Here are 7 ingenious methods for bringing your car seat through the airport (based on 2022 reviews).
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Now that you've made the decision to bring your child's car seat on the plane with you instead of checking it, you'll need to figure out how to bring it with you without causing any delays. The primary item on that list A guide to bringing a car seat through the airport
It's no easy task to maneuver a car seat through an airport, and the process often results in frustration and a few choice expletives. Do not worry; this article contains our most helpful suggestions for navigating this challenging situation.
Before we get to that though, there are a few things to remember.
Car seats are typically required to be screened by an X-ray machine at airport security. If you don't, security personnel will remove your child's car seat and inspect it by hand. Even though it takes longer, I prefer doing it that way. I'm always afraid the car seat will get jammed in the washer otherwise. Separating it from other equipment might be necessary for security checks. When it comes to the "airport car seat shuffle," I find this to be the most annoying part.
You'll need to bring whatever you use to transport your car seat with you for the duration of your trip. You won't need anything too cumbersome unless you're going to be spending a year backpacking around the world with kids (and alllll their crap), in which case renting a car isn't a problem.
-How are you going to navigate the airport with a child? In such a large airport, even a walker may need help. No matter which of the following options you go with, you'll need a way to get the kid there. Always having this carrier meant we could keep our hands free and our strollers empty.
Want to know all my best secrets? Click here to learn how to travel with your car seat like a pro!If you want to know my best tips for transporting a car seat, then read on!
One, you could take the quick and easy route and just carry the car seat.
When we want to travel light—after ditching the stroller—we usually opt for the simplest (if not the most brilliant) option: carrying the car seat through the airport. Having a portable car seat is much more convenient than lugging around a bulky, heavy one.
Curious about the best way to transport a car seat through security? We carry it by securing all the harnesses together. When figuring out how to carry a car seat (typically just an infant car seat) with a baby in it, you should hold the seat in front of you with both hands. By relying solely on your biceps, you can protect your lower back and hips from strain. Put the baby in the infant car seat and the total weight can easily reach 20-40 pounds.
Without a child in it, a lightweight car seat shouldn't weigh more than about 10 pounds, making it manageable with one hand.
It's simple to prepare for security screening and doesn't require any additional purchases or items.
Doesn't need to be placed in a car seat (if you have one)
Disadvantages: -When traveling with children and all of their belongings, it can get quite heavy
Carrying a car seat through the airplane's tight aisles requires lifting and balancing the seat.
Then, use a car's luggage strap to secure it.
A luggage strap designed for use with a car seat is convenient if your carry-on suitcase has wheels. A car seat can be fastened to the top of a suitcase using the top tether strap and low anchors. Once you're ready to use the car seat, you simply continue to roll it along as usual.
A bungee cord will serve the same purpose. This clever photo, contributed by a reader, shows an Evenflo Sonus (useful for infants up to five years of age) MacGyver'd onto a suitcase.
Advantages: - Low cost - Easy to pack for travel
You can normally just roll the car seat down the plane's aisle.
Cons: -Requires a smaller car seat to fit; -Makes a roller bag top heavy and unwieldy; -Doesn't allow a child to ride safely in the car seat; -Must be removed for security screening
Failed if carry-on was a backpack
3 Repurpose your stroller as a trolley for the airportIn front of the Berlin Central Station, with me (and a sneakily concealed infant) There's a Chicco Keyfit 30 car seat in the stroller basket, a Combi Coccoro in the stroller seat, and a carry-on backpack on top. In addition, a diaper bag is attached to the handlebars. SET FOR DEPLOYMENT
Putting your car seat on a stroller and navigating through the airport is a breeze. Certain car seat and stroller configurations are more conducive to safety than others; for example, a tiny folding stroller is not going to be a good fit for a larger car seat.
One can maneuver a stroller with a car seat in it in a number of ways. 1 Put your carry-on bag in the stroller's reclining seat, followed by the car seat. A foldable car seat can be used as an overturned stroller canopy.
Third, you can store a small car seat in the stroller's basket (or remove the seat and store it underneath) if the stroller is large enough.
The fourth option is to use these to suspend the car seat from the back of the stroller if the car seat is lighter than the stroller. )
Purchase a lightweight stroller frame like this one to attach an infant car seat to for transport.
The majority of people (including ourselves) typically choose option 1. It's easy to unload at the security checkpoint and works about 95% of the time when it's needed. You'll need to have a backup plan, such as bringing a baby carrier, because the stroller will likely be in use.
Our family of four did items #1 and #3 simultaneously (and sometimes even traded off carrying a child) when we took two car seats on our trip abroad. As you can see in the above photo, not only did it work, but we also fit all of our backpacks inside.Toting an Uppababy G-Luxe, a carry-on suitcase in the seat, and a diaper bag on the handlebars, this family is ready to hit the road. You shouldn't try this at home, kids.
When our youngest was a baby, I traveled by myself and managed item #2. I carried her around in the carrier for a while, and then we packed up our Uppababy G-Luxe. Not aesthetically pleasing, but functional.
The above photo was courtesy of my fellow CPST Erin. Their four- and one-year-olds' Cosco Finale and Scenera Next car seats folded compactly together, and their six-year-old's Ride Safer Travel Vest (full review here) was similarly easy to stow away. All of it easily attached to their Baby Jogger City Mini.
The Mountain Buggy Nano is an excellent choice if you need a compact stroller that can accommodate a car seat. A strap is included for attaching it to nearly any infant car seat, as well as a lightweight convertible car seat like the Cosco Scenera Next or the Combi Coccoro. You can safely use this duo until your child is at least 3 years old, and probably even 4 years old. Did I mention that the Mountain Buggy Nano is small enough to fit in the airplane's overhead compartment? In a word, yes, it's smooth.
A member of the Tiny Globetrotters community named Laura recently posted an awesome picture demonstrating how well the Mountain Buggy Nano pairs with the Scenera Next.Attached to a Mountain Buggy Nano stroller, the Cosco Scenera NEXT DLX is the pinnacle of portable car seats.
Benefits: -No need to pack anything extra if you plan on bringing a stroller -A variety of configuration options depending on the type of airplane stroller and travel car seat you plan on using
-The car seat/stroller combination is simple to navigate while strolling through the airport.
Negatives: -You may not be able to use the stroller as a seat for your child in some configurations; -You may need to remove the car seat carrier from the stroller to pass through airport security
You'll have to bring the car seat on board with you if you gate check the stroller.
If your child is still using an infant car seat, you can easily locate a stroller with a suitable attachment for the seat. Find the best one for you and your baby by browsing this selection of lightweight infant car seats.
3½ Purchase a child seat that can be used in a car.
A baby car seat that has built-in wheels is a convenient investment if you plan on doing a lot of traveling. The Lily Gold Sit 'n Stroll was a former convertible carseat that could also be used as a stroller. It wasn't a great car seat, and it's no longer on the market because of this fact.
However, nowadays parents can pick from an awesome baby car seat on wheels, the Doona.
New parents in the modern era have it made. Just look at all the cool stuff you get! I've experimented with this cool, mobile baby seat, and it's cool. The Doona is considerably heavier than the average infant carrier, but you won't have to lift it because, with the push of a button, its chic black and yellow wheels pop out and transform it into a compact little city stroller.
The Doona baby seat on wheels has a weight limit of 35 pounds and can be used with infants as young as birth up to 32 inches in height. These sizing restrictions are increasingly the norm, and many parents find they can continue using the product well past their child's first birthday. In addition to the included base, which facilitates installation via seatbelt and LATCH, the seat can be securely fastened in place without the base. It's a brilliant idea to use the handle as an anti-rebound bar in the car, where it can be locked in place above your baby's feet.
However, the Doona Essentials Bag, which securely attaches to the seat's handle, makes up for the lack of a storage basket (which would prevent the seat from folding correctly). The Doona Snap-On Storage can be attached to the back of the seat for extra space, but it needs to be removed from the seat before it can be installed in the vehicle. The Doona comes with its own sunshade, but the Doona Sunshade Extension may come in handy if you plan to take frequent strolls outside with your infant. Here you can find all the handy Doona add-ons that you could ever need.
Many parents wonder if their Doonas will be a problem on board the plane. " Without a doubt A parent was kind enough to send us this adorable photo of her little one sleeping soundly in his Doona while seated in Economy (she flipped the handle toward the seatback and slid the belt through the belt guides). She effortlessly navigated the airplane aisle while rolling the Doona. What do you think of this wheeled car seat for easy transportation?
As a side note, the Doona is quite pricey. The only way to avoid it is to wait for a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sale. A dangerous knock-off of the Doona may be sold on Amazon or elsewhere if the price is extremely low. Stay away from it. You should instead file a complaint with Amazon or the relevant online marketplace.
Put together a wagon
A member of our Tiny Globetrotters named Jordan came up with this idea, and it's actually pretty ingenious. The "hybrid stroller wagon" (as the Veer Cruiser is marketed) is a huge hit in her family.
Can you explain why it is a hybrid? Pull it like a regular wagon, or push it like a stroller, it has options! The wagon's interior is fitted with two bench seats that face each other and a footwell for passengers' convenience.
When it comes to bringing car seats through the airport, what relevance does any of this have? Taking out the center tray transforms it into a large empty wagon, ideal for transporting car seats through the airport. Fantastic help for families bringing two car seats through airport security And if you only have one kid and one car seat, it'll work great for that, too!
Upon arrival at the terminal, please fold your Veer wagon and place it in this bag to be checked. The great thing about bringing the Veer along is that it can double as a stroller once you get there, so it won't feel like a burden. Veer wagons are versatile enough to be used from infancy all the way through childhood thanks to the wide variety of available accessories, such as car seat adapters, sun shades, and cup holders.
Benefits: -Use as a stroller or to transport a car seat or other bulky items
-Cool add-ons that will extend the Veer's useful life far beyond when you're done transporting infants in car seats.
Not cheap, and too heavy to gate check with American Airlines (though probably fine with other carriers).
-There is no reclined position as a stroller without this attachment (but that attachment does look kind of amazing).
Possible substitutes for the pricey Veer stroller wagon
Keenz Stroller Wagon (includes many accessories; all-terrain wheels are an add-on) is a high-quality stroller wagon at a reasonable price.
Fifth, get a car seat travel cart with wheels.
A car seat travel cart is the most convenient way to transport bulky convertible car seats from your home when traveling. The addition of wheels to a car seat makes it much simpler to transport a child in a car seat through an airport, along a jetway, and into an airplane. Car seat airport rollers are rumored to be the reason some children nod off immediately upon landing and remain asleep all the way through their departure airport.
Take a look at these top-rated car seat transport carts:
The advantages of using a car seat transporter include being able to roll it down the aisle of most airplanes without disturbing other passengers and allowing your child to ride in his or her car seat.
-You can bring your own full-size car seat, which will lessen the blow to your wallet.
Wheels don't pivot, so be careful on sharp turns; you may have to remove your car seat from the car seat cart at security; the car seat dolly is expensive considering it is designed for use only in airports; the car seat cart is the bulkiest option for storing and transporting on vacation; and the car seat dolly is the most expensive option. There are specific car seat carriers (like the Britax) that are not compatible with all strollers.
It's possible that a bulky car seat won't fit through an airplane door.
This small luggage cart is an option if you don't need to transport your child in a car seat. When the time comes that you no longer need a car seat, at least you'll have more options.
Use a backpack or car seat to transport it.
Finally, you could use a cushioned car seat backpack to transport the seat. It's a convenient choice for parents who want to keep their hands on their toddlers while also pushing their babies in strollers.
However, taking it off is a breeze once you get to the security checkpoint. A variety of car seat travel bag brands are available on Amazon, but to be completely honest, I don't think it makes a difference which one you buy.
The extremely flimsy strapped-car-seat-gate-check-bag is not something I would use. Due to its lack of structure, inability to protect the car seat, and rapid wear and tear, this bag is not ideal for use as a backpack. Ignore the term "ergonomic design." You might as well use a large trash bag or a laundry bag at that point.
Be aware that if you decide to check your car seat, not even the best car seat bags for air travel can guarantee your child's safety.
Padded options provide some protection for your car seat if you end up needing to gate check it. Pros: -lightweight-keeps the stroller seat open-(sort of) easy to carry around in cities if needed-though personally I'd bring a foldable car seat instead.
-Ample storage for non-essentials like spare clothes and baby wipes
Car seat backpacks don't have supportive hip belts to help distribute weight (some have a webbing strap just to keep it from shifting), and kids can't ride in the car seat (though it folds down and clips to stay closed). ...but not the kind you'd find on a good backpack)
All 28 inches tall, so it could be a bit much for shorter vacationers.
Get in touch with the experts, number seven
To have a helping hand from a friend is priceless, even if you have to pay them. SkySquad is an innovative company that partners with airports across the country to staff them with assistants who have proper airport credentials.
So, what does that mean for you? An agent from SkySquad will meet you at your vehicle's entrance and assist you and your family (along with all of your luggage) with everything from check-in to going through security to running errands in the terminal until you reach your gate. They can meet you at the gate (or after customs if you're flying internationally) on your return flight and speed you through the exit process. Even on a long layover, SkySquad can accompany you to the airport to pick up some snacks or watch your bags while you take the kids to the bathroom.
The Globetrotter, a departure service from SkySquad, costs , while The Welcome Crew (arrivals) and Half Time Help (layovers) each cost $49. To save 20% on your SkySquad reservation, enter promo code TCSM20 at checkout.
SkySquad is currently accessible at the following airports as of this writing:
--IAD-Dulles International Airport
The Reagan Federal (DCA) Airport
The Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is a nonstop flight from Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI).
-The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG) Area
-Hollywood, Florida (FLL) - Spirit Airlines only
The Most Common Questions About Bringing a Car Seat on a Trip
The age of your child, the type of car seat you plan to bring, and whether or not you plan to bring a stroller all influence your decision, so there is no "best" option. Learn the benefits and drawbacks of each choice by reading this article.
Whether or not the infant car seat's base needs to be packed depends on the specifics of your trip. When we rented a car and knew the kids would be old enough to sleep through the ride, we made sure to bring their favorite blanket. Ours can be stored in the Chicco Keyfit Caddy's basket. Carrying the base through the airport can be an inconvenience if you are not planning to rent a car or if your child no longer regularly falls asleep during car rides.
You shouldn't expect to set up shop on the plane either. So long as there's room, you can store it in the overhead compartment.
No Frequently, in fact. There are times when the simplest approach is the best
Your child's car seat, once installed in a seat you've purchased for them to use, will not be considered a carry-on item. In theory, a car seat or booster seat for a child could be considered a carry on, but we've never had anyone have that problem.
Article co-written by SkySquad My views are entirely my own.
How do you navigate the airport with a car seat?
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