Traveling by Plane with Toddler and Possibly a Car Seat

Updated on July 06, 2009
S.T. asks from Ojai, CA
19 answers

I am going with my 2 year old daughter on a one week trip on my own. It seems that I may need to bring a car seat along with me to have for the car I will be using. As anyone used the gogo Kidz travel mate? Any words of wisdom? As always tahn you in advance for hte great help.

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answers from Honolulu on

The best advice i've learned while traveling this past year several times with my toddler is to take pull-ups instead of regular diapers, they are so much easier to use in tight places and some planes don't even have changing tables, take her full size pillow along because it's more comfy and it's familiar to her, and board last (unless you're bringing a carseat). good luck, happy travels!

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answers from Los Angeles on

The Gogo Kidz thing is awesome... but wouldn't work with our carseat for some reason so we got the sit and stroll (from costco) and loooooooved it .

What's good about it is that when you're traveling and there is time changes, and your daughter falles asleep in the carseat you don't have to move her.. just take the carseat out of the car and pop out the wheels... it turns into a stroller. I can't talk about this enough. Even on the plane, they can nap in it as apposed to sitting position on a plane seat. We've taken 3/4/6/15 hour flights with this.
also.. take lots of toys and entertainment stuff for her. What we use on a plane ( I hate to admit b/c I HATE my daughter watching TV but works)is we take a portable DVD player and she watches dora/diego/disney... Have a wonderful trip!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi S.

The gogo Kidz looks interesting. As long as it fits your car seat and it is not kept attached at any time the seat is being used as a safety seat (car or aircraft), it seems to be a benefit to you. Your child should be snugly restrained by the harness at all times while using this device!

For two reasons, I do not recommend checking your car seat at the airport. First, you know how baggage is handled -- invisible damage to the seat could mean a life-threatening injury later on. Second, your child should be IN the car seat while in the aircraft. Too bad if the seat in the front gets kicked. Kids do that without a car seat, too. As a parent, the safety of your child must be the number one concern.

I have concerns about the CARES system. Even on their web site, the photo shows a child with the lap belt worn across the stomach, rather than properly positioned low, touching the thighs. A seat belt worn high (even on adults) may cause severe abdominal injuries. It must be kept low, on the hip bone (This is the main reason for booster seat usage in cars).

For more information, see:

Enjoy your trip!

-- M. Cohen
Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician-Instructor I-575114


answers from Los Angeles on

I agree w/ Christy H. We've used the CARES system (FAA approved) with our daughter and it was wonderful!! If you are renting a car, most companies can give you a loaner car seat. Then you don't have to drag one on the plane. Try Dum Dum lollipops for takeoff/landing for her ears. And have fun!!



answers from Los Angeles on

We purchased it after a disasterous trip from Vegas to New York with our then 15 month old and used it on the way back. What a difference! It was wonderful and used it again 6 weeks later for the same destination. Well worth the price even if we never use it again. It even stays attached when the carseat is strapped in to the plane seat (it just won't roll down the aisle, too wide). Check the website and be sure your carseat is compatible with it. They update it all the time and it comes with various attachments for different styles of seats, but not all carseats will work.
Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

I have traveled with my 2 year old daughter many times. I found that by age 1.5 using the car seat on the plane was no longer a good idea: her legs are too close to the seat in front of her when in her car seat, thus she kicks it repeatedly, making for an unhappy fellow traveler; by 1.5 she wan independent enough and big enough to sit in her own seat with the seat bealt on.

I LOVE the gogo Travelmate! As I walk through the airport my daughter can just roll along with me, or if she is walking I can load the carryon onto the car seat and keep rolling. If you take your own car seat instead of renting one through the rental car company the gogo is the way to go because you don't have to lug the seat with you, just roll it. And yes, you can keep it on evem if you use your car seat in the plane. If you don't, just check it at the gate when you board and it will be waiting for you as soon as you get off the plane! And, in a busy airport, keeping her strapped in the car seat while navigating to our gate, is a fun ride for her, but a safety thing for me.

Have fun!



answers from Los Angeles on

gogokidz is the BEST- it is a life saver. I travel with 2 kids alone, I couldn't travel without it. worth the money, even if you only use it once!! many times you can leave it attached during flight (depending on the size of your car seat.



answers from Los Angeles on

we absolutely LOVE the GoGo Kidz Travelmate. We have the original one that was made only for Britax carseats and it works fantastically. My neighbor has the newer one which works for many different brands and has used it on a graco, she said that when she borrowed mine and my carseat it was easier than using it with the graco as the wheels were harder to attach/detach with the other carseat. I've air traveled with it several times, this last time with two kids and it really helped save our backs and everything. We have only once not been able to fit the seat through the xray machines without removing the wheels, otherwise we just send it through all attached!.



answers from Los Angeles on

Try this instead of a car seat on a plane. It is AWESOME and literally can fit into your purse. We used it recently for the first time and will never take a car seat on a plane again (and we fly across the country with 3 soon to be 4 children several times a year). It was specifically designed for air travel...

It's a 5-point harness (like the one in a carseat) that attaches directly to the airplane seat. Love it love it love it!

You can buy a car seat travel bag at Babies R Us and then check is big and you can stuff it with extra things you may need for your trip. Or you can rent one when you get there from one of the car rental places at the airport. We've done both...but I always prefer (as do the kids) our own car seats. We do this for our 2 boosters and one car seat.

Good luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

Just wanted to share my recent experience. Took a flight with my 2 year old, and planned around nap time, thinking she'd fall asleep on the plane. Nope. She generally does not sleep well away from home. I did not have her in a car seat, which may have helped (though it didn't on a previous flight).

What I'm getting at, is if your trip is planned around nap time, and your daughter sleeps well in her car seat, it might be worth it to drag it on the plane. If the flight is shorter and you anticipate her being awake, it seems easier to gate-check the seat and use the regular buckle on the plane.

And stickers. Lots and lots of stickers.

I realize this has nothing to do with your original request, but hope it's useful!

Good luck, and have fun!



answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, used it with my son when we traveled to Chicago about 6 weeks ago. First, make sure that it works with your car seat. I'd call their website, as not all the info is up-to-date for their latest model. Also, buy it in advance of the trip and try it out! We have a Recaro Young Sport car seat and it needed a different type of attachment to make it work. (The customer service person had to overnight it so it would get here hours before we got on the plane.) Now that the warnings are out of the way...loved the Travelmate. It worked great in the airport and my son was absolutely comfy. We checked our travel stroller in a nice padded bag that I bought on Amazon. A couple of things when going through the airport security...the car seat/travelmate probably won't go through the x-ray machine. Just ask the security to use the wand or do the chemical test. You will have to take your child out of the seat, but it's all pretty easy if you're prepared. We've traveled several times with our son. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Have a great trip!



answers from San Diego on

The GoGo Kidz wheels are amazing. I don't know how we ever traveled with out them and my son thinks it's pretty cool to have wheels on his car seat. So easy to maneuver through the airport. The only downside is you often have to remove it to go through security, unless you can find someone who is willing to screen it by hand with a wand. I highly recommend it!



answers from Los Angeles on

In reference to traveling on a plane... we I took a trip with our 2 year old daughter which required for us to be 5 hours on the plane and my doctor recommended for us to give her Benedryl to help her sleep and Tylenol to help with the discomfort that the heights can cause on their little ears. This worked great because she slept most of the time and wasn't fidgeting to be walking around. You may want to consult for your pediatricians opinion. We bought a regular but lighter car seat for the trip.
Good luck :0)



answers from Los Angeles on

i LOVE our gogo Kidz travelmate. best advice i can give is to not to take apart from the car seat when you go through security. IF they ask you to take apart, ask them for a hand check/hand inspection because it is too difficult for you to take apart and put back together. I keep my car seat and travelmate attached from teh time we leave teh house until we get the rental car. On the plane i pop off the wheels which takes a minute to do. leave backboard on and ask for seatbelt extensions on teh plane so that you can secure your car seat on the plan seat with seat belts. happy travels!



answers from Norfolk on

Invest in a Sit and Stroll -- Car Seat,-Stroller-Booster-Airplane Seat all in one. The best baby purchase I made. (It's also known as the Sit 'n' Stroll check it out on line.) High, high recommendation. You'll thank yourself when you see other parents struggling with their car seat at the airport.

Have good travels.



answers from Las Vegas on

I would definitely reccommend taking your own car seat. I know that is what you were already intending to do, so please go with your original plan! When you are asked to buckle your seat beat, it is not in the event that the plane crashes. If the plane crashes, we all know a seat bealt won't exactly protect you. The reason you are asked to buckle up is due to turbulence. Should the plane hit some, and you are not buckled securely, you could be seriously injured or worse. As a few moms have recommended to leave the seat behind or to gate check it, it is really not a good idea. A regular seatbelt on a plane is not going to benefit your daughter should the ride get bumpy. I don't have the gogo Kidz travel mate, but I have heard really good things about it. I do have the sit n stroll though that previous posters have mentioned and found it to be worth the money! I think either way you go, the wheels on car seats are a huge benefit while traveling. They make travel easy and convenient. If your daughter falls asleep, you don't have to wake her from her car seat - it's really worth it. I'd rather pay for something that I get to keep and reuse than to pay a rental fee for a car seat when I already have one! Also, one little tip for ya. If you buy a few new inexpensive toys, your daughter will be preoccupied with something new and fun on the plane. The travel aquadoodle is good too because it's small and not messy. Of course there is always the portable dvd player too! Good luck and I wish you safe and peaceful travels.



answers from Los Angeles on

I recently traveled with my 21 month old son and took his car seat to strap into his plane seat for him to sit in. It was his first plane trip and included six different flights in all. On the first couple of flights, I couldn't even get him into the thing... he just wanted to be held since he was frightened. I don't know if that's even an option with a full-blown two-year old. But as he got more comfortable and I was able to get him to sit in it on his own on the later flights, I then had to hold his feet the whole time because he wanted to kick the seat in front of him. My advise would be to take the seat for your car, of course, but check it. There shouldn't be an extra charge for that. And let her sit in her seat with the regular belt or buy the one the other poster mentioned that attaches to the plane seat itself. That way her feet should be well out of reach of the seats in front of her.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi. My family and I are traveling also this month and thought we had to bring his carseat. Which turns out, we don't have to. It is not needed in the plane and we can rent one at the car rental. You might want to consider renting from your car rental place as well. Especially if it's just the two of you. You already have your hands full with your daughter, luggage, stroller and etc.

PS. I have no clue what the kidz travel mate is, sorry I couldn't advise anything on that. But I hope this helped


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