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Traveling with car seat questions...

Wisconsin
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Traveling with car seat questions...

Dh and I are traveling to FL next month with DS (3 yrs old) and DD (10 mos). We are debating whether we should bring our car seats or rent them ($130 for both for the week - steep price!). The airline will check both for free so no cost there.. If we do bring ours I've read that it's preferable to check them at the gate rather than w/ luggage to avoid damage.

I am trying to figure out the logistics of hauling 2 seats thru the airport, security & to the gate (we can't bring the luggage carts thru security). We will have our sit & stand double stroller and probably one small carry on suitcase & diaper bag. Any tips on the best way to go about this? It just seems like a hassle & maybe it's worth paying to rent the seats - but then again you never know what kind of condition they would be in... We could wrap the seats up w/ bubble wrap & put them in large plastic bags on a collapsable wheeled luggage cart until we roll up to the gate... I'm also concerned about the seats getting damaged after we check them at the gate..

Any tips or feedback on other's experiences with the best way to go about this would be appreciated!!!

Thanks!!

Freeport, New York
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for Long Island
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1. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

You should always gate check them rather than check them with luggage. We purchased a travel bag for our seat because we traveled a lot when our son was still in a big car seat. We had something similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/Childress-Wheelie-Seat-Travel-Black/dp/B000XA6DC6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1396907103&sr=8-4&keywords=car+seat+travel+bag

Also, you can use the car seats on the plane--so if you have seats for both, then just install them in their seats.

I always preferred to have ours--I know it is the right one and I know the condition. Traveling through the airport lugging car seats is not easy, but most people make it work--we also found it was easier to carry our boy and put the car seat in the stroller in the airport.

Charlotte, North...
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2. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

I will be a little surprised if you can check both the stroller and the seat without charge, in my experience it was usually one or the other free, and anything more counted as checked baggage as far as pieces and fees.

My suggestion is get duffel bags big enough for the seats. Once the seat is in the bag, there should be available space and weight for additional items. Then check the bags at the counter. You will likely be able to gate check the stroller with no cost, but that is up to the airline.

Freeport, New York
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for Long Island
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3. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

We have gate checked both a stroller and a car seat for free--many times--on a couple of different airlines. Typically when flying domestic, baby items are not counted as luggage. But they will have at least 3 seats, so they should be fine regardless.

And I would not check the car seat as luggage--too much damage can happen during handling.

Edited: 08 April 2014, 02:03
4. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

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Removed on: 02 May 2014, 13:35
Wisconsin
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5. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

Thanks for the input. We're flying Southwest & can check a car seat & stroller free for each child - so no issues there.. Just really wondering if we check them at the gate vs the ticket counter. The ticket counter would be much more convenient not having to lug them thru the terminal - but I worry about damage & the seats arriving safely... We're not flying out of a huge airport so it may not be an issue gate checking them...

Helsinki, Finland
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6. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

It depends on the airport whether you have to check them at the counter or can bring them at the gate. Our usual airline allows us to bring both stroller and car seat free for the child or infant, but at the airport they don't allow us to take them to the gate. For our stroller we have a travel bag so we just put it in there, but the car seat we have had to put on a huge plastic bag. Luckily the airline provides the plastic bag and some very durable tape which we use to quickly pack the car seat into.

We have never had any problems of any kind of damage to the car seat. However, I would still be at more ease if we could gate check the car seat. Also I would love to gate check the stroller because we have to carry our toddler to the gate. She is at the age when she loves to run everywhere...

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Removed on: 25 June 2014, 13:43
Wisconsin
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8. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

Thanks again for all the info on this. We are definitely bringing our own car seats. The stroller we're bringing is a sit & stand (10 mo old in front, toddler sitting in back) - so no where to store the car seats in the stroller while we walk thru the airport...

I'm really just trying to figure out how to somewhat *easily* carry two car seats, push the kids in the double stroller and a carryon & diaper bag thru the airport... I don't think both car seats would fit in one duffle bag.. Unless we just strap them together on a collapsable baggage carrier. The toddler will have his own seat (baby will be in my lap) - so we could bring his seat on the plane w/ us & gate check the baby seat...

Any other tips on how to easily lug the 2 seats to the gate?? It will only be me & Dh (I'll be pushing the stroller) - & I know they don't let you take those baggage carts thru security....

Freeport, New York
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9. Re: Traveling with car seat questions...

We found it easier to put the seat in/on the stroller and carry the baby--especially since you have to take the baby out of the stroller to go through security. The bag we had (see link above in response #1) has a shoulder strap and wheels.

Both car seats will not fit in a duffle bag, and you wouldn't be able to gate check it that way either. Luckily, you said the airport is not very big. I think it is going to be easier than you think it is :-).

Put your diaper bag under/in/hanging from the stroller--what ever you would normally do. Put one seat (and if you are really lucky maybe both) in/on the stroller, carry the baby in your arms, have your 3-year-old either stand on the back of the stroller or walk holding hands, and have your husband pull the carry-on and carry the other car seat. Then gate check the seats and get on the plane :-).

I did it numerous times alone--it is only rough for a few minutes while you are in the airport.

:-D

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Removed on: 25 June 2014, 13:43