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In this post we share our notes around why we recommended traveling with your child’s car seat instead of relying on the ones on offer from hotels, transport services and beyond.
Why should I bring my own carseat?
- Don’t have insight into the history of the rental car seat: it could be expired, damaged, been in a car accident – there is no obvious or immediate way to verify this information
- Cleanliness standards largely vary and you could get stuck with a dirty seat
- Weight requirements change depending on the car seat and manufacturer – newborn, infant, toddler etc. – and the ones on offer may not be appropriate for your child
- Availability from rental companies varies depending on demand: what is your plan if the car seat is unavailable? How might this change your plans if you can’t freely move around the area?
- Existing knowledge of how to safely install and use the car seat
—> Controlling more variables can lead to less travel-related stress
Drawbacks to bringing your own car seat:
- More research is required upfront: countries vary in their safety standards and requirements
- Ahead of the trip, travelers must learn how to install the seat using both channel-locks and seat & buckle to prepare for the type of car they may be in
- The car seat will likely be considered checked baggage, unless you plan to bring it on the plane. This can cost $ and time when exiting an airport. Be sure to have some sort of bag or backpack to transport your car seat.
Can I bring my carseat on the plane?
- Confirm the following:
- Age restrictions
- Backward or forward-facing restrictions
- Whether use of a car seat is tied to a certain type of ticket or airfare
- If carseats are only allowed with use in a bulkhead seat
- Whether car seats in-flight are allowed at all
- US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Car Seats & Booster Seats
- CSFTL website: contributors are Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians