If you need a car seat at your destination, there are several alternatives. Here are some helpful tips for ensuring that you have a safe, clean, car seat when you need it.
- Bring your own car seat. Not only do you know that it's safe, but you also know how to install and use it. Next week, I'll have a roundup of different products designed to make traveling with a child safety seat easier.
- Carry your seat onboard the plane if possible. This avoids having it damaged or lost in checked baggage.
- Consider keeping a car seat in locations you visit often (like grandma's house). It's cheaper than a rental, and you'll know exactly what you have.
- Rent from a baby gear rental company instead of the car rental agency. Their business is built on providing safe, clean rentals. Many will meet you at the airport with a car seat.
If you rent a car seat:
- Call ahead and verify that the company will have a safe, clean seat available when you arrive.
- Inspect the seat thoroughly for any evidence of cracking, twisting, worn harness webbing or broken buckles.
- Once you have latched the buckles, pull hard to make sure that they do not detach.
- Find the "birth date" label on the side or back of the seat, and don't use a seat that is older than 5 years.
- Parents should also ask for the car seat manual to ensure that they install and use it properly. Related Links: Air Travel With Babies, Toddlers and Kids
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