Picture of the Week: What Stroller Do I Take To Europe?

I get lots of reader questions about the best travel gear for young kids. My kids are still young enough (1 and 2 1/2 in this picture) that it is important to let them both rest when we're exploring a new town.

I find a double stroller difficult to use in most cities, and it seems like a double would be especially difficult to haul up and down stairs in old buildings or subways. Instead, we use a sturdy single stroller. Our Maclaren Techno took some serious abuse and kept going until British Airways finally lost it on our flight to Barcelona. We have a new one now, and expect that it will last until everyone in our family has grown out of it.

Little D rides in the Ergo Baby Carrier when she's not in the stroller. The Ergo lets me carry her on the front (cuddly) or on the back (most ergonomic) and even now, at 19 months, I can walk long distances with her on my back. Best of all, she sleeps well in the carrier, especially when we pull up the little hood that's designed to support her head.

Related Links:
Maclaren Techno
Ergo Baby Carrier

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  1. Susannah on May 21, 2008 at 4:25 a.m.

    May I ask how much Little D weighs at 19 months? I have a 19-month-old, too, who weighs 30 lbs. We're going on a hiking-intensive trip to Montana later this summer as well as a city weekend-type trip and I've been wondering if my Kelty frame pack will be too heavy. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    BTW, love your blog. Thank you.

  2. Debbie on May 21, 2008 at 10:36 p.m.


    D is pretty light, especially considering that she eats as much as me some days! I'd say she's in the mid 20's. We use our frame backpack to carry 3 yr old E on hikes here in Seattle, and it is comfortable (I still carry D in the Ergo).

    Can you do a trial run with the Kelty around town before you go?


  3. Misha on April 6, 2009 at 1:03 p.m.

    I was wanting to know what you thought of the Phil and Ted. I have a 3 yo and a 4 mo old. I want to go to Europe next year with them and I figured it would be nice to have the choice of stacking them in a stroller yet not using a typical double stroller.

  4. Julianne Reiser on December 14, 2009 at 2:26 p.m.

    I use a Phil & Ted Vibe here in Los Angeles on a daily basis. I have a 3 yo and a 1 yo. We bought the Vibe when my second was about 3 months old.

    Pros: It can go through a normal doorway. Pretty much has the profile of a standard stroller, so you can get through most stores easily enough. The double kit can be moved to clip onto the front of the stroller allowing the main seat to be moved to a full flat position for nap time. Padded seat inserts are easily removed and fully washable.

    Cons: Quality issues. In less than a year we've had to replace 2 inner-tubes. Note that this is not easy and ended up taking the tires to a friend with bike repair knowledge. The seat in front is beginning to fray. Since we're out of warranty I believe we'll end up at a shoe repair place to have the seat sewn up. When tires are unevenly inflated the front wheel wobbles. If the heavier child is in the back seat and you have a heavy diaper bag clipped onto the handle bar, the front wheel wobbles. This may sound innocent enough but let me assure you that it can be quite maddening.

    Roundup: The Vibe has been a blessing and a curse at the same time. I would not buy another one but I'm glad it's lasted us as long as it has.

  5. Siobhan Peterson on February 10, 2010 at 5:04 a.m.

    Phil & Ted! I can't praise this stroller enough. I have had mine for almost 5 years now and although the color is begining to fade it is still in perfect condition. It was even strong enough for my 10 year old niece last year...she was visiting and became very ill and we needed to get her to the doctor's office urgently.

    However, I personally did not like the Vibe model when I upgraded (I switched back). It looks very sleek but there are issues with the front wheel wobbling (I believe there is a fix-it kit for this now) and the stroller is 1 inch too wide to fit on the older trams and trains here in Germany ... the other models fit easily through the doors.

  6. Eleanor Post on March 12, 2010 at 7:29 p.m.

    Hi, Debbie, your site is phenomena! Thank you! Our kids are 2.5 and 4, and we usually take an umbrella stroller and a sitnstroll for flights. We're headed to LA and San Diego next week, though, and we'll need something where both kids can rest as we tour the cities. At 30 lbs., the two year old is too heavy for the baby-carrier, so despite your concerns about traveling with a double stroller, do you have any that you can recommend that are easy for airports? The only double we have is a BOB Ironman jogger, which I think would be way too cumbersome for the airport, though I'd love to have it to go running in CA. What do you think? Thanks!

  7. Debbie on March 14, 2010 at 10:21 p.m.


    We are facing exactly this same dilemma for our trip to Turkey next month. While we rarely use the stroller at home anymore, I know that there will be times on this trip when we want to cover a lot of ground quickly and with a minimum of discomfort.

    We sometimes have D sit on E's lap in the Maclaren, but that's hard to do for very long (and certainly the kids can't nap that way)

    Right now, I'm debating between the Phil and Ted's double and the idea of just buying a second single since it would give us the ability to split up easily.

  8. Kendra on May 6, 2011 at 8:14 p.m.

    Hi Debbie,

    We're planning way in advance for a stay in Amsterdam. Not a vacation, but work so we will be there for two months (we travel with work spending six weeks to two months in a location, typically a major U.S. or EU city). Our babies will be 18 months and 5 months. For such a long stay would you still recommend a stroller and carrier?

    Thanks so much!

  9. Debbie on May 7, 2011 at 8:30 a.m.


    I think for a long stay, you should use what you would be comfortable with at home. Personally, I would use a stroller and carrier.

  10. Catherine on July 6, 2011 at 9:52 p.m.

    Hi Debbie,

    I have just stumbled onto your fabulous blog whilst looking for advice about strollers.

    We are taking our 2 1/2 year old and 15 month old to: London, NY, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Phuket. I think we need our heads read!

    Anyway, we have Phil and Ted's double, and a McLaren umbrella. I am debating whether to take the p and t or use the mclaren and buy a baby carrier (just read your post and I have to say the idea is appealing to me).

    My littlest one is not terribly heavy, but I wonder about sleep? Not sure if a child of 15 months would sleep in a carrier or not. Also, the P and T would allow for us to leave them both napping if they fell asleep in it, whereas I can't see how this would work with the carrier.

    We took the Mclaren last time we went to Europe and I must say it was a bit of a struggle in places like Paris, LOndon, Madrid etc. Am terrified of attempting the subway in NY or busy HK with a DOUBLE!!

    What do you think? Any ideas/comments greatly appreciated!

  11. Dea F. on July 14, 2011 at 6:32 p.m.

    I am interested to hear if any of you have used a Baby Jogger City Mini while in Europe? We love ours stateside...it's lightweight, great wheels for all sorts of terrain and lays almost flat for our son to sleep in. It folds great for a stroller of its kind. But I'm worried that it's just a little to big. Do any of you have any feedback?

  12. najwa on March 6, 2012 at 10:24 a.m.

    Hi Debbie

    we are traveling international,with our toddlers 25 month old and 9 months old ,we're confused between single stroller and backpack carrier ,or city mini double stroller , any suggestion please ?

  13. Debbie on March 6, 2012 at 10:57 a.m.

    @Catherine My kids slept very well in the carrier until I finally decided they were just too heavy (around 2 years old), but if you are concerned, I would try it at home before depending on it on the road.

    @Dea I haven't used that particular stroller, but I would say that if you are going to travel with a stroller, you need to be comfortable carrying it up and down stairs (with or without a baby in it) and loading it into small elevators or going around tight corners!

    @Najwa A double stroller can be tricky in older cities or where you would be touring old buildings that may not be fully ADA compliant.

  14. Tina on April 15, 2012 at 6:49 p.m.

    Hi Debbie - great site. We'll be travelling to San Francisco/Monterey for about a week with my son who'll be almost 1. I'll bring the Ergo carrier, and was wondering if that should be sufficient or should I also bring a stroller?

  15. Debbie on April 16, 2012 at 8:22 p.m.


    The advantage of having the Ergo is that it's so easy to navigavate crowded areas or older buildings. As long as you are comfortable with not having a place to put baby down and he doesn't mind being in the sling it should work fine.

  16. Marce on June 13, 2012 at 1:09 a.m.

    @Dea - I have a Baby Jogger Citi Mini stroller and really love it! I used it travelling in Hong Kong and Singapore, and because of it's one-handed folding mechanism, it was a breeze to fold when going up the stairs, on the subway, etc. In some restaurants, I would need to keep it folded and tuck it under the table, so it could be tight, cos the size isn't really that small. But it still worked. I could also lay it completely flat and change DD's diaper in it when I couldn't find a bathroom with a changing table.

  17. Bronwyn Joy on April 28, 2014 at 6:16 a.m.

    Oh, snap! I so agree. We have the Maclaren Volo - fewer features but a little lighter - otherwise we're like twins :) .

    Although we're not taking either much these days - definitely when they were a bit younger.

  18. Monica on March 26, 2015 at 1:36 p.m.

    I've gotten 4+ years of use out of my Ergo - LOVE it!! My son's first trip to Rome was spent mornings in the stroller and afternoons (naps) in the Ergo (also very useful where we had to "check" the stroller, ex. St Peter's and Castel d'Angelo). Traveled with my son last year to Rome (now 5) and my daughter (2 1/2) and she spent the mornings in the stroller and afternoons in the Ergo and my son walked in the mornings and strolled in the afternoon. I now have a 3rd and think it would be great to have a double for the sake of my back and my oldest, I think it would be difficult to enjoy cities like Paris, London, Rome w/ a double stroller in tow. This is an old post, but have to recommend the Joovy Groove Ultralight. We had a Volo and were disappointed at the fact that it didn't recline and had a terrible sunshade - the Groove is still a lightweight stroller (13.9lbs) and has a better sunshade and reclines!! It's also tall enough that my 6yo can still ride in it.