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...to not have a clue how to deal with taking a toddler on holiday. Do you take your car seat?

(23 Posts)
Clytaemnestra Wed 01-Jun-11 09:40:27

I've been invited on a holiday at the end of August in south of France to meet up with relatives who live in the US. Which sounds lovely, but I've been trying to work out travel itinerary and it's SO complicated.

I'm flying into Nice then driving (with DD who will be 22 months and DH) to Marseille, so a two hour drive. I'm neurotic and thinking that it might be better to take our car seat with us, but DH says that I'm being precious. It is a monster of a thing, and will be a massive pain to cart around the airport (and it might get damaged in transit as it's one of the ones which comes with a safety cushion so will be in two bits so should probably be in a box or bag)

Am I being totally unreasonable to want to take the carseat? Has anyone used a carseat supplied by a rental company?

squeakytoy Wed 01-Jun-11 09:41:47

Take buggy, and use the car rental car seat, it will be fine.

Flippingebay Wed 01-Jun-11 09:43:18

I used the car rental seat when we went to spain last year, it was pretty much brand new and I had no issues using it.

xstitch Wed 01-Jun-11 09:44:15

I am with your husband use the rental one. If you don't like the look of the condition of it then ask for another when you are collecting the car.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 01-Jun-11 09:44:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

tiredgranny Wed 01-Jun-11 09:44:49

agree with squeakytoy when we went us we brought one there and it was pain to cart back with buggy

wolfhound Wed 01-Jun-11 09:45:47

You can hire carseats but they are often not very nice, and it's impossible to know whether they've been in an accident or how old they are etc. Also you risk one not being available on the day you turn up, regardless of pre-booking. We've always taken our own. With two adults and one child, it shouldn't be too hard. Don't think you need a box or bag, (though don't understand the safety cushion bit) - just do up the harness and tuck away trailing straps.

We are flying in August with 2 adults, 3 kids (all under 4) and 3 car seats (being picked up by relatives so not even option of hiring car seats). I really have no idea how we are going to carry stuff through the airport, but it will work out somehow.

KaraStarbuckThrace Wed 01-Jun-11 09:55:47

Take your car seat. You have no idea of the condition of the one you get, and asking for a different one is not easy as they may only have a limited number available. However this does depend on the rental company, if you use a big one such as Europcar or Avis, they should have good quality seats available, DH and I usually use a small, local firm so we take our own car seat.

I have taken car seats with Easy Jet a number of time and have had no problem, they can get a little damp due to condensation build up in the hold but I normally wrap it in a big bin liner to reduce this.

Clytaemnestra Wed 01-Jun-11 10:44:18

Thank you everyone smile

I'm compromising - I'm going to book a car seat with the rental company (It's a big one and will be on corporate account so should be fairly above board) but as a back up am booking bag space for both me and DH so if I have a neurotic fit the day before we can put the car seat in our huge suitcase smile

TattyDevine Wed 01-Jun-11 10:51:19

The only time we took ours was on the way to Australia and that was partly because we wanted our son who was 10 months at the time to be able to sleep in it as he had his own seat, without having to be clipped into an infant restraint on our laps in times of turbulance, and that is the only way you can do that at 10 months, and our "spare" Britax seat happened to be one of the ones that complied with aeronautical requirements (something about a lap belt as well as a lap and sash being able to secure it)

We were then of course able to use it when we got collected from the airport but it was a faff and hassle carting it about at Singapore etc.

2nd time we went to Oz and we had 2 kids by this stage one who was 7 months so she had a bassinet (and had to be picked up during turbulance and of course woken grrr) and my son was old enough to have his own seat and not need to be picked up when the seatbelt sign went on but have his own seatbelt done up.

Its much better not travelling with it, and much simpler just to hire one.

moomaa Wed 01-Jun-11 10:58:07

I wouldn't pack yours in a suitcase, have you seen how they boot suitcases around? I would be worried about the structural integrity of my seat if an airline handled it at all TBH.

I would go the hire route and be very careful about checking it over. If I was worried I would be prepared to buy one out there as an emergency contingency (but I would expect hire one to be ok).

mrskbpw Wed 01-Jun-11 11:18:43

I've hired car seats at the airports in Edinburgh and in Faro in Portugal and the difference is astonishing. In Britain, they gesture to a pile of car seats and tell you to get one yourself. You fit it yourself - no instructions naturally. And heaven forbid if you have a question. I couldn't work out how to loosen the straps the first time and they wouldn't even tell me that.

In Portugal, they have a designated car seat fitter who works with all the car hire companies. They ask you how old the child is and get the right car seat for you. They'll fit it and make sure it's right, you can check it, then they show you how to work it.

I wouldn't have any worries about hiring one abroad, especially in Europe - EU laws are so stringent (mind you, they seem to ignore them here!) that I'm sure it'll be perfectly safe. Sounds like a lovely holiday.

fedupwithdeployment Wed 01-Jun-11 11:31:45

I would take car seat with you - in bin liner as others have suggested. My experience of car seats is that they are ridiculously expensive (hire cost for a week is more than you would actually buy the seat for) and pretty rubbish.

Clytaemnestra Wed 01-Jun-11 12:54:11

moomaa - I hadn't thought about it being booted around. Good point.

I think you're right about a better back-up plan being to buy one. I've saved the address of a Babies R Us which is (relatively) near the airport so I can get there if needs be
[hopeless neurotic who always needs a back up plan emoticon]

Thank you everyone else smile My DH also says thank you, he was right and why do I listen to mumsnet when I don't listen to him grin

kansasmum Wed 01-Jun-11 13:17:24

If I remember correctly Easyjet let you take car seats free of charge- I'm pretty sure most airlines do.
We hired a car seat in malaga- it was not nice and very difficult to fit and the rental car co. won't help you fit it. You can get special carry bags for car seats. You could also buy a lighter more basic car- seat for this trip?

Good luck- hope you have a wonderful time!

RockStockandTwoOpenBottles Wed 01-Jun-11 13:25:16

Clytaemnestra you can take the car seat free of charge on pretty much any airline (bar Ryan. Probably). Just check it in with your cases. I travel between Spain and the UK every month with DC4 (she's 2.3) and always take my car seat with me. Neither seats (tiny one and current one) have been so much as scuffed. Certainly at Gatwick I have to take them to the 'awkward package' belt once I've checked in and they always come out on the carousel first (with the buggy) for me at both Malaga and Gatwick. I know that they are covered by the airline and if they break them they will replace them (had a buggy broken once), and quickly at that.

Have a lovely holiday.

sherbetpips Wed 01-Jun-11 13:33:44

Take yours, the airline don't charge for car seats usually. Wrap in a bin bag and label up.

mamababa Wed 01-Jun-11 13:56:31

Ryanair charge you to take it (obviously they would!!) but I think its only £20 or something so cheaper than rental. You can decide after booking your flight with them and add in car seat/travel cot etc via 'Manage my booking. Its free with Jet 2 on a 'limited release basis' as long as it weighs less than 10kg. Last year we took ours (a group 1 heavy thing) with ryan air, no issue, after check in just take to outsize baggage. This year, going with jet 2 just going to turn up with it. The one we hired in spain was awful and cost about £35 for 10 days so we take ours

RockStockandTwoOpenBottles Wed 01-Jun-11 14:18:08

mamababa Ryan charges? Now there's a surprise! grin

Clytaemnestra Wed 01-Jun-11 14:23:35

BMI Baby charge too. As I have just discovered. hmm

FrozenYogurt Wed 01-Jun-11 14:33:43

We travelled to Portugal this year and had the same worries. We ended up buying a new one from Argos - cheapest one they sell is £30-odd, so much cheaper than hiring one! Didn't matter if it was scuffed in transit and we knew it hadn't been in an accident.

plupervert Wed 01-Jun-11 15:31:54

We always take our car seat (knowing that we have to get to the airport in the first place, anyway). I've never had to pay to check it in, and it has always been excluded from baggage allowance (tho' I haven't flown Ryanair since about 2002). It is handled separately, as out of gauge luggage, so you drop if off immediately after checkin, and don't have to collect it till you are at baggage reclaim on the other side and have a trolley anyway.

youarekidding Wed 01-Jun-11 15:49:33

I took my car seat and not a pushchair and bought a cheapy £15 supermarket one for the duration of my stay - which I left to a local at the end.

IME a child of that age is jiggling all over in a car so needs a decent seat but will walk quite a lot so decent pushchair isn't so important.

I actually did this 3 times in 3 years and it ended up costing me the same price as the first hire car co wanted to hire a seat.

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