Sunday, January 16, 2011

Advice: Hoof It or Push It

When you travel with children, especially small ones, you have to consider transportation when those little legs wear out.  How to cart the kids around is even more important when you have little ones who can't walk on their own.

Most of us pack around a stroller of some kind for our kids, and at least on our trips, it gets used quite often.  However, in some locations, a stroller may not be allowed or not practicable.

If you need some way to get your children around, consider where you are going.  Some places may be stroller accessible (usually if they can accommodate disabled patrons you can get a stroller through) and others might lend themselves to a baby carrier like a backpack or a Baby Bjorn.  Think about the following things when considering what to bring:

1.  Try and find out what type of pedestrian access is available.  Are you going to a place with lots of sidewalks or paths?  Are there pedestrianized zones?

2.  What type of road surface is there?  A lot of places in Europe have cobblestoned streets and pavements which are murder on stroller wheels (especially the smaller hard plastic ones). It may be better in these situation to use a baby carrier, or a stroller with larger rubber (bicycle style) wheels.

3.  How long are you going to be out?  If you are planning a lot of walking, having to carry a heavy baby may not be such a fun idea.

4.  What type of transportation are you going to be accessing?  Some public transportation is not stroller friendly.

5.  Are you going to have to store your mode of child transport?  Some places, like museums and churches, will not allow strollers or big bags (including baby backpacks), so consider how easy it will be to store your chosen mode.

6.  Are there going to be a lot of stairs?  You may be surprised how many attractions, museums, and locations make use of stairs, with no alternative (such as an elevator or disabled lift).  No one wants to carry a baby and a stroller up flights of stairs.

7.  What is going to fit in your car/airplane?  How you are planning and travelling to your destination can dictate what type of transport you can bring.

In the end, you know what you like or need when out and about with your kids, just make sure you can adjust your plans to make sure you get the most out of your trip.

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