Is It best To Take Your Own Car Seats When Travelling?

As the mother of three small children, and with an international family, spread across the globe, I have often been faced with the dilemma of whether or not to take our own car seats when we fly. Every parent knows that long distance journeys with kids require guts, determination and a meticulous attention to detail when it comes to planning what to pack. Most of us have experienced that icy feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize mid journey that you have forgotten to bring wet wipes. When you have so much stuff to remember to take with ‘just in case’, every time you leave the house, even if you are just nipping to the shops, it is easy to see how you can forget. So on top of packing all the essential items you need for your little ones, is taking your own car seat more trouble than it is worth?
An airplane is no place for extras you don't need!
With the array of cheap flights on offer and cheap car hire available at most airports, gone are the days of being met by a smiling travel company representative who has everything planned. These days people are more likely to find the best deal online for their flight and car hire and book it in advance. If you are working to a tight budget it might seem more logical to take your own car seat when you travel so that you don’t have to hire one when you arrive. You or your kids might be a bit fussy about only using a particular brand of seat, or maybe it has to be a certain color? However, if you are only going for a week or two it is easy to put up with something that you might not have chosen yourself, as long as it is going to keep your child safe.

So, I would argue that unless you are going somewhere that you will have no access to a car seat, the best thing to do is leave your own at home and reserve a car seat when you book your hire car. Although most Airlines will fly your car seat at no extra cost, using one that is provided by the hire company will ensure that it fits the vehicle that you will be driving and should not be too expensive. On one occasion, when I have travelled by train with my small baby, a friend who had a car that had seat belts, which were too short to fit my daughter’s car seat, met me. This meant I had to spend more money on a taxi to get safely to our destination. There is also the added bonus with leaving your own seat behind of not having to collect it before you leave the airport, whilst balancing the rest of your baggage on a wobbly trolley, carrying at least one child and trying not to drop all of the passports.

However you choose to travel, have a safe journey.

Abby Wilkinson is a freelance writer and mother of three exuberant children. Born and bread in the UK, she has spent time living in the US and regularly travels to Africa and around Europe. She loves to draw upon her experiences and observations of travel and motherhood in her writing.

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1 comments:

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