When traveling with young children, it’s vital to use the proper safety gear. However, not all car seats are suitable for adventures, or even for public transportation. Sometimes, you have to go for an occasional taxi ride, rent a car, take your child out to a restaurant, or enjoy some time on foot, but your child doesn’t meet the minimum age requirement to travel without a car seat.
It’s also true that some babies really hate car seats, so it can be worthwhile to track down a safe alternative for travel to keep your trip as painless as possible.
If you want to stop feeling stuck in your own car like the seat belt won’t unlatch, it’s essential to know the best car seat alternatives for travel.
What Are the Different Types of Car Seat Alternatives for Travel?
There are many different car seats on the market, but finding the perfect one for travel can be a challenge. Luckily, there are a few safe and portable alternatives to car seats. In choosing the best seats for travel, you can ensure your child’s safety while also providing them with comfort and convenience, unlike traditional booster seats.
These are some of the best types of car seats available:
1. Baby B’Air Flight Safety Vest
The Baby B’Air Flight Safety Vest is an excellent alternative to carrying your toddler when traveling by airplane. This vest doubles as a safe seat for travel for children between eight months and two years old, protecting them from any possible accidents during take-off or landing. This means that children who are too big for a 5-point harness but too small for a traditional seat belt can still be protected against falls while onboard the flight.
This vest is approved by the FAA and has passed crash tests, making it an excellent option for parents who want the best car seat alternative for traveling via airplane. It has three plastic buckles and adjustable straps on each side, which are very easy to use. The material makes it light enough so as not to strain either parent or toddler during any activity, including breastfeeding.
2. CARES Flight Harness for Airplane Seats
When you’re flying with your child, they must be safe and secure in their seat. This CARES flight harness was designed to provide security by converting any airplane seat belt into a 4-point harness device, making any old seat into a secure seat for travel. This harness is suitable for children over one year old who weigh 22 – 44 lbs. This harness doesn’t only work on planes; it also works perfectly well in rental cars, taxis, buses, and more to keep your young one safe wherever life takes you.
Not only is this harness FAA-approved for use during all phases of flight, including taxiing and take off, but it also has earth anchors built into each accessory so they will stay securely fastened no matter what happens onboard. This easy-to-use and comfortable car seat alternative will keep your child safe and snug during the flight.
3. The RideSafer Travel Vest
The RideSafer Travel Vest is a very affordable seat for travel, and it has a competitive price when compared to the other options listed. It meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, meaning that it has been thoroughly crash-tested like other car seats. This lightweight, packable vest is perfect for traveling with two children. The three-point harnesses keep them safe, and sound travel regulations in most countries allow you to use this to carry one child under the age of 12 or weighing less than 70 pounds on their own.
This seat for travel comes with adjustable shoulder straps so you can ensure that your child stays secure while riding in the vehicle, even if they move around a lot from time to time. The headrests provide extra comfort during trips so that your kids will always feel comfortable, and it leaves an inch of space underneath your child, making potty breaks more manageable than ever. This product provides safety, comfort, and practicality while on the go.
4. Inflatable BubbleBum Booster Seat
BubbleBum’s backless boosters truly have the perfect features for travel. The inflatable booster seat by the company BubbleBum is:
- Portable: It’s small and light, so you can take it with you wherever you go — even on vacation!
- Lightweight: You don’t need to worry about lugging a heavy car seat around with you when you have BubbleBum on your side.
- Inflatable: The BubbleBum takes up very little space when not in use; it can be easily stored in your trunk or suitcase when not in use.
Traveling becomes much easier once kids are old enough to sit in booster seats instead of full-blown car seats. However, transporting booster seats can be a pain. The BubbleBum backless boosters, however, are inflatable booster seats that are easily transportable and can be used for children 4 – 11 years old or 40 – 100 lbs. When you buy one, you’ll find that it comes in a handy carry case so you can take it with you wherever you go, making it the perfect travel booster seat for vacations, road trips, taxis, and more.
We understand that an inflatable booster seat may sound too good to be true, but booster seat alternatives, like the BubbleBum booster, have been thoroughly crash-tested and meet all safety requirements that a traditional booster seat would need to make. It’s really all you need! This travel booster seat has extra safety features, including height settings and features that reduce displacement during impacts, which gives your child more stability in car accidents. Its high-quality materials are truly sublime; you’ll love how lightweight yet durable this product is. Booster seat alternatives can truly free you to travel with kids stress-free.
5. Doona Car Seat & Stroller Travel System
This convertible car seat is perfect for:
- Busy families: You can have peace of mind knowing that your child is safe and secure in this portable car seat while you’re on the go.
- New parents: This car seat is easy to install and use, making it a perfect car seat alternative for new parents.
- Frequent travelers: You can take this infant car seat stroller on planes, trains, and automobiles without any hassle.
Doona is the first of its kind as an infant travel car seat and stroller. It’s a perfect seat for travel, as it actively makes your life easier while you’re on the go. This all-in-one foldable car seat stroller is easy to use and install, so you can take it with you without any hassle. It has an adjustable handle that lets you carry your child in the car seat with ease. The extendable sunshade keeps your child safe from the sun’s harmful rays, while the storage bag lets you store all of your essentials in one place so you can have everything you need when you are on the go.
It has been tested and approved by many safety organizations, so you can have peace of mind knowing that your child is safe when they are in this baby car seat. You can take this with you whether you’re going on a road trip or you’re flying; it is FAA-approved for air travel with an airplane seatbelt. When it comes to finding the perfect child car seat for traveling with your child, this is the best option for you. Besides its safer features, it is also comfortable, so your child can sleep during your flight or car ride with their head properly supported. Using an infant car seat rather than a convertible car seat is also much safer for infants as the seats, chest straps, and crotch straps will all be the appropriate size for your baby so you can ensure proper car seat strap placement.
Preparing for a trip can be overwhelming, especially when you have kids in tow. There’s so much to keep track of, and you also need to figure out how to keep your little ones safe in the air and on the road. If you’re dreading your next road trip or flight because of the hassle of lugging around your current car seat, consider some of the best travel-friendly alternatives on the market. With products like the RideSafer travel vest, you rest assured that your child is as safe as possible without compromising their comfort, even in flight cabins. Just make sure that the seat you choose is age-appropriate for your child!
Now that you know what to bring on your next road trip or flight, you can be proactive and bring along great alternatives to your current car seats. This will make traveling with kids a breeze. Always remember to consider the safety and creature comforts of your children; the coolest baby products and the coolest kid travel products are always the safest, as well. With a little planning, you can turn what is typically a stressful experience into a fun and memorable family adventure.
Steph is a passionate mom who co-founded Wumblers to share her parenting journey with others. She graduated from Concordia University with a masters degree in Education Technology and worked as an advisor for many years. Steph loves being a mom and wants to have more kids.
Learn more about Steph and Wumblers here.