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Travelling with Car Seat

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#1 ausktl

Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:23 PM

We are going to Portugal in April with our son who will be 4 months old. We are hiring a car when we get there and from what i can tell from the car hire websites they cannot guarantee a car seat which is no use to us if we turn up to the airport and they say "sorry we have run out!"
So now considering taking one from home. We are flying Qantas, BA and Singapore. Anyone with recent experience with these airlines?
Also we use a safe n sound meridian which seems quite bulky and was considering hiring a smaller seat in Sydney and taking that one with us. Has anyone done this? Do they let you take it OS?
Any advise greatly appreciated - this is all very new to me and stressing me out!

#2 2bundles

Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:30 PM

Qantas and Singapore Air will allow car seats on board, however only forward facing.  At 4mths, I would probably use the bassinet instead.  Obviously you would have to pay for a seat if you want to take the car seat onboard.

Thinking you might have meant take it as luggage.  Best idea is to pack it in the box it came in.  The Meridian is an expensive seat.  Perhaps buy a cheap one from Target.  I'm sure you will use it here in a 2nd car or grandparents, or even for a 2nd bub.  You can get a decent seat for around $140.  Look at the Hipod seats.

#3 tenar

Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:35 PM

Would the seat you have be legal in Portugal?  They will have different regulations there, probably stricter than ours.  I wouldn't assume you can use your seat there either - do the cars have the same arrangements for tether straps?  I'm not sure, hopefully someone else can advise.

#4 ausktl

Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:05 PM

Sorry - yes - mean as check in luggage to use in car in Portugal - not for use on the plane.
Good point about meeting regulations - however i would have thought australia's were fairly strict and if it met them it would meet OS. Also good point about the tether hooks. Not sure what the alternative to taking one is though if they cannot guarantee a seat...

#5 Delayfish

Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:22 PM

I would take the seat as luggage in case they don't have one for you. Worst case is you have an extra car seat with you shrug.gif no big deal. Most airlines don't count a car seat / pram / porta cot as part of your luggage allowance (in my experience).
You can buy a car seat travel bag which is a sturdy carry bag shaped to fit around a car seat for travelling, I have one which I have used numerous times, worth it's weight in gold. Mine is similar to this: http://www.bambiniinternational.com.au/product.aspx?ID=193
Even if you can't tether the seat overseas you will be able to secure it with the seatbelt which is the main thing that restrains the seat in the car, I wouldn't be too worried if I couldn't tether the seat as opposed to having no child restrain at all!
Best of luck original.gif

#6 libbylu

Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:39 PM

If the car company can't guarantee a car seat I would consider booking with a company that can guarantee one. We booked and paid for a car seat in Ireland with Hertz and there was no talk of not guaranteeing.
We have flown from Melb to Sydney heaps of times with our car seat as we borrow relatives' cars up there. We always just tie the straps to each other and pop it through the check in desk. It gets treated as oversize luggage and comes out in a different spot to the rest of the bags. They are pretty sturdy.
It's a good point about whether the strap clip will fit on to the hooks in cars in Europe. I would certainly check this before taking yours, especially if you want to use it rear facing, because then the strap arrangement is vital. If you are flying a main airline, your car seat will add to your weight allowance, but you can check in as many items (within reason) as you want, so it shouldn't cost you extra.  If you are flying any low cost airlines in Europe, they all charge per item of checked in luggage, often around $30 per item, per leg, and many don't make any allowances for baby items.

#7 Kay1

Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:43 PM

We just took two seats with us to NZ. We wrapped them in plastic (rather badly) but at check in the airline provided nice thick plastic bags to put them in. They did get a bit banged up on the way back but fortunately only the bases, not the fabric. Its a PITA lugging them around but once you get it in the car you're good to go. I liked having our own because I know they are right for my kids and the kids were happy in them.

#8 Veritas Vinum Arte

Posted 08 March 2010 - 12:51 PM

just one other thing to consider.... your seat may not arrive at the destination for a day or two. Qantas lost our capsule returning home from EU.... so at 2am no capsule to use and being in Vic no taxi's wuth restraints..... so my 5mo was strapped over the top of me and the seatbelt (ie. I was strapped in and bubs was over the seatbelt in Babybjorn) and we managed to get a Van taxi so I could go rear facing.

Thankfully we had another seat at home as it was 3 days without the capsule.

#9 comefordinner

Posted 09 March 2010 - 04:57 PM

We've had a car seat broken while in transit.  What I did find useful was to buy one of those small luggage trolleys (the fold down kind) and attach the car seat to that - bingo I didn't need a pram!!!

Oh and no Australia's car seat laws seem pretty lax compared to some other countries!  

Have a great trip - take your own car seat and plead ignorance if you get pulled up...  some of the looks we got from cab drivers in EU after insisting on installing my car seat for my little one were priceless.. like they'd never seen anything like it before biggrin.gif

Edited by comefordinner, 09 March 2010 - 05:00 PM.

#10 Bridandzar

Posted 09 March 2010 - 10:27 PM

I would take my car seat or as suggested go and buy one to take with you if you are concerned about your current one travelling.

We recently went to NZ and hired two car seat and although I was not happy with the booster seat for my 3 yr old and I was unhappy and very upset about the seat for my infant (rear facing).  I ended up sitting in the back seat with her to ensure she was ok.... not what I had planned.  I hired via Avis and voiced my concerns regarding the seats but that is what I was given.

Have a great trip

#11 Nikoleta

Posted 10 March 2010 - 09:14 AM

We have taken carseats with us 3 years ago and plan to do that this time, too.

We bought Hipod Barcelona (I think? Or madrid?) for $99 on special at Target so ay cheaper than hiring here. We packed them in the original box. There were LOTS of carseats on the flight. Yes, it could get lost.

The cars do have the tether hooks, at least they did back then.

We had the option of buying seats overseas, but they are very very expensive! So we chose to bring our own. We felt they were safe enough (I mean it is what we use here at home!) and chose to bear the brunt of any laws in terms of non-compliance.

But... despite what we get told about how safety-conscious people in europe are I found the exact opposite - they were all quite lax so I wouldn't expect them questioning the seat...

Edited by Nikoleta, 10 March 2010 - 09:16 AM.

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