Flying to Hawaii w/ 4 & 7 year old


New member
I've never flown and obviously my kids haven't either. We're going to Hawaii in October and the kids will be 4 1/2 and 7. Should we take for seats for them on the plane? I'm guessing my 7 year old will be fine on an airplane seat but how about my 4 1/2 year old? I'm sure we'll have a rental car so we need seats for that.


Moderator - CPST Instructor
Your 7 year old will be fine in the airplane seat, and you can pack a booster into your luggage. Your 4 year old has a few options--either a harnessed seat (taking it on board and using it keeps it safe from damage and loss), a CARES harness (would still require checking a seat, or taking a highback booster in luggage depending on your child's ability to use a booster at that young of an age), or just the airplane seatbelt (still requires checking the seat)..

If you decide to go the CARES harness route, you can borrow one of the board ones. I have some here, and I'm in Delta. However--I would recommend taking a harnessed seat on board the plane.



New member
We just flew to CA from Calgary (a 3ish hour flight) with two 4.5 year olds and a 6.5 year old and they were all good in the plane seat belts. We did not need to bring car-seats as my parents were there in their RV and brought seats for all our kids, but we have brought seats on flights before. I think it would be a lot easier to check a seat than to carry it through the airport and security unless you have something compact or foldable like a radian. The stuff we needed to carry on (a bag of toys, snacks, colouring books and pencil crayons, a camera bag, our laptop, and a diaper bag for our 3 month old) made it hard enough without car-seats since it all has to go through the x-ray machine along with you shoes and any jackets or sweaters and any of your lotions, creams or medicines in a baggy. It was tough to manouver, although I know it is necessary. We gate checked seats previously as well as checked them before in a bag and I think they are safer being checked in a good quality car seat bag rather than gate checking, they really do some damage gate checking things in my experience.


New member
Hey I just relocated from Hawaii to the mainland and flew w my one year old. Id also say take the car seat or booster for your 4yr old into the plane w you. It was a big pain in the butt since it was just me, the baby, 2 carry-ons a stroller and a carseat (and Im talking about a BLVD here, those arent compact at all lol) all the way to the gate. With my kid the decision to take the carseat into the plane was easy since she is still so small and more comfortable in her seat. The stroller was gate checked in a bag, but like previous poster said, theres a higher chance for damage there and I wouldnt want my carseat thrown around.. Anyways, if you have questions about Hawaii or want some ideas on what to do/visit let me know!

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