Car seat is truly “the curse” of airplane travel with kids

If you asked me, what is the worst thing about flying with a toddler, I would hands down say it’s the car seat. I can even put up with tantrums and diaper changes, but absolutely hate lugging “the beast” around the airport. When you travel with kids, you already are bringing more junk , than a regular person. Than add to it a car seat, that can weigh up to 22 pounds and is awkwardly shaped , and it can make for some cranky parents.

I remember flying to Europe with our daughter and trying to install it on an airplane, and having to attempt it 4  times, before being finally successful. Everyone is staring at you, while you are dripping in sweat. Than having to repeat it 3 more times on connecting flights. But we somehow made it. Actually, I decided to put off airplane travel, till my son was out of car seat, that’s how much I dislike it.

Of course , that did not work out. So here I was, facing the car seat dilemma for my 2.5 year old once again. This time we did it a bit differently. We decided to rent Cares safety restraint system from Ebay for 25 dollars , including shipping both ways (it’s a harness , that takes almost no space and straps around  airplane seat). My son did well in it, but I think a  baby younger than 2 would be uncomfortable.

For a car seat at the destination, I had 2 choices. Either bring my own or rent one in Calgary airport.  Avis wanted to charge us 15 dollars per day, which would add up to 105 dollars for the trip. Hmm, a bit much. I decided to bring our Safety 1st Go hybrid seat, which is  usually in grandma’s van. It’s  more compact, than normal seat and comes with its own bag. Overall  it worked out fine. The seat was a bit cumbersome, but 10 times better, than a normal seat, due to flexible back. All in all, I recommend this solution.

Also, I know Hertz used to allow AAA members to include a car seat rental at no charge, so that may be another option  to consider. For more tips on flying with kids, you may want to check out, which has lots of good info.

3 thoughts on “Car seat is truly “the curse” of airplane travel with kids

  1. I’m new to your blog and after reading a few post, it’s cool. Totally agree with you on the car seat. I travelled with my 4 months and 22 months once and locked the 4 months in the car seat so that my two hands could keep the running 22 months old in check. The boarding staff and flight attendant gave me a lot of grief during the boarding process as they felt that my 22 months should be in the seat and that I should be carrying the 4 months old. (Which I did do once with diastrous results).

    Good luck on your blogging. I live in the US with European ties so it’ll be nice to see more posting on that topics. We always flown with the cheapest airlines and as such, haven’t done much in the points arena. It feels like wasted opportunities but it’s been difficult to conceive how I would have been able to maximize points opportunities. Anyways, just more room to learn.


  2. Pingback: The Points Guy Hangs Out with Southwest Flight Attendants! | Miles For Family

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