Traveling with a baby (or babies) is no doubt challenging. But it can be made rather easy with baby car seats. You must be thinking that how to travel with a car seat, right?
“To be honest, for a moment, traveling is foremost comfortable with the car seats (especially when you are planning it with 2 babies) when you have a car seat (for at least one kid). But it all depends upon where you are traveling to”
Some of the states of the US have no rules and car seat laws while others have very strict; some countries do not accept US car seats while others do with some obligations.
How to Travel With a Car Seat on Road Trips?
You must carry a car seat while traveling within the US from one state to another. You cannot deny the benefits that a baby car seat offers. Two of them are the safety and comfort of your child while on the road.
The first thing in learning how to travel with a car seat on road is that out of the 50 US states, each has its own rules and regulations regarding child seat safety and use.
Four of the (most important) are listed below:
- The car seat should be according to your child’s age, height, and weight Click here to view the “car seat weight chart” and “car seat ages and stages”.
- It should not be expired, old, or damaged. Note: car seats have a certain service life that varies between 6-10 years for most of the best car seat brands, for example, Britax car seat expiry lies between 8-10 years.
- Car seat positioning in your vehicle. The parents must know “when can baby face forward in car seat 2022 “and when to upgrade from infant car seat because the car seat’s correct positioning is very important as it determines the child’s safety in case of any mishap.
- Car seats accurate harness: that is directly linked with the child’s safety in it
It is more important for newborn babies and toddlers as their bodies are fragile and they cannot hold up their heads on their own. Want to know more about it? Click here “newborn car seat straps correct position”.
How to Travel With a Car Seat on Airplanes?
If the idea of traveling with babies gives you goosebumps, it won’t anymore. Just go through the mart tricks we have written for you to make your pre and post-traveling easier.
How to travel with a car seat on airplanes?
Note: All our directions and recommendations are for US domestic airlines only.
Stage1: How to travel with a car seat at the Airport:
Within the US, no airline will stop you from carrying a baby car seat with you. Once reached the airport, you will do the following things:
- Get your car seat checked at the airport:
When you have to gate-check a car seat, the gate agent will give you a checked bag tag to attach to your car seat. After that, you will drop it at the boarding ramp and get it when deplaning.
- Use a car seat travel cart to manage bulkier car seats:
A car seat travel cart will turn your baby’s car seat into a rolling suitcase. You can harness your child in it and let them sleep while fulfilling the further formalities. To learn how to fix your car seat on the airport car seat roller.
- Attach the car seat to a luggage strap:
If you cannot afford to pay for and then care for an airport car seat roller, you can attach your car seat to the luggage strap or bungee cord.
To do it, you will use the car seat’s low anchors plus the top tether strap to keep the car seat in front of the suitcase ad carry it along.
Stage2: Car Seats on the Plane:
Car seats on the plane are a good thought only if your child like to sit and sleep in them. Otherwise, you will never be advised to use a baby car seat on the plane (because you will have to remove them out of their car seats).
To use a car seat on the plane:
- It must be FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) approved
- It should be a narrow seat (not more than 16-inches wide) and lightweight
You will only be allowed to use cars to eat in plane when it would not block the exit of other passengers. For that, it is advised to the parents to pre-book their fights for getting a middle or window seat.
- Install rear-facing or forward-facing car seats according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
- You will not be allowed to bring car seat base and have to install it without base
- To keep your baby calm along the way, you have to keep them busy (if not sleeping).
Click here to know can you feed a baby in a car seat
Stage3: Car Seats at the Destination:
This is the final stage about how to travel with a car seat i.e. car seat at the destination.
- Car seats are too heavy to carry, and you can also not hold them the entire day.
You will need to have an airport car seat stroller. The car should be compatible with your stroller, and you need to be an expert in its usage.
- You need to do thorough research on “is your car seat legal at your destination?“
- US car eats are only allowed within the US, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
- Illegal in Canada (allowed with the Transport Canada compliance label only), Europe, and Australia
- Rent a car seat at the destination if your one is not allowed there
Rented car seats are a good and economical option. You might feel difficult to use it but it will be as safe as your own car seat.
Related: How to open a Graco stroller
US Airline Policies | What to Expect?
How to travel with a car seat within the US depends upon the traveling agency you will choose. Airline policies vary in the same way as car seat laws vary from state to state. We will provide you the top 9 US airlines recommendations for the baby car seats and stroller.
|Sr. No.||US Airlines||Customer Care Services|
|1||American||1 car seat and 1 stroller checking for free. You must have to purchase a separate seat (if the seat next to you is not available, if available you can use it for free)|
|2||Alaska||They will check the car seat and stroller for free. You can use the next empty seat for free if have not purchased a separate seat for your baby|
|3||Frontier||Car seats should be FAA approved, and you will get window seats on the plane.|
|4||Delta||They will check the stroller for free at the gate, curb, or ticket counter; if you do not have a car seat, they will arrange it for you at the destination.|
|5||Hawaiian||FAA-approved and rear-facing car seats are allowed, and it will not be counted as a carry-on item.|
|6||JetBlue||Will check all baby carriers at the gate and keep changing their policies, so be aware of their rules before purchasing the seat here.|
|7||Spirit||Will check 1 baby Carrie for free, you will get window seats or have to purchase the big seats.|
|8||Southwest||Offers infant fares, one baby carrier check for free, and accepts only FAA-approved car seats.|
|9||United||No reservation for car seats until the seat will be purchased, and check the car seat for free.|
We hope that the above-given step-by-step tips must answer your query i.e. how to travel with a car seat. Children are unpredictable, and you cannot say when they would start showing tantrums.
Therefore, you will be fully prepared for all their everyday needs and comfort to not suffer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to carry car seat through airport?
Though it depends upon the type and brand of car seat you have and whether you have a stroller with it or not, however, you can use your suitcase using a luggage strap or bungee cord, or can use the car seat travel cart, or borrow a car seat airport roller.
What are the best car seat with wheels for airport?
If you have a car seat with wheels, you will not have to buy an additional cart or roller for it. Britax Grow with You Harness-2-Booster, Maxi-Cosi Pria 3-in-1 Convertible, Diono Radian 3RXT, 4-in-1 Convertible, and Chicco NextFit Max ClearTex Convertible is the best car seat with wheels.
How to carry car seat in flight?
A stroller compatible with your car seat, travel cart, airport roller, or a car seat with wheels are the problem solvers regarding how to carry a car seat in flight.
Can you bring the car seat base with your car seat?
Depending upon the car seat model (for example, Britax Emblem) you have, you can take a car seat base with it. Generally, a car seat base is not allowed in the airplane as it is not considered suitable for it.
Do they charge my car seat as checked luggage?
If you have booked a seat for your car seat installation, then definitely no extra charge, it’s free to check with the parents who are flying with the kids, and they are allowed for two baby items for free (either 2 car seats, 2 strollers, or one car seat and one stroller).