We are taking a trip to New Zealand next month, when our son will be 11 months old. We can rent a carseat when we rent our campervan, but we will also spend part of the trip in cities, without a car. I'm wondering whether we should bring along a carseat to use (1) on the plane, and (2) in cabs in the city. How do people without cars in cities do this?

asked 13 Jan '10, 15:57

BetsyB's gravatar image

BetsyB
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edited 25 Sep '10, 13:02

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Yuval
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One thing to note, cities in New Zealand are a lot smaller than US cities, so you can get around them a lot more easily on foot

(13 Jan '10, 19:03) Rich Seller

Just wondering how you got on?

(27 Sep '10, 02:13) K D

I have heard that renting car seats can be iffy -- you can get there and the rental company doesn't have any after all, or the quality is poor. However, I don't have any advice on what to do when you are carless.

We are going on a short plane trip with our baby this weekend, and bought a strap to attach the car seat to our rolling suitcase. I have no idea how well it will work yet, but it seems like it will make the suitcase into sort of a stroller.

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answered 13 Jan '10, 18:55

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Anne
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That, and renting carseats is often horribly expensive.

(14 Jan '10, 08:17) Benjol

We've flown with that strap several times now. It works great!

(15 Jan '10, 05:59) Dennis Palmer

According to NZ Child Restraints:

[...] passenger service vehicle (eg, taxi, shuttle, bus) that isn't fitted with safety belts.
However, where a safety belt is available in any of these vehicles, the child must be restrained, and where an approved child restraint is available, it must be used (where appropriate for the child's age and weight).

Taxi companies will probably provide child restraints if you give them reasonable notice.

Note that the driver of a passenger service vehicle, such as a bus or taxi, is not legally responsible for ensuring seat belts are used (if fitted). It's up to the person in charge of the child to make sure they are used.

Having said that, I wouldn't get in most cabs without a restraint, never mind for an 11 month old. As Phil says you also don't know if a seat provided by the company is in good condition or not, but any car seat is going to give more protection than sitting him in your lap.

If you do decide to take your own, you would have to get one approved for use in NZ. Though as it seems NZ child seats are all made in the US, you may already have a compliant seat:

Restraints that comply with the United States Standard (FMVSS 213) must, in addition to any other markings, display the New Zealand Standard 'S' mark, to show they have been certified for use in New Zealand.

If it were down to me, I'd consider taking a "travel system", that allows you to fix the car seat to a pushchair/stroller. You can check the wheeled part on the plane and stick it in the boot (trunk) of the taxi. This gives you some flexibility to take a taxi or walk, with an appropriate amount of faffing about to assemble. I haven't direct experience of this so it may turn out to be a bad idea, just seems sensible to me.

As I commented, it is worth bearing in mind that cities in New Zealand are quite small compared to US cities, and you can easily walk round the downtown area if you are fairly active.

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answered 13 Jan '10, 19:01

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edited 13 Jan '10, 19:09

Unfortunately, he has grown out of his infant carseat, so the travel system is a no-go. We have to go with the bigger convertible carseat.

(13 Jan '10, 20:50) BetsyB

you can get travel systems that accomodate larger infants

(13 Jan '10, 21:45) Rich Seller

I would definatly take your car seat on the plane, having a baby on your lap for a long time is hard plus he will sleep better in his seat. Downside is you will have to pay for a seat for him. Upside is you know the seat your using hasnt been involved in an accident, about cabs in cities i dont know if by law they have to have one, but by taking your own you wont have that worry. check this car seat out. http://babyproducts.about.com/od/travel/gr/sitnstroll.htm or this one http://www.theportablebaby.com/gogokidz.html

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answered 13 Jan '10, 16:59

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Phil Seller
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edited 14 Jan '10, 08:33

We live downtown in our city and I gave up my car years ago. We have car seats for the little kids that spend most of the time being stored in our front hall closet and are taken out when we are going to my Moms or their other Grandmothers (both of whom live outside the city and come to pick us up.)

Mostly, we take the bus if we are going somewhere too far to walk (over 5 miles, or when the weather is terrible). My 2 year old rides in his stroller, and my 3 1/2 year old sits in a seat beside me. I often take cabs, but not with the kids because it becomes prohibitively expensive when the meter is running while you install the car seat, and then you have the car-seats with you wherever you are.

If I were you I would take my own car seat to use on the plane and in your camper van, but not bother with cabs while I was in the city if I didn't have to. Hopefully there is good public transportation where you're going, and walk lots, I've been told the cities in New Zealand are gorgeous and the best way to know a city is to walk in it.

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answered 25 Sep '10, 15:17

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Asked: 13 Jan '10, 15:57

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Last updated: 25 Sep '10, 15:17