Car seat conundrum

Alright y’all my sister is trying not to fly with car seats but we are having a hard time with transportation to and from the airport.

Quicksilver was the best option at first, but we are having a hard time getting the car seats we need through them. We need two rear facing (not infant) and one high back booster (not backless). Anyone have any suggestions?

Trying to exhaust my options before they travel with multiple car seats.

1 Like

@kerrilux and @Minnie27mouse seem to be the resident car seat resources on this forum.

I used Quicksilver and used one forward facing car seat for my 2-year-old and a booster for my 4-year-old. I know some people are pickier than I am (and rightly so) but it worked for us. I’ve also bought car seats at Walmart on trips before. They can cost as little as $50, which is often cheaper than what it costs to rent. You may have to improvise logistics between the airport and the Walmart, or send someone out ahead of the rest of the party.

1 Like

Can you share ages, weights and heights for the little ones? I am sure we can work on a solution for your sister. :grin:

2 Likes

I recommend checking out Ride Safer Travel Vests if they are open to forward facing and they fit the criteria.

For a smaller kid who can’t use the vest, Cosco Scenara Next is the cheapest, lightest rear facing seat.

Have you looked at Mears Connect? I believe they are busses & don’t require car seats.

3 Likes

Mears Connect is usually a bus but they are pretty clear that they can swap the bus out with a van.

I recently read where someone on line was told that a car seat would be provided if the bus is switched to a van, but I would want to ensure what kind of seat it was, the history, and if it is appropriate for the child.

It wouldn’t be an auspicious beginning to a trip if you are standing at the airport with a one year old that needs to harness rear facing and they only have a belt positioning booster seat!

4 Likes

Anyone know anything about happy limo? Apparently they called round and this company promised appropriate car seats. So sounds good?

2 Likes

I don’t have anything to add. @Minnie27mouse definitely knows more than me!

1 Like

That’s what I said to Mears! We planned on all of us using them initially, but they could never really assure me that we would have what we needed. Quicksilver was on the right track, but they seem to be booked pretty tight so don’t have what we need (were a little rude about it). So happy limo is where we are now.

1 Like

Many of the agents I know recommend Happy Limo as a reputable company to deal with. They’ve been around a long time. I think if they have what you need, it’s a safe bet.

2 Likes

I would be VERY skeptical of this, only because their own website says that it’s not required on ANY chauffeur driven vehicles and it’s up to the parent to bring one of they want it.

4 Likes

I own this car seat for my youngest, and it’s a good seat. Not only is it light and inexpensive, it’s among the narrowest on the market which is why I bought it as it’s the only way 3 people can use the backseat.

1 Like

I volunteered as a Child Passenger Safety Technician for over a dozen years and often would explain to parents that the laws of physics were not suspended when they went on vacation.

All the reasons why your young person is in a child restraint at home are still valid in another state (such as Florida), no matter what the state laws say.

Years ago, FL’s car seat laws only required a restraint up until 2yo ( :exploding_head: ) so we had a lot of parents think it was perfectly fine to let their 3yos ride unrestrained!

We (CPST community) were thankful FL eventually updated their law, but it still lags far behind most states as well as best practice.

Current FL Law
Oyo through 3yo - Must be restrained in a harnessed seat.
4yo and 5yo - Must be restrained in a harnessed seat OR a belt-positioning booster seat.
6yo+ - Can be restrained in a harnessed seat OR a belt-positioning booster seat

4 Likes

Honestly, I find it easiest to just bring the kid’s seats with us. I use carabiners to hook them on the back of my stroller and gate check them with the stroller. It becomes a little awkward walking through the airport, but the piece of mind when you know you have the right seat is worth it. I use the cheap cosco seats from Walmart for travel seats.

2 Likes

Quicksilver told me they will add rear facing seats for $40/each round trip.

3 Likes

I was always too nervous to gate check them! I had visions of them getting thrown about by a careless worker and getting damaged. We usually used the harnessed car seats on the flight or (when the kids were old enough) got travel-friendly belt positioning boosters that would work as the kids’ carry on allotments. (Actually, come to thing of it, the pandemic hit before we could use the boosters on an airplane. We’ve only used them in the car. In theory, they should work as a substitute for a carry on, though.)

1 Like

I really liked the Minnie van transport for this purpose. Not only were the seats good seats, but all the cast members were trained on proper installation.

Anyone know what the best service options for seats are? We will have an almost 5 year old in April and would prefer not to have to lug our seat on an airplane.

If you are okay with a backless booster seat, I highly recommend the inflatable Bubble Bum.

5yo is on the young side for a backless booster, but with some pre-trip practice and an adult sitting next to them to ensure they sit properly for the entire ride, it can definitely work in this situation.

We used the Bubble Bum for my now 16yo during trips when he was between 5 and 10yo… for both FL and days out in NYC. The seat is easy to inflate and it inflates/deflates in seconds. It is also really light and easy to stash in a backpack.

There are other portable, backless boosters, but in my experience the Bubble Bum gets a decent fit in most vehicles. Not all of them do

2 Likes

After the run around with Quicksilver, we have booked happy limo. They were very positive and completely fine with my sister dictating what she wanted for her kids (regardless of what FL law says is okay). We’ll be traveling in a couple weeks. Help me remember and I will let you know if the actual experience is as positive as the booking process was.

2 Likes

Reupping this thread as I found a car service that is geared specifically towards families with car seat needs, called Kidmoto. All drivers trained in proper installation, multiple carseat options (up to four) for families that need it.

Seem to get pretty great reviews online too. Posting here in case anyone is looking for something. If Minnie Vans aren’t back before our trip, we may give them a try.

5 Likes

Given that your sister’s requirements are specific, I would suggest considering bringing seats, hassle aside.

I’ve had no end of car seat woes with driving services, and my requirements were less stringent (i.e. I just wanted a standard forward facing 5 point harness!). I say this only from experience, having wasted hours of vacation time when said reputable driving service showed up without the requested equipment (i.e. showing up with a booster instead of a 5 point harness car seat, etc), and we waited and waited while they radio’d the problem and found a solution!

She is potentially setting herself up for a carseat crisis at airport pick up, as to the average limo employee, a 5 seat harness car seat is a 5 seat harness car seat, and a booster is a booster, no matter what the order says.

And, if she is luckier than me and gets the precise type of car seat she requested, the quality of the seat could be much poorer than she is expecting. I.e. if she is not comfortable with putting a 2 year old in a forward facing 5 point harness, or a 6 year old in a backless booster, then she should consider how comfortable she is if the quality of the seat is circumspect.

Sorry to be contrarian here, and I truly do hope the solution works out for all.

FWIW: We ended up buying a much lighter, high quality / high safety rating 5 point harness for all our traveling (and for sitters and nannies and grandmas in touwn and such) as the anxiety and drama at our destination arrival points became untenable. We still travel with a traditional booster as our youngest is now 7, but those 5 point harness years are still very fresh in my memory!. And yes, it is a PAIN to travel with one, no question.

1 Like