I decided to write this post on traveling with a car seat because by far my biggest questions/concern with traveling with Aiden was what do people do with convertible toddler car seats? You don’t see people walking down the streets lugging a giant car seat so what were they doing with them? I Googled the question several times over the last year in preparation for our trip to San Diego and Montreal. However, I couldn’t really find anyone who had posted anything about it so I came up with a plan and went with it and it turns out it wasn’t as complicated as I thought (go figure). Here are my tips for traveling with a car seat.
Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. This means if you make a purchase I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!
Before I begin I want to specify that this post is about convertible car seats specifically. When Aiden still fit into the Chicco KeyFit infant car seat that snapped into his stroller system we just brought that and it wasn’t really an issue. Now that he is older we had a convertable car seat and an umbrella stroller (we love this Summer Infant 3D lite).
Here are the tips for traveling with a car seat:
Research your destination
Does your destination have a lot to do in the immediate area, or are things spread out? Is the public transportation good? Are there must sees that you need to drive to?
In Montreal things were fairly compact and we could either walk (and leave the car seat in the hotel) or take their metro system which was very nice and easy to use. It took us just about everywhere we wanted to go that wasn’t in walking distance.
Plan your schedule & rent a car
San Diego is much more spread out than Montreal and we found several places we wanted to go that were not walkable including Legoland, La Jolla, the San Diego Zoo, and Sea World (more on those later). There were also several things close by to the hotel that were easily walkable. We decided to rent a car, but it’s expensive to rent a car for a full week so we rented a car for two days and used the rental to drive to La Jolla and Legoland because they were the furthest away.
Dan used Uber to pick up the car and we dropped it off on our way home from Legoland. We Ubered from the rental place back to the hotel.
Our Uber driver surprised us on our ride home when he thanked us for bringing a car seat. Apparently it’s common for people to try to take their children in Ubers without bringing a car seat. Obviously that is very dangerous and I would hope no parent would do that. It is not worth the consequences should an accident happen.
Remember, some places can store car seats
For the San Diego Zoo and Sea World we looked online and confirmed that they can store items at guest services. Dan Ubered with Aiden to both of those locations and checked the car seat so he didn’t have to deal with it or carry it around. This is another reason researching is important. Keep in mind there might be a small charge to store something.
Get a travel car seat
I heard great recommendations for the Cosco Scenera NEXT convertible Car Seat. It is very affordable and light weight. I don’t recommend it for everyday use, but it gets the job done for travel. We also purchased this backpack for Dan to carry the car seat through the airport.
If you have an older toddler (4 and up) you can look into the mifold Grab-and-Go Booster Seat. I think this will be a game changer for travel.
Traveling with a car seat does take some extra effort but it’s no reason not to travel. Have you traveled with a convertible car seat? What worked best for you?
If you liked this post check out Tips for Packing a Toddler’s Suitcase for Vacation, Things to Do With A Toddler in Montreal, and The Secret to a Perfectly Packed Toddler Carry-on Bag for Air Travel.