In my previous post I talked about my love of the Foonf. Boy do I love that seat…. Atticus loves it, daddy loves it, but mommy hates traveling with it. It’s one of the seats very few faults. It’s just so darn heavy.
As some of you know, we travel a lot. MommyCon keeps us super busy and in just 18 months, we have been on 26 flights together. Sometimes we rent a car seat, but most of the time we travel with our own. When Atticus was younger, we would click our Graco Snugride onto our Uppababy Vista and could travel with ease. Once his chunky self outgrew the Snugride 35, we switched to a convertible seat. For travel we use either a Cosco Scenera or the Britax Roundabout. The Cosco Scenera has found itself a new home on the West Coast, and is our go-to California car seat, while the Britax has traveled with us to six different states in four months, and starting on the 13th, it will travel to San Francisco, Denver, Memphis and Savannah all in ten days for site tours!
We chose the Roundabout, because it will last Atticus till 50 lbs forward facing, and he can comfortably sit rearfacing to 35 lbs and 49″ with a seated height of 16.25.” So even though the weight limit is lower than some other seats, it will last my tall boy a nice long time.
Usually Atticus and I travel solo, as daddy’s day job keeps him busy. We’ve perfected our packing system, and how we manage public transportation, airport security and the flight with our luggage and car seat.
We do not check luggage, and fly with a single small suitcase. You can tell yourself you can’t do it all you want, but it’s totally doable if you pack smart.
We don’t cloth diaper while traveling. We either use the Flip System with a Grovia Shell, or Huggies Naturals.
We pack light. Very light.
Our “diaper bag” is actually my oversized purse. An apple, two bottles of water, wallet, keys, four diapers and a couple small toys.
Our suitcase is small enough to fit in the overhead bin, and I cringe at mandatory baggage checks. I swear I could throw an Atticus sized temper tantrum when a gate agent tries telling me that my 21″ x 11″ x 8.5″ bag won’t fit. i know the maximum dimensions like the back of my hand, and our bag always fits.
Within that bag, half is dedicated to Atticus. A four day trip consists of at least seven outfits for him, and an entire pack of diapers. My side has a couple bottoms, pair of jeans and two dresses. Rule number one; always pack a spare outfit when traveling with a child. Even on our longer 5-7 day trips we keep it tight in this small suitcase. We keep all our travel size toiletries in a separate baggy and my laptop goes on top for easy access during security.
We always travel with a carrier. Usually an SSC like the Beco Gemini, occasionally a wrap conversion mei tai, but it really depends on the weather and location.
Now what about that car seat… Oh that dreaded piece of equipment.
Remember, it’s not just dragging the car seat onto the plane for us, it is taking a city bus to the train to the airport where I lug it on top of my suitcase where it flip flops around until I wedge it perfectly on the handle just in time for us to take it off to get through security. Oh the joy.
Luckily the Britax Roundabout is incredibly lightweight, so it’s on the “easier” side of seats to manage.
Since I don’t drive, the first thing we do is either hail a cab or hop in a shuttle. Please, whatever you do… never trust cab companies to bring you a seat, and chances are the shuttle company won’t have one either, and if they do you have no idea if the seat has been in an accident.
The Britax Roundabout is a pretty easy install. It has LATCH connectors, but can also be installed with a seatbelt. I think I can achieve a pretty flawless install in under 90 seconds nowadays, but I always find myself having to “sit” in the seat to get it level and tight enough to avoid the 1″ movement rule when trying to shake the seat side-to-side. My biggest problem is that Atticus likes to runaway nowadays, and installing a car seat while wrangling said toddler, is quite the challenge.
I try to pick hotels where we can avoid taking cabs and using his car seat, but I’m really glad we travel with it. I know it’s a pain in the butt to travel with one, but if I can do it… You can too!
Jeopardizing your child’s safety, because there isn’t a law requiring a car seat in a cab is just lame. Think about it, you probably trust your own driving skills more than a cab drivers, so why would you jeopardize your little ones safety, because you didn’t want to deal with the “hassle” of lugging a car seat.
Remember, keeping our kids safe is our number one priority as parents, a few minutes of hassle, is worth a lifetime of happiness for our children.
More information about the Roundabout can be found here.