What You Need to Know about Bringing a Car Seat on Vacation

Will your next trip involve driving with the kids? Here’s how to bring a car seat with you.

Family vacations are a lot of fun once you’re there, but the logistics can be complicated. Renting a car means ensuring everybody’s got a safe seat, and with kids that can be tricky. Fortunately, it’s easy to not only plan ahead, but to bring the car seat you need with you.

Carry the Burden

Padded Car Seat Travel Bag
J.L. Childress Ultimate Backpack Padded Car Seat Travel Bag.Amazon

For very small children, you can generally bring a full-size car seat with you. Airlines will let you check a full-size car seat for free, in the US, so bringing it with you is easy on the wallet. In terms of getting it there, a bag designed for the seats will both protect it from the gentle caress of baggage handlers and make it easier for you to haul through the airport both to and from.

Lessen the Load

Car Booster Seat
mifold Grab-and-go Car Booster Seat.Amazon

Once they're out of the toddler years, you can leave your current seat in your car and bring a booster seat instead. The booster seat will lift kids so the seat belt makes the proper contact with their bodies. Portable seats are design to fold, deflate, or otherwise shrink down to a point where you can just chuck them in your carry-on and head to the airport, which will let you check one more item off your list the night before.

A World of Difference

BubbleBum
BubbleBum Inflatable Backless Booster Car Seat.Amazon

If you're going overseas, make sure the seat you bring is properly rated for that country's standards. While it's unlikely the customs inspector will confiscate your seat, the different ratings and requirements mean there are some very different design considerations, and what may work in cars in one country may not in another. Checking that detail before you go will ensure you have a much better vacation.