Step one to optimizing travel with infants and toddlers is having a “travel system”. What the hell is a travel system? Well it’s the stroller / car seat combo that can make a difference between a stressful or stress-free travel experience — whether you’re going to a checkup at the pediatrician or flying home for the holidays.
#1 recommendation — get a Baby Trend Snap N Go stroller with compatible car seats before your baby is even born.
The Snap N Go has the biggest basket you will ever have on a stroller, which makes it amazing for travel. It folds very easily to be completely flat and fits through the xray machine in the airport.
The car seats sit in the Snap N Go without “clicking” in. There is a strap you can use to attach them, which we used for the infant seats since we were still very paranoid at that point. By the time our kids were toddlers and using the convertible car seats, we were comfortable just resting the car seats in there. Even with two very squirmy kids the car seats never jostled or moved. At 2 years old, we still use the Snap N Go when we’re flying with our twins.
The car seats we chose we were also VERY happy with.
Maxi Mico Infant Car seats — One of the lightest on the market at only 8 lbs. This was a huge selling point for us given we would have 2 of them and living in NYC we’d be taking the kids in and out of Ubers all the time. They are also very easy to install into a car and do not require the base for secure installation.
- Age used: Newborn to 7 months. (Up to 22 lbs or 29 inches long.)
Evenflow Tribute Convertible Car seats — They’re lightweight, compact enough to fit well on the airplane, and the biggest bonus of all — they fit in the snap and go for super easy transport at the airport! Oh and they’re #1 seller on Amazon for convertible carseats and only $45. They’re rear-facing up to up to 35 lbs after which you switch to forward facing. The cover also removes for easy cleanup.
- Age used: 7 months+. As soon as our kids outgrew the infant car seat, we switched to this.
Should you skip the infant car seat and go straight to a convertible car seat?
Both car seats have a weight range that starts at 5lbs in the event you have a preemie. The infant carseat has a number of advantages that may justify the cost of purchasing an extra carseat for your family:
- More reclined position suited for a newborn especially if you expect to use it frequently
- You can take the carseat out of the car easily without removing the child (with the convertible, it is hard to get the strap in and out with the child sitting in it)
- You can use the carseat to carry your baby with or without the stroller. (The convertible is awkward to carry with the child in it requiring a stroller for transport or 2 people: one to carry the baby and one to carry the car seat).
Has anyone else discovered a travel system that they love?