airline travel with stroller

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  1. I am still trying to decide which stroller best suits our needs. In the first year, I will probably be making at least four to five trips to Florida to visit my parents (not counting other trips we may take with the baby). I will be traveling alone with the baby for most of the trips and will need to check the stroller at the gate.

    I am still trying to decide between the Orbit, Cameleon, Bee, or possibly the new Maclaren Grand Tour. The Cameleon fold up worries me. I think the best bet in this situation would be the Bee. What about the Orbit? Does it travel well? Can I check the car seat part with the base? What does it mean that the infant car seat can "for airplane and cab use, the Infant Car Seat is also certified for use without the base" Does it not attach????

    I know some of you may suggest to use a different stroller as the travel stroller, but my parents live on the coast and have trails that I would prefer to use my nicer stroller on.

    I am not basing my stroller decision on a few trips, but it is something that I want to take into consideration.

    We live in the suburbs so I will mostly be in and out of the car, indoors, and paved trails in my neighborhood.

    I can't believe how much I am obsessing over this decision!!!! :wtf: I have literally spent hours and hours online, looking at reviews, and searching through forums... What is wrong with me!!! My husband says I am addicted to my laptop.... LOL...
  2. I had the same dilemma as you! I will also travel a few times back home to visit my parents in the first year without DH and was struggling on which stroller to get. I finally made my decision and pulled the trigger on the Bugaboo Chameleon. I also got their travel bag after reading this woman's review:

    I love the Bugaboo Transport Bag!

    Reviewer: Anonymous , Boston, Massachusetts Date: April 06, 2007
    I was so nervous about traveling alone with our three month old daughter but the Bugaboo Transport Bag made the journey through the airport easy and it kept our beloved Bugaboo safe.

    Because my husband wasn't there to carry the heavy carseat through the airport, I snapped the carseat onto the Bugaboo frame and pulled the rest of the Bugaboo in the Transport Bag behind me. At the gate, I removed the carseat and put the Bugaboo frame and wheels into the Transport Bag and gate-checked it. It was so simple and the Transport Bag was remarkably easy to maneuver.

    I highly recommend the Transport Bag but I also recommend practicing disassembling your Bugaboo and inserting it into and removing it from the Transport Bag several times before your trip. I practiced the night before I left and I felt like an expert when I got to the gate!

    The Bugaboo Transport Bag is so sturdy and well-made. It will definitely last for the life of the Bugaboo...and maybe beyond! Highly recommended!

    I hope to get the stroller by next week and will try to pack it in the travel bag to see how easy/difficult it will be!
  3. When I travel, I check the stroller at the end of the terminal, right before you get on the plane. You can check the base of the carseat, and/or the car seat. Most infant car seats can be strapped in without the base. But you will probably be able to fit the base in there with it, and have the stuardesses help you. Every time I've traveled alone, I have always had help. I have been always traveling by myself, and airport staff has helped me out a little bit.
    I have a Graco stroller for my DS, and I've always checked it, same for the Britax carseat. Depending on how long we're going to be flying :yes:
  4. I've taken the Orbit on two longer domestic flights (San Francisco <-> New York and SF <-> Chicago.)

    Both times, I gate checked the stroller base and took the car seat on. The base came out fine, with a few minor scrapes on some of the plastic parts (which there aren't many of), that I noticed on closer inspection. It seemed to fare worse on the NY trip and come out of the Chicago one unscathed. It's pretty sturdily built, so I don't think they could break it easily.

    I'm sure you could also check the car seat just fine, though you might want to bag it in some way to keep it from getting dirty. If you do want to check it as luggage, Orbit also makes a travel bag that has wheels -- basically like a giant duffel -- though if I remember correctly, it will not accommodate the base and infant seat. I bought it and haven't used it, since it's way too big, bulky, and over-engineered to quick stuff the base in for a gate check; definitely a checked piece.

    Regarding the car seat being certified for use without the car seat base, that's a good thing. The car seat base is a piece that sits in your car and, in practice, is strapped in semi-permanently (this is the case with any two piece system, I think.) A lot of people get more than one base to keep in frequently used cars (e.g., yours and DH's.) Otherwise, you have to do a full install and move the car seat base from car to car, as opposed to just plopping the seat on and being ready to go. It's fairly heavy, I'd say around 15-20 lbs. You aren't going to want to tote it along on a trip. Remember you're going to be going through security with the stroller base, the car seat, the baby, the diaper bag, plus whatever luggage you have, as well as hauling out your toiletries, laptop if you have it, taking off your shoes, etc. Believe me, you do not want to take the base along unless it's going to seriously endanger the baby not to. Having it be safe to strap down with the seatbelt and without the car seat base on the plane or in the cab is a huge plus.

    Did I cover everything? Let me know if I missed anything or raised new questions. The stroller stressed me out more than anything else, it seemed like such a major decision. Good luck!
  5. Kimber,
    If I am going to be somewhere for close to a week, would you suggest that the Orbit is safe to use without the base, or should I have an additional car seat to use while there?
  6. I think it's fine without the base. If you said a month, I would probably want the base. But it straps down securely without the base, since the bottom of the car seat is flat. It passed the safety tests without the base, or it wouldn't have been certified.

    To be honest, friends and I were talking the other day, and were saying that for travel, we should have (and may still) have bought the lightest, easiest to carry carseat we could find, since they do all have to pass federal safety tests.
  7. Thanks for all of your help!! I think we have finally decided on the Orbit. (Although as indecisive as I have been lately, who knows!!!)