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child safety seats/car rentals BI & Kauai

w.bob

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Traveling to BI & Kauai next year. When looking for a car some agencies have an area to request child safety seats that I can check. It will then give a price for the rental with the seat included. Some agencies do not have that option. I was told you have to request a the seats at the rental counter.

I have the fear of getting to the counter and they will not have the proper seats. Does anyone have any experience with this. As of today I have a car reserved through Thrifty because of price & up to two extra free drivers but I have to get the seats at the counter.

Also I fear that even having the car seats listed on the reservation with other agencies that have the option for seats when reserving is still no guarantee there will be safety seats avail when I arrive.

If anyone has dealt with this & has any input or suggestions it will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
 

DeniseM

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You can take your own car seat for free (no charge by the airline.)
 

Luanne

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We have done both, used the car seats provided by the car rental and taken our own. I much prefer taking our own. The ones from the car rental company were kind of nasty.

If you are purchasing a seat on the plane for your child he/she will be much more comfortable if you use the car seat in the plane. If you don't want to put them in the car seat as Denise said, you can check it with your luggage.
 

sjsharkie

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I always take my own car seats. You do not know if the car seats that you are renting are safe as they could have been in an accident or otherwise damaged. Sight isn't always a good judge of a seat.

I have 3 kids that require seats so it is a hassle, but worth it for my piece of mind.

Good luck.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using Tapatalk
 

w.bob

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We were hoping to cut down on the amount of items we are taking but as it was stated, for peace of mind we may have to reconsider taking them.
 

csxjohn

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We take the ours and the true car seats we take on the plane to use there. The non-FAA approved booster seat is checked for free even on Frontier and you all know how they charge for everything.
 

ailin

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I only rent a car seat if it's for a couple days. I can't bring myself to pay more to rent than to buy a new one. The few times we've rented availability was not a problem, but I don't have specific experience with Big Island or Kauai. Worse comes to worst, assuming you're traveling with more than 1 adult, one person could stay with the kids and the other go buy one from Costco or Walmart (I think Walmart is open until midnight on both islands).

How old are you kid(s)? If under 2 and not paying for a plane ticket, they will let you use a car seat if there are empty seats (make sure the approved for aircraft use sticker is still on). If your kids are a little older, we bought a BumbleBum (booster seat, must be >40 lbs and 4 or older) and that worked out great - so light and convenient. Also, I feel better about gate checking car seats than checking it with luggage, less distance traveled and less potential for harsh treatment.
 

csxjohn

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... Also, I feel better about gate checking car seats than checking it with luggage, less distance traveled and less potential for harsh treatment.

Different rules for different airlines and they are spelled out. This trip the booster had to luggage checked but the stroller was gate checked.
 

Jason245

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Let me fist say that I have always bought a seat for my little one (who isn't even two yet and is about to fly for the second time).

THe first time we flew, we brought our car seat (FAA approved). By Law the airline must accomodate that car seat and let you install it (as long as you pay for seat).

This time we bought a CARES harness (http://kidsflysafe.com/). FAA approved harness. We called and confirmed that the hotel shuttle for our destination doesn't require a car seat, and one person is going to the hotel with the little one in the shuttle, the other one is going to a store to buy an inexpensive car seat and will go to the hotel afterwords (the other alternative was to have walmart or Amazon ship one to the hotel).

If you google car seat from rental agenecy online, there are all kinds of horror stories (expired seats etc...). At ~$10+ per day, it makes sense to buy and either donate or return to store at end of trip (depending on personal preference, and ethics and logistics involved).

The other option (depending on distance is to have one person stay with kid in airport while other takes care of above logistics and comes back for pickup.

Depending on the needs, a "cheepie" car seat (which is still in full complaince with Federal regulations for saftey), is under $50 bucks (break even of around 5 days if you don't count tax deduction for donation and don't return to store).

At that price, even if I had to throw away at end of trip, it is worth the peace of mind (and it can probably be checked for free heading back home if you want to keep it and donate it in your community). That being said, I buy a plane ticket for a child under 2 for the same peace of mind.
 

MichaelColey

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We've always brought our own. The airlines check them for free.

After a few trips, we bought a big carrying case/bag for the car seat. This keeps all the straps and latches enclosed/attached.
 

Luanne

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We were hoping to cut down on the amount of items we are taking but as it was stated, for peace of mind we may have to reconsider taking them.

It really doesn't require that much hauling of them. Yes, you do have to carry them to the airport, onto the plane, off again and put them in the car. But once in the car you leave them there the entire time.

We've taken trips to Hawaii with two small daughters (years ago) where we were hauling two car seats, a port crib, and an umbrella stroller. :eek:
 

ThreeLittleBirds

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We used a Go-Go Travelmate. It makes the carseat like a stroller in the airport. Bought it on Ebay for $40, sold it on Craiglist for $40.
 

w.bob

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Thanks for all of the info. One child will be just over 3 1/2 and the other 1 1/2. I think we will bring our own and deal with the hauling them through the airport etc. That way we do not have to worry about what the rental companies provide.
Thanks again
 

csxjohn

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The seat for the 1 1/2 year old should have the FAA approved sticker. If it does you can use it on the plane for that child.

We did not buy a ticket for our 3 month old grand son on one trip. The plane was not full so they let us use it. If the plane had been full it would have been gate checked and he would have ridden on a lap.

It the other seat is a booster with out the FAA sticker you won't be able to ride the plane with it. Your airline will determine where it gets checked.

I think you'll feel a lot better having your own seats with you.
 

VegasBella

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After doing lots of research on the topic I decided that I will always bring my own carseat AND use it on the airplane. Here's why:

- Easier and safer to install the carseat I know rather than one that's unfamiliar. (Keep in mind that the MAJORITY of carseats are installed incorrectly and the chance of that happening increases with unfamiliar carseats. I've taken a course on carseat installation and a basic rule of thumb is 'if you think it's easy to install a carseat correctly then you're probably doing it wrong.')

- My child's comfort is increased with the familiar seat. Not only is it what he's used to, it also doesn't itch or rub like some other seats might. This meant that he was more likely to stay in his seat quietly rather than fidget or fuss.

- No worries about not having the correct seat available when we arrive. If your child is not 50th percentile on everything then your child may not fit properly into the "average" carseat. For example, my son is very tall for his age and thus to keep him safe when he was younger, there were only a few carseats on the market with headrests high enough for his tall head. If your child is in any way not "average" they may not be able to use "the average carseat" safely. (Remember that rear-facing is dramatically safer than forward-facing so stay rear-facing as long as possible.)

- Increased safety on the plane. Turbulence can do serious damage. http://thecarseatlady.com/airplanes/

- You know your carseat's history. If you borrow or rent one you don't really know where it's been or what has happened to it.

- If you use it on the plane you don't have to worry about damage that can occur from the luggage handlers.
 
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csxjohn

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After doing lots of research on the topic I decided that I will always bring my own carseat AND use it on the airplane. Here's why:

- Easier and safer to install the carseat I know rather than one that's unfamiliar. (Keep in mind that the MAJORITY of carseats are installed incorrectly and the chance of that happening increases with unfamiliar carseats. I've taken a course on carseat installation and a basic rule of thumb is 'if you think it's easy to install a carseat correctly then you're probably doing it wrong.')

- My child's comfort is increased with the familiar seat. Not only is it what he's used to, it also doesn't itch or rub like some other seats might. This meant that he was more likely to stay in his seat quietly rather than fidget or fuss.

- No worries about not having the correct seat available when we arrive. If your child is not 50th percentile on everything then your child may not fit properly into the "average" carseat. For example, my son is very tall for his age and thus to keep him safe when he was younger, there were only a few carseats on the market with headrests high enough for his tall head. If your child is in any way not "average" they may not be able to use "the average carseat" safely. (Remember that rear-facing is dramatically safer than forward-facing so stay rear-facing as long as possible.)

- Increased safety on the plane. Turbulence can do serious damage. http://thecarseatlady.com/airplanes/

- You know your carseat's history. If you borrow or rent one you don't really know where it's been or what has happened to it.

- If you use it on the plane you don't have to worry about damage that can occur from the luggage handlers.

Great post IMO.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all seats are permitted to be used on aircraft. If it does not have the FAA sticker, it can't fly and the booster seats that look like car seats don't have the sticker. We had one of each this last trip.

My son in law explained that the booster seat depended on the shoulder belt for securing while the car seat does not. Of course the planes don't have shoulder belts so no FAA sticker.
 

oceanvps

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the first time we brought our own on plane, from then on we checked it, when we moved to a booster we let the airline figure it out, some make you check-it in their bag, not in their bag (same airline dif rules coming and going), 1 said in overhead bin. the only thing i don't like about checking them is that sometimes they take forever to come off the plane if i can manage it i stuff it in our suitcase (the booster that is)

we've never rented one from car rental company, safety factor, ick factor, cost factor - did big island and kauai in december.
 

jehb2

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We always checked our car seats. The one time my child used it on the plane she hated it. She felt as though she was strapped into a car seat that wasn't going anywhere. She sat on my lap the whole trip. On the return I checked the car seat. She sat very nicely in the regular plane seat.
 
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