No one wants to think about the actual process of traveling – daydreams consist of relaxing on a beach, exploring a new city, or running after your little ones at a theme park, not sitting on the plane for hours on end. As much as we’d like to blink and already be at our destination, there’s a lot of planning that goes into a successful plane trip with little ones. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly recommends using a car seat on the plane in case of turbulence. However, there are many things to keep in mind when you’re planning on bringing a car seat with you on the plane.

1. Make sure your seat is FAA approved. Most seats have a sticker on the back or side of the seat plainly stating that the seat is acceptable for use on an aircraft. Seats that require a shoulder belt, like a backless booster, are not allowed on planes – double check your infant or convertible seat is FAA approved. All Maxi-Cosi car seats with a five-point harness are approved to be used on an airplane.

2. Location, location, location! While not as stressful as buying a house, choosing the right plane seat for a car seat is still very important – there’s a bunch of restrictions on where a car seat can go inside the plane. Emergency row seats aren’t allowed for children under 15, so putting a car seat there is a no-go. Car seats are also not allowed anywhere that would block someone’s exit in case of emergency, so window seats on a traditional 3 -3 plane and the window seats and the middle two seats on a 2 – 4 – 2 plane.

3. Think of the size. While your big, cushy convertible seat is perfect for getting around day to day in the car, you might run into some trouble on the airplane. With shrinking seat sizes, and just the inherent variability between planes, it’s best to call ahead and see how big of a seat you’re working with.

4. Installation. Install your car seat as instructed in the manual for seat belt installation – the lap belts of the plane function the same as a car’s seat belts. You don’t want to bring a seat with a confusing installation method, or a seat you’ve never installed with belts before – nobody wants to be that jerk that’s holding up the plane because they can’t get the seat in properly.