What are the best tips for traveling with a car seat? Pre-School Travel

Tips from moms and experts alike on how to travel with a car seat.

Invest in a Lightweight Travel Car Seat

Buy a lightweight travel car seat that you don’t mind if it gets banged up or dirty. Make sure it’s FAA approved for airline travel. Gate check it if you have to, but don’t check it with luggage, as baggage handlers aren’t always gentle with them, which could cause damage to the seat.

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Embrace the Car Seat

While bulky, car seats happen to be the most useful item you'll travel with. If you have a child aged 2 and above, did you know that most airlines (including discount) let you bring the car seat on board? You will love being able to strap your toddler on his seat while flying. If you are flying with a lap child, you will be able to check the car seat at no extra cost on most airlines. Once you get to your location, your child will love the familiarity of his own car seat! -...

While bulky, car seats happen to be the most useful item you'll travel with. If you have a child aged 2 and above, did you know that most airlines (including discount) let you bring the car seat on board? You will love being able to strap your toddler on his seat while flying. If you are flying with a lap child, you will be able to check the car seat at no extra cost on most airlines. Once you get to your location, your child will love the familiarity of his own car seat! - Laura, Family Travel Blogger at Frugal for Luxury, @frugalforluxury

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Rent at Your Destination if Possible

Most car rental places will rent them to you if you call ahead. Also there are services like BabyQuip where you can rent your equipment and it will be delivered to your destination—if that is something in the budget it can save you the headache of dragging it around. If you are stuck carrying the car seat with you, ask for a trolly and help. It’s not worth stressing and struggling with a child and car seat and carry-ons! - MegAnne Ford, Certified Parent Coach at Be Kind...

Most car rental places will rent them to you if you call ahead. Also there are services like BabyQuip where you can rent your equipment and it will be delivered to your destination—if that is something in the budget it can save you the headache of dragging it around. If you are stuck carrying the car seat with you, ask for a trolly and help. It’s not worth stressing and struggling with a child and car seat and carry-ons! - MegAnne Ford, Certified Parent Coach at Be Kind Coaching, @bekindcoaching

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Ask Flight Attendants if There Are Empty Seats

Bring along a lightweight car seat. We have "travel" car seats. Install the seats on the plane if child has a seat. If not, see if flight is full because most flight attendants will allow you to install a car seat in an empty seat. Try your best to not gate check it. I've had a stroller broken beyond repair after it was gate checked so I can only imagine how lighter car seats are handled. But if you must gate check your car seat, buy a car seat bag or check it in its...

Bring along a lightweight car seat. We have "travel" car seats. Install the seats on the plane if child has a seat. If not, see if flight is full because most flight attendants will allow you to install a car seat in an empty seat. Try your best to not gate check it. I've had a stroller broken beyond repair after it was gate checked so I can only imagine how lighter car seats are handled. But if you must gate check your car seat, buy a car seat bag or check it in its original packaging. Collapsible luggage carts are great for hauling car seats through the airport. - Lakita Leonard, Travel Agent at Fun Travels by Lakita

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Embrace the Local Culture

We never bring a car seat. We embrace the culture of the place we are visiting and we hire a car (with a carseat) wherever required.

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Opt for a Padded Car Seat Backpack Bag

I use a padded car seat backpack bag and I check it for free when flying. I’ve rented car seats a few times and never been happy with the sturdiness or the cleanliness so now I take my own. I have a travel car seat that is light weight to carry but still rated well. I only do this if we will be driving a lot or renting a car at our destination.

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