Skip to content

Traveling with a toddler? Consider taking a trike instead of a stroller

Dec. 14, 2019
6 min read
Joovy Tricycoo LX
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Parents know the pushback you can get from a testy toddler if you try to strap them into a stroller when they have something else in mind. But there is another set of wheels that puts them in the driver's seat and you in control: a push tricycle that raises the fun, lessens the fury and is built to travel where you have to go.

It’s basically a tricycle for a child around 10 months old and up that you can still control from behind with a handle. These push tricycles might be just the solution to putting more joy in your child's wheeled journeys — at the airport terminal, during a family vacation or a trip around the block back home.

The best models are the ones with canopies to shade children from the sun (like a stroller). Some push trikes are made to grow with your child, complete with parent handles that can be removed when the kids are ready to pedal themselves.

Read on if you’re ready to let your child make the transition from the stroller to a push tricycle.

Related: Making travel easier with car seats and strollers

DOONA LIKI TRIKE S5

The same company that brought us the magical little car seat that converts into a stroller has one of the best and most portable push tricycles on the market. Doona Liki Trike S5, the three-wheeled marvel advertised as the world’s most compact folding trike, is made for travel. With no assembly required, the tricycle takes seconds to break down to the size of a carry-on bag and slides easily into most airplane overhead bins. (Get the Liki Travel Bag for easy storage.) Made for ages 10 months to 3 years, it is designed to grow with your little one as they learn to pedal. The five-point harness keeps them secure and there’s a sun canopy with 50+ protection that means you’re ready for sunny-day adventures or a sprinkle of rain.

JOOVY TRICYCOO LX

The JOOVY Tricycoo LX calls itself an 8-in-1 tricycle since it has eight modes that can transport babies from 6 months old to the 3-year-old mark. An ergonomic rotating and reclining seat means your baby can ride backward in the beginning (and even recline for a nap) and then transition to push mode for toddlers who’ll eventually ride all on their own. The front tire has an extra-wide design that makes it easy for little ones to roll along (the wheels can be set to freewheel so kids feel they’re doing more than they are). This model is equipped with a removable and adjustable-height handle, 50+ SPF sun canopy, storage basket and detachable safety bar. This trike doesn’t fold down for air travel and is better suited for close-to-home adventuring.

Related: The best strollers for travel

RADIO FLYER EZ FOLD 4-IN-1 STROLL ’N TRIKE

The little red Radio Flyer EZ Fold 4-in-1 Stroll ’N Trike offers a classic option at a good price for kids ages 9 months and up. There’s no backward-facing mode on this trike, but it does have a removable handle to let you shift from parent mode to self-pedaling. On the Radio Flyer website, you can custom-build a trike with optional add-ons like a bell, safety bar and a snack tray and cup holder. If you’re planning to take it on an airplane, get the EZ Fold version, which folds down in one easy step. Other features include a parent pouch, removable footrest, a canopy with UV protection and a rear basket for additional storage.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

smarTrike smarTfold 300 Plus

The winner of many design awards, the smarTrike is a reliable brand with several top-notch push tricycles. Our favorite among them is the smartfold 300 Plus because it folds down easily for travel (much like an umbrella stroller) to nearly flat, making it as easy to gate-check for air travel. The trike’s two-stage pedals grow with your toddler, it can be used in six different modes and has a sun canopy and an adjustable handlebar. Shock absorbers help ensure a bump-free ride for your little one.

Related: Great double strollers that go the distance for family travel

Rito Plus Folding Trike

Here’s another collapsible push trike that folds with ease to pop into the back of a taxi, tote along on public transport or gate-check for a flight. The Rito Plus Folding Trike is designed for kids from 10 months to 3 years old and up and has a straightforward design that includes features like freewheel mode, an adjustable handle and multiple footrests to ensure it grows with child. You can even break it down to remove the harness strap when your little one is finally ready to use a full-fledged tricycle with no parent pushing required.

Related: The best credit cards for family travel

Bottom line

All of these are good options, but the Doona Liki Trike steals the show thanks to its ability to fold nearly flat and slide into the overhead bin of most commercial jets.

Featured image by Joovy Tricycoo LX (Photo courtesy of Joovy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023