There is always a huge increase in the number of people traveling over the Christmas holidays, particularly by car. We are going to go over some essential advice to bear in mind regardless of the type of transport you will be using, and based on some of the weather conditions you might face.
At this time of year the weather is usually cold and damp, and ice and snow can appear on the roads, meaning we need to take extra precautions. In this article we will go over some useful advice for driving safely in the rain, and in this other article we cover what to do if we come across snow on the roads during our journey. This information will also be useful if you need to know how to travel with newborn babies in winter.
Before we cover the most frequently used forms of transport, we would like to highlight this infographic which discusses the child restraint systems typically used on each form of transport and everything you need to know about them.
Traveling by car
In addition to private cars we cannot leave out rental cars, taxis and private hire vehicles. The law states that underage occupants who are 135cm tall or under must travel on the rear seats (although at Fundación MAPFRE we recommend that they continue doing so until they are 150 cm tall), in an approved CRS suitable for their size and weight and their physical conditions. There are some exceptions, as detailed in this page of the law.
Young children under 15 months old must travel in a rear-facing CRS (R-129), and the recommendation is that you keep the seat facing backwards up to the age of 4 given that it is the safest position.
Children over 7 years old may travel by motorcycle if they are with their father, mother, guardian or authorized person, or if they are over 12 years old with any person (but only if the vehicle has two seats). If the vehicle has seat belts their use is compulsory and, in any case, all occupants are required by law to wear a helmet on all types of roads.
Legislation does not stipulate how children under 3 years old should be traveling, but the best option is to install their CRS on the bus seat. However, this is not always possible, particularly if the bus does not have seat belts or if they are two-point belts.
It is not compulsory for children to use a CRS on a plane, although we can take an approved seat on board with us providing it is a compatible size. We can check this with the airline carrier. For children under two years old there are special harnesses which are clipped to the adult seat belt, while from two years old they can travel with the seat belt of the airplane seat.
In this case a normal CRS cannot be used because the seats do not have seat belts although it is possible to use a travel restraint system provided that it has straps to secure it to the seat.