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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are they worth it? We are traveling soon with our Cosco Scenera and our Joovy Kooper stroller.

Last time we bungeed the Scenera to our wire luggage cart and had a plastic bag to go over it for gate check. Of course it got dirty just going through the x-ray machine because we didn't have the bag on yet. (ugh) This time we're thinking of rigging up some homemade backpack straps, or else taking our luggage cart again. (DH is the car seat pack mule, I carry LO in the Ergo.)


Our stroller has a specific bag that will fit, but it's not cheap (1/3 of the price of the stroller) I don't think generic bags will fit. Is it a bad idea to gate check an unbagged stroller?

Do you think travel bags are worth the $$?

p.s. sorry if this is not in the right forum. Please feel free to move me, Mods, if I am misplaced.
 

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we have travel bags for both and yes I think they are worth it, but we fly at least once a year, sometimes up to 4 times a year. Seeing how dirty and ripped up the bags have gotten, I'm very happy we have them so it is not our stroller/carseat taking that damage. The carseat bag you can get for as little as $20 at babies r us. For your stroller it folds relatively small so it would most likely fit in a bag like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Childress-Stan...ef=pd_sbs_ba_4 or in a big hockey/sports equipment bag which are relatively cheap. If nothing else I would get some big contractor trash bags and rig up something with those.
 

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Seriously, I recommend the bags to EVERYONE who travels. Nevermind that they protect your stuff, they are a tricky way to carry more luggage. Most airlines don't count your carseats as part of your luggage allowance, and the travel bags are easily stuffable with extra stuff. I usually put my huge bag of cloth diapers and all the winter gear in with the car seats and have never been given any hastle. I probably fly 6 times a year on various airlines, and with two kids and the new restrictions on carry ons, the extra space is crucial. You pay more than the $20 bucks for over weight or extra luggage. I have the amazon one and the babies r us, and they are both great.
 

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They're not worth it IMHO.

Bravo for NOT checking the car seat as luggage. It's such a bad idea. They so often get lost and broken in transit and no car seat bag will keep it from getting sent to the wrong city!

But gate-checking still can mean getting dirty and/or broken. This is especially a problem in bad weather, even with a jet way. You stay dry but your gear goes down stairs and gets exposed to the elements.

You can bag the stroller with any sort of bag with the wheels sticking out. This was a great tip given to me because the wheels don't really need to be kept clean and dry like the rest of the stroller. This is especially a good idea if using a trash bag (make sure it doesn't look like trash
). Strip your stroller down first by leaving the cup holders and toys at home. Pack the sunshade in your checked bags if it's bulky.

When you get to the door of the aircraft (or at the bottom of the stairs) fold the stroller, throw the bag on and bind the stroller from the outside with a bungee cord. Your stroller is more likely to be damaged because it pops open and most only have flimsy latches to keep them closed (just meant for storing).

You could even use a heavy, clear, plastic bag. Some airlines provide them.

Make sure the gate-checked tags are still visable, preferably still sticking out (watch them put it on or ask to put it on yourself). Have your address and phone number somewhere on the seat just in case.

Duffle bags are another cheap option but anything will work. I'd prefer something cheap being mangled than an expensive, purpose-made bag I had spent "real" money on. Chances are you'll be using your stroller and/or car seat right away and that's not pleasant if either/both are wet and/or dirty!

Now, a dirty X-ray machine, first time I've heard that! I hope you sent a note to whomever to clean the darned thing! Try flipping the seat upside down as you send it through so that at least the seat part doesn't touch the machine. Bagging your seat before security is not too realistic for most parents (i.e. those with travel systems or whose children are sitting in the seat on a cart).

Still, try to bring the car seat on board and use it if you can. If you have a lap baby, ask at check-in if the flight is full and if it's possible that they place an empty seat next to you. This way, your flight will be more comfortable and you are certain your seat at least will make it to your destination in good shape!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Eclipsepearl View Post
You can bag the stroller with any sort of bag with the wheels sticking out. This was a great tip given to me because the wheels don't really need to be kept clean and dry like the rest of the stroller.

You could even use a heavy, clear, plastic bag. Some airlines provide them.

Duffle bags are another cheap option but anything will work. I'd prefer something cheap being mangled than an expensive, purpose-made bag I had spent "real" money on.

Now, a dirty X-ray machine, first time I've heard that! I hope you sent a note to whomever to clean the darned thing! Try flipping the seat upside down as you send it through so that at least the seat part doesn't touch the machine.
My only qualm about the wheels sticking out is wheels falling off if one of the handlers accidentally hits the wheel release button, etc. I am going to see if we have a cheap-o duffel bag already in the house that will fit either the car seat or the stroller. The clear plastic bags are a good idea. I may just have to buy some ahead of time. (Continental no longer gives car seat bags, but SWA does...last time we flew on Continental, they wouldn't give us a bag, so we went down the ticket counter to Southwest and explained and they had a whole roll and gave us one, even without SWA tickets.)

I'm debating the car seat bag with backpack straps (JL Childress brand) or rigging up our own straps + a plastic bag. Haven't decided about the stroller. Maybe one of those $12 red gate check bags. It's not a ton of money and might hold up better than a plastic garbage bag.

Oh, and as for the dirty x-ray machine...
We were ticked because it was a brand new seat! The pink seat cover got dark gray patches of dirt all over it. They guy made us put it in seat-facing-down on the belt.
Oh, well. Live and learn, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by snoopy5386 View Post
The carseat bag you can get for as little as $20 at babies r us. For your stroller it folds relatively small so it would most likely fit in a bag like this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Childress-Stan...ef=pd_sbs_ba_4
Do you mean you have one of those red gate check bags for your car seat? (The JL Childress car seat bag is around $45-50, the one with the backpack straps.)

That looks like a good stroller bag...BIG, too. Our stroller will be delivered today, and I would like to find out if I need a bag that big or if it would fit in the umbrella stroller bag by the same company.
 

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A car seat bag is a great idea. Car seats are not made out of delicate glass contrary to popular opinion. Sun shine kids sell a sturdy car seat bag which is affordable and water proof. Also works nice when storing car seat in garage etc.

When using a car seat bag recommendation is to use some bubble wrap for your seat and also add some extra padding like clothing, diapers, etc.

Bringing a car seat on board is a good idea to make sure it gets to destination on time and also is in good condition. Using a car seat on the plane purely for safety is irrelevant which is clearly shown by all kinds of data, statistics and real life experiences.

Have a nice trip!
 

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Just an option, but I did really well travelling/gate checking with a huge vinyl laundry bag (from a bed bath home store from around college era) OVER my clear plastic bag over the car seat. I used small collapsable a luggage dolly to pull through the airport etc, then threw that in the bag with the seat once we got to the gate.

After looking at the prices for car seat covers/carriers, I had to get creative. I sharpie'd my last name and phone number all over it. We cinched it all together with a web belt to keep compact.

(Oh and the bag was all scuffed up after - but not my carseat!!!)
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
the "college" plastic aundry bag is a good idea! Plus even to buy a new one would most likely be less $$ than a specific car seat bag. Once they put the "baby" label on any product it seems like the price goes up by half. I need to scour the house and see what bags I have before I buy something...

DH had a really good idea to try for our stroller, to use one of our old Army duffel bags that we have stored in the attic. They are really heavy canvas, long, and have backpack straps! A free stroller bag!
Now if only the baggage handlers don't treat it like an Army duffel, i.e. roll it, toss it, down the jetway and into the plane...
 
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