Should I bring June’s car seat on vacation?

by Jessie K on September 18, 2012

One of my very good friends and I are planning a weekend getaway with our two girls this winter. What could be more fun than lounging on the beach, margaritas in hand, while our daughters kick sand in each others faces? (On accident, of course.)

But I’m not sure what to do about June’s car seat. Do I lug it aboard the plane and schlepp it all over Florida with me? Or should I rent a car seat from one of the car rental companies?

To be honest, I’d rather rent a car seat because traveling solo with a toddler is challenging enough without the added burden of lugging even more gear from home.

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn September 18, 2012 at 8:52 pm

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If you do decide to take your own car seat, I highly recommend buying this little convenience item, the Gogo Babyz Travelmate http://www.gogobabyz.com/products-c26-gogo_Kidz_Travelmate.aspx. It is ridiculously simple, and crazy expensive for what it is, but you’ll appreciate spending the money when your arms are about to fall off while chasing a toddler around an airport. You can even leave your little one in their car seat while rolling them around the airport like a designer carry-on bag. Good luck with the trip!

Bob F. September 18, 2012 at 11:55 pm

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Taking her own car seat is the right thing to do Jessie – June’s safety and comfort are more important then your inconvenience. Besides, you know her car seat and its condition which means one less thing to worry about when on vacation. Have fun!

cath September 19, 2012 at 12:21 am

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Yes – bring your own seat! I have brought and not brought and the 2 times I have not BYOS’d (BMOS?) I wished I had – once I borrowed from a neighbor at the destination, another time I ‘rented’ and both times the car seat did not fit snuggly, was dirty, did not adjust the same, was not familiar to the child – not worth it! Then there is the child-loose-on-the-plane issue. If you are buying June a ticket, strap her in the seat. if you are not buying her a ticket, then I recommend curb checking luggage if the option is available. OR, you could get something like the gogobaby car seat adapter that will let June ride the car seat through the airport. A friend bought a car seat for travel with wheels that pop out so it worked as a stroller & raved about it.

Jessie K September 19, 2012 at 9:04 am

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Thanks for the recommendation, Cath, I’ll have to check it out!

Melanie September 19, 2012 at 1:20 am

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When my kids were little like June and we were travelling to Mexico where they put babies on the dashboard (I’m NOT kidding!!) we borrowed from a friend, this harness-like contraption that clicked in to the seatbelts as an added restraint. They were extremely safe and easy to pack into carry-on. You will probably find, though, especially if your flight is longer than 1 or 2 hours, that June is most comfortable in her own seat. Good luck and have a great time!

Destiny September 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

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BRING YOUR OWN! In my experience, the rental seats are cheap and I didn’t really feel safe driving with my girl strapped into one. Get a travel bag for the seat; I think we got ours for like $20 at babies r’us…but that was also 5 years ago so who knows what they are now with inflation. :) We have used our car seat bag to transport that puppy all over the world…literally. I think the peace of mind that having your own seat provides is well worth the hassle. Enjoy your beach trip; beach vacay’s are my all time favorite!!

Kat September 19, 2012 at 5:21 pm

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Bring your own seat – so much easier and if June will have her own seat on the plane, it gives you an easy to way to keep her in 1 place. They make a gadget that puts the seat on wheels with a handle – basically converting it into a very handy little stroller for getting through the airport. That might make schlepping toddler plus luggage much easier?

Melora September 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

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Bring your own. We had an awful, totally unsafe rental the one time we got a “free” one through our AAA membership. The car seat bags with wheels are great, and you can stuff extra things in there (extra bonus if you can check it for free).

I just got a Trunki for my daughter. It’s a carry-on hard case with wheels that your kid can sit on while you pull them through the airport. They can also pull them once they’re older – free hands are awesome for parents! If you’re checking your car seat, it’s a great way to get through the airport and a decent pace.

I don’t think most car seats are approved in flight, but we got a air travel harness set up that uses the seat belt to create a five-point harness in the airplane seat. It’s good for safety, but even better for containment (and cutting down on seat back kicking…).

Safe travels!

Sapnach January 2, 2013 at 5:42 pm

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Hmm I’d love to enter a car but they are v. strict on age. Mine does not qulfiay. Also, as you say, it’s the GP. Anyway if you go and can get a few pictures let me have them. I can probably also get some from their website.

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