Travel with young child - Car seat quandry
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Aug 16, 2013 11:07 AM Last Post By: pilbarapimpernel
Mar 4, 2013 10:38 AM
Travel with young child - Car seat quandryWe would love to visit Cuba with our 2 yrd daughter this spring but after reading through the guidebook it looks as if you have to take a taxi from the Havana airport to the city which means that we would have to bring a car seat - big and bulky! There are also other instances where it looks like taxi travel might be unavoidable (such as heading to the intercity bus terminals most which seem to be on the city outskirts). I suppose that we could go without a carseat but after 2 years buckling her into one every day at home it would be difficult not to do it . Plus if we got into an accident I doubt I would ever forgive myself.
Has anyone else travelled in Cuba with young children and either used car seats OR managed to find a way around it? We were thinking of going for 2 weeks and hitting Havana and some of the local cities within 5-6 hours radius, travelling on Viazul and staying in casa particulares. If you did bring a car seat did you find it fairly easy to accomodate or was it a huge annoyance?
We have thought of deferring for a few years until she just needs a booster but of course Cuba could be very different in two - three years.
Thanks for any help/advice that you can provide.
Mar 5, 2013 7:55 PM
1By the time Cuba gets seat belts we will have "flying cars."
Mar 6, 2013 10:54 AM
Mar 6, 2013 11:43 AM
3Forget trying to negotiate the bus from the airport to downtown, especially with an infant and all your luggage. It doesn't even leave from the airport, you have to walk out to the highway to flag it down. It's not a viable option.
Personally I think you have to adjust your usual comfort zone slightly... you're going to a very poor developing country so forget about things like car seats and be happy when you find a taxi with functioning seat belts and a cautious, experienced driver. If that doesn't work for you then bring a car seat and resign yourself to hauling it around.
Aug 16, 2013 11:07 AM
4Similar position. We are taking our 9-month old daughter to Cuba at the end of this month.
I had a chat with our (Australia) child safety advisory not-for-profit and was actually advised not to bring our seat from here because you cannot account for how it is handled during the flight (you've seen how the suitcases get tossed around!). Also, the Euro-origin hire cars don't have the top tether, which our seats here are designed for.
Of course, nor do they recommend using seats where you can't verify the history or are in countries that don't crash-test.
I reasoned that damage that makes a car seat un-usable would be pretty obvious.
I have hired a Seat Ibiza from REX, and they offer an ISO Fix car seat for an extra 3CUC/day, which I am assured can be rear facing. The REX consultant told me that not all their models can accommodate car seats, which sounds odd, but I have to take his word until I can see for myself. Of course, as with all things Cuba, we'll need to see what actually eventuates when we collect the car. If we cannot resolver, backup is to book overnight with a Havana hotel that offers mini bus transfer from the airport and is on the transitur circuit to other Cuban cities, thus avoiding taxis and the trek to the Viazul station. If a taxi is unavoidable, we plan to put the baby in our frame backpack carrier (that at least offers some cushioned head support), wear the carrier on the front and belt up ourselves - for as long as she'll tolerate facing inwards, anyway.
Happy to relax standards for short tootles in provincial towns, but not for Havana, nor distance commutes.
Every option involves a degree of risk. One of these days, someone will invent a lightweight, portable car seat, suitable from newborn up!