a very good Maclaren Quest for £80. Everyone around us uses her so we have no issues with quality etc. If you are coming to London I highly recommend getting in touch with her! Although I appreciate you are not based around here… Otherwise perhaps there is someone similar around you? We have a local Facebook mums group with all sorts of info (and second hand sales etc), very helpful.

    1. Hi, may I know the contact of Lost and Found lady? And the facebook group for moms? I moved to London a month a go and expecting a baby in November, thanks!

  27. I’ve been grappling with this exact dilemma as well, Lolly. Like you guys, we’ve got the Wayfarer which is great and I’m sure we will get a lot more wear out of it as Keanu is still only four months. But we’re going to the Pacific when he’s seven months (in Nov) and we are going to need SOMETHING, mainly to just cart him round the many, many airports we have to fly through!

    I was thinking seriously about the Babyzen mainly because of how light it is. I do think when you’re on the go with bub and luggage in tow, having something that won’t add to your overall weight and is easy to cart around will be a godsend.

    That said, I’m sure it’s poss to find a stroller that’s super light and cheap. My parents used to cart me around in a flimsy little buggy but it never *actually* fell apart – these super expensive “travel systems” are quite a recent marketing invention – kids managed to get transported around before they existed!

    The more I’m thinking about it the more I may actually do the same – it doesn’t make sense to spend £££ unless I’m going to need it after the hol but I can just imagine it gathering dust in the attic…I may plan a trip to Costco, they always have ridiculous priced things that tend to be quite good quality!

    Hmm. Now to convince myself the same logic should apply to a travel cot… ?

  28. I would well recommend the Maclaren ones which lie flat – our son never sleeps much in the day here, but in Spain with the heat, being able to pop him in and lie him flat made him go to sleep for a couple of hours each day so that mummy and daddy could have some ‘drinking wine time’! You should be able to find one on gumtree for next to nothing!

  29. @Lolly – We also have the Silver Cross Wayfarer (in sand 😉 ) and although we took this on our first holiday when our baby was 4 months old, we needed something significantly lighter than that for our holiday earlier this year!

    I’m not a fan of ‘umbrella’ pushchairs so we opted for the Joie Litetrax 4 (also in a sand colour). It’s sooooo light, folds up to half size – we manage to squeeze it into out car seat carrier so it doesn’t get scuffed in the hold – it lies completely flat and has a massive UV extendable hood. The basket is rubbish compared to the Silver Cross but it’s a small sacrifice. I bought mines from Boots and managed to collect double points… which I later spent on make-up.

    We’ll be taking it on our second family holiday in October.

  30. I have the Joie Brisk and it’s so good. Sturdy good sunshade/hood, good wheels super easy to put up and down (one handed) has a little carry handle and a super deep carry basket bit. Folds flat for naps and my son always look so comfortable.

    All my friends have bought it as it’s so good and it’s normally reduced to £70.

  31. Zeta citi stroller, £38.00 on Amazon, awesome reviews, has travelled everywhere with us including abroad, to the beach and around cities. Lightweight, tough and amazing value for a travel stroller.

  32. Lolly I think if I were you I’d ask friends if anyone would let you borrow theirs. Or I’d browse Gumtree so that you can see the item before you pay and take it. So not worth buying new for 10 days! And if Hector doesn’t use it much you won’t get much return on it if you plan to sell it on, dead money i say.

    For anyone interested, we bought the Babyzen YoYo and have flown with it twice. It is worth its weight in gold being able to take it on as hand luggage, I get asked every time in the luggage reclaim how I’ve got my pushchair back when nobody else’s has arrived. When I say it’s hand luggage size, the looks of envy from other mums struggling to hold bags, sleeping babes, whilst dictating to older kids etc. sort of makes me feel guilty! I genuinely recommend it, it’s a lovely stroller and although it’s expensive it’s lasting well considering how much we use it and they fetch good money second hand too, so I’ve seen it as in investment. At 5’11” & 6’3″ we could do with an extra inch height on the handle but other than that, so impressed! The grandparents love it too and now hate using our bugaboo Cameleon over the YoYo. For anyone considering it who can overlook the price tag you won’t be disappointed! X

  33. I have to second Sarah on the Yoyo – not right for your needs Lolly but if you have a new baby and will use it for a few years it can’t be beaten. Hand luggage sized, one hand to open and so easy to drive. I have the bugaboo chameleon too and as Sarah said I now hardly use mine as the yoyo is so fantastic! My mum also uses it to pick our son up from nursery and I know that she finds the fact that it is so lightweight a huge benefit. I was originally put off by the price but really do think it is worth the money. xx

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