December 18, 2007,
P.L. asks from Minneapolis, MN on December 17, 2007
Traveling in Mexico - with or Without a Car Seat?
My husband and I will be going to Cozumel in January with our 22 month old daughter and I'm wondering how people dealt with taking cabs, the transfer to the hotel, etc. We are not planning on renting a car. I'm wondering what people's travel experiences were with or without a car seat. I'm trying to decide if we should bring ours, or if it's not worth the hassle. We bought her a seat on the plane so we won't have to hold her too.
So What Happened?™
Thanks for everyone's feedback. Most of you said to not bring a car seat to Mexico because many cabs won't have the right hookups. Our cab travel will be minimal and short distances on the island anyways, so I'm not going to bring it.
B.H. answers from Minneapolis on December 17, 2007
My 5 yr.old and I flew to NYC last February. We didn't use a carseat at all. I do at home!
We had drivers, taxi's and limo's while there. I was extremely nervous and was getting freaked out because my daughter was so excited to see everything she wouldn't sit on my lap and is kinda to big too also but she literally was flying around the backseat. In the limo it wasn't to bad. But I'm talking NYC here where they drive crazy. I mean CRAZY. I really don't see how we would have dragged one with anyways. Like we took a taxi from our hotel to TimeSquare for shopping and I wasn't about to go shopping with a big carseat. It's enought to keep track of a purse and a kid. If I had a husband or another adult with she wouldn't have slid around the backseat of the taxi either we could have sandwhiched her between us.
If I was in your situation I wouldn't bring a carseat. It's probaly very very likely there isn't a seatbelt anyhow.
K.S. answers from Minneapolis on December 18, 2007
I much prefer traveling on a plane with my son in his car seat. We purchased the type that converts from a stroller to a car seat (collapsible wheel frame) and loved it! I think we got ours from One Step Ahead catalog. We travelled a couple times a year so it was worth it for us. Cabs in Mexico are crazy, but you may or may not be able to use the car seat on them. In Costa Rica where we go most seat belts work because they have laws about using them but even then it is not a guarantee. I prefer the bus for getting around whenever possible and you don't use a car seat on those.
H. answers from Minneapolis on December 17, 2007
We did a similar trip when my son was 11 months old. We did not bring his carseat, knowing the only the time we'd be in a car was for the transfers to and from the hotel. We stayed in Playa del Carmen, and I think it was about an hour drive. Everything was fine, but if I had to do it again, I'd bring the carseat. I was just too nervous. Have a fun trip!
T. answers from Minneapolis on December 17, 2007
My husband & I went to Playa in Mexico two years ago without our children, and used taxi service when we went places. After being there and talking with the drivers, I would NEVER take my children there without a car seat. I was very nervous with their driving and they aren't required to take a drivers test, and if you can reach the pedel, they let you drive. Crazy! I know it will be a hassel, but I would take the car seat.
P. answers from Minneapolis on December 17, 2007
I have taken my son 4yo to Mexico multiple times and never have I brought a carseat. Mainly, They are a huge hassle and many means of for hire transportation can't accomodate them. No functioning seat belts, etc. Cozumel is a small island and there isn't a lot of traffic to worry about. You can contact the tranfer company from airport to hotel and ask if they have a seat available for her to use during that process if you feel more comfortable.
S.K. answers from Minneapolis on December 18, 2007
Our family is taking our 4 small children (7,5,3,and 1) to Mexico for my brother-in-law's wedding. This has been a big issue for me as I am a little fanatical about car seats. The best compromise I found is the SAFETY 1ST Tote 'n Go DX booster seat. It is a portable car seat that fits in a bag and can be installed with a regular seat belt. They sell on eBay for $10-15 each. There is one bidding right now for $5 +$12 shipping.
From the reviews I read, they are definately not as good as regular car seats (not ideal for everyday use) but a good resolution when carrying a carseat is not possible. If you decide to do this, you will want to practice installation at home as they are a little tricky to install at first and you don't want to be trying to figure it out when you get into the cab.
Best of luck,
C.L. answers from Minneapolis on December 18, 2007
In an ideal world you would want the car seat because the traffic is crazy and they drive like mad in Mexico. However, the cabs in Mexico don't slow down long enough for you to put the car seat in the cab and most of them don't have functioning seat belts anyhow. You might just have to hold on to her in the back seat and hope for the best. I tend to be paranoid and we waited until our kids were older (7 and 10) to take them to Mexico, in part because of the whole car seat issue. That said, a lot of people take small children there and you should have fun. Good luck.
H.S. answers from Minneapolis on December 18, 2007
My side of the family (including my 18 motnth-old son)went to Playa del Carmen over the Thanksgiving holiday. We flew into Cancun and had a 45 minute ride to the resort. We chose back in June when we registered for transportation not to bring a car seat. The ride to and from the resort went fine. The road that we were on is a major raod from Cancun to Playa del Carmen, so it was well paved and had decent traffic. It helped that the van was full of family, but we just made sure that he was sitting on someone's lap that was not seated in the middle of the van. No one from the shuttle company said anything about it and we saved money and the hassle of carrying the car seat around. Do what you feel is best though because you know your child.
S.H. answers from Minneapolis on December 18, 2007
I'm not sure about Cozumel, but in Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta the cabs don't have seatbelts, and they drive like NUTS!
We had our boys in Peurto Vallarta and just prayed everytime we were in a cab that we'd be okay.
So, I guess to answer your question...bringing the carseat would be a waste of time and effort. You will just have to be one of the Mom's that I scream at for holding their child in their lap in the car...it's really all you can do.
Have a great vacation!