Carseat and traveling — The Bump
Pre-School

Carseat and traveling

My DS is 3.5 and weighs 33 lbs, we will be traveling in December by plane and would like to know what is the best option when it comes to a car seat. Renting a vehicle may be a possibility once we  reach our destination, although not sure yet. What do you all recommend?
Image and video hosting by TinyPic My 32 weeker is now 3.5!

Re: Carseat and traveling

  • We usually bring and check a seat since you can do so for free. We have a wheel attachment to make it easy to get around, but that's not entirely necessary. We've rented as part of a car rental but the seats are usually kind of nasty and certainly no bargain. 
  • We bring our car seat and check it. I don't use it on the plane.




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  • When we have traveled we have always had a car at the destination, so we check the carseats on the plane. But if you think your child might be fidgety I would just bring it on the plane. Check with the airline on what they will accept. We checked three carseats last time we flew. Fun.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • imageKKDRAGONFLY:
    We bring our car seat and check it. I don't use it on the plane.

    ditto this. 

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  • We're taking a cruise in February - DD will be over 4, but still around 35 lbs.  Since we won't be in cars much, I don't want to bring the full carseat, but I'm going to get a portable booster to bring, but I won't use it on the plane.  She's flown 2x w/o her carseat and she's much happier in a regular seat.

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  • We bring our car seat on the plane. For us, it just seems to work better. Being strapped into her car seat means she sits still and isn't constantly trying to get out of her seat. If you don't want to bring your seat on the plane, I'd check it. If you plan on renting a car you will want. Car rental companies charge a ridiculous amount to rent car seats - like $12 a day!
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  • Bring your carseat on the plane. Checking a seat is dangerous because it can end up damaged by having heavy luggage fall on it. Much like the forces in a car accident, the damage won't always be visible but can cause the seat to fail in a future crash. You can't use a rented seat for the same reason you wouldn't buy a used seat, you don't know its history to know it's safe. Plus everyone I've known who rented regretted it because either they were given an inappropriate seat for their child's age/size or the seat was disgusting.
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  • I would bring the carseat but check it with your luggage.  Have your child just use the seatbelt on the plane or get one of the special 5 point harness seatbelt things (sorry totally can't recall the name).  Bringing the seat on the plane is a royal pain for everyone involved including the people sitting infront of you or next to you if you have to share the row. 
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • We checked ours and put them in travel bags.  We stuffed the bags full of diapers and their blankets to save room in our suitcases.  They are free to check like everyone said.  
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  • Thank you for all the replies and tips, it will make my trip in December much easier ;)
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic My 32 weeker is now 3.5!
  • imagejlw2505:
    I would bring the carseat but check it with your luggage.  Have your child just use the seatbelt on the plane or get one of the special 5 point harness seatbelt things (sorry totally can't recall the name).  Bringing the seat on the plane is a royal pain for everyone involved including the people sitting infront of you or next to you if you have to share the row. 

    This. With all the crap you have to lug around, do you really want to drag a carseat as well? No thank you. 

  • We gate check our car seat and use the GoGo Babyz to lug it around and that works very well (we travel a lot is it was worth the cost). We used the car seat on the plane one time and will not do that again. Most of the time we fly Canada regional jets and they are little. Pain to take the car seat on and no room in the seat and lots of kicking.

    since DD turned 2 we have been using the Cares harness and like that a lot. She stays in it well and knows she cannot get out until the seat belt sign is off. Then we let her out and she can stretch out on her seat. The one time we flew with a car seat on the plane she napped in there and then was on my lap anyway (when she was 16 months). that was an 8 hour flight so there is no way she would've stayed in her seat that whole time. 

    We always have a rental car at our destination. We went to New Orleans when she was 9 months when we did not need a car. She was still in her bucket seat at that point but it wouldn't fit in the shuttle so she sat on my lap anyway.

    We will likely travel to Rome in March and won't be bringing it at all (other than the ride from our house to the airport). She will sit on our lap for the cab ride from/to the airport and the rest we will walk.  

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  • We are flying 14 hours to Ireland next Monday.  My nearly seven year old is still harnessed, but booster trained and usually uses her booster when we travel.  I am taking her secure kids 400 for the trip, and not only using it while over there but using it on the flight.  I can't imagine her being comfortable not being in her seat.  I asked her and it was her option.  At three years old, a child doesn't fit into a airplane seat well.  Plus if you check a car seat it is like crashing it, and should be replaced right away.  The baggage handlers aren't gentle while handling car seats, and tons of damage can be done to the structure.  I flew with three kids Summer (nearly 7), Leah (5) and Eryn (2 months) by myself through two international airports last Wednesday.  Summer's secure kids is at my parents.  I had to take two car seats through the airport with me, along with our carry ons.  Eryn had her own seat so I needed a seat for her, and one for Leah.  I used her RXT for this trip.
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