I posted this in the Africa sub-forum but got no responses. Does anyone here know anything? I'm thinking I may need to make my peace with my 4 year old being in a booster and my 1 year old forward facing for the trip. I know everyone will recommend bringing the seats but we're breaking the trip in London and using public transport to get to and from the airport so I just don't think it's feasible. Plus I'm worried they'll be damaged. I'm open to the idea of buying seats when we arrive in SA as we'll be there for a month.
"Hi there. We're visiting SA at the end of the year with our 2 children. They will be 20 months and 4 1/2. The 4 year old currently weighs about 40lb (18kg). He's still in a 5 point harness. The 1 year old is still rear facing. Will it be possible to buy or rent equivalent seats in SA? In other words, is it easy to find harnessed seats for over 40lb and rear facing seats for almost 2 year old (she's currently about 20lb)? Bringing our own seats would be a huge hassle due to the weight, danger of damage and change of flight. Can any SA mums weigh in? Thanks"
OK, well I'm guessing no one knows anything about South Africa so I'm going to ask a more general question. I'm leaning towards bringing the radian for the 20 month old. Now I'm wondering about the 4 year old. I think it will be hard to find a harnessed seat that is big enough for him out there. I don't really want to bring his nautilus as it is HEAVY and I'm worried it will be damaged on the flight. But what about bringing a lightweight booster? Are they subject to the same susceptibility to damage as a harnessed seat? I may also be able to source a booster there. My concern about a booster is that I'm not sure whether all cars will have shoulder belts in the back. Seat belt laws seem to be VERY lax over there. Can anyone advise?
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car-seat.org is an excellent place to go for advice :) as for bringing seats... the kids have their own seats on the plane right? just install the seats on the plane!
Thanks. I have posted in car-seat.org and had one response. The poster suggested the Rider Safer Travel Vest which I got excited about but seems very hard to get in Canada. I'm also concerned that it needs a top tether when used with a lap belt. My 20 month old will not have her own seat on the plane. I'm thinking of bringing the radian on the plane for the 4 year old (or for the 1 year old if we are lucky enough to get a free seat) and using it for the 1 year old when we are there. I'm just not sure if I should bring a seat for the 4 year old (that will have to go in the hold) or if I should rent there. I'd much prefer he was harnessed, of course, but I have a feeling he won't fit in any south african harnessed seat as he is tall. So basically, if we rent it will probably have to be a booster, but if we bring a harnessed seat ourselves it might get damaged and I will probably have to buy a new lightweight seat as I don't want to bring the heavy (and expensive) nautilus.
Can you buy two Cosco Scenera's and just gate check them? They have their own clear bag you can travel with and they're lightweight. If they get damaged, it won't break the bank to replace them.
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The scenera won't fit the 4yo, but it probably will the 1yo. If you don't want to do the travel vest (which really is a great option, we love ours), then I would get a maestro for the 4yo. Bring it on the plane and gate check the scenera. Worst case you put the 1yo in the maestro while you're there and find a booster for the 4yo. But most likely it'll come through fine. Both seats are really lightweight and easy to haul around.
can you drop-ship the carseats to where you will be staying? Ive done this before when traveling and it really cuts down on the baggage. (For example I live in AZ and when visiting the northeast, I order a couple outfits for DS online and have them delivered to where we are staying) So order some carseats and have them delivered to SA. IDK if you are staying w. family or what but wherever you are staying should be able to accept packages for you. This would definately cut down on the hassle of traveling with seats. Then just leave the seats in SA when you are done (thats what I do with the winter clothes)
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I am a South African mom. You can buy new car seats and booster seats at Baby City. Check out their website at www.babycity.co.za and then you can also opt to rent but this depends on where you will be traveling to - as the service is not readily available throughout South Africa. But JHB and CT are covered. Try www.babylite.co.za,
I hope this helps. If you have any other questions about SA and where to go etc. let me know...