You don’t need a lot of gear to have a great trip with a baby. One essential to make travelling easier is a baby carrier. Many parents put a lot of thought into a stroller but forget about the carrier, which is exactly backward. If I had to choose between them, as I often have, I would choose the baby carrier.
Especially if you are travelling without a car, it is much easier to move around without a stroller. A customer of ours who goes to Europe a lot mentioned how terrible the cobblestone roads are for a stroller. She was very pleased to have her baby carrier with her. Getting on and off public transit or a subway is a breeze when you have baby secured in a sling. When my first child was born, I travelled by bus and train a lot. It was easy to get up and down stairs without having to lift a stroller. I wasn’t the least bit inconvenienced with my daughter in her baby carrier, and I always knew she was safe and secure. It also helped keep unwanted strangers from touching and poking at her. A carrier is great in crowds!
When I did have a stroller, it was often filled with my carry on luggage, which is quite convenient, so don’t let me convince you not to take a stroller anywhere.
Some places aren’t suitable for strollers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t suitable for babies. If you are into serious family hiking – the Grand Canyon, for example – you won’t be able to use a stroller. With a baby carrier you won’t be restricted in any way, and you can explore all the areas a destination like this has to offer.
But which baby carrier?
When you consider which baby carrier to take on a trip, decide your highest priority. Do you need to pack light? If so, a sling is very compact compared to a structured baby carrier. Will you be walking or hiking for long periods? If so, a structured baby carrier may offer more support. Match the carrier to the specific needs of your trip.
I never went on a trip with a small child without a baby carrier – usually, in my case, a Maya wrap ring sling. If you need to choose between your baby carrier and a stroller, there is no contest. Take the baby carrier.