How To Pack a Car Seat for Checked Baggage

Welcome to the ultimate guide on how to pack a car seat for checked baggage!

Listen up, fellow parents! When it comes to flying with our little ones, safety is always on top of our minds. That’s why it’s crucial to properly pack your car seats for checked baggage.


Proper packing of car seats is crucial to prevent any damage and ensure acceptance by the airline.

You can use a travel bag or its original box to pack a car seat as checked baggage. In this article, we’ll give you detailed guides for each option, so you can decide what’s best for you and your family!

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time parent, we’ve got you covered.

Show it to me already!

Car Seat Checked Baggage: Pros and Cons

You’re a parent traveling with your little one and you have your car seat with you. However, carrying that through the airport and onto the plane is no joke. So, do you drag it around or check it as baggage?

I’m here to help you weigh the pros and cons of checking a car seat as baggage. Then, you can make the best decision for you and your kiddo.

Checking your car seat has its benefits. It offers convenience and reduces stress, as parents don’t have to worry about carrying it around or figuring out where to store it on the plane. Plus, checking a car seat as baggage ensures that it’ll be handled by airline staff.

However, there are also some disadvantages to consider. There’s always the risk of damage or loss during the flight, which could leave you without a car seat at your destination. Some airlines might charge fees for checking in a car seat as baggage.

Finally, it’s inconvenient to wait for the car seat to be taken off the plane and sent to baggage claim, particularly if you have a cranky child in tow.

How to Pack a Car Seat for Checked Baggage

If you need to pack your car seat for checked baggage, fear not! With a little bit of know-how, you can make sure it arrives at your destination safe and sound:

1.   Get the Car Seat Ready

Before packing, clean the car seat thoroughly to remove any dirt, food, or stains.

2.   Take It Apart

Remove any detachable parts, like the base, canopy, and straps. Refer to the manual for instructions.

3.   Keep the Parts Safe

Wrap each detachable part with bubble wrap or packing paper so they don’t get damaged during the trip.

4.   Protect the Car Seat

Cover the car seat with a plastic bag or wrap it up with a large piece of plastic to keep it clean and protected.

5.   Fill Any Gaps

Make sure the car seat is secured and doesn’t move around during transit. Fill any gaps or spaces with clothes or towels. Be sure to secure the cover with packing tape

6.   Label the Car Seat

Attach a luggage tag with your name and phone number to the car seat. This way, it’s easy to find if it gets lost.

Car Seat Travel Bags

If you’re traveling with a car seat, a car seat travel bag like this one can come in handy. Some bags often feature padded interiors, while others come with wheels or backpack straps to make them easier to carry.

That said, a car seat travel bag works by providing a protective layer that covers your car seat and keeps it safe from dirt and moisture. They’re designed to protect your car seat and are made from durable materials that can withstand the knocks and bumps of transit.

Checking Car Seat in Original Box

You might be wondering if it’s okay to check your car seat in the original box it came in when you travel by plane.

While it’s technically possible, it might not be the best choice.

Airlines usually allow car seats as checked baggage. However, they may have different rules about the packaging. So, it’s essential to check with your airline’s guidelines before you try to check your car seat in its original packaging.

If the airline gives you the green light, checking your car seat in its original box can be super convenient. It means you don’t have to buy another bag.

There are downsides to it, though.

The box might be heavy, making it difficult to transport. To add, you might end up having to pay extra baggage fees because of the size and weight.

How to Check A Car Seat on A Flight

Let’s make your trip easier for you! Just follow this step-by-step guide so you can save yourself from the hassle of checking a car seat as baggage:

1.   Know Your Airline’s Policy

Before you head to the airport, make sure you know your airline’s policy on checking in baggages. Some airlines may allow car seats to be checked for free, while others may have a fee or other restrictions.

2.   Pack Your Car Seat

Before you check your car seat, make sure you packed it properly according to the airline’s policies.

3.   Check-In at the Counter

When you arrive at the airport, head to the airline counter or baggage drop-off area to check in your car seat. Show the airline staff your gate check tag or provide them with the necessary information to check in the car seat.

4.   Retrieve Upon Arrival

When you arrive, check the board for the baggage carousel location. If your car seat was gate checked, wait for it at the gate. If you checked with the rest of your luggage, find it at the carousel.

Conclusion: How To Pack a Car Seat for Checked Baggage

Traveling with your child’s car seat can be a big help, but make sure to pack it properly to avoid damage. You can either use a travel bag or its original box, but I prefer using a travel bag. Don’t forget to label your car seat and follow your airline’s policies.

Remember, traveling with your child can be stressful, but you’re doing a great job! With these tips, you can confidently check your car seat and enjoy a stress-free flight with your family. You’ve got this!

Could I ask you for a favor? If you found this helpful, do you think you could share it on your social media? It would really mean a lot to me!

Linda and out!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you take car seats in checked baggage?

Yes, you can check a car seat as part of your baggage when flying. However, it’s important to check with your airline for any specific guidelines or restrictions regarding the size and weight of the car seat.

How do  you fly with a car seat checked?

When flying with a child, all U.S. airlines let you check in a car seat for free. You can do this at the baggage counter, or, if you prefer, wait and check it at your gate.

Last Updated on November 5, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!