At phil&teds, we’re parents too! We ‘get’ parenting, and so our innovative&easy products are specifically designed to enhance your parenting day. All of our products solve problems you’re going to have... even before they become a problem!
Today we’re going to discuss travelling with a stroller: Things to consider, and why we recommend purchasing a stroller bag.
phil&teds travel bag - Photo credit: @henleyv
How many times have you heard the stories about airlines carelessly handling luggage? Speak with any travelling musician and they’ll tell you the same story:
Are stroller bags necessary?
Make sure you plaster the case with fragile stickers, and triple bubble wrap the contents!
There have been so many cases across the years where airlines have been so careless, they’ve even destroyed the cases that are supposed to protect the musicians instruments!
Now let’s put this into the context of the parenting day:Imagine this scenario:
You’ve just invested in a brand new stroller with all of the bells and whistles that cost in excess of $1000. Just like purchasing a saxophone or a guitar, you should also invest in a durable stroller bag to keep it looking brand spanking new for as long as possible.A good stroller bag is going to protect your investment from nicks and dings while being easy to carry and trundle. It will also allow you to focus on getting straight to the oversized baggage area, free of burden. In fact, the point of a stroller bag is to enhance your journey and really allow you to escape the nursery jail without losing your current lifestyle or sense of self.
Things to look for in a stroller bag
Each of our parenting day products, offers great feature and benefits that will allow you to determine what works for your lifestyle. A stroller bag is no exception to this rule. Be sure to look for these features and whether they stack up:
Photo credit: @alice_paperandpearl & @ohbaby!
Like all modern suitcases, a stroller bag should have wheels that are easy to trundle across a number of different types of surfaces. Roads, tiles and sidewalks are all commonly traversed, so it’s essential that your bag will roll smooth, and quickly manoeuvre with the twists and turns found in public places.
The idea of a stroller bag is to protect the life of your investments whilst retaining its structural integrity. In layman's terms, it should not die while fighting the battle to keep your stroller alive. Check the fabric on the stroller bag to ensure it’s at least a sturdy 400 denier and the weaving is tough, like a piece of fabric armor.
Solid stitching is part and parcel of a really well constructed stroller bag. The stitching on your travel bag should remain solid and intact through the most rigorous travelling conditions. No amount of stroller tossing is going to break a good quality stitch. (how will a punter know what a good stitch is though?)
It goes without saying that the combination of a durable and well stitched stroller bag is going to have a certain amount of water resistance. Moisture is one of the things that you are trying to protect your stroller from, so ensure that you have a fabric that wicks moisture.
Remember Chappelle Corby? She’s an extreme example we know, but it illustrates a point that is close to every traveller's heart: security is of the utmost importance. In an ideal world, all stroller bags should be lockable, but unfortunately they’re not. Find a bag that is lockable and comes with a padlock -TSA is best.
Good carry handles will allow you to easily put the stroller bag into the car or up that last flight of stairs. The handles should be robust and in two places on the bag so that you can easily carry it with two hands eg. one at the top and one at the side. Extra points for a bag that has a rubber handle, which makes it easier on the hands when pulling.
Amongst the plethora of bespoke stroller bags available, there are huge differences in price. Where do these discrepancies come from? We’re not sure. Considering many of the stroller bags are similarly constructed with closely related fabrics and materials used. Some major brands have a whopping $400 price tag on a bag that’s designed to protect your pricey investment! With that in mind, but for functionality as opposed to the brand. You want to keep at least some of your money to have some fun on your trip!
Fitting multiple brands into a stroller bag
Universality is a great asset to have with any product. phil&teds have created the ‘travel bag’, a product that is universal and has design innovations such as a solid base that allows the product to stand, amongst many other features. As mentioned in the previous heading, many brands create their own custom stroller bags for their products, but few create a truly universal product that works across many brands.
Our final tip, before we crack into a real life story, is to use the airline's stroller allowance to your advantage. There are many airlines out there that allow an additional baggage allowance for strollers. If you have a bag that you’re about to check-in with the oversize luggage department, try putting a few baby items in it. Many airlines won’t blink at a few items of baby’s clothing or toys in the stroller bag. With that being said, an added bonus is having a stroller bag that’s extendable, giving you extra storage space to take even more clothes, baby essentials or anything else that you’re willing to put into the bag for oversize check-in.
Using it to get through customs for free
Grab a cup of tea, snuggle up and gather around for a quick anecdote about two parents travelling with their child for the first time.
Brian and Alison decided they wanted to head off to paradise for a few days. Since baby Simon was born, the couple had pined to travel again, like they did the good ole days. They spent weeks planning their maiden voyage with their child in tow because they wanted everything to be perfect. The day of the trip was like the day of reckoning. They were nervous and felt like they were really taking a chance travelling with their stroller and baby gear they had accumulated.
Brian and Alison go to Raro
Fast forward to the airport
After arriving at the airport, Bryan lifted the stroller bag out of the taxi and trundled it through the airport, manoeuvring easily between the tables in the food court. As they arrived at the oversized baggage check-in, customs officials were making a scene furiously searching another families baggage. Alison made a few quick enquiries and discovered there was no padlock on it. Simon and Alison had nothing on their conscience knowing that their stroller bag was padlocked shut from the get go. Once they’d checked in their bag, a gate check label saved them from having to use any extra stickers. While sitting in the Koru lounge, Simon gazed out onto the tarmac and watched the baggage handlers load the plane's cargo holds. He winced as a worker nonchalantly threw a folded stroller into the cargo bin before it was loaded into the plane. He couldn’t believe what he just saw.
5 hours later they landed in the Cook Islands at 2 am local time. The local musician serenading the new arrivals with his bright yellow ukulele wasn’t enough to cheer baby Simon up. He hadn’t slept the whole journey. The family were exhausted and couldn’t wait to get to the hotel room to sleep before their adventures in the morning. You chilli travel bag glows like a beacon as it emerges amongst the sea of black suitcases onto the carousel. Simon grabbed the stroller bag and lead his family to the shuttle to get to the hotel.
The next day...First thing in the morning Alison unpacked the stroller and packed down the stroller bag to store it away, out of eyeshot. After the week long excursion to paradise, they had picked up too many souvenirs to fit into their luggage. Luckily their travel bag expands, making it capable of taking so much more while still remaining within the stroller allowance. They knew that Air New Zealand allowed a 20kgs stroller bag limit. phil&teds travel bag - pack&go was packed with all of the features needed to protect their stroller and much more.
There are so many things to look for when looking for a good stroller bag
Remember the story about the pale faced musicians watching their livelihoods being destroyed by careless baggage handlers? Now think about how it could relate to your biggest investment as a parent.
A good stroller bag is like a an insurance policy. As you purchase your stroller, think about the value of the investment you made. Then add the 10% extra you could spend to protect it. A great stroller bag will:
- Be durable
- Have easy to trundle wheels
- Is safe
- Easy to carry with 2 handles
- Expand to fit more luggage
- Pack down to store discreetly
We hope that you find this article useful and encourage you to share it with your friends.
Please leave a comment with your experiences of travelling with a stroller.Danny Shu