Our group is going to be staying offsite at Disney World and will have two vehicles. I am bringing one car seat for my 2 year old as a gate checked item on the plane but will need another car seat for the other vehicle (will be traveling in both vehicles and it’s not practical to switch it between cars all the time). Would you recommend booking the 2nd car seat through the rental car company we are using (somewhat nervous about safety and availability) or renting one through a company that does baby equipment rentals? And if the baby equipment rental company, do you have a recommendation for a particular company? Thanks!
Personally I’d feel better about baby equipment rentals – like they’d do a better job checking safety and cleanliness than a car rental place… But that is just a subjective gut feeling…
Do you have a 2nd at home that you could bring? You could check one with luggage (should be no charge) and use the other for 2yo seat on the plane.
I would bring my own second or just make one car “the car the 2yo rides in” so that switching isn’t needed.
If you decide to bring an extra car seat from home, check to see if it is acceptable to use on the plane. Not all car seats are approved for air travel.
How do I know if my car seat is safe to use on an airplane?
Check your car seat; if it’s safe for flying, it will have an FAA-approved sticker (this language will also be in the car seat’s instruction manual, too, if the sticker has worn off). This means the car seat can be used on airplanes as well as in cars because it has passed the inversion test, said Dr. Baer, meaning the child will stay buckled in the seat even if it is turned upside-down.
How do I know if my car seat will fit?
An FAA-approval sticker doesn’t guarantee your car seat will fit on your specific airline, said Dr. Baer. Car seats can vary in width, usually from 17 inches to 21 inches. It’s best to check your car seat dimensions against the seat dimensions of your airline. You can find approximate dimensions of most car seats on this car seat measurements and data spreadsheet, compiled by members of car-seat.org. For approximate airplane seat dimensions, you can check seatguru.com, or call your airline. “Remember,” said Dr. Baer, “it is not the total width of the seat that matters most, but rather how wide it is at the area that is narrowest on the airplane seat (typically where the arm rest is on the airplane seat).”
If you’re a frequent flier, you might want to consider the Combi Coccoro car seat; it’s ideal for flying, since it’s the narrowest seat on the market at 15 inches. “As a bonus,” said Dr. Baer, “you can get the Coccoro Flash stroller so that you don’t have to carry the child or the car seat through the airport.”
I agree with @Mrs_Beast - why switch cars at all? I am kind of a weird control freak when it comes to cars - when my DS9 was that age, he only rode with my DH or I driving.
I would never ever trust a car rental place with a car seat. If you must get a seat there - then the baby equipment rental place would be the necessary choice. But I’d personally bring a 2nd seat or buy a 2nd seat there and donate it before we left.
Now there’s another option – buy a second seat from Amazon, one of the cheaper-but-reliable versions, and have it shipped to Disney so it is waiting when you arrive… Or just buy at Target / Walmart upon arrival.
Thanks all. Logistically I don’t think it will work to have her ride in only one car. We are going with my parents and my Mom has offered to go back early sometimes with my youngest if she wears out before we want to leave for the day (also have a 7 yr old - taking a backless booster for her). My parents don’t want to be at the parks as long as us all the days and may be coming later or leaving earlier and there are times my youngest will be riding with us and times she’ll ride with my parents. So I’m going with the rental company idea - I just have no idea which company to use.
I decided not to check a second car seat as I don’t want to risk it getting damaged in transit. I realize that may happen with a gate check of the one car seat but at least then it’s only one car seat to replace.
Good luck and have a great trip!