Choosing and Using a Travel Car Seat on Vacation

If you are planning to travel by land, sea, or air with a little one in tow then you are probably wondering about the best way to accommodate and ensure a safe trip for baby. Of course there are other practical considerations such as how you will get your safety seat from one leg of the journey to the next and what type of seat is best for the job. In this article, we will take a look at travel car seats and how to choose the best option for your families needs.

Does your child need a travel car seat? In general the answer is yes. Even if you are traveling by plane, your infant or small child should be seated in an FAA approved safety seat. If you are going by car or train, the same general rule of thumb applies as with your car – if your little one uses a seat in the car, they should use on on trains and in rental vehicles as well.

Where this can get tricky is if you are traveling internationally. Different countries have different rules that apply to air travel. Some international airlines will provide safety seats for little ones and others will allow you to bring your own. Some even don’t allow the use of safety seats, instead relying on Mom and Dad to hold an infant in their lap. The best way to find out which set of regulations will apply to your trip is to call the airline and ask about requirements and what they provide.

If you do find that you will need to bring your own car seat on a plane, train or automobile then you’ll be happy to know that there are certain seats on the market that are designed to travel well. As you can imagine, lugging around your everyday car seat could get to be cumbersome and tiring. For older children, there are folding booster seats that are lightweight and compact. For younger children there are larger seats that were designed to fold and weigh less than standard car seats.

As far as carrying your travel seat through crowded airports and the like, there are solutions for that as well. One device uses a strap system to carry the child seat on your back like a backpack. This free’s your arms and makes it easier to tote the unit around since you are relying on back strength to carry the bulk of the weight. Other solutions include using a wheeled device or luggage carrier to transport your child’s safety seat.

If it still sounds like too much to carry, you may find that using a rental service to provide a lender car seat to be a better option. Many car rental companies offer this service at airports so that parents don’t have to worry about toting their own unit to a far away destination.

Despite the effort required to transport it, a travel car seat can ensure your child a safe and happy vacation. By making use of some of the latest and greatest innovations in travel gear for parents, you can ease the burden of lugging around the extra gear.


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