Are travel systems worth it? Advantages and disadvantages
Travel systems are becoming increasingly popular with busy parents who want to make a one-and-done purchase decision for their baby's travelling needs. However, many people are daunted by the big price tags and find themselves asking, 'Are travel systems worth it?'. Let's take a look at the benefits and potential problems of investing in a travel system.

What is a travel system?

Travel systems are baby car seat, carrycot and stroller frame combinations which attach to one another. Both the car seat and carrycot are compatible with the stroller frame and you can easily switch these out to suit the journey you'll be making. Travel systems also often include features such as folding hoods, additional footmuffs and carry bags. Getting ready for a new baby is a stressful process; there are so many items to buy both for home and travel that it can be overwhelming. When you opt for a travel system, you only have to make one big purchasing decision to cover all of your travel needs rather than several small ones. So, are travel systems worth it? Let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of travel strollers to help you decide.

What are the advantages of travel systems?

Travel systems are really convenient for parents who do lots of driving and walking with their little ones. You don't have to make space in the car to transport a full stroller as well as a separate car seat. Instead, you can simply detach the seat from the stroller and attach it to the passenger seat of the car, then fold the pushchair base down for storage in the boot. Plus, you can reduce the risk of waking up a sleeping baby because you don't have to transfer them between seats. Many infants will stay happily dozing away as you move the seat from the car to the stroller. If you don't drive and tend to take taxis or get lifts from other people regularly, travel systems are a really handy option. You don't have to worry about bringing a car seat along because you have one with you at all times in the form of your stroller seat. Another benefit is that travel systems often work out cheaper than buying a stroller, a car seat and a carrycot separately. When you opt for an upgraded travel system that also includes additional accessories like changing bags and footmuffs, you tend to get really good value for money compared to purchasing each item individually. Finally, with a travel system, you can rest assured you'll be heading out in style with a matching stroller, car seat, carrycot and accessories. Looks certainly aren't everything when it comes to buying pushchairs and other essentials for your baby, but we can't help but give bonus points to good style!

What are the disadvantages of travel systems?

Travel systems might offer better value overall compared to buying each item separately, but they are quite a big investment. For some parents, it might simply be a more sensible financial option to buy each item individually as and when it's needed. Doing so provides the freedom to buy some items secondhand and save some money. Bear in mind that it is not advised to buy a secondhand car seat, just in case the seat was previously involved in an accident and is not structurally sound. However, it's not uncommon to buy used strollers and carrycots in order to save money. Rather than purchasing a brand new travel system, it might be more economical to invest in a brand new car seat and grab everything else for a bargain secondhand price. It's worth noting that baby car seats are not designed for babies to sleep in for long periods of time. The Lullaby Trust recommends that babies do not remain in car seats for longer than two hours at a time. If you're heading out on short trips with the stroller, it should be fine to use the car seat for the sake of convenience. However, if you plan to be out walking for several hours, you'll need to transfer your baby into the carrycot and use this with the stroller frame instead of the car seat. Another potential disadvantage of travel systems is that they tend to be on the bigger and heavier side of strollers. This is because they often have lots of additional, convenient features such as one-hand folding, storage space and reclining seats. All of these elements make the stroller more versatile but they also add weight. If a lightweight and compact stroller is essential for your lifestyle, for example, if you'll regularly be carrying it up and downstairs, or it needs to fold up very small when not in use, then a travel system might not be for you.

Are travel systems worth it?

We think that the convenience of a car seat that clips seamlessly onto a stroller is definitely worth it if you'll be doing equal amounts of driving and walking with your baby. Plus, if you can afford to invest in a full travel system, you will certainly save money overall. However, no matter if you'll be buying all of your travel gear in one go in the form of a travel system, or you'll be purchasing each part individually, these items make for quite a big investment. It's always a good idea to consider all of the options available to you, so be sure to check out standalone pushchairs, car seats and carry cots.
Travel system