Car seats remain a crucial tool for protecting little ones. But while you’d never imagine forgoing one at home, when it comes to traveling with an infant, dragging around a heavy, bulky car seat can prove a serious hassle.
When should you bring one? And when should you consider other options? For air travel with baby and beyond, here’s a list of things to consider.
Reasons to Bring a Car Seat
When flying with an infant, most airlines will permit you to check a car seat as part of your luggage. To protect it during transport, place it in a padded bag or wrap it.
If there are empty seats on the flight, the airline may allow you to bring the car seat on board to use even if you don’t have a ticket for baby. So, wait to check it at the gate just in case. Of course, if you’ve actually booked a seat for your baby, then you’ll absolutely want to bring your car seat to the gate for use on the plane.
But how do you carry your car seat to the gate when you’ve got carry-on items and a baby? Get a car seat that has backpack straps or one that can snap into your stroller frame. You might also consider using a car seat transporter that allows you to keep your little one strapped in their seat as they roll along.
For children up to 18 months old, traveling with a car seat proves convenient especially for seats that clip onto a pushchair. But for toddlers and older children, carting around a heavy booster seat can prove a challenge. Instead, consider a car seat that converts into a stroller for ease of mobility.
Additional Factors to Consider
Your car seat may not prove suitable for travel in other countries for a variety of reasons. It may be difficult, or even impossible, to carry around in certain public transportation settings. In fact, even if it’s FAA approved, it might not fit in the plane seat. Measure your car seat ahead of time and then check with your airline to make sure it’ll work.
What’s more, your car seat may not prove compatible with vehicles in other parts of the world. Even car seats that fasten with a seatbelt can’t be utilized in every situation. For example, in parts of the Middle East and Asia, you may find yourself in a situation with no seatbelts in the back seat.
Many new vehicles come equipped with ISOFIX or ISOFIT technology (a.k.a. LATCH and UAS), but they may not prove suitable with the standard three-point harness seat belt method. Instead, your car seat will need to be secured to the ISOFIX/ISOFIT points for safety.
You may also find that your car seat doesn’t meet the safety regulations of the country in which you’re traveling. To ensure that your car seat meets the standards of a particular destination, check out this resource.
Traveling with an Infant
Working with a tour company that understands your family’s unique needs, especially when traveling with an infant, means you can truly relax and enjoy your vacation. Once you’ve landed, a good tour company will ensure you’ve got a compatible car seat on every leg of your trip.
At Our Whole Village, raising globally-minded children is our passion. We create accessible tours designed for curious families who want to create lasting memories while making a difference.
We’re here to help you and your family experience the world, its peoples, and its cultures. Contact us today to learn more about the unforgettable experiences that we handcraft to introduce kids to the world and create better global citizens.