Strap the car seat to rolling luggage to “tote” toddlers through the airport

Amazon: Traveling Toddler Car Seat Travel AccessorySarah found this interesting travel hack from Jessica hiding in the comments of an Amazon review (I've edited for space):

I showed my husband the picture of this item because I thought it looked pretty darn smart. Well, two minutes later he had the car seat attached to the rolling carry-on WITHOUT an added purchased strap.

You still use the seat hooks from your car seat – both side clips and the top clip. Put the top car seat hook under the top handle of your luggage & the side ones simply around the sides of the luggage. Buy a $0.50 metal ring from a hardware store & clip the car seat hooks to it & tighten all straps. Voila! [Or VIOLA! — Ed.]

We tested it with our kiddo in it & she giggled as we wheeled her around the house. Perfect. Now I can easily transport my kid, carry-on luggage & the car seat while I travel with her solo. Super easy to detach and reattach while my child is sitting in the seat buckled in (not running around the airport ;) Luggage must be full (duh) and it helps if your carry on has larger wheels & a longer handle.

This hack is a godsend for those traveling solo. Obviously would work best with toddlers who are relatively un-squirmy and -grabby; I'm thinking about little hands getting bumped in the commotion.

The picture also shows the dad pushing the rolling luggage in front of him, as opposed to pulling it behind him (and assuming that all is well with the kid). But even if you feel funny about strapping your kid to a suitcase, this is still a great hack for toting the empty car seat through the airport.

It's been a while since I had to travel with a car seat (and, let me say, I don't miss it). I put it to you, oh wise Parent Hacks collective: is there anything else I'm missing safety-wise?

More: Family travel hacks


  1. says

    One note- some airplanes don’t have wide enough aisles to get the car seat down the aisle like that. Ask me how I know. Ask me how fun it was to carry a baby, have a toddler running down the aisle ahead, bumping the first class passengers with my backpack, while the stewardess informed me that I was disturbing the passengers… But I’m not bitter!

  2. says

    Yes, you are missing safety info! There is a specific item made for rolling carseats that have been tested for strength and weight and fit (not going to promote it since I don’t work for the company).

    I would think a simple luggage tote is flimsy, not made wtih the strength metal or wheels needed to carry weight of child and seat. Plus, attach the seat incorrectly or with something not meant to handle the weight and the seat may come off injuring the child.

    I always recommend a soft back carrier or harness for walkers. Or, the specific item in need. (I do run a kids consignment store and get CPSC recalls & read up on accidents daily).

    Great effort in thought but perhaps more thought on this?!

    Love your stuff!!!!

  3. Sara says

    We do this, except we strap the seat (without any additional hardware) to a cheapo foldable luggage rack. It’s MUCH more stable than strapping the seat to a suitcase. They sell an $80 plastic contraption that is the exact same thing as my $10 metal solution. My daughter has never been so happy to get into her carseat! I haven’t noticed any safety issues. We’ve wheeled her through the airport, onto the lightrail train, across 4 city blocks, then onto a ferry boat while in her “carseat stroller”. I agree, it does not usually fit down the aisle on the plane, though.

  4. says

    We have the straps and they are great. True, on smaller airplanes you have to remove the car seat to carry it down the isle, you also have to remove the car seat when you go through security. But we still found these very helpful getting from the car to check-in or getting from security to the gate. Plus my kids love them.

    We even used then when moved from the US to New Zealand without shipping anything and brining just our luggage. Even just a normal trip twins is complicated but imagine 8 checked bags, 8 carry ons, 3 car seats and a stroller……Here are some photos…

  5. gina says

    This is brilliant..and would have been really useful when we traveled to Europe with our little guy…plus side…now i know and will use this for sure!!!

  6. brandy says

    This is my fave to use when traveling. I borrowed a gogokidz once to compare and this was infinitely easier to use.

  7. Rachel Hill says

    I have this item, and I never even thought to just use a metal ring, brilliant! But seriously though, it was a lifesaver for me. Jude loved being wheeled through the airport in it. I did pull him behind me most of the time because it just worked easier that way, and I didn’t worry at all about not having visual. It sounds silly to write it out, but I do have other senses besides sight, like hearing and touch. If something was wrong, either I’d feel he was no longer “attached” and stop walking and turn around to check on him or I’d hear him crying and again, stop walking and turn around to check on him. The same goes for the safety concerns. Honestly, he’s inches from the ground, what kind of injury is he going to sustain if things aren’t super secure (but honestly the whole getup is suprisingly stable in my opinion). I do not wheel him on the moving sidewalk/escalators, the same way I wouldn’t with a stroller because of the danger of something getting caught, but other than that, I’m not too worried. And seriously, what safer item could he be in than a car seat? As an additional bonus, I looped rubber hair bands aroung a corner of his blanket and his teddy bear’s ear and then used caribiners to clip them onto his car seat harness so if he did drop them, they wouldn’t be left behind unbeknownst to me or him. He got lot’s of compliments on both the car seat “stroller” and the strapped on blankey.

  8. Kathleen says

    I’m with the last few commenters- we’ve used the commercial strap for two years now and love it. You do have to pop the seat off through security (used to just keep the kid in the ergo until the kiboshed that, too, grr) and it is interesting to carry the carseat onto the plane (not a function of the strap, just the heavy Britax), but I’ve used it flying solo several times with one kid and loved it.

    We did push the kid ahead of us when he was littler. Now that he can tell us if there’s an issue, we let him go backwards and peoplewatch. No problems carrying the seat even up and down escalators (ahead of us on the ups) strapped to three different types of normal (not cheap) rollaboard suitcases.

  9. Cheryl says

    We used this a few weeks ago for a trip on Southwest. We had planned on taking our small roller bag as a carry on and attaching the car seat as shown in the picture. About 2 minutes into standing in line to check-in, my husband decided that wouldn’t work. I agreed with him, so we switched some stuff around and ended up using the strap to attach the car seat to our umbrella stroller. It looked ridiculous, but that got us all the way to the door of the plane. We left the stroller for gate check and took the seat onto the plane.

    Like somebody said above, I wasn’t concerned about the safety of the contraption. It was tight. He was strapped in for about 10 minutes total – all with me walking right behind him.

  10. Jen DW says

    I’ve travelled solo with a toddler twice by strapping the carseat onto a rolling luggage. My carseat straps weren’t long enough, but I just used a spare luggage strap to make up the difference. He loved it. It did get a bit heavy, and undoing everything for security was a hassle, but probably not more than trying to push a stroller and luggage around the airport.

    I went once with a Cosco Scenera, which is our “backup” seat for my husband’s car, and it fit down the aisle and fit well in the airline seat. (And it’s only $65 and well-reviewed.)

    The Britax Marathon was too wide, too heavy, and didn’t fit well in the airline seat, not leaving enough room for my son’s feet. NOT RECOMMENDED as a travel seat!

    So my comment to this hack would be: use a Cosco Scenera. It’s a great backup seat anyway, for second cars or other people’s kids.

  11. says

    Baby jogger stroller has an amazing solution with an incredibly versatile city stroller, which has more configuration and options to consider in any kinds of stroller I’ve ever seen.

  12. says

    Baby jogger stroller has an amazing solution with an incredibly versatile city stroller, which has more configuration and options to consider in any kinds of stroller I’ve ever seen.

  13. says

    Baby jogger stroller has an amazing solution with an incredibly versatile city stroller, which has more configuration and options to consider in any kinds of stroller I’ve ever seen.

  14. Maria says

    Just traveled 22 hours with a 9 month old by three different planes. Mostly carried him in a ring sling. Left both hands open for other things.

  15. Sia says

    Great! This is just what i was looking for. I loved the cheapness of the straps but flying spirit airlines, they charge just as much for a carryon as luggage so I was going to check my bag…so i wondered if anyone successfully strapped the carseat onto the stroller! Thanks for your comments!

  16. Kasia says

    Thanks for this tip! I would have loved a pic by nothing huge. We will be using this to help transport our empty car seat to and from car, parking, to check in, then to the rental car. Just the tip I was looking for thanks!