Travel Car Seat

Updated on June 21, 2011
R.I. asks from Encino, CA
14 answers

My husband and I will be traveling with a 2 and 4 year old on an airplane and then renting a car. I've seen the car seats with wheels. Any recommendations on travel carseats? My concern is safety on the plane but also the cleanliness of rental carseats. Should I take the carseats I have from home (britax marathon) or buy travel carseats? The ones I have at home are very heavy so walking through the airport with them will be challenging. Thoughts?

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answers from Eugene on

You can check your car seats in at the airport. They put them in heavy plastic bags and do not charge for them like luggage. As far as safety on the plane, if the plane goes down a car seat won't help.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

My advice? Take he carseats. Rental carseats aren't just dirty, they can be dangerous. They gave us one once that looked to be 30 years old with a bar over the middle and almost no restraints.

Take your carseats. Put them in a heavy bag designed for the purpose (we got ours at Babies R Us). Check the one for the 4 year old, and use the 2 year old's on the plane. Use the CARES child restraint system for the 4 year old.

We've been travelling domestically and internationally with our little one since she was 6 months, so trust me when I say that we have our system down. This is what we do, and so far so good!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charleston on

You can rent a car seat from the rental place. Ours was free with AAA membership. It was very clean--looked like new.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

You will be much happier without the car seats on the plane. Check them when you get to the airport - most airlines do not charge for them. If you have them on the plane with you, the kids will not be able to use their tray tables and all they'll do is kick the seat in front of them. You and your husband will also feel much more cramped sitting next to the bulky seats. We stopped bringing a seat on the plane for my son around 18 months and it has never been a problem. We are all much happier this way.

Don't buy travel car seats. If you don't want the hassle of bringing yours, just rent them when you get there.

Have a fun trip!
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1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

They do make carts for them. I wouldn't want to have to buy new car seats just for travel. Look at babies R us. When I worked there, they had a cover with wheels.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Bring your own car seats with gogo babyz platforms. that way you have strollers/carseats and much more convenient.



answers from Los Angeles on had the platforms to turn your carseat into a stroller



answers from San Diego on

I just traveled with my 2 year old and 4 year old and we were going back and forth on what to do as well for car seats. when I heard that checking the seats was free I decided to bring my own. They are big and bulky but we rented one of those carts at the airport and piled everything on top of each other. 2 suitcases and both car seats fit on the cart no problem. My 4 year old was ok to walk on his own and my Mom was in charge of my 2 year old while I pushed the cart.

When we checked our bags the lady put both car seats in heavy duty plastic and checked them for us (again, it's free). They were waiting for us at the oversized luggage section when we got our bags. If you have 2 adults you should be fine bringing your own seats.

The rental option is great and I have rented a seat before but they are not nearly as good as the ones you can buy now. I say take yours


answers from Los Angeles on

I couldn't disagree more with the woman who said you'll be happier without the carseat. We flew to from California to Illinois last year when our older daughter was 25 months old. Having her in a familiar seat made the hassle of installation worth it. It was also nice to know she was in a five point harness when the plane went through some pretty severe turbulence... like another previous poster said, not in case of a crash, more in case of being whipped around. With the long flights, she was able to nap, too, without slouch down
By the way, we lugged our Britax Boulevard. A flight attendant showed my husband a trick to getting it installed. Just ask. They may not do it for you, but they may help.



answers from Chicago on

I had a sit n stroll seat with my 1st. It was nice being able to stroll through the airport and then turn the stroller into a carseat which was very easy. (just pulling a handle). The seat would not stroll down the aisle of the plane and I didn't realize it until we were boarding and it was a big hassle to lift it up over the seats. I only used this seat twice and it was $200. Please message me if you have any questions.



answers from San Francisco on

some useful info here:—w...—w...

If you travel a lot, the RideSafer Travel vest for the 4YO could be a good investment - very lightweight and portable and safe - some child passenger safety technicians consider it to be like a 'wearable 5-point harness' (it's also a handy thing to have around as a carpooling/backup child safety seat and fits in very tight spaces - I have one that fits between two high back boosters in the rear center seat of a 1997 Honda Civic, and since it doesn't expire like conventional child seats your 2YO would be able to use it a few years down the road)



answers from Los Angeles on

i would use my car seats on the plane, and then use them in the rental car.



answers from Las Vegas on

I agree with Elle when she said to bring your own car seats with gogo babyz platforms. The point to bringing a car seat is not to save your child in the event the plane crashes, the point is to protect your child/children from turbulence. Should the plane drop a few feet and your child isn't secure in their seat - bam - they risk hitting their head. Just get the wheel attachment for your existing seats and then you don't have to worry about hauling them around or what you get with the rental car. Have a safe flight and happy traveling!



answers from Los Angeles on

We've done this many times and just take our car seats. For your big kid you can check it--and most airlines check baby items for free--but for your smaller child I'd take a car seat on the plane, because it's more comfortable & supportive than the big airplane seat (also, they're more likely to sleep!). Yes, it is heavy to lug through the airport and security, but what we do is put the little one in a carrier and pile everything else on top of our stroller. I've even travelled alone with two kids (1 & 4) and gotten through the airport this way pretty manageably. Also, most airports will pull families with a stroller out of the long lines and send you up an elevator where you get to cut in front. My sincere thanks to whomever came up with THAT idea!! Best of luck! Hope this helps!

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