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Travelling with a toddler - buggies and car seats. - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

When travelling with a toddler you need to consider the question of the buggy / stroller.

Even the most energetic child who is considered a “good walker” will get tired walking around the theme parks and child transportation of some sort is essential unless parents or grandparents are prepared to carry tired and sleeping children.

If you don’t want to take a buggy from home there are several options. If you are staying in a villa, check with the villa owner, many provide a stroller free of charge for the use of their guests or will hire one for your use. If your villa owner does not provide a stroller they are easy and inexpensive to buy, $20 will buy a decent stroller from Wal-Mart and at that price you won’t mind leaving it behind. Failing this child transportation can be hired from the theme parks on a daily basis – a great fall back if you don’t take one and suddenly discover a child who you had expected to walk everywhere is exhausted. Jetlag, heat and day after day of endless activity means that it is not unusual to see much older children in “transport” hired from the parks.

If you choose to take your buggy from home, you will need to decide whether or not to leave it at check in or to keep it with you until you are ready to board the aircraft. Remember, most carriers will take a child’s’ buggy or pushchair free of charge, in addition to other baggage allowances. If you choose to keep your buggy with you, you will have to remove the child and fold the buggy so that it can pass through the x ray machine.

Wherever you choose to be parted from your pushchair, it will not be returned until you collect your suitcases, so be prepared to carry a sleeping child from the aircraft and through immigration – depending on the individual immigration officer you may have to wake them at the US border.

On the question of car seats, most carriers will take a car seat free of charge, although if you are also taking a push chair there may be a charge applied, check with your individual carrier.

Whilst many of the larger, toddler type seats and booster seats will need to be checked into the hold some of the car seats for infants can be strapped onto aircraft seats, the seat must be an approved child safety seat, and if manufactured after Feb 1985 should also be certified for use in aircraft. The child is not permitted to travel in the seat for take off, landing or during turbulence. For toddlers some aircraft use their own child safety restraint systems, again, check with your carrier.

Whilst it is possible to hire seats from rental car companies I would always recommend you take your own. You are familiar with the way in which it secures within the vehicle and with the way your child is secured within the seat and you know that it has not been subjected to misuse of any nature which may compromise its safety.

You can buy car seats very reasonably from outlets such as Wal-Mart, and whilst this would not help much with the initial journey from the airport it’s a great opportunity to upgrade your car seat, especially if your child is ready to move up to the next level!

Don’t ever try to transport your child unsecured or in the front of the car…. . It’s against the law.

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