How to Travel with a Car Seat
If you have young children and need to travel, one of the first questions you’ll probably find yourself asking is, “What is the best way to travel with a car seat in tow?” Here are a few tips we've picked up over the course of many family vacations.
General Car Seat Traveling Tips
Most travel experts say not to rely upon renting a car seat along with your rental car - they're often dirty, in bad shape, or just unreliable. Especially because many of us use rental cars during our vacation, it's important to keep in mind their limitations along with their benefits. Be sure to bring a car seat from home if you're planning on using a rental car. Of course, if you're primarily traveling on public transportation, think seriously about leaving the car seat at home. Mass transit use is a great way for kids to practice traveling and learning all about various subway systems, and you can always carry infants the same way you would walking around. For example, the San Francisco Muni system is very kid-friendly. If you do end up bringing one on the airline with you (in addition to the other tips below), be aware that airline personnel are not going to be particularly careful with your car seat. Package it thoroughly and safely to prevent any damage it may accrue during the travel process.
Getting a Car Seat on a Plane
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Always Remember: Safety First![/caption] If you decide that you need the car seat, check with your airline to see if the seat is the correct size and can be used during the flight, or if it has to be checked. Smaller booster seats aren’t allowed for use during the flight, but they can be gate checked or checked with regular luggage. When your car seat is approved by the airline, you’ll then need to think of an efficient (and painless) way to carry it through the airport lines. Car seats can certainly be awkward to carry, so this is crucial to your comfort through the already-tiresome airport experience.
Options for Flying with a Car Seat
To avoid carrying a child in one arm and the car seat in the other, consider purchasing a product like the GoGo Babyz Kidz Travelmate. The Travelmate attaches to the car seat, converting it into a safe and easily maneuverable stroller. This way, you can easily wheel your child through the airport and around your destination without worrying about carrying a large car seat. The Travelmate can be used for children weighing up to 50 pounds.
Alternatives to Car Seats
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Image credit: KidsFlySafe.com[/caption] If your airline doesn’t allow the car seat you have and you don’t want to check it, there are many safe alternatives to consider. For example, the CARES Flight Safety Restraint is ideal for children who will have their own seat on the airplane but won’t need a car seat when you arrive. The restraint turns a regular airplane seatbelt into a safety harness for children older than one year and weighing between 22 and 44 pounds. The Ride Safer Travel Vest is approved for children over 3 years and 30 pounds in cars. The vest can be worn normally, or with an optional head rest and strap that goes between the legs during flight. The Ride Safer Travel Vest is wonderfully light and portable, making it ideal for traveling when space is tight. Simply make sure to research your airline before you leave so you know what to expect at the airport. Doing so will ensure that both you and your children have a safe and happy traveling experience.
Want to Know More About How to Use a Car Seat?
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Focus on getting to the fun stuff! These kids are enjoying the Chicago Children's Museum.[/caption] So don't worry so much about the logistics of getting your family to that ideal vacation destination, and spend more time thinking about all the fantastics attractions you'll be taking your kids to see. From top amusement parks to world-famous theme parks to children's museums, there is so much to see and do with our Go City Cards®. Finally, we want to make sure that while you're out with your kids using our passes to save money on your favorite attractions, you are doing so as safely as possible. If you need any more information on how to properly use a car seat you should check out this fantastic resource: Child Passenger Safety.