5 Best Car Seats for Travelling with a Toddler 0 4

travel with toddler carseat
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Traveling with a toddler is no easy task. Choosing a car seat to keep your toddler comfortable and safe is even harder. There are so many options available that choosing can seem overwhelming. What features do I need? What style should I choose? Which is the safest for my child?

Every parent wants a lightweight car seat that doesn’t compromise their child’s safety and comfort. Easy installation is another great component to have, along with a narrow frame for extra space in the car.  Many car seat models sacrifice one aspect for the other, with few having all of these elements combined.

To save you some time, we’ve researched and selected the best car seats available today. You will love the lightweight nature and easy usage of these models. Your toddler will love the added features and comfort. Both of you will enjoy the safety these seats provide. Let’s explore these top-of-the-line car seats!

Cosco Scenera NEXT Car Seat

Number 1 Pick!

This car seat is an affordable, safe and lightweight seat that is great for traveling!  Seating children less than 40 pounds, the Cosco Scenera NEXT is compact enough to easily take on planes. At only 17.5 inches in width, it saves you a ton of space in the car, too. In an average vehicle, this car seat fits three across the back seat. The Cosco Scenera NEXT also includes side impact protection for safety and has back-facing capabilities for infants. Installation can be done with the LATCH connectors or your car’s seatbelt.  On top of this, a removable cup holder and machine-washable seat pad seal the deal for this great product.


  • Affordable
  • The most lightweight at 10.4 lbs
  • Narrow, at 17.5 inches wide
  • Lasts all the way through toddlerhood


  • Long plane rides might be slightly uncomfortable in tighter airplanes
  • Sometimes there are sizing issues
  • The seat cover is thin

Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible Car Seat

Second Favorite!

This car seat is a narrow and light, being only 19 inches wide and weighing 15 pounds. The Safety 1st Guide 65 Convertible car seat can fit three across in your average vehicle’s backseat, too. Incredibly affordable and safe, this car seat fits children 5-4o pounds rear-facing, and 22-65 pounds forward. This car seat also comes with a removable body pillow and cup holder, as well as an adjustable headrest. With a five harness height, this seat can last for years.  Not only this, but the seat is very safe with side impact protection.


  • Easily adjustable harness
  • Lightweight at 15 lbs
  • Narrow, at 19 inches wide
  • Adjustable and removable parts for toddler’s comfort
  • Affordable


  • Difficult installation
  • Issues with reclining sometimes occur

Combi Coccoro Convertible Car Seat

Third best!

This is another great, compact car seat suitable for traveling via airplane or tight cars. Facing forward, it’s great for toddlers between 20 and 40 pounds. Infants can also use this seat, weighing 3-33 pounds, rear-facing. With four separate harness heights, this product also comes with a color indicator tells you when the harness is secure. This car seat also has great safety features, with Tru-Safe side impact protection for energy absorption. This car seat has an easy to remove cover for washing, too.


  • Compact, at only 15.5 inches wide
  • Lightweight at 14.3 lbs
  • Color indicators for secure harnessing
  • Machine washable


  • A bit expensive
  • Slightly difficult to install with the LATCH system
  • Styrofoam interior may not be durable

Evenflo SureRide Convertible Car Seat

Fourth Best!

This lightweight car seat is a great option, weighing only 11 pounds! With rear and forward-facing use, this car seat is suitable for children 5-65 pounds in weight. This car seat also has a broad adjustment range with six harness convertibles. For protection, three layers of energy-absorbing foam is included, reducing crash forces by 50%. The Evenflo SureRide car seat naturally comes with a cup holder, except this one can fold down for more room.


  • Very lightweight at 11 lbs
  • Narrow width at 19 inches
  • Many convertible straps for a growing child
  • Machine-washable seat pad


  • Installation can be difficult
  • Sometimes oversized for smaller vehicles
  • Straps can be difficult to tighten
  • Tall shell that makes maneuvering a little difficult

Graco Contender 65 Convertible Car Seat


The Graco Contender 65 Convertible car seat is great for toddler travel, protecting 22-65 pound forward-facing children. This car seat also protects infants 5-40 pounds, making it a great option if you are planning for future trips.  The seat weighs only 15.22 pounds, making it much lighter than other car seats on the market. This seat has great protection with energy-absorbing foam, in case of an accident. For your toddler’s comfort, the seat comes with removable head and body support and a cup holder. This car seat is also on the smaller side, being only 20.75 inches wide and 26 inches tall. You’ll still have room in the car for all your other travel gear.


  • Lightweight at 15.22 lbs
  • Removable head and body support
  • Seatbelt or LATCH system installation
  • Seat cushion is machine washable


  • Maybe a little warm for summer use
  • Sometimes difficult to tighten straps
  • Achieving proper angles can be difficult in some vehicles
  • Size would make it difficult to bring to an airport or on an airplane


Final Thoughts

Choosing a car seat to meet you and your child’s travel needs can be a difficult process. The great news is that there are tons of options out there, meeting a wide variety of family needs.  No two car seats are the same, just as no two toddlers are the same!

To save you countless hours of internet searching, we reviewed the best travel car seats so you don’t have to! Depending on your family’s needs, you can select the best car seat for your active toddler!

The perfect car seat is out there, waiting to carry your child safely from destination to destination. We hope our list helped you find the perfect addition for your travels!

Keren Simanova is a busy mommy by day and a passionate writer by night. While spending countless hours researching car seats for her children, she created an educational car seat blog, CarSeatsMom.com to educate other mothers about the importance of car seats.

Further, along the way, the blog became an invaluable source for research of a variety of car seat brands, unique features, and mommies’ reviews.

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Time Saving Beauty Hacks For Busy Moms 0 17

Time Saving Beauty Hacks For Busy Moms
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No matter how busy you think your life is, you’ve probably got nothing on the crazy schedule of a new mom. All at once, everything else in your life that used to draw your attention is now shifted to your child. It’s not surprising or unnatural that putting aside time for some much-needed self-care is no longer a priority once women start a family.

The constant needs of a child can drown self-care needs that used to be a priority before motherhood. Taking time to style your hair just right, put on a full face of makeup or even getting to have a shower all to yourself seem like the dreams of yesterday for busy moms.

Being a mom, whether you are in Chicago or Los Angeles is the most important role that you will ever have; it’s universally demanding. It’s also important to start teaching your child about taking time to take care of themselves, which they can learn by watching you. Grooming habits and taking care of yourself even when you are pressed for time is a good example of healthy habits to pass along to your children.

You don’t need to look like you are about to walk a runway every day but there are a few time-saving beauty hacks that are great for busy moms. From getting the best laser hair removal Chicago has to offer to embracing your natural hair color and texture, you can still save time and look radiant.

Minimize Makeup Routine

There isn’t a mother on the planet that doesn’t know what it’s like to always look tired around the eyes and lose a bit of your natural glow from pure exhaustion. You may not want to completely embrace the fully natural look but, that doesn’t mean that you can’t show your beauty to the world.

Start with a combination product that includes moisturizer and a light pigment to help you renew your skin’s moisture and even out your complexion. Add a bit of mascara to your upper and lower lashes to give your eyes a more alert and open appearance. Finish off your look with a bright lip stain that will stay on all day and stand up to lots of baby kisses.

Shower At Night

Days are the busiest time for moms so it can be nearly impossible to fit a shower for yourself into the schedule. Take a bit of time at night when the day slows down a bit to jump in the shower for a few minutes. This can become a relaxing routine at the end of a long mommy day and help you to sleep better and rise ready for another day.

Simple Hair

When you become a mom you can say goodbye to fancy hairstyles on a daily basis. This doesn’t mean that you have to walk around looking like you have never used a brush or a comb but, embracing your natural hair has its benefits. Get comfortable with your natural hair texture and try simple styles that can be done on the run.

You may even want to go with a short and sassy style when you start your family. Most women can rock a pixie cut with very little effort and maintenance.

Laser Hair Removal

Mom’s that can barely get in the shower long enough to rinse off don’t have time to worry about shaving their legs. Most moms know that things can get pretty prickly between shaving sessions. If you want a permanent solution you can talk to a dermatologist about the benefits of having laser hair removal treatments.


There is nothing more beautiful than a new mother. Even with a busy schedule and a huge shift in your priorities, it’s still possible to look your best with these time-saving beauty hacks.

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What New Parents Should Look for in a Credit Card 0 18

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Author: Michelle Couch, Financial and parenting writer

Michelle Couch is a freelance writer who covers family finance, personal finance, parenting and more. Couch lives in Maryland, MA and loves to leverage credit card points to travel with her husband and two children. 

Having a baby brings overwhelming joy but also comes with a lot of new expenses. From buying packs of diapers in bulk, to walking the grocery aisles for baby food, your expanding shopping list may mean it’s time to consider opening a credit card that fit your new family needs.

Data shows, in the first year alone, the cost of raising a baby can run up to $21,000, and the cost of raising a child to adulthood can increase after that. In order to maximize your financial flexibility and your credit card rewards, the credit cards you carry should evolve as your family and spending habits change. Read on for the qualities you should look for as well as some of the best credit cards for each stage of raising a family based on your goals and spending habits.

Parenting stage: Newborn baby

When you have a newborn baby, you will spend an outrageous amount of money on new baby gear – from diapers to medical bills and childcare. Having a credit card that gives you rewards and cash back for all those expenses can be beneficial and help ease the burden of all those extra costs. Choose an easy-to-use card that will reward you for the spending you’re going to do and skip cards that give you extra points for entertainment and dining out, since you’ll likely cut back in those categories. The Brim Financial credit card, for example, has built a unique rewards marketplace that provides points for the things you will need for your little one like groceries and retail items.

Parenting stage: School-age kids

As time goes on, you’ll spend less on diapers and baby food, but that does not mean spending costs will decrease. A USDA analysis found that family expenses actually increase as a child ages. Spending costs will go more towards extracurricular activities and your grocery budget will increase. New moms and dads will appreciate the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because this credit card offers the highest cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets at 6%.

Parenting stage: Teenagers

Once your child is 16, many experts recommend making your teenager an authorized user on one of your credit cards to help build your child’s credit history. Keep in mind that just because you add your teen as a user doesn’t mean you have to give them the card. If your goal is to maximize rewards, The Chase Freedom and Discover It Cash Back all offers 5 percent cash back each category in different categories, ranging from dining to gas.

Parenting stage: Kids off to college

It’s never too early to start saving for your child’s college education. 529 college savings plans are your best bet when planning for future college costs. A 529 plan is a savings account where the money is used to pay for the beneficiary’s college expenses and K-12 tuition, tax-free. If your goal is to enjoy more time to yourself since your child is away at college, apply for a premium travel card with a big sign-up bonus to help pay for those planned vacations. The Chase Preferred and Reserve cards offer 3 percent back in both dining and travel.

The Takeaway

As your children grow from diapers to college caps and gowns, different credit cards can help you reach and manage your goals dependent on your household spending. Credit card users should switch cards frequently as their spending habits change and the issuers change their offerings.

Photo by Blake Wisz on Unsplash

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