xpost: Around the world with two kids!

meljc

Active member
cross-posted from International

We're seriously considering checking out for a year and travelling the world with our two kids! We'd plan to start in October, when they will be 3y4m and 6y. We have travelled extensively with them and always taken our own seats, but that seems like a really impractical option for a year on five continents.

Current stats:
DD - 2y8m 34" 30+lbs (don't know exactly) RF in a CCO
DS - 5y4m 41" ~41lbs harnessed in SK

Short of bringing their current seats, what will be my good options? I don't know how often we'll be renting cars versus taking other forms of transit (I'm sure we'll have a car in NZ, Australia and Israel but don't know about the rest).

We already own Bubblebums, so I could bring one of those for DS potentially. He's pretty mature and I think will be easy to booster train, but does sometimes fall asleep in the car. I'm not opposed to putting him in a RSTV if that would be a safer option but worry about legality/enforcement in other countries. We also own a KidFit.

And for the little one? I'm not sure what's best. We kept DS rear facing until age 4 and had planned to do the same with her, but I'm not sure how practical our CCO or Scenara would be to lug around the world. For the sake of packing light, I'd want to put her in something like the RSTV if it would be safe for her and wouldn't garner too much scrutiny overseas. I certainly don't want to end up in a circumstance where we need to take a taxi but her car seat is back at our apartment.

Thanks for your advice!
 
ADS

cantabdad

New member
I'd love to know a little more about your trip, in part to help answer your question and in part just out of curiosity about this wonderful family adventure. For example, are you planning to spend extended periods (2-3 months) in just a few destinations, or will you be on the move again every few weeks as you work your way around the world? It sounds like you may be renting a car in Aus., NZ & Israel, and then perhaps relying mostly on public transport in the other location(s)?

For your older child, the BubbleBum sounds like a great option. You mentioned that he is mature, and he will be 6 by then and presumably still over 40 lbs. We have used BubbleBums on a number of trips and they have worked well for short rides, e.g. airport to hotel or in-town taxi ride. They do not seem terribly comfortable for longer rides, and the belt guides are slightly harder for kids to use than a regular booster, so I might be tempted to take the KidFit as well, provided the extra weight won't be an issue for you in traveling. I've made the kids carry their own boosters for some trips, or you could bungee-cord it to your rolling suitcase to make that easier. At your destinations, you could install the KidFit in your rental car when/if you have one, and keep the BubbleBum as a backup for urban taxi rides and the like.

For the younger one, 3y4m and 30-something lbs. is still a little small not to have a carseat on the aircraft, and she will definitely need something in your cars. The Combi Coccoro that you already have actually sounds like a great choice, given how light and compact it is. It's hard to think of anything more compact, other than the RSTV which can't be used on the airplane. The Scenera is also very lightweight. Since she will turn 4 on the trip, you could consider buying a lightweight booster (or second BubbleBum) at some point along the way if that helps lighten your load, assuming she's mature enough to do that. The Coccoro maxes out at 40 lbs. (correct?) and could be donated to a friend or relative at one of your stops so that you don't have to keep traveling with it.

Some foreign airlines don't allow carseats at all, or don't allow them RF, or have other restrictions, though that seems to be gradually changing. Even where they are permitted, inexperienced flight crew may challenge you simply because it is an uncommon sight outside North America (in my limited experience).

The RSTV isn't approved for use in Australia or NZ, according to their website, and those are two countries where I think child passenger safety is taken pretty seriously and could create legal issues for you. I don't think you will attract as much scrutiny in other countries where carseats/boosters are not as widely used or enforced, especially in taxis (where even in the US we seem to have a strangely lax attitude, as if painting the Camry yellow somehow changes things).
 

meljc

Active member
Thanks for your reply! The travel planning is certainly a process :p The current (still rough) itinerary looks like this: Italy, South Africa, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan, Israel and then a few countries in Europe. I think we'll be at each destination for 2-4 weeks.

We tend to travel very light - a big travel backpack and a smaller carry-on for each of us! For that reason, I'd rather not bring the Kid Fit.

Interestingly, NZ's website says this - maybe it means we'd be ok as visitors?
"Need a child restraint for your visit to New Zealand?

If you're bringing a child restraint with you into New Zealand it must comply with one of the following approved standards:

the joint Australia/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1754
the American standard FMVSS 213
the European standard shown by E3 (or another number depicting the European country).
You can hire child restraints for your visit from a number of hire outlets. "

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/safety/veh...raints/using-child-restraints-in-new-zealand/

It looks to me like Australia accepts European certification, but I don't know if that would include the RSTV. Fortunately, we have family and friends living there who I'm sure would be willing to pick up a HBB for DS.

My husband raised an interesting point recently. Some of the places we intend to visit are not exactly safe for strolling after dark (namely Cape Town and Buenos Aires at the beginning of our trip) and it's strongly recommended to take a taxi. I worry that if we're reliant on a real car seat like the CCO, we may often end up leaving it at our lodging and having to choose between riding unsecured in a taxi or walking in an unsafe situation :eek:

So maybe the solution is to bring CCO, RSTV and BB. For long rides in our own rental cars (and on planes for DD) they can ride in the CCO (DD) and RSTV (DS). Then when we go out and about on foot, I can throw the RSTV (DD) and BB (DS) into the stroller to use for taxis. In Australia, we can have DD in the CCO and, if need be, buy a HBB for DS or just make him sit on the BB (or take the risk of having him in the RSTV).

Thanks so much for your suggestions!
 

Car-Seat.Org Facebook Group

Forum statistics

Threads
219,487
Messages
2,200,530
Members
13,389
Latest member
Will and Emma's Mom

You must read your carseat and vehicle owner’s manual and understand any relevant state laws. These are the rules you must follow to restrain your children safely. All opinions at Car-Seat.Org are those of the individual author for informational purposes only, and do not necessarily reflect any policy or position of Carseat Media LLC. Car-Seat.Org makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis. If you are unsure about information provided to you, please visit a local certified technician. Before posting or using our website you must read and agree to our TERMS.

Maxi Cosi is a proud sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Graco is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!Nuna Baby is a Proud Sponsor of Car-Seat.Org!

Please  Support Car-Seat.Org  with your purchases of infant, convertible, combination and boosters seats from our premier sponsors above.
Shop travel systems, strollers and baby gear from Britax, Chicco, Clek, Combi, Evenflo, First Years, Graco, Maxi-Cosi, Nuna, Safety 1st, Diono & more! ©2001-2021 Carseat Media LLC

Top