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  1. #1
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    Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    No...not looking for whether you think I'm crazy!

    We will be flying with my large 3 year old and my 4 month old twins. The babies' seats are no problem because they are FAA approved and will just make the trip with us (two Graco Snugride 32's). The problem is that the big guy is in a Regent and that can't go on the plane and I really don't want to check it, plus, we'll have to rent a van instead of borrowing my FIL's Dodge Intrepid while we are there which is an extra expense.

    Anyway, I posted about this several months ago (before I had my twins and I was thinking straight), but never followed up. The suggestions I got then were to get a Radian or to use the Ridesafer travel vest. My son weighs over 40 pounds and would technically be fine using just the airplane belt (although I'm still not sure how I feel about that since I don't really trust him to sit through the flight if he can get out of his belt), but we would need a solution for the car.

    So...I guess my choices are...
    1) Get a Radian and use it in the car and on the plane.
    2) Get just a travel vest and use it in the car and just the belt on the plane.

    My questions are...
    1) We are traveling to Michigan, so a winter coat will be involved. Does that make one choice better than the other?
    2) Will a Radian and two Snugride 32's fit three across in an Intrepid?

    What do you think we should do? Any other suggestions? Thanks!

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  3. #2
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    Re: Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    I shall refrain from voicing an opinion on your sanity

    The Ride Safer Travel Vest would be a great option at your destination if you're comfortable with your three year old on the plane. Trouble is, a lot of three year olds will be miserable in the lap belt alone, slumping and sliding all over the place, wiggling, getting in and out, etc. Are you up to dealing with that on the plane? If you aren't, the Radian would be a great choice

    Also, another thing to keep in mind is that winter coats should never be worn in a car seat, not a big kid's car seat, not a Snugride. Street clothes, and a layer of warm polar fleece are all that's acceptable. Also, no Bundle Me's or similar in the infant seats!

  4. #3
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    You should never have a winter coat between your son and the restraint system. So if he's using the Radian, he should get the coat on between the plane and the car, and take it off before getting buckled in (and put it on backwards if necessary.) If wearing the vest, he should put vest and coat on before exiting the plane, followed by the coat, then when at the car remove coat, be buckled, and coat can go back on backwards if necessary. The vest might or might not take less time to put in the car than the Radian, depending on your experience level with the Radian and what car you have.

    Baseless infants and a Radian should fit in most cars but I don't have first-hand experience wtih the Intrepid. Baseless infant seats and a vest will fit in ANY car with the appropriate belts (you need either a lap/shoulder belt with or without tether or a lap belt plus tether for the vest.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  5. #4
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    Re: Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    How about a RSTV for the car and a CARES harness for the plane? You can buy both for about the cost of the radian, and it's a lot less weight/bulk to lug through the airport.
    Mommy to two wild little boys and a little princess!
    DS1 (01/05, 46 1/2", 44 lbs), Boring Gray Turbobooster / Harmony Literider
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  6. #5
    CPST and ketchup snob ketchupqueen's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    Quote Originally Posted by DahliaRW View Post
    How about a RSTV for the car and a CARES harness for the plane? You can buy both for about the cost of the radian, and it's a lot less weight/bulk to lug through the airport.
    That's a good idea, and you don't even have to buy a CARES-- you can rent one. Cheaper. And the old-style RSTVs are under $100. You'd come out at least $50 ahead of buying a Radian, and the RSTV is not going to give you troubles like the Radian might going in (although you would have to re-do it every time he goes in the car, so it's a bit of a trade off.)
    CPST and Mom to Emma, 15, Bridget, 13, Maggie, 11, Katie Sue, 6, Jimmy, born May 2019,
    and Becky, waiting for us as part of our eternal family.
    Our '02 Odyssey, car seats, and seatbelts saved our lives. Now riding in a '13 Odyssey!

  7. #6
    CPS Fanatic abacus2's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    Two Snugrides and a Radian should easily fit three across in an Intrepid. The Intrepid is a big car, and two Snugrides and a Radian would fit three across in almost any car. I currently have two Britax Marathon sized seats (a Decathlon and a FPSVD) and a TurboBooster 3 across in my Intrepid. I've had several other combinations too relatively easily.
    Liz
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    Rachael (11/03), Emily (8/06), and Naomi (1/09)

  8. #7
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    Re: Opinions on traveling with 3 kids

    Thanks so much for the responses! I know that he shouldn't wear his coat in the car seat...wasn't sure that the same was true for the vest. I'm thinking the RSTV and renting a CARES sounds like the best choice...thanks!

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