Help with drive & fly trip with 3yo



My DD is 3.5 years old, but weighs 42lb and is 41" tall. We will be driving for 12 hours to our destination, spend the week there, then fly home. I'm trying to figure out which of our car seats to take on the trip.

She is currently using a Britax Marathon daily, and loves the seat - very comfy for her. I also have a Graco Nautilus in our second car, but she doesn't like it much because she doesn't sleep well in it.

Since we will be driving for a large amount of time, I want to take the Marathon. But it's so large I don't want to carry it on the plane (aside from that, we will each be carrying on a carry-on bag, and my elderly mother will be with us, so I'm going to have to help her carry things too). So would it be okay to check it? and how should I pack it - or just use their bags they provide? Or is there a better seat I should consider buying? I would hate for her Marathon to get damaged while it's being checked, cause it's our main seat for her.

We will be flying on AirTran.
Thanks for your ideas.


Well-known member
Here are some other threads which discuss traveling with seats, most of which have pictures! - 2 seats puzzled on luggage cart - Boulevard on the luggage cart - using luggage cart with car seat - travelling toddler attachment video - seat in double umbrella stroller + luggage cart - travelling toddler and tote-a-tot - travel with seat experience (EFTA)


New member
Use it on the plane, use anything - straps, stroller, cheap luggage cart, rental cart, to get it to the gate, and then ask the flight attendants for assistance to board - one of them can walk with your mom OR one can carry the seat, or take advantage of the early boarding to let your mom take her time walking down w/o a rush of people around her.

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