"Looking for someone who has been there, done that. We are traveling to Bermuda with extended family in a few weeks, and are running into a question about car seats. There is no car rental on the island and my son is not anywhere near the 40 pounds to switch over to a (lighter, easier to carry around) booster seat. What have others done about this? Can you call a car service to pick you up with a car seat (that they provide)? Are they reliable/will come when called at different locations? Do we just have to lug around our own car seat to various sights, etc (which I'm imagining is doable with a travel bag, just a pain, but correct me if I'm wrong)? My husband has been doing more of the research about things to see and do, but it sounds like some places can be easily accessed by public transport and some really can't and are longer drives, so we need to figure this out."
"Just wanted to say thank you to those who responded to my original post about car seats and travel to Bermuda a few weeks ago (original question at the end). The responses I got are copied below. We are just back from the trip so wanted to add my experience as well...we decided to buy the Cosco High Back Booster (about $50 on Amazon), which is WAY lighter, less bulky and easier to install than my son's normal carseat (Britax), and has theadvantage that it can be used as a car seat now and booster later so I'm hoping to use it for travel, grandparents' car, etc for the next fewyears. We ordered a large nylon drawstring bag to carry it in. It was great to have for the taxi trips to and from airport (for us about 45 minutes). We also used it for some long taxi trips in torrential rain one day (which made me even more reluctant to forgo the carseat) - we were lucky to get a newish taxi with good seatbelts at our hotel and the driver ended up waiting for us. We also took buses where it made sense, and that went smoothly and was a good alternative. thanks again and happy travels!
Here are the responses from others:
Hold your children in your lap; take advantage of buses
"We were just in Bermuda a few weeks ago with our 3 and 6 year old and we just held the children in our laps. I didn't see a single car seat anywhere, not to say there wasn't any. But you just grabbed taxis in the street or at your hotels and sometimes it would take while, and we didn't have international coverage to call anyone while we were away from the hotel. Is that an option for you? We also took the buses (which were great) around the island because some places taxis were very expensive. Also we took a few of the ferries. I would find carrying a car seat very tedious. Bermuda was great!! We loved it and so much fun for he kids. Everyone was so friendly. I'd definitely rent a boat (Boston whaler or something) and drive around out in the water and snorkel. Fun! Horseshoe beach was amazing for the kids."
Minimize outings, plan a less active trip and stick to the resort:
"We brought our then 1 year old to Bermuda... The hotel shuttle picked us up with a car seat. To get around the island we took the bus a few times which was very easy. Oh and we also took a ferry at one point... But we mostly just stayed at the resort. Lugging your car seat around sounds like a pain to me, but perhaps you are planning to be more active than we were!"
Bring a carseat and a backpack:
"We bought the Costco Scenera (5lbs or so) and a backpack to put it in for traveling."
Find out if your car rental company will provide one:
"Usually car rental companies have them. That is what we usually done did until we bought lightweight car seats to travel with."
Another recommendation for buses:
"We traveled to Bermuda in February with our then 21-month-old and 4-year-old. We brought our Combi Coccoro convertible seat for our little one and an Immi Go (the kind of car seat Uber uses) for our 4-year-old. They were useful in the US and our daughter sat in the Combi on the plane, but it was pretty much impossible to use either of them in Bermuda. The taxis are really old, don't have tethers or latch, and you're lucky if you can find one with a regular old lap belt. We managed to get the Combi loosely into the taxi on the way to the hotel from the airport, but it was totally unsafe and probably pointless. I'm really careful about always using car seats here at home but I realized that I just had to let it go because I didn't have a choice there. Luckily, they have a really good bus system and we were able to get most everywhere by bus. We took a shuttle from the hotel back to the airport and kept the kids on our lap, since that was cheaper than a taxi and we couldn't really install the car seat in the taxi, anyway. Probably not the answer you want, but that was the reality for us! It was a great trip, otherwise. We absolutely loved the island and are planning to visit again."
"FWIW: the bus system in Bermuda is very good and easy to use. Twice we took cruises that stopped for 3 days in Bermuda and we got everywhere we needed to go by bus or ferry. So maybe you can mostly avoid taxis. If not, depending on the child’s age and height you might look into a travel car seat like the Bubble Bum. Even if that isn’t your ideal, keep in mind that it’s an island, most roads are one lane in each direction. and I don’t think you can drive faster than 30, maybe 40 mph. So you're never traveling long distances or on highways traveling at 60 mph."
More advice from a 2023 thread:
"My daughter was [10 months] when we took her to Italy in October... I’d been told that the car seats in rental cars are super basic and tough to strap in, etc. I didn’t experience it myself but that came from a very seasoned traveler. Instead we used Babonbo to rent a car seat from a local person. It was a great experience and the mom was also very helpful with a lot of other tips on where to buy baby/kid stuff locally. The daily rate was less than it would have been from the car rental.
We also rented a stroller from her (as well as a travel crib instead of the hotel’s)... We did still bring our travel stroller as it was super helpful in the airport, and taking the train from Milan to Bologna. But it never would have made it on the cobblestone streets! So we just kept that in our room and rented a stroller similar to our heavy duty one that we use here.
I highly recommend you check out Babonbo, I’ll definitely use it next time we travel with the little one."