We went on this trip fairly spontaneous this year. Mr. Nifty's mom's best friend was so generous to donate flight miles to us, so Ella could finally meet all of her American family and see where her das is from.
Before we could start our first air travel as a family of three, we had to take care of some paperwork: Wait and Ella needed new passports. Ella - having two nationalities - needed two: One German and one American passport. Luckily we didn't have to travel far to apply for the passports and were able to go to the American consulate here in town, in Bremen.
The next step was planning, planning, planning! I downloaded a few packing lists form the Internet and read what felt like thousands of articles about "flying with toddlers". After that we were sure we wanted get Ella her own seat, even though she is under two and could have flown on our laps. On the one hand, this would have been an unbelievably exhausting and uncomfortable flight and on the other hand it is extremly dangerous to just hold children on your lap while flying. Looking back at this decision, we are really grateful that Ella had her own seat, since we had a lot of turbulence on the flight and I don't think we could have held Ella securely that whole time.
Since we knew we needed a car seat for our rental car in the US, we decided to buy and American car seat that was also airplane certified.
Another check mark on our still-to-get-list was a travel stroller. A stroller small and lightweight enough to take right up to the gate at the airport, that is easy to fold and unfold and can be stored in a travel bag. An addition, one that's easy to maneuver, even with one hand.
After intensive research, my decision fell on the Zapp Flex von Quinny. I had heard a lot of good things about this stroller, especially about its maneuverability and the small folding size. Plus, the stroller is pretty to look at!
Even more so, I was really excited about getting to try out the Quinny Zapp Flex during our vacation to Texas. The stroller was easy to assemble and Ella loved riding in it from the start.
Our flights to Texas
Everything started with a 4-hour road trip to Amsterdam. Usually we have a direct flight with KLM from Bremen to Amsterdam (and then to Houston), but since we were flying with bonus miles this time, we were bound to American Airlines and their flight schedule.
We left the day before the flight and stayed the night at an airport hotel, since we had an early check-in the next morning. The first flight took us from Amsterdam to Dallas. After about 11 hours and quite a turbulent flight, so the seatbelt lights were on most of the time, we arrived at our layover destination.
When we arrived in Dallas, our first stop was immigration. Unfortunately this can take a while and all three of us were tired and exhausted after the long flight.. Ella fell asleep on my arms in just minutes and I was lucky enough to tranfer her into the stroller without her waking up. So the wait wasn't too bad and Ella slept through the whole thing.
After passing immigration, we had to get our luggage. As you may know, when you first set foot onto American ground, you have to recheck your luggage. Another security check and we were off to the gate.
We left Dallas with a bit of a delay, because the airplane was fuelled with too much kerosine and they had to let some of it out again, but made up for some of it and landed in Houston about one hour later, where our arrival was eagerly awaited by Wait's parents.
Ella did really well on both flights! On the first flight she fell asleep before we even took off but unfortunately only slept for about an hour and was awake for the rest of the flight. But since everything was so new and exciting for her, she didn't let herself get bothered or bored by the long travel time. She entertained all seat neighbors around us, read her new book over and over and munched on a bunch of snacks and drank water. She even got to watch videos on the iPad, especially when the seat belt signs were on. So the time actually went by fairly quick and before we knew it, we were descending for the DFW airport.
As you can see in the picture on the left, Ella snacked and looked out the window on the connecting flight.
My feedback for flying with the Quinny Zapp Flex
I was really glad to have the stroller with us during our travels! When flying with a child, strollers are can be checked free of charge. Small and lightweight strollers, like the Quinny Zapp Flex (weighing under 20lbs), can even be checked right at the gate. In our case, we were even allowed to bring the stroller onboard the cabin and store it in the overhead compartments during the long-distance flight.
On the shorter flight from Dallas to Houston, flying on a smaller airplane, we had to check it at the door but were handed it back right after landing.
Due to the fact that we had a fitting transport bag for the Quinny, we didn't have to worry about any kind of damage to the stroller. You can also carry the bag just like any other luggage, since it comes with a convenient handle.
At the airport we mostly used the stroller to haul around our hand luggage and the car seat, since Ella was way too excited to sit and wanted to walk by herself. That also had the positive effect that she got to stretch her legs and tire them out before the long flight.
For us, the Quinny Zapp Flex was the perfect travel stroller. It's lightweight, has excellent maneuverability and can be pushed with one hand. Due to the compact folding size (you can fold the stroller base together with the seat), it fit perfectly in our rental car.
Back home, we keep the stroller in the trunk of our car for easy access when we're out and about. All in all recommendable stroller that's not only suitable for air travel!
The Quinny Zapp Flex can be used from birth on, using the Lux Carrycot or the Maxi-Cosi car seat, until about 33 lbs.
The flexible seat can be used in a forward or backward facing position and reclines fully flat both ways. Kids are strapped in with a 5-point harness that is easy to use.
The sun canopy shields from sun, wind and rain, but the stroller comes with a practical rain cover. Thanks to swiveling front wheel, the stroller is highly maneuverable and can even be turned 360° on the spot. The Quinny Zapp weighs just under 20 lbs and is easy to open and collapse.
If you're looking for a compact, comfortable and chic stroller, that can accompany you on your next flight or that you can keep in your car for everyday errands, the Quinny Zapp Flex is a great choice!
The stroller is of high quality, solid and extremely easy to push. We look forward to continuing our use of it for the next couple of years!
*Disclaimer: This post was made possible by Quinny.
All collaboration partners are hand picked and I am only showing products that I've found to be good, recommendable or inspiring. All opinions are 100% my own.