I have to make a trip next year with my 5 y/o and my 1 y/o from Hawaii to Texas then to Oregon, then back to Hawaii again. It will take one month. I will be with the kids by myself, no help at all, and unable to take the two of them as well as luggage and two car seats by myself. I'm actually kind of freaking out thinking about it right now.
I was wondering about car seat vests. Are they safe? Can my 5 y/o wear one both on the plane and in a car? I was hoping I could put one on her during our flights and be able to transfer her into a car still in the vest. Are they safe for driving around town? Highways? Is there another option? I don't want to check car seats at the airport as I have heard stories of seats getting damaged by the airport staff. I will have a car seat to borrow for her from my SIL (her spare from her 2nd car) in Texas, but have to give it back and will be without a car seat on our flight to Oregon the last week of our month on the mainland.
I have INCREDIBLY (I cannot stress this enough) limited money with which to find a solution. We are scraping-by-for-food poor. The only reason I am making this trip is because a lot of family members were able to donate a small amount to us for this trip. I have three grandmothers who will not be around much longer who have never met their great-grandchildren and may never if I don't get the three of us out there. Plus, my mother and FIL were just diagnosed with stage IV cancer. I need to get there quickly and affordably, but also as safely as possible within the realm of what I'm physically capable of. (This means not trudging through an airport with a toddler, backpack and two car seats strapped to my back while I pull a 5 y/o along with one hand and two suitcases along with the other). *shudder*