If you have young children then you know how big a deal it is to go anywhere outside the house with them. In fact, the younger they are, the bigger the deal, because there are so many different things that you have to bring along. Diapers, wipes, toys, q-tips and more need to be at the ready at all times and, if you're traveling in a car or bus, or even a train or a plane, there's one thing you need above all else; a car seat.
Indeed, no matter where you go, if you're in some sort of vehicle and you have a toddler or small child, you need that car seat to keep them safe and, in many cases, because it's the law. Of course, if we're talking about your car, truck or minivan, it's likely that you will just leave the car seat in the vehicle at all times.
On the other hand, if you're traveling somewhere by plane, train, or even a cruise ship, and you want to take along your child’s car seat it can be a bit of a pain. Child car seats weren't exactly made to be easily transported, making them bulky and sometimes a bit heavy too, and they definitely don’t fit under your arm.
That's why, if you're going somewhere that your child's car seat will be needed, a car seat travel bag can be a lifesaver.
To that end we've put together a list of 5 Top Tips for Using a Car Seat Travel Bag, to help you figure out if, when and where this handy new parenting tool will be able to lend you a hand (especially since your other 2 hands are busy, busy, busy!).
Also, if travelling by airplane, be sure to check our out great article on how to fly with a Car Seat Bag after reading through the below.
Top Tip #1 - Taking a plane to go anywhere that you'll be using a car at your destination (and thus need a car seat)
OK, so let's say that you're traveling from New York to Florida with plans to go to Disney World and some of the other amusement parks in the Orlando area. If you're going to rent a car when you get there (and your child is going with you, of course), having their car seat is a definite must. While you could rent a car seat at the destination through a rental car company the cost generally starts at $20 / day for what tend to be very inadequate, and filthy, car seat.
Now, if you've ever traveled by plane, you know that airports can be massive. Some, like in New York, London and Atlanta, are so huge that they have special trains and trams to help you get from one terminal to the other. If that's what you're dealing with, having a car seat travel bag will be a life saver, because it allows you to strap that big old thing to your back like a backpack, effectively taking it out of your hands and freeing them up for other things, like making sure your toddler doesn't run off and get lost on the luggage conveyor belt.
Also, since planes don't offer car seats, having your child's with you will allow you to use it on your flight, which will usually make things much easier for both you and your child, and much more comfortable for them too.
Top Tip #2 - Use a car seat travel bag to save money on all your flights!
We've already mentioned that you can use the car seat travel bag to take your baby's car seat with you when you travel on a plane, but here's something even better; it can actually save you big money on your flight as well.
The fact is, most airlines today are charging ridiculous extra fees for bags, which can add a huge amount to the cost of your flight and thus to your overall trip, sometimes even hundreds of dollars. But, since most airlines will let you check a car seat for free, you can take it for free in your car seat travel bag!
But here's the best part; since there's lots of extra room in the travel bag, you can pack it full it with all sorts of baby stuff like diapers, clothes, toys, bathroom items and more, and then you can take all of that stuff for free too!!
Think about the car seat travel bag as an extra bag for baby that you can fill with all of the stuff your little one needs and take it with you anywhere you travel, for free, and it suddenly becomes a wonderful extra piece of luggage that the airlines won't be able to charge you to take!
Plus, you'll have the car seat when you get to your destination, taking care of 2 problems at once and keeping a little bit more of your hard earned money in your purse or wallet where it belongs!
Top Tip #3 - Storing your baby's car seat until the next baby arrives
This Tip doesn't really have anything to do with traveling, the preferred reason for using a car seat travel bag, but it can help you save some money. The fact is, if you take care of your baby's car seat, it can last quite a while, thus making it plausible that you'll be able to use it when baby number 2 (or number 3, 4, etc) arrives in the world.
In this case, rather than stashing your baby's car seat in the garage, basement or attic unprotected, where it will no doubt get dusty, moldy and gross, put it inside your car seat travel bag and make sure it stays clean and pristine. Hey, car seats aren't exactly cheap and, if yours is one of the top brands, they are quite expensive. So why risk ruining the one you already have, and will work fine when your next baby arrives? Store it inside your car seat bag and, when that next bouncing bundle of joy gets here, it will be fresh, clean and ready to go!
Top Tip #4- The best Car Seat Travel Bags have backpack style straps to make them easy to carry
Traveling with your baby or toddler's car seat is, as we've seen, a great idea that can save you money, lower your stress and make traveling easier. Of course, since you're going to be taking the car seat with you, it needs to have a convenient way that you can carry it, and that's why the best car seat travel bags have backpack style straps.
Think of it like this; with backpack straps, you can carry your baby's car seat on your back, where it's conveniently out of your way and frees up your hands for more important tasks. Holding your toddler's hand while you walk through the airport, for example, or taking a call on your smartphone. Also, with their car seat on your back, you'll have both of your hands for carrying other bags, towing along any luggage with wheels and, of course, carrying your baby in your arms too!
So make sure that, whatever car seat travel bag you purchase, it comes with backpack straps that let you carry it with ease on your back instead of having to lug it around in front of you. You'll arrive at your destination more refreshed that way, with less fatigue and more energy (which you'll need later because, you know, baby).
Top Tip #5 - Giving a friend or family member who is expecting a wonderful, practical gift
Know someone who's expecting a baby? If yes, and you're stressing out about what kind of gift to get them, a car seat travel bag is the perfect idea. As you've already seen, a car seat bag makes taking baby's car seat anywhere a breeze, because it works like a backpack, letting you use your hands for more important tasks like holding your toddler's hand as they walk. The top car seat travel bag we recommend is our COMPONO Premium Car Seat Travel Bag. In fact, it's the best car seat Backpack because it comes with many excellent features, is highly durable, and affordable.
The COMPONO Car Seat Bag is lined with a poly-based material that's water resistant, to fully protect your car seat, and fits many different types including forward facing car seats, booster seats and even convertible seats. In short, it's a great bag for taking any car seat along when you're out and about!
Parenthood can be difficult. Give yourself a break with a Car Seat Travel Bag
If you have children you know how rewarding it can be, and how stressful. If you don't have kids yet but you're expecting, well, you'll find out soon enough, we guarantee! In any case, baby and child products that make parenting less stressful and more fun, convenient and carefree are what you need, and a Car Seat Travel Bag definitely belongs on that list!
If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to comment below and ask any questions you might have. And, to all you wonderful parents out there dealing with the ups and downs of raising a child (or children) we say this; hang in there; the best is yet to come!
Also, if travelling by airplane, be sure to check our out great article on how to fly with a Car Seat Bag.