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#1 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone rented a car seat with their rental car?? I didn't even know it was an option until recently. We are traveling to FL in April with our ds - who will be 13 months. He is in a convertible (has been since 6 months) and the thought of lugging it makes me tired. Just curious as to your experiences. TIA
A

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#2 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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I have lugged a car seat and rented one. Actually lugging one was not that bad. I found a carrier online that has luggage wheels so it was quite easy to get through the airport. The carrier cost me $20 and I always checked it at the gate.

The car seat I received from the car rental company was a Graco. It was clean. There was really nothing special about it. Of course, having lived in Orlando and experienced the number of tourists, the car seats could see more action than the one I rented. Anyway, the guy who brought it to the car had no idea how to install it but luckily I was well-versed by then.

If you look for a handy carrier with wheels or rented a car seat, I don't think you'll go wrong either way.
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#3 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 06:44 PM
 
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I have heard horror stories about renting. Among other things, they don't promise that they will have one. If they're out- you're up a creek and sending one person driving around town to find one.

I wouldn't do it.

-Angela
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#4 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 06:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I read online that b/c of safety issues the car rental co's people are not allowed to install your seat. They give you the instructions. My dh is good at that so I am not worried there. Another concern I had about bringing ours was that it may get beat up if we checked it as luggage (ds is in lap for the flight). That to me is more of a safety issue since he is in our seat virtually every day as opposed to the maybe four times he will ride in the rented seat (from airport to resort and back and maybe two day trips we have planned for vacation - we specifically picked a resort we are happy to chill at)
It is encourging to hear that other people have done it though- If we do decide to rent you can believe I will have the lysol handy

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#5 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 06:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Whoa I over used the wink there - NAK

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#6 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 07:42 PM
 
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We rented one once and my Dd screamed bloody murder every time we put her in it. She is spoiled by the cushiness of her Britax! So, we'll be lugging next time.

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#7 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your dc knows what she likes! What kind of seat was it? Besides her not liking it did it seem safe/clean?

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#8 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 07:53 PM
 
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We rented one once and my Dd screamed bloody murder every time we put her in it. She is spoiled by the cushiness of her Britax! So, we'll be lugging next time.
We go to Orlando in May...we're Britax addicts...how do plan to take it? If you check it, what will protect it? It's too big for carry-on or can you gate-check, like a stroller?

Obviously, our 1st time traveling
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#9 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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I have a seen a cover on amazon.com and target.com that fits the britiax but it still worries me.. can you carry the carseat right up to the gate so they take it last minute? I hate the idea of it getting jigged around and thrown about.
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#10 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 08:26 PM
 
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In my old job, I had to fly all the time. On smaller, regional jets, they give you a tag for things that will be "gate checked." (too big to fit above or below the seat, like a stroller) It is left just to the side of the door you walk through to get on the plane. Then, it's waiting for you when you get off the plane.

I would always gate check my carry-on bag, so I didn't have to mess with the overhead compartments. I would call the airline and ask if your flight will have this option.

Also, just think if your luggage was, "lost." You would have to buy another one, on vacation, and fight with airline for reimbursement. I have a feeling they would not refund the full amount of the (expensive) Britax. Maybe if you still have the receipt...
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#11 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 10:00 PM
 
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IF there is an empty seat, you can use that seat for your dd's carseat. I would never trust a rental carseat, you have no idea what condition it's in, if it's been in a crash, if they have an appropriate seat, etc. I always take ours and we've never had problems (we'll have 3 to take in Sept). If you can't use it on the plane, you can still gate check it and taht way it almost ensures it won't be lost w/ the luggage.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#12 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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We've both rented and lugged, and we prefer lugging.

Our experience renting from Avis was pretty bad. For one thing, they didn't have the carseat for us when we arrived to pick up the car, and we had to sit around waiting for it for 10 to 15 minutes.

The carseat itself stank of Febreeze (very chemical-ly, and the guy said it was Febreezed) and was really basic — not at all padded or supported, and even though it said it was for babies five pounds and up, our 3-month-old slumped so badly in it that I had to stuff a bunch of rolled-up blankets in it. Plus, there was no way to adjust the angle of the seat, and it ended up being way too upright for a baby who can't sit up on his own. We were able to tilt it back a little (thanks to the thick December issue of Vogue and DH's computer books!), but I sat in back with him the entire trip to make sure nothing slipped. It definitely wasn't comfortable for him.

The next time we traveled, we brought the Snugride, and it worked much better. The fact that it fit in our stroller made it easier to get around in the airport. Airline employees went out of their way to help us, and it was nice to have the carseat in his airplane seat, too. He slept very well in it!

Our next trip will involve us lugging the Britax convertible, not the Snugride, so we won't be able to snap it in the stroller, but I still think it will be good to have it. (It's the Roundabout, the smallest model, so hopefully it fits in his seat.) I hear it's easier if you just pull the straps out all the way, which then allows you to throw it over your shoulder. We'll see if that works for us. Or maybe we'll get one of those wheeled carseat-carrier contraptions mentioned earlier.
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#13 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 10:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So if we lug how does gate check work? Do we have to let them know ahead of time? And the stroller issue is a whole different worry. I haven't decided on whether to bring one or not. We hardly ever use one at home so...If we do decide we want one I would prob buy an umbrella stroller to take. So that would make 2 things we are gate checking? One little boy, so much stuff :

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#14 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 10:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ryansma View Post
So if we lug how does gate check work? Do we have to let them know ahead of time? And the stroller issue is a whole different worry. I haven't decided on whether to bring one or not. We hardly ever use one at home so...If we do decide we want one I would prob buy an umbrella stroller to take. So that would make 2 things we are gate checking? One little boy, so much stuff :
Gate checking is super easy. When you get to the gate, you just ask the attendant for a gate check tag. A lap baby is allowed a carseat & stroller, as well as a diaper bag. We've taken a stroller and set the carseat in that, and it worked ok. What worked great was buying a wheeled luggage cart for $15 at Walmart. It came with 2 bungee cords and the Marathon fit perfectly on it. Then I put the diaper bag on that, and slung DD. I was flying by myself across the country and it was the most hassle-free way to go.

CPST & mom

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#15 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 11:13 PM
 
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gate checking your seat really isn't that bad. I did it when flying with my toodler and pregnant with no one else. They pretty much take care of everything when you first check in and you just bring it when you get on your flight and they take it there.
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#16 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 11:34 PM
 
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ryansma, I'm going to atempt this by myself to!!!
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#17 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 11:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ryansma, I'm going to atempt this by myself to!!!

Which part kibba? Rental or Lug??

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#18 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 11:42 PM
 
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lug! I'm going to bring the britiax, a stroller, baby and me.... I'm going to babywear though, and then use the stroller to hold the carseat:
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#19 of 34 Old 02-16-2007, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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lug! I'm going to bring the britiax, a stroller, baby and me.... I'm going to babywear though, and then use the stroller to hold the carseat:
That is the route we will probably go too. Wearing is a good idea. I have always worn my ds when we travel, he is the happiest there - me too for that matter. It made it easier on our last trip, except when I had to take him out (at that time of the ring sling) for the metal detectors. Now we will Sutemi Pack it up, love that thing!
Happy lugging I mean traveling

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#20 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 12:00 AM
 
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except when I had to take him out (at that time of the ring sling) for the metal detectors.
FWIW they can stay on through the metal detectors now

-Angela
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#21 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 12:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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FWIW they can stay on through the metal detectors now

-Angela
That is great to know! Thanks Angela

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#22 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 01:33 AM
 
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I've done both - lugging and renting. Typically we rent overseas - when we fly over we usually have horrible connections and don't want to gate check (before he was 2 - we weren't "buying" a seat - no flames on that please!) our car seat b/c we are never sure what will happen. Plus, it really is just a PITA to be hauling through CDG with your hand luggage, to add a baby and a car seat to the mix just seemed insane to us!

So, I usually wear the babe, and we rent overseas. We've had no problems, although like PPs have said, you get a bare bones model, it can often be a bit stinky, and you need to be pretty well versed at installing them. I have made them switch it out for me if it reeks of smoke. Oh - and it usually takes longer to get the car b/c they never seem to have it ready...

As for lugging - this is a PITA too! Especially when traveling alone. I hate dragging that bucket seat all over the place even when I'm home though - so know that I'm biased! :-)

Good luck - you'll be fine whichever you choose.
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#23 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 11:52 AM
 
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So if we lug how does gate check work? Do we have to let them know ahead of time? And the stroller issue is a whole different worry. I haven't decided on whether to bring one or not. We hardly ever use one at home so...If we do decide we want one I would prob buy an umbrella stroller to take. So that would make 2 things we are gate checking? One little boy, so much stuff :
Can you buy a cheap umbrella stroller at destination? Most department store here have them for 10.00-20.00.
When you gate check something..you mention it at check in..they give you a tag that you attach to said item so when you go through security etc they see it.They also ask to check in with the people waiting at the gate why I am not sure I guess to identify you for later when boarding the plane as if its not obvious that the poor women overloaded with toddler and baby gear is checking the stroller.
And when you get to the door of the plane a flight attendant is waiting to take it away.

I've gate checked my umbrella stroller and it always arrived safe and sound on the other end.
I have yet to fly with a car seat though and have the same fears as you my seats arrived beaten and battered on the other end.My luggage always arrived with some pieces ripped off or looking like it had been drug down the run way..if it arrives at all.
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#24 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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Another vote for LUG THE SEAT.

http://gallery.deadfrog.net/albums/h...0788.sized.jpg

Dd and I travel ALL THE TIME (well new baby arrived this week, so we won't be traveling until Easter...) the link above is for a pic of her around 14 months when we went to Hawaii for 10 days.

We spent $40 to buy a Cosco Scenara because it's safe and only weighs about 9 lbs... you can see it on top of the stroller (a chicco london, $60 at target), and our carry on bags (a diaper bag, purse, laptop, and random junk) piled on top of the carseat...

I will gladly give you all the tips and tricks for flying w/o another adult if you want

Lisa, mama to Lauren, Elliot, angel Marion, and baby due in the fall.
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#25 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can you buy a cheap umbrella stroller at destination?
I hadn't thought of that. I also am considering just renting one when we go to Sea World - I think its $10 for the day. Like I said in pp ds doesn't love the stroller so I tend to wear him. Good workout for mommy.



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Another vote for LUG THE SEAT.
Cute picture!

I just like to know all my options so that's why I asked if anyone has rented. Obviously renting is not the majority's choice and that does say a lot.

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#26 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dd and I travel ALL THE TIME (well new baby arrived this week, so we won't be traveling until Easter...)
CONGRATULATIONS !!! I am having baby smell flashbacks - mmmmm!

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#27 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 02:30 PM
 
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Just a FYI with gate checking. They bent my stroller once it was still usable but I was still ticked there was also someone who posted on another board about having something that smelled like fuel/solvent that was spilled on their britax. They were unsure if it would effect the saftey of the straps: If you gate check your carseat you may want to get a bag for it.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#28 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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I regularly travel alone with DS. We have rented carseats and lugged our Britax. I have had moderately decent seats and I have had filthy, disgusting seats of unknown brand and age. I had one seat that was the dangerous type with a shield. (pic of similar) I had one seat, that one maybe, that wouldn't fit safely RF no matter what DH and I tried. Even though DS was only 13 months and about 24 lbs, we put him FF for that trip, because it was the only safe install we could get. Once, I got there and they didn't have any convertible seats, only infant buckets. They wanted me to put him in it, even though he was over the weight. Then, they wanted me to drive, alone with DS, to the Wal-Mart down the street, buy a carseat and bring it back and get reimbursed. Finally, I was able to force them to go buy it and bring it to me. It was some ewwy, cheap seat, but it was brand new.

The one time I rented with Hertz, they installed the seat for us and it was a King Kong install. She did SUCH a good job, I was totally impressed.


We now have two permanently installed Boulevards in our cars, and our Britax Marathon lives in a carry bag. I/We now "lug" the Marathon for all our trips. The rented seats were $$$ and so frustrating, not to mention of dubious safety.

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#29 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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Ahhhh, perfect timing for this thread. We are scheduled to fly to Syracuse this Thursday, weather permitting, for a 12 day northeast tour. We are renting a car from Budget and have it in our reservation that it will include a car seat. Now I am nervous! Maybe I will go buy a carseat smaller than our Britax to take along. We have a lot of travelling in our lives. I guess it would be good to have a carseat specifically for trips. Better than paying $60 each time.
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#30 of 34 Old 02-17-2007, 05:57 PM
 
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I always gate check my seat - not only because then I will have the seat when I get to my destination, but then I can also use it on the flight if there is an empty seat. I have flown cross country with DS 3 times now, and only on one leg of one flight has there not been an empty seat for me to use with him.

I bought a bag from www.go-baby.com (the Wheelie one) and I LOVE it! I highly recommend it. And it must be pretty good - I notice one or two in every airport we fly through, these days.

I was also able to tuck my boppy pillow, a small bag of extra clothes, and a blanket into the bag with my carseat - thus cutting down on my carryon's and such.

Jen, SAHM to Jamie and Alexandra and with #3 in May
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