Travelling with small children - part IV strollers
So now you've figured out where you want to go. It's time to look at a stroller for your little one(s). Since my son Eitan was born, we have owned three different double strollers and two different single strollers. The following are the pros and cons of each with regards to travel.
Travel system - if your child is an infant (two months and under) this is basically your only choice. If your child is older you should think very carefull about taking a stroller like this. While its size is fine back here in the US, do realize that you will often be carrying this stroller abroad so every pound makes a difference. We owned the Graco Travel System. While this was an excellent stroller back home, we never even considered taking it to Italy.
Graco Metrolite - We took this stroller to Italy with us and were very thankful we did. It has ample storage for shopping, but folds up very compact and light for carrying (which we did a lot of because elevators were not very common). If you have one child, I would strongly consider taking this stroller.
Umbrella strollers - I do not yet own one of these. These are more ideal for older children - two and up. They are not super comfortable for the child but are handy for children that generally prefer to walk on their own but get tired after awhile. Having two umbrella strollers is superior to having one double stroller for areas that are narrow or involve a lot of stairs. We plan to take two umbrella strollers with us to Israel when our children are two and three.
Any front to back stroller (one child sits behind the other) - We purchased the Graco double stroller when our younger son Nathan was born. This stroller was ideal when he was very small because it accepted the car seat from the travel system. However I would never consider taking this abroad - it is simply too heavy and difficult to steer. In fact once Nathan was two months old we sold this stroller and replaced it with a side by side Peg Perego.
Peg Perego Aria - This is a wonderful stroller for back home. It is very easy to manoeuver and is very light weight. The one drawback for travelling though is the wheels - they are simply too small to tackle rough terrain - which unfortunately is very common when travelling. This stroller would not be able to handle the cobble stones of ancient Rome or the sand on the beach in Singapore. Even coming off the sidewalk when crossing the street is a challenge.
Jogging Stroller - We purchased the Schwinn double jogging stroller for Singapore. The wheels allow it to travel on any terrain and, unlike many jogging strollers, it contains a bar the kids can hold onto. We bought several attachments so we can store bottles and snacks on the stroller. While this was the most agile stroller, it is also huge. It was very difficult finding a taxi that could take this stroller and getting around in tight areas (such as Little Italy and Chinatown) was almost impossible. The other problem was after two weeks in Singapore this stroller was practically destroyed.
So which double stroller should you take? The truth is I'm not quite sure. It would be nice if someone could make a version of the Peg Perego Aria with bigger wheels but for now you will have to look at the drawbacks and benefits of each one and make your own decision.