Convertible Seat for Travel

Updated on August 08, 2011
S.K. asks from Chicago, IL
8 answers

How do you travel with your toddler where you need his convertible at the destination. Last time we flew with our son, he was still in his infant car seat. He now has a Britax marathon. It seems very bulky to carry around and also we don't know how it will be handled when checked in. We really don't want to take his Britax on the flight as we won't know if it's damaged or not as the carseat won't be with us always. Our son will be a lap child. Curious to know how others manage this issue while travelling. I am thinking of getting one just for travel , but it's not like we fly very often so don't know if it's worth spending dollars on that. But we could use it for our second car(even though we dont actually need one for our second car) Any suggestions for us? Also, how do you travel to and from airport if you don't take carseat with you. Thanks!

Added: I wanted to say we will have his bulky stroller with us as well (the one that coame with his travel system). So don't think we will get the carrier for the convertible. We will most probably check it in and collect it at our destination as we will already have the stroller, carry on luggage and a 15 month old with us in the airport, don't want to add another bulky thing to carry around/

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answers from New York on

We purchased a heavy-duty carseat cover and check it in as luggage. We have never had an issue with it being damaged and have flown with it 4 or 5 times. If you will be renting a car at your destination, ask for a carseat to be installed. My sister works for Enterprise and I will tell you that they are insanely attentive to regulations and will install it for you!



answers from Boston on

It's really safest to fly with him secured in a carseat. They make a thing that your seat can attach to so you can push it like a stroller.



answers from Dallas on

i would really caution you against baggage checking a carseat(whether it's this one or one bought specifically for travelling). checked luggage takes a beating, and often, the damage to something like a carseat is invisible, but could become disastrous in the event of a vehicle crash after the carseat frame has been compromised. i would suggest purchasing a seat for your child and using it one the plane(which IS pricey, but it's also not a lot of fun or extremely safe to have a squirming 15 month in your lap) or gate checking the carseat(you carry it down the jetway, and they place it right under the plane, you pick it up right when you get off the plane - they are more visible there and a lot less likely to be rough with your things, and it's less likely to get lost). so, you've got the damage issue if you baggage check it, but you also run the risk of your carseat not making it to your destination with you - then you're really in a jam. i have 3 small children myself, i fly alone with them at times, sometimes my husband and i both fly with them. i have lugged 2 britax boulevards, 2 kids(1.5yrs old and 4 yrs old), and a carry on suitcase alone while pregnant. it's not fun, but it can be done. there's lots of ways to make it easier. and you've got two adults, so it should be really easy. one option is to put the carseat in the stroller - one of you push that, and the other one carry the baby. get a gogokidz travelmate, that will basically convert your carseat into a stroller, making it MUCH easier to move through the airport.



answers from Tuscaloosa on

We also gate check ours inside a large zipped canvas bag. OR, if possible, we borrow a seat from family/friends wherever we're going. Once my son hit 3, we used the Safety First Go Hybrid harnessed booster for travel becasue it folds up in a small bag. We always gate check because you NEVER want an airline to lose your carseat!!!



answers from Kansas City on

I just traveled on my own with our Britax (and a three year old) this weekend. Our favorite travel item is the GoGo Babyz cart! It is simply a base with wheels that you attach the car seat to. Only takes one strap through the bottom and voila! wheels and a handle to push it around with. Makes airports a breeze. I use it to hold our other bags so I have hands free, or I can even put my son in it and use it as a stroller in the airport. And he loves to push/pull it around so he becomes helpful, too.

Then, I wheel the entire thing to the jetway (gate check it, don't bag check it! it's free, less risk for damage and there as soon as you get off the plane) and after our flight, pick it up at the jetway again and wheel it out. Just tell the gate counter that you need a tag to gate check it and they give you one with no hassle.

When I get to our car, I just unstrap it in a few seconds and it's good as new.

Love, love, love this thing.

We bought ours online from One Step Ahead.

(oh, the one thing "wrong" with it is that you have to take the car seat off the base to put it through security. not a big deal, but does add a few minutes to the line to get it off and then on again when you are done.)



answers from Phoenix on

I have a 3 year old and a 15 month old. We've gone on 10 plus trips with one or both of them from PHX to MPS and/or MKE airports since they were 3 mos. Usually we have a 6-10 hour driving trip in there too. Here's what we have found through trial and experience to work well. If under 2, we put them in their carseat ON the plane. With over 2, we use the Cares Aviation Restraint System. When the car seat is not used on the plane, we put it in a gate check bag (we have a JL Childress Padded Ultimate Car Seat Travel Bag but I think a heavy duty garbage bag would work) and check at the gate. One note, if you use a padded bag, you can stick your heavy coats in there too and not have to carry em on the plane and they help cushion the seat. Just a thought. Yes, it is a pain to carry all the way to the gate, but then we don't risk it getting broken by heavy luggage or lost at our destination. I think it is worth it. We wear backpacks for our carryons so we are hands free. The backpacks hold entertainment, diapers, clothes changes, snacks, etc. We are traveling in a month and I plan to put one of the kids in an umbrella stroller and the other walk along (I'm bringing a leash, just in case it's needed). Both my husband and I will wear a diaper bag. He will carry both Britax seats. We will check the stroller and one seat and carry the other seat on the plane. We will use the CARES aviation device for my older son.

As far as using another seat just for travel? Would your child be as safe or comfortable in that seat? Do you travel enough to make it worth the money?
Usually I answer no to those two questions and just do my best to carry their seat to the destination safetly and easily.

Happy safe travels to you!



answers from Minneapolis on

We traveled last week using the Gogo Kidz Travelmate attachment and it was awesome! I'm pretty sure it's compatible with the Britax Marathon. It turns the car seat into a nifty stroller, and you can even wheel it down the aisle of the bigger airplanes right to the seat if you bought one for your child. We bought a seat for our almost 2 year old to eliminate checking the car seat, and to make the plane ride much more pleasant for everyone. So if you can afford a seat for your toddler, I'd go for it. Otherwise, I would think checking the car seat at the gate would be somewhat safer then checking it with the luggage. I imagine it's the last thing on the plane and first thing off, so less chance of damage. If you won't need a stroller outside the airport, then the Gogo Kidz would eliminate the need to bring your bulky one with. You could use it as a stroller outside the airport, it just wouldn't have storage, and you'd have to remove the car seat from the car. They sell them at BabiesRUs stores. Good luck with your travels!

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