This question was posted to the Travels with Baby facebook page by Jaime. I’ve included some of my own thoughts below, but I hope that any of you reading this who have also faced the single / twin travel stroller dilemma to add your comments and experiences below or in the new Travels with Baby facebook forum.
What’s your recommendation on whether to take a single or double travel stroller when traveling through southern Europe for 2 weeks this summer with a 3.5-year-old and 6-month-old (also flights from US connecting through London to Nice, Nice-to-Malaga, and Malaga connecting back to US)? If we can get away with carrying one in Moby/Ergo, single stroller is lighter and saves space. However with the heat and long days, perhaps it’s worth it to have space for 2 in the stroller? Thanks for any advice!
Jaime, there are a few ways you might choose to go. While there are some decent double strollers for travel (my recommendations here), and I’m sure you could probably manage with one stroller and the baby carrier for your trip, there are some questions I’d encourage anyone facing your dilemma to ask themselves before deciding. One family’s trip to southern Europe can be completely different from another family’s!
1) Where will you spend most of your time?
Will you be in a place where it’s very difficult to use strollers in the first place? In an ancient city with narrow corridors and/or steep stone staircases? Or will you be in a more level resort town? Will you be staying in a more modern building with an elevator that will fit a double stroller if your two tots are snoozing in it, with pleasant walkways beside the sea? A single stroller may be challenging enough in some destinations, but a double could prove completely useless.
On the other hand, a lightweight twin travel stroller may be no problem, or a front-and-back model with air-filled tires (like the Phil & Ted) may be just the thing for the cobbled streets and narrow alleys. Or you may be very glad to have just a single lightweight stroller with a shoulder strap you can “wear” every time you take the stairs while holding your toddler’s hand.
2) How will you get around?
If you’ll be using public transportation in a European city, make sure you bring a twin stroller you can easily fold when needed with a carry handle or shoulder strap (I favor the Maclaren Twin Triumph – more recommendations on the double / twin travel stroller page). Or if you’ll be somewhere that’s a short walk from most places you want to visit – a beach, restaurants, etc., will you prefer for your toddler to walk most of the time and be glad to not have the extra bulk to manage in small cafes, etc.?
If you only have a couple of days planned where you’ll be out and about or in museums, etc., for long periods of time, where a double stroller may save your sanity and back, consider bringing two singles that can be joined with stroller connectors when desired. You can leave one stroller at your room all the times when you don’t want the extra seat or bulk.
If you’ll be somewhere that the sun and heat is quite intense, you might welcome the option of your portable shade mobile, especially during naptimes. A lightweight twin with an extra sunshade extension like the RayShade could be a big help.
Other parents – what do you recommend? What stroller worked best for you and where in Europe? Leave a comment below or join the discussion in the Facebook forum.