1St Time Taking a Long Trip (Airplane) with 5 Year Old.

Updated on December 09, 2008
R.B. asks from Northridge, CA
4 answers

We're taking a family vacation (my parents, sister and her kids 14 and 18, my husband, myself and our 5 year old daughter). This is our 1st long trip and airplane ride with our daughter (we've done 3-4 day car trips). We are flying from L.A. to Miami, taking a 3 day cruise, driving to Orlando, then driving back to Ft. Lauderdale to visit family. All together 2 weeks. My question is this: Do we bring a car seat or just rent one with the rental car? My daughter is only 34 pounds and still uses a regular car seat. If we bring one we would have to purchase a new light weight booster (I'm insistant on a five point harness)which we're ready to due anyway for home. Any good recommendations if I go that route? We are taking a red eye flight out and flying back during the day. I think she would be more comfortable sleeping on the airplane seat rather then a car seat, but is a car seat safer? It would also be one more thing to carry through airports and on the cruise. Help!! Any ideas re: this or just traveling for the first time would be appreciated.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I would recommend not bringing your car seat, and just renting one with the car. A five year old will be more comfortable without it on the plane, I think. We've only taken them on the plane once - the first time we traveled with our daughter. It put her at just the right height to continuously kick the seat in front of her (she was only 15 months old at the time) - we checked it on the way back and have not taken one on since. They really get in the way on the flight in my opinion.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I would recommend not taking the seat on the plane, depending on your daughter's height. My son is 44" tall. I brought his carseat on board our last flight and it was a disaster. The rows are so close together in coach that he literally could not fit his legs unless he bent them. He consequently spent the whole time on my lap. He would have been safer just buckled into the seat with a lap belt than on my lap!



answers from Los Angeles on

I'm 85 years old and have raised 4 children. Having a children sit in a regular seat is fine, she will sleep better than in a car seat. You might even be able to have her lie down the stewardesses are very helpful. You might want to get blow up pillows to put in front of your necks so you don't bob too much. And remember, airplanes are ALWAYS cold. Have fun! Sincerely, A.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi R.,
I've been flying from LA to NY with my son twice a year since he was 6 months old - he's now 6 years old. We have never taken a car seat on the plane. We always buy him a seat and he sleeps between us. I would hold him for take off and landing. Now he's 50 lbs so he doesn't need to be held. We have always rented a car seat with our rental car. You can check ahead of time with the rental car agency but we have always had pretty much brand new car seats, 5 point harness, etc when we rent from Avis. Now that my son is in a booster seat, I sometimes carry that with me but you can rent those too.

Aside from that, I would recommend taking a favorite doll or stuffed animal, lots of snacks, books/activity books, hand held games (like leapster)and a portable DVD player with comfortable headphones (and extra batteries!). The DVD player has been a lifesaver for us.

Good luck on your trip! Have fun!

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