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  1. #1
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    Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    Hi,

    I am flying for the first time with my kids (3 1/2 & 17-months) and trying to decide what car seat and stroller to bring (3-hour flight). I purchased a seat for my 17-month old based on reading this forum (and ignored objections from my wife over cost). I have the option of a Chicco Nextfit, Britax Boulvard Clicktight, or Britax Pavilion G3. I am leaning toward the Pavilion because it is the lightest, but the Nextfit may fit rear facing in the plan based on other user reviews, but is wider.

    My 3.5 year old is 39-lbs, so I am hoping he will stay put with the seat belt. Not sure if it is worth getting the child airplane harness for him. I plan to rent a car seat/harnessed booster for him when we get there (will see what they have). We are renting from Hertz, and I have seen them hand out car seats in sealed plastic bags so I think the are one of the good ones for that and do take care of them. I could bring His Graco Nautilus, but I would need to buy another cart or check it as I don't know how we could get two kids and two car seats through the airport easily with at least one carry on and the stroller (I guess people with two younger kids figure it out).

    I plan to get the Go-Go Babyz Mini Travelmate. And will be using our Citi-Mini GT stroller with a gate check bag.

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  3. #2
    Ambassador jess71903's Avatar
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    Good questions! Unfortunately, I'm not the plane travel guru, so I'll leave the logistics to someone else. I would really discourage you from renting a seat, no matter how great they seem to be. You just can't know what you'll get with that. I'd probably go pick up a Evenflo SureRide for him, and you'll have it for future travel. It's light weight and would work for either kid. I know that's one more expense after buying a seat for him your wife didn't want to buy either, but no way would I risk a rental seat.

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  4. #3
    CPS Fanatic aept's Avatar
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    Quick question: how many adults are traveling with the two children?
    If you and your wife are both going on the trip I would certainly consider bringing your own harnessed seats for both children.
    If you are traveling with them alone (so only one adult) then that is when I would consider making some compromises such as renting a seat for the older one.
    Ann, mom to 3 big brothers and a baby girl:
    DS1 - Aug 2006, 80 lb, 56", incognitos
    DS2 - May 2008, 77 lb, 51.5", Vivo or NBB
    DS3 - June 2011, 46 lb, 43", FF in FR85 or booster training
    DD - May 2015, 19 lb, 29", ) Snugride 30

  5. #4
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    What seats do you have for your 3.5 yr old? Also, since you're buying the Go-Go Babyz and bringing your City Mini, I presume that your wife will be with you and you want to push both kids through the airport? Do you have any lightweight double strollers you could bring instead? Do you plan to carry on any bags, and do you have a carrier that you could use with your toddler? There are a lot of different ways to get two kids through an airport, especially if there are two adults with them, so if you can provide some more information you could get some alternate solutions that might be more appealing to you.

    I would also recommend against renting a car seat if at all possible, which is why I asked so many questions. Of your current seats for your toddler i think the Pavillion is probably the best choice. I have travelled with a Classic Marathon and Roundabout before without issue, and although those are lighter I think the overall footprint is similar.

  6. #5
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    I have Graco Nautilus (Target version with safety surround), and a Britax Frontier Clicktight (he still fits in the Britax convertibles as well). The Nautilus is not too expensive. I already replaced the safety surround once after it was used on his camp bus last summer and cracked when they returned it (only $8).

    We have an Uppababy G-Luxe stroller we could bring, but it has limited storage underneath, and actually takes up more room in the trunk of a car, so the lightweight factor isn't that beneficial.

    One option I just thought of is to use one of the recent Britax boxes I still have to check the Graco Nautilus, then try and flatten the box for trunk storage when we get there, or trash and take my chances on the way back with one of those cheap red bags.

    I don't trust checked bagage, so we were planning on bringing a full size 21" carry on with at least 24-hours of essentials for all of us, then backpacks for me and my wife. Another one of our bags will be carry on size, but not sure if we will be able to manage it.

    I would be good to read a detailed account/blog of how people with kids through airports travel. I have tried to pay attention to this while traveling on business recently and don't see to many people lugging car seats with children onto the plane.

  7. #6
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    In your situation, I would buy a Sure Ride. I'd fly the younger one in the Britax G3, and the toddler in the sureride. I wouldn't check either seat, and IME young kids do much better on planes when they are in a carseat vs the plane seat.

    If you are using the go go travel cart for the Britax, I'd use that as a stroller for one kid. I'd bungie the Sureride to the Citi Mini. Then both kids are contained when you are going though the airport, and you and the other adult can wear your back packs. When I fly I usually wear my toddler on my back and my backpack on my front until we are through security, and then she walks to burn energy but that it just my preference. That way I have hands free. I bungee her carseat and carry on, if we have one, to a cheap travel cart.

    Honestly, I think your absolute easiest scenario is buying 2 surerides, stacking them like pancakes on a travel cart, bungeeing other carry ons to it and pushing the stroller. Three year old can either walk of one parent can wear a soft structured carrier just n case. Then one parent is pushing the stroller and the other is pulling the cart. This way you have the most hands free and lighter seats are so much easier to travel with. The go go travel cart is almost the same cost as 1 sureride.

  8. #7
    Moderator - CPS Technician
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    It is true that many people do not take car seats when traveling with children (or they check the car seats). However, this is not the best idea since, as you know, checked baggage is subject to damage and/or loss. For a similar cost to renting a seat for your older child from Hertz, you can buy a travel seat that you can use on the plane to avoid checking. At 39 pounds, I'd recommend an Evenflo Sure Ride or Evenflo Maestro. Both are light and will work well. You might also consider buying a lightweight travel seat for your younger child if you expect to travel by plane a few times a year. But if you're only going occasionally, then I personally would just deal with bringing a heavier seat. Really, traveling with kids is a hassle regardless, so although a heavy seat doesn't make it easier, it really doesn't add too much to the hassle either!

    When we've traveled with our kids on airplanes, it is actually pretty do-able with two adults. What works well for us is loading up all car seats and carry-ons on the stroller (you can practice this at home, and bungee cords can help!). Sometimes if you put one car seat in the stroller seat as though it were a child, and then put the other one backwards and upside down on top of that, it works well. Carry-ons can be strapped on wherever possible and/or hung off the stroller handles. You might be able to find a way to attach a rolling carry-on to the stroller so that it rolls along next to or behind the stroller. It doesn't need to look pretty, it just needs to work. Expect to take a while to get through security. That's okay! You're not responsible for other people that are in a hurry (and it makes sense to let them go ahead of you if they're able to move quickly). Family security lanes are wonderful, and the screening people might direct you to a handicapped or expedited security lane if they are feeling sympathetic.

    So, one adult has stroller + everything else strapped to it, and one adult will be in charge of the children. I'd recommend some sort of carrier for the younger child, and as long as the older child is reasonably cooperative, you can probably get away with holding his hand. (He can even carry his own backpack if you have a smallish one for him.)

    Depending on the airline, you might be able to board early to get everything situated, which can be very helpful. Regardless, it can really help to keep in mind that you're moving slowly but that's okay. Having realistic expectations of your traveling situation ahead of time can go a long way (in my experience) in helping you to feel less stressed over the whole thing.

    Good luck!
    Cutie #1 (13 years) 5-stepping
    Cutie #2 (10 years) riding in a Safety 1st Incognito

    Cutie #3 (7 years) riding in a Chicco KidFit
    Cutie #4 (6 years) riding in a Frontier
    Cutie #5 (3 years) riding in a Nuna Rava

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    Maybe this link will give you some good ideas: http://carseatblog.com/32940/travel-...ke-on-a-plane/.

    Since this is your first flight with the kids, I'm guessing that you probably won't be traveling with them a whole lot in the near future, so it would be great if you could make your current seats work rather than buying something you might not use again. That being said, most of your current seats are really heavy! I agree that you could take money that you were going to spend on the Go-Go Babyz and the car seat rental, however, and get at least one lighter seat that would make getting through the airport much easier. (Bonus: a lot of seats are on sale right now, too! Here is the link to an updated list: http://carseatblog.com/35482/.) The folks that I know who have rented car seats have always ended up with Cosco seats, and you might pay more to rent them than they would have cost new. In fact, you could probably buy a new Cosco Scenera NEXT for $45 for your toddler and let your preschooler use the Pavilion. For not too much more, though, you could get a Maestro or SureRide for your older child, though, and have that as a travel seat that you could pass down to the toddler once the older one is in a booster. I find it much easier to have a child in a car seat on the plane, and it would be easy to bungee something light to your carry on. It would be even easier to strap multiple bags and a seat to a luggage cart, and you'll have extra hands free if you can wear your younger child in some sort of carrier.

    ETA: jjordan covered everything while I wasn't looking! Great advice.

  10. #9
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    Thanks for all the responses. I am now trying to decide whether to purchase the Sureride, or just take our Nautilus (14 lbs vs. 21 lbs).

    The Cosco Scenera just doesn't look like something I want to own, and the Tribute is only good to 40lbs, so if I am going to buy something, the Sureride makes the most sense for versatility.

  11. #10
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    Re: Plane/Rental Car Travel Reccomendation

    A Sureride is under 10 pounds, if that makes a difference.

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