Top 5 Lessons on Managing Car Seats at Airports

I know, you’re traveling by plane.  But, you’ve got to get your family to and from the airports, right?  And your children may be in a car at some point during your trip, right?

Here are the top five lessons I learned about managing car seats at airports.

**In all cases, please carefully check your user manuals and local laws for use of car seats in cars and on airplanes**

1.  Gate check your ‘snap ‘n go’ stroller or stroller system with an infant car seat.

At the airport:  Ask the gate agent if there are any empty seats you can sit next to.  If so, consider bringing the car seat on board to relieve you from holding your baby the whole flight.

Once you arrive:  Many infant car seats are usable in a car without the base; check the seat’s user manual for instructions.

2. Use a GoGo Kidz rolling attachment with your toddler car seat –or- baggage check the car seat and use an umbrella stroller.

GoGo Kidz rolling attachment for car seat

At the airport:  Keep in mind your toddler may be tired at the end of a long travel day and/or too heavy to carry or too slow to walk through the airport, so you’ll likely need something to carry him/her through the airport.  You can either gate check the car seat with the GoGo Kidz attached, or, if  you check the car seat with your luggage, gate check the stroller. You can find information on GoGo Kidz here.

On the plane:  We used the CARES Kids Fly Safe belt system on the airplane instead of lugging a bulky car seat on the plane.  You can find information on CARES here.

3.  Use a protector bag when checking your car seat or booster seat.

At the airport: I found the best car seat bags have back-pack straps which free your arms to handle your child or other luggage.  Also the bag protects the seat.  Note: Most airlines do not count a stroller or car seat in the number of allowed checked bags.

Once you arrive: It’s nice to know you’ll have a safe ride for your child if you don’t have access to a car seat/booster seat at your destination.

4.  Reserve a car seat in advance if using a car service.

Before you leave: Some car services will provide a car seat but need a few days advance notice.  Be sure to give them your child’s age, weight and height to ensure they have the proper size car seat/booster seat.

5.  Check local laws for safety restraint requirements in a taxi cab or car.

Before you leave:  Check your destination’s laws regarding use of car seats in taxi cabs and cars.  In some cities/states/countries, car seats are not required in taxi cabs.  If not required, consider the length of trip, age of child and your own comfort level in deciding whether you use a car seat/booster seat.  Personally, I always use a car seat/booster seat when traveling in a cab with an infant and farther than a few city blocks with an older child.

Do you have any helpful tips or experiences to share related to car seats?  Please comment below.

Please note, I am not endorsing any particular product or brand; I am merely sharing what products we used that worked for our family.