Travel Car Seat Mom

Best travel car seat options by age

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Hi! You’ve probably come here because you’re planning your family’s upcoming vacation and recently suffered that moment of dread when you realized that you have no love for the idea of slogging a 25 (or 30!) pound car seat all of creation. Or perhaps you’ve moved past that point and you’re already looking for the best travel car seat to meet your needs.

The good news is that you have options for flying with a car seat . There are plenty of hacks for moving your big car seat around if that’s what you want to do. But if you want to take your travels to the next level, consider upgrading to a lightweight car seat for travel or even a swanky folding car seat . For new parents, there are some great lightweight infant car seats and even specific travel infant car seats to consider as well.

Check out our top picks for the best car seat to travel with at each stage, and keep reading to find out what to look for when you’re shopping for the best car seat for traveling.

On this page you’ll find our pick for the best car seat for travel at each age, but if that one doesn’t meet your needs you can click the link right below for reviews of even more options.

What is the best car seat for airplane travel? Read on below and click through for age-based car seat reviews.

Best travel infant car seat

Top pick: Clek liingo

Clek Liingo Infant Car Seat Thunder

Key stats: -Weight 9 lbs -Rear-facing size limits: 4-35lbs, up to 32”

Pros: ✔ Can be installed baseless using LATCH ✔ Very compact in all directions ✔ Compatible with lots of strollers via Maxi-Cosi adapters

Cons: ✘ Expensive for an infant car seat ✘ Base is sold separately

Budget pick: Century Carry On 35 LX

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 6.5 lbs (10.5lbs including base) -Rear-facing size limits: 4-35lbs, up to 32”

Pros: ✔ Lightest infant car seat + base ✔ Budget-friendly ✔ Fits newborns well ✔ Fits most kids to 15-18 months ✔ Great for compact cars

Cons: ✘ Basic features ✘ Limited stroller compatibility

More options: Best infant car seats for travel

Best travel car seat for a 1 year old

Top pick: Cosco Scenera Next DLX

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 7lbs -Shell height 23” -Max harness height 13.5” -Rear-facing size limits 5-40lbs, 19-40” -Forward-facing size limits 22-40lbs, 29-43″

Pros: ✔ Compact ✔ Lightest convertible car seat ✔ Low price

Cons: ✘ Low size limits ✘ Hard to install in some cars ✘ Limited padding for patterned covers ✘ No extra protection in headwings ✘ Requires top tether for forward-facing

This budget-friendly travel car seat for toddler globetrotters is a reader favorite!

More options: Best travel car seats for 1 year olds

Best travel car seat for a 2 year old

Top pick: evenflo sonus 65.

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 11lbs -Shell height 25” -Max harness height 18” -Rear-facing size limits 5-40lbs, 19-40” -Forward-facing size limits 22-65lbs, 28-50”

Pros: ✔ Generous size limits ✔ More comfort features than other travel car seats ✔ Nice enough to use as an everyday car seat ✔ Somewhat narrow convertible car seat

Cons: ✘ Requires top tether , which may not be available in all countries ✘ Heavier than Cosco Scenera Next and Cosco Apt 50 ✘ More expensive than Cosco car seats ✘ Can be a tight squeeze front-to-back when rear-facing on some airlines with limited seat pitch ✘ 6 year expiration

More options: Best travel car seats for 2 year olds

Best travel car seat for a 3 year old

Top pick for rear facing or forward facing: graco contender go/slim.

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 15lbs -Shell height 27” -Max harness height 18” -Rear-facing size limits 5-40lbs -Forward-facing size limits 22-65lbs, under 49″

Pros: ✔ Fits from newborn to elementary school ✔ “Closed” belt path means no buckle in the back when forward facing on a plane ✔ Easy to install with either LATCH or seatbelt ✔ Allows rear facing past 40″ (as long as there’s 1″ of head room)

Cons: ✘ Tall shell won’t fit well rear-facing in compact cars and economy airplane seats

Top pick for forward facing only: Evenflo Maestro Sport

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 9lbs -Max harness height 18.5” -Forward-facing size limits 22-50lbs, 28-50” -Highback booster size limits 40-110lbs, 44-57”

Pros: ✔ Lasts from age 3 (as a harness) to ~age 8 (as a booster) ✔ Affordable price ✔ Easy to install

Cons: ✘ Requires top tether , which may not be available in all countries ✘ Narrow set harness straps with no covers ✘ 6 year expiration

More options: Best travel car seats for 3 year olds

Best travel car seat for a 4 year old/

Best travel car seat for a 5 year old, top travel pick: ride safer travel vest ( full review ).

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 2lbs -Size small: minimum age 3, fits best for 30+ lbs and 35-47″ -Size large: minimum age 4, fits best for 50+ lbs and 45-57″

Pros: ✔ Rolls up to the size of a 2L soda bottle ✔ Perfect for taxi rides ✔ Lowers seat belt to provide an appropriate fit for young children ✔ Keeps kids properly seated better than a traditional booster seat – even when sleeping ✔ Easy to fit 3-across since it’s only as wide as the child ✔ 5 year expiration

Cons: ✘ No side impact protection like a highback booster seat ✘ Takes practice to get belt fit right ✘ NOT permitted for use on planes

Top pick: Evenflo Maestro Sport

More options: Best travel car seats for 4 year olds

More options: Best travel car seats for 5 year olds

Best travel car seat for a 6 year old/

Best high back booster seat for travel, top pick: peg perego flex 120.

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 15lbs -Highback booster size limit 40-120lbs, up to 63″

Pros: ✔ Steel reinforced frame ✔ Rigid LATCH ✔ Tons of size adjustments for a great fit ✔ Reclines for sleep ✔ Extremely narrow ✔ 10 year expiration

Cons: ✘ Really expensive ✘ No arm rests ✘ Heavy ✘ Folded size is as big as a carry-on suitcase

More options: Best travel car seat for 6 year olds

More options: Best travel booster seat

Best backless booster seat for travel

Top pick – younger: bubblebum ( full review ).

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight under 1 lbs ( really! ) -Backless booster size limit 40-100lbs, age 4+

Pros: ✔ Lightest booster seat ✔ Extremely narrow ✔ Good seatbelt fit in lots of cars

Cons: ✘ Can slide around if kids are wiggly ✘ 4 year expiration (from first use)

Top pick – older: Graco RightGuide ( full review )

travel 14 seat

Key stats: -Weight 2 lbs -Backless booster size limit 50-120lbs, 43-60″, age 5+

Pros: ✔ Extremely light booster seat ✔ Very compact booster seat when folded ✔ Narrow option for 3-across with big kids ✔ Inconspicuous option for tweens ✔ 10 year expiration

Cons: ✘ Belt guide may not stay in place securely ✘ Incompatible with some seatbelt designs

More options: Best portable car booster seat

Still researching? Pin this for later!

Collage of 5 best travel car seats: Doona infant car seat stroller, Wayb Pico, Ride Safer travel vest, Hifold folding booster seat, Bubblebum inflatable booster seat. Text in center: "Amazing travel car seats to lighten your load at every age"

What to look for in a portable car seat for travel

So what makes these car seats the most travel-worthy? We look at a few key criteria to determine the best car seat for airplane travel.

Right stage for the age

The first, most basic requirement is that a car seat should be age-appropriate. I’m never going to recommend a booster car seat for a 2 year old just because it’s easier to travel with.

At a minimum, we’d suggest following the NHTSA guidelines . Kids should be in a rear-facing infant or convertible car seat until at least age 3, but ideally closer to 4 years old if possible. Beyond that, they should ride in a Ride Safer Travel Vest or a forward-facing harnessed car seat (aka the best combination car seat or even the new Wayb Pico ) until they’re big enough and mature enough to sit properly in a booster seat for travel .

Lightweight car seat

The best travel carseat options (and car seat alternatives) range from 2 to 12 pounds. The high end may sound like a lot, but it’s still a lot more manageable than the 25lb convertible car seat most families use at home!

By the same token, on an extended trip or when where you might need lot of impromptu taxi rides you might be best served by a folding travel car seat – not just lightweight, but compact too.

Easy to use

You may think that ease of use isn’t that important for carseats that won’t see a ton of use, but we disagree. We’ve used plenty of different car seats both at home and on the go, and the ones that are hard to install or use are a disaster.

Remember, you’ll (probably) be in an unfamiliar place and installing that car seat in an unfamiliar car or taxi. It could even be after a 12 hour flight crossing more time zones than you or your cranky children can count. And you’ll have kids (those same cranky ones), spouses and taxi drivers waiting on you while you figure it out. Sounds lovely, eh?

Lasts for a few years

The final feature I look for in a travel car seat is a bit on the subjective side. Ideally, I don’t want my house to look like a car seat graveyard (this was a big problem when we lived in an apartment with two kids). So when shopping for a travel car seat, especially if it’s a toddler travel car seat, I’m hoping for one that we can use for a few years.

However, in our case, I can be a little flexible. Our kids are almost three years apart so when the older kid outgrows a car seat, usually it’s the right time for his sister to start using it. Even seats that generally don’t last one kid very long have given us five or six years of service.

If storage space isn’t a concern for you, then some of the inexpensive compact travel car seats that just last two or three years could work well. After all, some of those seats cost less than a family dinner out ! Even if you just use them a handful of time, you’ve saved yourself money over renting them on vacation.

Which car seats are approved for air travel?

Almost every car seat made for the US market today is an FAA-approved approved car seat provided you use the harness . That means that booster seats are not FAA-approved and that “harnessed boosters” (also called “combination car seats”) can only be used with the harness installed.

Prefer a quick visual summary? Check out my web story on the best travel car seats for every age .

Want to know all my best secrets? Click here to learn how to travel with your car seat like a pro!

Best travel car seat FAQs

The best travel car seat depends on your child’s age and size. That’s what this whole article is about! Here are some of our top picks (scroll up for more detail): – Doona infant car seat stroller – Cosco Scenera Next DLX – Ride Safer travel vest for car + CARES harness for flight – Evenflo Maestro Sport – Graco RightGuide

Almost any car seat can be used for travel, but a lightweight one will be easier to lug around.

Yes! The FAA encourages parents to bring a car seat or the CARES harness for children under 40 pounds. To be guaranteed the ability to use your car seat, you need to buy a ticket for your child; however, many airlines will let you use an empty seat if one is available.

Almost every car seat with a harness can be used on a plane. The exceptions are the Cybex Sirona S and Pipa Nuna Lite.

Car seat travel doesn’t have to be all bad! There are many options to make it easier. You can carry a lightweight car seat by hand or try one of these hacks for heavier car seats, including strollers, carts, backpacks and more.

Best car seats for travel

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Best travel car seat options by age quick picks

If you don’t have time to read through all the details to pick the right traveling car seat, here are the best options by age. Be sure to double check the size limits vs your child’s growth curve!

  • Infant: Clek liingo or Century Carry On 35 LX
  • 1 year old: Cosco Scenera Next DLX
  • 2 year old: Evenflo Sonus 65
  • 3 year old: Graco Contender GO or Evenflo Maestro Sport
  • 4 year old: Ride Safer Travel Vest or Evenflo Maestro Sport
  • 5 year old: Ride Safer Travel Vest or Evenflo Maestro Sport
  • 6 year old: Bubblebum or Peg Perego Flex 120

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Best Travel Car Seats of 2024

Traveling with kids? Whether an extended road trip or airplane ride is on the agenda, your little one needs a travel car seat to stay safe on the journey. Travel car seats are a bit different from everyday ones, as they’re typically lighter in weight, easier to move and set up from car to car, and approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take in the air.

A travel car seat also comes in handy if you find yourself in ride-shares or taxis regularly. Many models don’t require a base, so it’s simple to strap the unit in without spending half the afternoon figuring out which piece goes where. The best travel car seats are so convenient, in fact, that you might stick to them altogether.

Table of Contents

  • Best Travel Car Seats
  • Things To Consider When Buying
  • How We Chose

Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat  »

Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat

Various features for correct installation

Can be installed without a base via European belt routing

Five height positions and six recline positions

Includes base and newborn positioner

Extendable canopy with UPF 50+ sun protection

JPMA certified and GreenGuard Gold Certified

Not super light

Travel bag sold separately

There’s no need to worry about properly installing the Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat. It comes with multiple features to ensure you do it correctly, including LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children) connectors, a SuperCinch force-multiplying tightener, and RideRight bubble level indicators to make sure it’s at the right angle.

This best travel car seat comes with ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) 50+ sun protection. It also comes with a base, but doesn’t require one in order to use. That means you can keep the base in your car for regular use and still be able to install it in other vehicles, thanks to its European belt routing system. It only weighs 10 pounds and is FAA approved, so it’s ready to bring on an aircraft. The Chicco Car Seat Travel Bag , however, is sold separately. But with the five height positions and six recline positions, your baby is bound to be comfortable no matter how you choose to travel. And once you reach your destination, keep the car seat looking fresh by tossing the fabrics in the washing machine.

They KeyFit 35 is certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), meaning it meets minimum government requirements based on safety and use, and GreenGuard Gold Certified, meaning it’s built to contribute to safer, healthier air and has been screened for more than 15,000 volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Cosco Kids Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat  »

Cosco Kids Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat

Affordable price point

Aircraft certified and TSA-friendly designed

No additional base needed

Side Impact Protection

Machine-washable and dryer-safe seat pad

Installation may be tricky with some seat belts

May fit snugly on older babies

If you’re looking for a secondary car seat, chances are that you’re hoping to keep the cost low. With the Cosco Kids Scenera Next Convertible Car Seat, you’ll save money without losing the factors that make a travel car seat desirable. At just 6.8 pounds, this is one unit you won’t struggle to carry through the airport. Plus, you’ll have peace of mind knowing it has built-in Side Impact Protection.

This model can carry a child up to 40 pounds and 43 inches tall. It has five harness heights and three buckle locations, so it’ll grow with your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. This affordable car seat comes in seven designs with black details. And Cosco Kids makes it easy to clean with its machine-washable and dryer-safe seat pad and dishwasher-safe removable cup holder.

While this may not be the ideal pick for everyday use, the no-base, lightweight design makes it a smart pick for upcoming vacations or times when you need to move it between cars often. Just use the LATCH connectors to safely secure it in place.

Diono Radian 3RXT SafePlus  »

Diono Radian 3RXT SafePlus

Only 17 inches wide

Seats folds up

FAA approved

Supports kids up to 120 pounds

12 headrest positions

Available in five colors

Heavy at 30.6 pounds

Booster mode can’t be used on a plane

LATCH connectors not available for all weights

At just 17 inches wide, the Diono Radian 3RXT SafePlus comfortably fits in even the most compact cars. If you have a full backseat, three of these models can fit across the backseat. Don’t let its compact size fool you, though. This travel car seat was designed to grow with your child from 4 to 120 pounds, in rear-facing position, forward-facing position, and booster mode.

This unit comes with a detachable rear-facing base, which Diono recommends using, but it can be used without it. The base shouldn’t be used in the forward-facing position or in booster mode. To make sure your little one is happy, the Radian boasts a 12-position headrest that you can adjust with just one hand. The covers are machine washable, and the shell and components on the rest of the car seat can be spot cleaned.

This convertible car seat folds to make travel easier, and its FAA-approved status means it’ll be your airplane companion. Just keep in mind that it can only be taken on a plane in rear-facing and forward-facing positions, not booster mode.

Doona + Car Seat & Stroller  »

Doona + Car Seat & Stroller

Converts from car seat to stroller in seconds

Comes fully assembled

FAA approved and can be pushed down airplane aisle

Available in seven colors

UPF 50+ sun protection and water-repellant canopy

Includes LATCH base, infant insert, head support, and vehicle seat protector

Can only be used up to 35 pounds

The Doona + Car Seat & Stroller can be used with or without the included base, but the real magic comes in when you’re using it in between car and airplane rides. Within a matter of seconds, this innovative model goes from car seat to stroller with the push of a button. Plus, it comes fully assembled, so you can use it the moment it arrives.

The water-repellent canopy provides UPF 50+ sun protection, and comes in seven bold colors, including Racing Green, Flame Red, and Blush Pink. The adjustable handle is a nice touch, too, for a more comfortable gliding experience for adults.

Not only is the Doona approved by the FAA, but at just 17.4 inches wide, it can easily be pushed down an airplane aisle so you can get in your seat easily. Although it’s pricey, the fact that it acts as both a travel car seat and stroller means that it’s a great value. Consider this the all-in-one travel system that makes navigating the world with a baby so much simpler. Megan Wood, Senior Editor at U.S. News 360 Reviews, uses the Doona as her family’s main car seat and loves how easy it makes running errands and travel without having to pack a separate stroller.

Wayb Pico Portable Car Seat  »

Wayb Pico Portable Car Seat

Fits in most airplane overheads bins

Only weighs 8 pounds

Installs via LATCH or car or plane seat belt

Folds down to 11.6 inches long by 14.5 inches wide by 18.9 inches tall

Made with space-grade aluminum alloy and Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)-certified wool

On the pricier side

Can’t be used until child is 22 pounds

Make your next flight with your child as easy as possible with the Wayb Pico Portable Car Seat. With a compact design that folds up—so much so that it fits in most airplane overhead bins—this FAA-approved model goes wherever you do. Weighing just 8 pounds, this travel car seat is installed via LATCH connectors or using the car or airplane seat belt.

Unlike the other best travel car seats on our list, the Pico is a forward-facing option that’s designed for children 22 to 50 pounds and 30 to 45 inches tall. Wayb recommends it for ages 2 years old and up. While you can’t use it for a newborn, it’ll be your little one’s travel companion once they grow a bit.

The Pico is available in five colors, and an optional carry bag, vehicle seat protector, and cup holder are sold separately. If you have multiple children, you can snag a few of these and three can fit in a row in the backseat of most vehicles.

Nuna Pipa RX x Pipa Relx Base  »

Nuna Pipa RX x Pipa Relx Base

Five-second installation

Can be used with or without the included base

Removable UPF 50+ canopy

GreenGuard Gold Certified and fire retardant-free materials

Connects with all Nuna strollers

Doesn’t fold

If installing a car seat isn’t something you’re looking forward to, make it easy on yourself with the Nuna Pipa RX. It comes with Pipa Relx Base, but you don’t need it in order to put it to use in a car or on an airplane. If you do decide to use it, however, the base features a stability leg that absorbs impact to prevent motion from transferring to your baby. Plus, installation takes just five seconds.

At 7.6 pounds (not including the canopy or infant insert), it’s one of the lightest options on our list. This travel car seat has a four-position recline, and you don’t have to reinstall it to change the position. It features an infant insert that can be removed when your little one grows. But no matter what age they are, you’ll want to take advantage of the removable, full-coverage UPF 50+ canopy.

This unit has the green light to be part of air travel, and you can feel good knowing that it’s GreenGuard Gold Certified and made with fire retardant-free materials.

Britax Emblem 3-Stage Convertible Car Seat  »

Britax Emblem 3-Stage Convertible Car Seat

High-strength steel frame and SafeCell technology to absorb crash energy

Accommodates children up to 65 pounds

Aircraft approved

10-position harness and headrest adjust together

Machine-washable and dryer-friendly fabrics

On the heavier side

Any piece of baby gear you put your child in needs to be sturdy and durable. The Britax Emblem 3-Stage Convertible Car Seat was built to last. Its frame is made of high-strength steel, and it features SafeCell technology to absorb crash energy, so you can feel confident that your little one is protected. Its fabric is tough and can be tossed in the washing machine and dryer to refresh it after a spill or accident.

This best travel model is designed to grow with your child, as it accommodates them from 5 pounds all the way up to 65 pounds. As they get bigger, you can adjust the harness and headrest, which move together in 10 different positions.

The Emblem is on the heavier side at just under 20 pounds, but it’s still reasonable enough to bring with you in a ride-share or carry it on for aircraft use. Just utilize its installation features, including LATCH connectors and level indicators, to ensure that it’s correctly set up.

Graco Century Carry On 35 Lightweight Infant Car Seat  »

Graco Century Carry On 35 Lightweight Infant Car Seat

Only weighs 6.8 pounds

Four-position carry handle

Machine-washable seat pad and canopy

Doesn’t convert to front facing

Graco refers to its Century Carry On 35 Lightweight Infant Car Seat as “The Weightless Wonder,” and it’s clear why. This lightweight car seat only weighs 6.8 pounds. If you count the base, it only goes up to 10.4 pounds. It’s the lightest carrier on our list, so it’ll truly become a travel must-have when vacation is calling.

Approved to take on an airplane, the Graco Century has a carry handle with four adjustable positions, so both you and your baby will be comfortable. It comes with a base that can be installed via LATCH connectors. However, it can be used without one for even quicker installation with a vehicle or airplane seat belt. And if an in-flight spill dirties the seat pad or canopy, both are machine washable.

The Century is designed for babies up to 35 pounds. Even though it won’t go the long haul, it’s a budget-friendly option that does its job well while it can. Plus, it’s compatible with all Century strollers and car seat bases from Graco that can be purchased separately.

The Bottom Line

The market is far from short on car seat options, and that rings true for travel car seats, too. To choose the best one for your child, consider how often you plan to use it. If it’s a secondary car seat that you’re planning to only break out a couple times of year for vacation, then you may want to keep your budget low. But if you’re looking forward to road trips and airplane rides on the regular, better quality and durability may be more important. Once you see how much use you’ll get out of it, you can focus on what features are necessities in your book. Does it need to fold? Does its weight need to stay super low? But if you’re not totally sure what you need in a travel car seat, the Chicco KeyFit 35 ClearTex Infant Car Seat, our Best Overall pick, is FAA approved, weighs just 10 pounds, comes with a UPF 50+ canopy, and comes with a base but doesn’t need it in order to install.

Things To Consider When Buying Travel Car Seats

Safety Certification and Compliance

The good news is that if you’re buying a new travel car seat from a reputable retailer in the United States, you’re probably in good shape.

“All car seats sold in the U.S. must meet stringent safety regulations, following the requirements set by the NHTSA,” says Joe Colella, JPMA director of Child Passenger Safety and 2020 Child Passenger Safety Hall of Fame Inductee. “A car seat that meets these standards is required to be labeled with, ‘This child restraint system conforms to all applicable Federal motor vehicle safety standards.’”

Don’t forget that car seats also have expiration dates, and when they hit it, toss them, reminds Samora Coles, founder and executive director of The Alex House Project , an organization that supports low-income families and young mothers with their transition to parenthood. While this is one piece of baby gear you’re likely to want to buy new, if you’re using a secondhand model, it’s even more imperative that you check its expiration date and look up if any recalls or malfunctions have been reported.

Size and Weight Suitability

Most—but not all—travel car seats can be used right from birth, so keep in mind when you plan on using it and if your little one is big enough to be safely strapped in. Some options have one mode while others convert to various positions, including rear facing, forward facing, and booster to grow with your child. Each mode has its own weight and height limits, and those numbers vary depending on the brand and model. It’s important to read through and follow those instructions for safety.

“Car seats, when not used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, could be less likely to protect a child from injury,” says Colella. “Car seats are safety devices that are designed and tested to protect children when used as directed by the manufacturer.”

Many travel car seats have an adjustable headrest that you can raise as your child grows. If longevity is important to your buying decision, check to make sure it has this capability so you’re not stuck getting a new one in a year’s time.

Ease of Installation and Compatibility

The first time you put a typical car seat in your vehicle may have taken a while. That kind of time isn’t provided when you’re on the tarmac, so the best travel car seats need to be easy to install. It’s a smart idea to do a test run in a car so you can feel confident in its setup.

Even though many travel car seats come with a base, they’re typically not a must-use on the road. Some models just need a vehicle’s or airplane’s seat belt to safely strap in. Others also offer LATCH connectors that provide a super-secure installation.

“Most travel car seats are compatible with any vehicle, but parents want to research car seat company manuals and reviews from other parents,” says Coles. To assure parents that they did it correctly, some units have colored indicators that give the thumbs up when it’s ready to use or level indicators that confirm it’s not tilted. If you’re concerned about always setting it up and taking it out, look for a model that eases your worries.

Portability for Frequent Travel

Whether you’re hurrying to your gate or rushing to the taxi stand, the last thing you want is a bulky, heavy travel car seat weighing you down. Even if you don’t plan to carry it around while your baby is in it most of the time, you want the unit to be built for portability. That starts with looking at the car seat’s weight. The lowest on this list is 6.8 pounds, and it goes up quite a bit from there. It’s also helpful if the travel car seat folds down — not only so that it fits in the overhead bin on an airplane, but so it’s convenient to carry along with your weekender bag.

“When considering portability factors, parents should consider dual abilities in a travel car seat,” explains Coles. “Seats that can act as strollers can help parents limit necessary items they must carry while traveling.”

Don’t forget to check out the handle, too. Even if it’s lightweight, if the handle doesn’t boast an ergonomic design, parents can feel quite uncomfortable.

Convertibility as the Child Grows

Some travel car seats grow with your child, so they’ll go from rear facing to forward facing to even booster. Each of these stages have their own weight and height limits. However, things can get tricky depending on where you’re traveling to.

“Every U.S. state and territory has a law that defines how a child must be restrained in a vehicle and also requires car seat compliance with the aforementioned safety regulations. State laws vary significantly, and travelers must follow the law for the state in which they are traveling,” says Colella. “For example, 19 states and the District of Columbia require that children ride in rear-facing car seats until at least age 2, while other states use age 1 or do not specify a rear-facing age requirement. Most states also require the use of car booster seats, though the maximum age for those requirements varies from 5 to 10 years old.

How We Chose the Best Travel Car Seats

Nothing is more important than safety when we’re talking about baby gear. U.S. News 360 Reviews kept it at the top of mind when hunting down the best travel car seats, but we also considered price, weight of the carrier, weight and height limits, and installation. To ensure we had the must-know information, we consulted the director of Child Passenger Safety at JPMA and the founder and executive director of an organization that helps young mothers with their transition to parenthood. They provided insight on which key components to understand before landing on the travel car seat for your personal lifestyle. Before adding to cart, think about when and where you’ll use it and what features truly matter to you.

WHY SHOULD YOU TRUST US?

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick , the author of this piece, has been researching, testing, and reviewing products since 2017. This means she has years of experience honing in on what’s important when shopping for a product, including baby gear. Fitzpatrick is a mom herself and has done her own personal deep dive on what makes one car seat better than another. That’s why she concentrated on safety as the top priority when choosing the best travel car seats. Megan Wood , Senior Editor at U.S. News 360 Reviews, focuses on baby gear and recommends the Doona Car Seat + Stroller for traveling families.

“While the FAA does not require the use of car seats on airplanes for children, and those under the age of 2 are allowed to ride on their parents’ lap, this is not considered best practice,” says Colella. “Turbulence can happen with little or no warning, and appropriate car seats provide the safest way for children to travel on airplanes.”

Most travel car seats are certified to use on aircrafts, but be sure to check that it’s the case with your specific model. It can also make a difference which airline you fly and if you’re traveling domestically or internationally. Booster car seats and child restraint harnesses are generally not supposed to be used on an airplane. All of the recommendations on this list are approved for airplane use.

As far as adjustability, many models feature adjustable straps, height/headrest positions, and recline positions.

The best travel car seats are typically easy to install. After all, they’re expected to be moved between vehicles or on and off airplanes regularly. Some of these models come with a base, but don’t necessarily require it for the unit to be secured. Many travel car seats come with LATCH connectors. “This system is compatible with vehicles with anchors located at the lower and upper tether of their seats where the car seat can be secured,” explains Coles. “Since all vehicles must have seat belts, all car seats have a space to secure car seats using the seat belt.”

Two of the most important factors when shopping for the best travel car seat are installation and portability. You want it to be easy to secure on an airplane and in a ride-share, and simple to carry it with you wherever your adventures lead.

“Additionally, factors such as the age, weight, height, and overall condition of the seat should be considered as they can help determine the overall value of the car seat, especially for those with limited resources and busy lifestyles,” says Coles.

About Our Team

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

Caitlyn Fitzpatrick

Contributor

Megan Wood

Senior Editor

U.S. News 360 Reviews takes an unbiased approach to our recommendations. When you use our links to buy products, we may earn a commission but that in no way affects our editorial independence.

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The best travel car seats for your next trip

When shopping for a travel car seat, the weight of it is one of the most important factors.

Traveling with young kids takes a good deal of planning—and usually involves some heavy-duty packing to ensure you have everything you need while away from home. Whether you are flying somewhere or taking a road trip, your stress levels will hinge on your littles ones being safe and feeling comfortable for long periods of time. For that you’ll need a high quality travel car seat.

My husband and I took our first out-of-state trip with our daughter last fall when she was just over a year old. Our vacation to North Carolina involved a plane ride and then a rental car when we arrived at our destination. Initially, we considered bringing our Nuna Rava car seat, but at 27.2 pounds, we decided it would be too heavy to lug around with us as we navigated the airport and car rental office. So, we bought the Cosco Scenera Next DLX Convertible Car Seat , a lightweight travel car seat that was easy to carry through the airport while also managing our carry-on luggage and our daughter.

SKIP AHEAD The best travel car seats | How to

Travel car seats, compared to regular car seats, are designed to be more portable while on the go. To help you shop for the right travel car seat for your needs, we consulted experts about what to look for and compiled recommendations based on their advice and high ratings.

How we picked the best travel car seats

We interviewed car seat experts to get their tips on what to look for in a travel car seat. Based on their guidance, we kept the following in mind when sourcing highly-rated options:

Portability : We looked for car seats that weighed under 15 pounds to ensure they’d be easy enough to carry and move around. For this reason, we also prioritized slimmer designs over wider options.

Ease of Installation : Car seat safety hinges on proper installation. Since you’ll likely have to install and uninstall the car seat multiple times during the course of a trip, we made sure our picks make that process simple.

Certification Status : In the United States, car seats must meet specific safety standards like the use of flame-retardant materials and restraints that can withstand a crash—all of our recommendations do that. In addition to meeting those standards, the car seats on this list are also approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) so that they can be installed in a plane seat.

travel 14 seat

select It's worth it: This stroller/car seat combo makes parenting easier

The best travel car seats.

To help you find the best travel car seat for your child, we considered recommendations from certified child passenger safety technicians and highly rated options from brands like Evenflo, Safety 1st and more.

Cosco Scenera Next DLX Convertible Car Seat

I bought this lightweight car seat (just over 6 pounds) for my 2-year-old daughter and found it was easy to carry through the airport and its slim profile fit nicely in the narrow plane seat. It can be used for both infants and toddlers and be placed in the car rear-facing (for kids from 5 to 40 pounds) or forward-facing (for kids between 22 and 40 pounds who are at least a year old). This car seat is FAA-approved for use on aircrafts. It has a 5-point, adjustable harness to secure your child safely and the cover is machine washable. You can either use lower anchors to install it or a seatbelt.

Product Weight : 6.4 pounds | Child Size Guidelines : Up to 40 pounds and 43 inches tall | Installation Type : Seatbelt, Latch equipped

Cosco Scenera Next DLX Convertible Car Seat

Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base

If you are looking for an infant car seat (suitable for babies who are up to 35 pounds and 32 inches tall) that is good for everyday use (as well as on trips), this pick is worth considering. Select contributor Jo Piazza says she recommends the Doona car seat and stroller to every expectant parent she knows. It can be installed in your car via its base, or simply secured with a seatbelt. When taking it out of the car, you simply press a button and wheels unfold that allow you to push the seat as a stroller. At 17.2 pounds, this car seat is heavier than other options on this list but makes transitioning to a stroller a breeze. It has been approved by the FAA for use on planes.

Product Weight : 17.2 pounds | Child Size Guidelines : Up to 35 pounds and 32 inches tall | Installation Type : Seatbelt, Base is latch equipped

Doona Infant Car Seat and Latch Base

Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat

This car seat costs under $100 and has a 4.5-average star rating from 5,861 reviews on Amazon. It is designed and tested for structural integrity at energy levels approximately twice the Federal crash test standard, according to the brand. It weighs 9.29 pounds, can be used rear or front facing and can be installed using latches or a seatbelt. This seat also has a removable head pillow and the cover is machine washable.

Product Weight : 9.29 pounds | Child Size Guidelines : Up to 40 pounds and 40 inches tall | Installation Type : Seatbelt, Latch equipped

Evenflo Tribute 5 Convertible Car Seat

Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

“If you want the most bang for your buck out of your travel car seat, this is a great option,” says Michelle Pratt, a certified child passenger safety technician, car seat expert and founder of Safe in the Seat . She likes that the lightweight car seat has a long life span, as it’s suitable for children from 5 pounds to 65 pounds. This convertible car seat has a 5-point harness that can be adjusted to 5 different heights to grow with your child and is approved by the FAA.

Product Weight: 14.25 pounds | Child Size Guidelines : Up to 65 pounds | Installation Type : Seatbelt, Latch equipped

Safety 1st Jive 2-in-1 Convertible Car Seat

WayB Pico Forward Facing Car Seat

This seat was recommended by both Pratt and Amie Durocher, a certified child passenger safety technician and creative director of Safe Ride 4 Kids , an advocacy group that aims to help parents make safe choices when it comes to car seats. It weighs only 8 pounds and is approved by the FAA for use on planes. This car seat can only be installed forward-facing, meaning that it is best for children over the age of 2. When not in use, the WayB Pico can be folded in half for portability or, for an additional cost, you can store it in the brand’s padded backpack .

WayB Pico Forward Facing Car Seat

BubbleBum Inflatable Travel Booster Seat

This booster is intended for kids between the ages of 4 and 11 and can be blown up when you need to use it, then deflated to easily store it in your bag. It has a 4.3-average star rating from 5,410 reviews on Amazon and meets both U.S. Federal car seat regulations, as well as those in Europe. One thing to note: It is not approved by the FAA for use on a plane. However, most children old enough to use this should fit comfortably in an airplane seat, anyway.

Product Weight : 1 pound | Child Size Guidelines : 40 to 100 pounds and up to 57 inches tall | Installation Type : Seatbelt

BubbleBum Inflatable Travel Booster Seat

select Planning a short weekend trip? These bags can keep your travel essentials in one place.

How to shop for the best travel car seats.

When it comes to purchasing a travel car seat, here are the key factors our experts recommend you keep in mind:

Portability : Your everyday car seat may be FAA-approved for use on a plane, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s ideal for travel: “It may be too darn heavy,” says Pratt. “If you fly often, we recommend having a lighter car seat for travel. This way you have a lighter, less-expensive car seat to travel the world with without the hassle or risk of lugging around your top-of-the-line seat.” Sticking to a travel car seat that is under 20 pounds will make it easier to carry it through an airport.

Ease of Installation : Since you’ll likely have to install and uninstall a car seat at least once during a trip, you’ll want that process to be as smooth as possible. There are two ways to install a car seat—most employ a latch system, says Durocher—which stands for lower anchors and tethers for children. Essentially, small buckles near the base are locked into corresponding receptors that live in the crease between the seat and back of your car. Otherwise, car seats use a seatbelt system, which may be your only option in an older rental car, says Durocher.

Certification Status : Any car seat you use should meet Federal safety standards. These include restraints that hold up in a crash, flame-retardant fabric and buckle release pressure. You should be able to find this information on the packaging. There are a lot of knockoffs being sold online that say they are travel car seats but are not safe or legal to use,” says Durocher, so checking for this classification is especially important. Then, if you want to bring it on an airplane to use it as a seat (rather than checking it), it needs to have another certification. “Make sure it is FAA-approved and labeled as such,” adds Durocher. “Some airline employees will check the stickers on the seat to make sure it is FAA approved.”

What’s the difference between a regular car seat and a travel car seat?

The biggest difference between a car seat you’d use every day and one for travel is size and weight. Most people leave the car seat they use regularly installed in their car, so it doesn’t really matter if it’s heavier. Heavier, wider car seats can be better for constant use because it usually means they’re a bit more comfortable for your child and may have some nice features—like attached cup holders and extra padding. But those extras weigh more and may mean the seat is not narrow enough for those 18-inch airplane seats, says Pratt. Finally, a normal car seat doesn’t need FAA approval, which you will need if you plan to bring a car seat on a plane.

Should you check your travel car seat or bring it on the plane?

If air travel is part of your trip, you have the option of either checking your car seat (which airlines typically offer for free) or carrying it on the plane and installing it in a seat, so long as it’s FAA-approved. “However, the FAA and the American Academy of Pediatrics highly recommend flying with your child safely strapped into their car seat,” says Pratt. “During severe turbulence or a potential runway collision, your child is not safe in your arms. Your car seat kiddo can safely ride just like they do in the car. Whether they’re rear-facing or front-facing.” Plus, they may feel more comfortable:if they fall asleep, they can rest their head against the side of the car seat for support—something that they won’t have in a plane seat.

Meet our experts

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Michelle Pratt is a certified child passenger safety technician, a car seat expert and the founder of the website, Safe in the Seat .

Amie Durocher is a certified child passenger safety technician and creative director of Safe Ride 4 Kids .

Why trust Select?

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like travel, home and lifestyle. She is also a frequent traveler herself and has been to more than 30 countries. For this story, she interviewed two experts to gather their guidance and researched highly-rated travel car seats based on their advice.

Catch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance , tech and tools , wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Bethany Heitman is a contributing editor at NBC Select.

  • Car Seats /

Best Car Seats for Travel

Our favorite travel-friendly infant, convertible & booster seats for the baby days through the big-kid years., by jen labracio.

Pinterest logo.

Ever try to lug a 20-pound car seat through an airport while thinking to yourself, “There has to be a better way?”

Traveling with babies and young children can be a great adventure, but it can also be a bit of a logistical nightmare. Where will they sleep? (A travel crib or a travel bed usually do the trick.) Can you fly with breastmilk ? (Yes.) How do you keep a toddler entertained on a long flight? (Thoughts and prayers.)

Car seats can be especially confusing when you’re away from home. Most present a bit of a conundrum: you want your to keep your little one safe and secure, but you don’t want to throw out your back lugging a big, bulky car seat around with you wherever you go. The good news is there are plenty of travel-friendly car seat options on the market—you just need to know what features to look for.

Babylist’s Top Picks for the Best Travel Car Seats

Best infant car seats.

  • Lightest Infant Car Seat: UPPAbaby Aria Car Seat
  • Best Affordable Infant Car Seat: Evenflo Litemax 35 Infant Car Seat
  • Best Luxury Infant Car Seat: Nuna Pipa Rx Infant Car Seat with Relx Base
  • Best Infant Car Seat + Stroller: Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller

Best convertible car seats

  • Best Convertible: Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat
  • Longer Lasting Convertible: Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat
  • Most Compact Convertible: WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat

Best booster seats

  • Best High-back: Graco TurboBooster 2.0 Highback Booster Car Seat
  • Best Backless: Cosco Rise Backless Booster Car Seat

In This Article

  • How We Chose the Best Travel Car Seats
  • Our Top Picks

What Is a Travel Car Seat?

Do you need a travel car seat, features to look for in a travel car seat, babylist’s picks for the best car seats for travel, infant car seats, lightest infant car seat for travel.

UPPAbaby Aria Infant Car Seat - Jake - $349.99.

UPPAbaby Aria Infant Car Seat - Jake

The UPPAbaby Aria, one of our top car seats for infants , hit the market in early 2024 and we couldn’t be more excited about it. The brand’s OG car seat, the Mesa , is a popular choice for expecting parents but is a few pounds heavier than many comparable seats. The Aria comes in much lighter, weighing just under six pounds without the canopy and inserts, making it the lightest infant seat currently on the market. This is great if you’re using the seat daily, but even better if you’re using it for travel.

The Aria is GREENGUARD Gold Certified and can be installed with or without its base, another travel plus. (It features something called a European belt path , a routing system that makes installing the seat without its base safer and more secure.) A no-rethread harness makes fit adjustments easy and there’s a load leg and an anti-rebound bar for safety and stability. We also love the XL canopy for shade and darkness and that you won’t need adapters if you’re connecting the seat directly to a Vista or Cruz stroller.

Additional Specs

Best affordable infant car seat for travel.

Evenflo Litemax 35 Infant Car Seat - Knowville Gray - $125.49.

Evenflo Litemax 35 Infant Car Seat - Knowville Gray

You don’t have to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a travel-friendly infant car seat. Evenflo’s LiteMax (another of our top baby car seats ) costs a bit over $100 and weighs only eight pounds, making it affordable and travel-ready. You can install it without its base—it even has a European belt path. There’s a full-coverage canopy and an ergonomically designed handle for easier carrying.

If you don’t mind spending a bit more and are looking for some extra safety features, check out the LiteMax DLX , which features a load leg. (Just remember that the load led extends from the base, so if you’re using just the seat you won’t have that benefit.) And for another affordable infant car seat for travel, check out Graco’s SnugRide 35 Lite LX Infant Car Seat . It weighs just over seven pounds and can be installed without the base when you don’t feel like bringing it along.

Best Luxury Infant Car Seat for Travel

Nuna Pipa Rx Infant Car Seat with Relx Base - Granite - $450.00.

Nuna Pipa Rx Infant Car Seat with Relx Base - Granite

The Pipa Rx is a stellar combination of safety + convenience and works just as well as an everyday car seat as it does for travel. It’s pricey, but it’s also a sleek, modern seat with two key features that make it ideal for travel: weight and ease of installation. The Pipa weighs just over seven pounds, making it one of the lightest infant car seats on the market—a huge plus when you’re carrying it through the airport or taking it in and out of your car. And like other seats on our list, you can install it without the base using your vehicle’s seat belt and the European belt path.

It’s also packed with high-end features that you’d expect in a higher-priced seat. It’s GREENGUARD Gold Certified and doesn’t contain any added fire-retardant chemicals, and there’s an oversized canopy for shade. Safety-wise, it excels, featuring both a load leg and an anti-rebound panel (both extra safety features that help absorb impact and rebound in the event of a crash).

For another high-end, travel-friendly seat, check out the Clek Liingo . It’s a bit heavier, but it features LATCH anchors built right into the car seat itself, meaning you can skip the base and the seat belt and install it securely in seconds.

Best Infant Car Seat Stroller Hybrid for Travel

Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller - Nitro Black - $550.00.

Doona Infant Car Seat & Stroller - Nitro Black

There’s nothing quite like the Doona. This one-of-a-kind hybrid stroller + car seat is a favorite of on-the-go parents and is a great item of baby gear to own if you’ll be traveling frequently with your little one during their first year or so.

The Doona transforms from an infant car seat into a stroller with the click of a button. When it’s time to get in the car, the stroller legs and wheels pull up and fold under the car seat. It’s a dream if you’re looking to cut down on the amount of gear you’re lugging around when you’re away from home and if you’re looking for a seat that’s easy to get in and out of ride shares or rental cars. (It’s a great seat for city dwellers too.)

Convertible Car Seats

Best convertible car seat for travel.

Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat - $59.00.

Cosco Scenera NEXT Convertible Car Seat

Most convertible seats aren’t designed for travel. Weighing in at an average of about 20 pounds, convertibles don’t snap into strollers and are heavy, bulky and meant to be installed in your car and stay there. For parents who travel frequently or don’t own a car, getting around with a convertible seat poses quite the challenge.

The Next, which is ranked as one of our best convertible car seats , solves for this dilemma. It weighs about 10 pounds—light for any car seat but especially so for a convertible. It’s easy to sling over your shoulder while you’re walking through the airport or install in an airplane seat or a ride share. (It’s FAA-approved for plane travel.) It’s totally no-frills and can be a bit tricky to get a secure install, but it’s slim, safe and affordable and can be used both rear- and forward-facing.

A Longer Lasting Travel-Friendly Convertible Pick

Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat - Rocco Red - $119.99.

Evenflo Sonus 65 Convertible Car Seat - Rocco Red

The Sonus 65 is a travel-friendly convertible car seat and a good choice if you’re looking for a seat with a higher height and weight maximum than the Cosco Scenera Next. It weighs a bit more, but only by about a pound, and you’ll be able to use it until your little one reaches 65 pounds or 50 inches as opposed to the Next which maxes out at 40 pounds and 43 inches.

In addition to its extended use capabilities, the Sonos is an affordable seat with a few noteworthy features. It’s a fairly narrow seat, so it won’t take up much room across your back seat and can be used three across. There’s also a built-in ventilation system, a reinforced frame, five shoulder strap positions and two integrated cup holders for drinks and snacks.

Most Compact Convertible Car Seat for Travel

WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat - $380.00.

WAYB Pico Travel Car Seat

The WAYB Pico is like no other convertible car seat on the market. Designed specifically for families who travel or are frequently on the go, it’s one of the pricer options on our list but is a worthwhile investment if you’re looking for an innovative, safe and incredibly compact convertible car seat option.

The creators of the Pico were inspired to create a completely unique convertible-style seat after watching parents struggle trying to lug car seats through airports and in and out of taxis and ride shares. There’s no feature here that hasn’t been completely (and ingeniously) thought through. The Pico’s frame is made from lightweight, aerospace-grade aluminum; there’s a five-point harness and seat fabric made from a cool, breathable mesh; and the seat installs either via a seat belt or LATCH system. The Pico weighs just eight pounds and folds up for easy transport either by hand or in the brand’s carry bag .

One thing to keep in mind: the seat is forward-facing only, so if you’re looking for a rear-facing convertible for travel, this isn’t a good fit for you.

Booster Seats

Best booster seat for travel.

Graco TurboBooster 2.0 Highback Booster Car Seat - $44.99.

Graco TurboBooster 2.0 Highback Booster Car Seat

Booster seats use a vehicle’s seat belt as a restraint and were developed to help elevate children in a car’s seat, making adult seat belts fit better on smaller bodies. You’ll have to wait quite a while until you transition your little one from a convertible car seat into a booster; most experts recommend waiting to make the leap until your child maxes out their forward-facing car seat, meets the height and weight requirements of the booster and is mature enough to sit properly upright (no leaning, twisting, moving around etc.).

There are two types of boosters: high-back and backless. Graco’s TurboBooster falls into the first category, with a high back and a seat belt guide to thread your vehicle’s shoulder belt for a proper fit. Due to their height, no high-backs are particularly great for travel, but this one is one of the best you’ll find in terms of price (affordable) and weight (just over eight pounds). It’s also easy to install and fits a wide variety of children well, and transitions to a backless booster for years of use.

Best Backless Booster Seat for Travel

Cosco Rise Backless Booster Car Seat - $13.98.

Cosco Rise Backless Booster Car Seat

Most experts recommend using a high-back booster for as long as possible , but once you’re ready to make the switch to a backless model, your life is going to get a whole lot easier (and a lot lighter!). Cosco’s Rise is a no-frills seat that’s affordable, lightweight and compact, making it ideal to toss into a bag or even a tote for travel. The wide base and high armrests make it easy for your child to buckle in themselves and there’s a shoulder belt positioning clip to ensure you’ll get the proper fit.

How We Chose Our Best Car Seats for Travel

  • We analyzed results from Babylist’s Best Baby Products survey , which polled 6,000 Babylist users and asked them to share the baby products they love the most and why.
  • We utilized insight from the Babylist editorial team, including Gear Editor Jen LaBracio, an expert in the baby space for over six years and a mom of two who has written hundreds of baby gear guides and personally researched and tested hundreds of baby products, including many travel car seats.
  • We reviewed customer reviews from hundreds of real Babylist parents.

There’s no specific category or true definition for a “travel” car seat; instead, what defines a travel-friendly car seat is more about its features. Things like a light weight, compact design and ease of portability are all factors to consider when you’re shopping for this type of seat.

Determining if it’s worthwhile to invest in a car seat just for travel depends on your family’s lifestyle. If you’re a family who tends to stay close to home or use your own car when you’re traveling, you can likely skip a travel-friendly seat. But if you’re planning on hitting the road (or the skies) frequently with your little one in tow, then purchasing a car seat specifically for travel can make your life on the go a whole lot easier.

Also keep in mind that you don’t have to use a travel-friendly car seat just for travel. A compact, lightweight car seat is a great choice if you’re an urban family that doesn’t own a car, for example, if you need a seat for a grandparent or other caregiver or if plan to switch your seat frequently between cars.

There are some specific features to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a car seat that’s well-suited for travel.

  • Weight. This is a biggie. Lugging around a heavy car seat isn’t a fun way to spend any part of your vacation. Choose the lightest seat you can within your budget—your lower back can thank us later.
  • Design. A slim, compact seat is easier to transport than a big, bulky one. Keep this in mind when choosing what type of seat you’ll purchase for traveling.
  • Ease of installation. Does spending 40 minutes trying to install a car seat in your rental car sound like fun? Make sure the car seat you choose for travel can be installed quickly and easily in the widest range of car makes and models.
  • FAA-approved. This one’s important if you plan on doing a lot of travel via plane. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ride in child safety seats on airplanes —but you’ll need to make sure your seat is approved for airplane use . Look for a label on the seat that reads “certified for use in motor vehicles and aircraft” to be sure. This includes infant seats, convertibles, forward-facing seats and some harnessed boosters.

Jen LaBracio

Senior gear editor.

Jen LaBracio is Babylist’s Senior Gear Editor, a role that perfectly combines her love of all things baby gear with her love of (obsessive) research. When she’s not testing out a new high chair or pushing the latest stroller model around her neighborhood, she likes to run, spin, listen to podcasts, read and spend time at the beach. In her past life, she worked for over a decade in children’s publishing. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their two boys, Will and Ben.

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The 14 Best Carry-on Backpacks of 2024, Tested and Reviewed

These spacious and comfortable carry-on backpacks can easily replace a suitcase.

travel 14 seat

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks
  • Others We Liked

Our Testing Process

  • Tips For Buying
  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure/Joy Kim

Skip the stress of checking in a bag or lugging a traditional carry-on suitcase around an airport by adding a carry-on backpack to your travel gear. Practical, functional, and hassle-free, a carry-on backpack can fit up to a week’s worth of clothes, depending on your wardrobe and packing prowess. Whether you’re backpacking through Europe or embarking on a weekend getaway, this style helps make your trip as efficient and enjoyable as possible.

We tested dozens of carry-on backpacks and evaluated them based on traits like capacity, comfort, durability, and design. First, we tested the backpacks in our New York City lab and utilized our airplane set complete with row of real plane seats and overhead storage bins. We then took them out into the world for six months to further test each bag on a variety of trips. From rugged to sleek styles, we tested plenty of carry-on backpacks ranging in design and size that impressed us.

Best Overall

Cotopaxi allpa 35l travel pack.

  • Capacity 5 /5
  • Design 5 /5
  • Durability 5 /5
  • Comfort 5 /5

The backpack has an unstructured style that makes it easy to pack clothing and accessories, plus a plethora of thoughtful features catered to frequent travelers.

There isn’t a designated water bottle holder.

Salt Lake City-based outdoor gear brand Cotopaxi builds brightly colored clothing and accessories to last. The Cotopaxi Allpa 35L Travel Pack earned our top pick as the best carry-on backpack with its perfect performance in all categories of our testing. We loved its high capacity and thought the unstructured style was ideal for wedging clothes into every corner, maximizing packing space in the clamshell-style compartments. The shell is made of a TPU-coated 1000D polyester with a rubbery feel, and although it feels resistant to liquids, the backpack comes with a rain cover to ensure that your belongings stay dry while traveling. Handles on all four sides of the backpack make it easy to carry and lift into an overhead bin from any angle. The only downside to the bag is that it doesn't have a water bottle holder on the sides, so you'll have to carry one or try to fit it in the top pocket in the front.

We think this durable Cotopaxi bag will remain in excellent condition no matter how many times it hits the road, as it was not damaged at all after we repeatedly tossed it onto the ground. The rubber texture also seemed easy to clean and resistant to liquid spills. After six months of regularly using the bag, we found that it's the perfect size for long weekend trips and helps keep all of our items organized and easy to access. Both stylish and functional, this backpack can even be made one-of-a-kind by choosing the surprise colors option when purchased through Cotopaxi’s website.

The Details: 35 liters | 20 x 12 x 8 inches | 3.8 pounds | TPU-coated 1000D polyester, nylon | Padded laptop sleeve

Travel + Leisure / Jhett Thompson

Travel + leisure / Jhett Thompson

Best Convertible

Away the outdoor convertible backpack 45l.

  • Design 4.5 /5

We love how comfortable it is on your shoulders and back thanks to the soft materials and cushioned shoulder straps.

At nearly 22 inches tall, this pack may be too long for those with shorter torsos.

You'll be surprised by just how spacious this backpack is. The main compartment opens up like a clam shell for easy access to items that allowed us to fit an entire four-day packing list with ease — plus a few extra items. There are multiple large compartments, compression straps, and a few pockets in this backpack that are ideal for organizing clothes, gear, and accessories. While the 45-liter backpack can grow heavy when completely filled, the padded shoulder straps are supportive and keep you comfortable when walking for long periods of time. Plus, the convenient duffel handles allow you to switch up your carrying style if you do grow fatigued.

This backpack also sports a well-padded laptop sleeve that protected our testing laptop when we threw the fully packed bag off a counter three times. There was also no sign of rips, scuffs, or tears in the bag's fabric after our tests. This water- and abrasion-resistant backpack would be perfect for avid travels who are looking for a sleek backpack to take them from city explorations to camping adventures.

The Details: 45 liters | 21.7 x 13.6 x 9.5 inches | 3.32 pounds | Water-resistant

Travel + Leisure / Joy Kim

Best Budget

Asenlin 40l travel backpack.

It’s spacious and comes with three packing cubes to stay organized while traveling. 

After six months of use, the bag is scuffed up with noticeable scratches.

Perfect for travelers on a budget, the Asenlin 40L Travel Backpack impressed us with its packing features and comfortable fit. We thought the bag provided excellent organization thanks to the interior and exterior compression that provided extra room for packing. The backpack comes with three different packing cubes in small, medium, and large. We also like that this backpack includes both a suitcase strap and a handle to hold it horizontally. The backpack itself also features straps inside and a laptop sleeve to easily hold down items and pack electronics.

The design didn’t blow us away like those from some of the more costly brands, but it does have a laptop sleeve and a water bottle holder. We also liked the flexibility of being able to wear the Asenlin as a backpack, hold it like a briefcase, or use the trolley sleeve to slide it onto a roller suitcase’s handle. However, a bigger adjustment range for the chest strap would have been ideal. During our durability tests, the backpack didn’t scuff or show signs of damage. We think this budget pick is well worth the low price for those looking to get a durable, comfortable, and spacious carry-on backpack. 

The Details: 40 liters | 18.5 x 12.5 x 9.5 inches | 2.7 pounds | Polyester | 17-inch laptop pocket

Best Traditional

Samsonite silhouette 17 backpack.

  • Design 4 /5
  • Durability 4 /5

Thanks to its clamshell design, it’s like a suitcase without wheels.

Some of the straps weren’t intuitive to use.

The Samsonite Silhouette 17 Backpack is ideal for travelers who like the structure and sleek, minimalist style of a traditional suitcase but want the portability of a backpack. We love that this bag opens like a suitcase, making it easy to access everything inside. There was plenty of space leftover after packing the backpack, and the classic clamshell opening allowed for easy access to items in the compression-strapped main compartment and the zippered pockets on the inside of the front flap. All of the interior and exterior pockets, including the water bottle holder and padded laptop sleeve, are useful for traveling. You can convert the backpack to wear as a duffel bag or a briefcase, and it has a rear strap to place on a rolling suitcase if desired. The straps were easy to adjust, and it felt like the weight was nicely distributed thanks to the structured style of the backpack. There was a small scuff on the bag after we tossed it on the floor during our durability tests, but the contents of the backpack remained unharmed. When flying with the bag during our six-month testing period, we found that it easily fits in airplane overhead bins and under the seat. Overall, it’s a backpack with the features of a well-compartmentalized suitcase and much more.

The Details: 13 x 20.5 x 10.5 inches | 3.31 pounds | Polyester, recyclex | Padded laptop pocket | Convertible straps

Best for Photographers

Peak design travel backpack 45l.

  • Value 4.5 /5

You can access the main compartment on the bag from four different exterior zippers.

This is one of the most expensive backpack on our list.

This 45-liter backpack has a main compartment that is spacious enough to fit clothes for at least four days, and its expansive design is helpful for packing bulky items like jackets and shoes. Placing the clothes and shoes into the bag during testing was efficient and simple thanks to a removable divider sleeve and compression straps to hold everything down securely. Designed with photographers in mind, this backpack functions similarly to a camera bag . It can fit camera cubes, and it has four points of entry to the main compartment, allowing travelers to quickly grab clothes or accessories without unzipping the backpack. There is a padded laptop sleeve and stretchy side pockets for water bottles or a camera tripod. 

Peak Design didn’t let any space go to waste on its backpack, so even the hip belt has a small pocket on it for storage and can be packed away when you’re not looking for extra support. It’s also easy to adjust all of the straps to prevent weight imbalances and pinching. Made of weatherproof and water-resistant recycled nylon, the bag held up perfectly after we tossed it on the ground, showing no signs of scuffs or damage — exactly what you want in a durable backpack . Although the price of this bag is steep, it comes with plenty of helpful features for travelers, and the stellar performance leads us to believe that it would last a long time. 

  The Details: 45 liters | 13 x 22 x 9.5 inches | 4.8 pounds | Nylon, polyester | Laptop sleeve | Expandable

Travel + Leisure / Conor Ralph

Best Compression

Tropicfeel shell backpack.

  • Comfort 4 /5

It can be converted from 40 liters for traveling to 22 liters to use as a daypack. 

The handle on the top of the bag wasn’t as comfortable to hold onto as we hoped. 

We love this backpack’s thoughtful features geared toward all types of travelers. The Tropicfeel Shell Backpack has the ability to store up to 42 liters worth of clothing for a weekend or week-long trip, but you can also use it as a 20-liter backpack for day trips, sightseeing, and everyday use. After regularly using the bag for six months, we found it to be incredibly sturdy and durable. We had no issues fitting our full packing list and found that there was plenty more room thanks to the variety of buckled straps that allow you to adjust the size of the bag. You can loosen the front buckle to allow the roll-up opening flap to expand to fit more items, and there is a kangaroo pouch at the bottom of the backpack that provides an additional six liters of space for shoes or other items you want to keep separate. There’s also a padded compartment in the back of the backpack that can fit laptops up to 17 inches long. We thought the backpack was comfortable to wear after adjusting the shoulder and waist straps, but we found that it might take some effort to get the buckles into your desired setting. 

The Shell Backpack didn’t show any signs of damage throughout testing, and the material is weather-proof. For travelers looking to add upgrades to their backpack, the brand has an organization system and accessory pouches that you can add on for additional fees. If you need an all-in-one backpack, we think this backpack’s versatility makes it well worth the higher cost. 

The Details: 20-42 liters | 12 x 20 x 7.5 inches

Best Organization

Topo designs global travel bag 30l.

Topo Designs

  • Capacity 4 /5

There are tons of pockets and a laptop compartment to help you organize your belongings.

After six months of use, we noticed the bag can feel quite heavy if packed full.

Packing for a trip can often feel tedious, but the Topo Designs Global Travel Bag 30L helps make it easy and efficient. We loved how convenient it is to store a laptop up to 15 inches in the padded compartment in the back of the bag, and there are two front pockets for easy access to a tablet or phone charger. There are a ton of compartments and pockets that offer plenty of options for staying organized with small or loose items in the absence of packing cubes, with places to stash cords, travel documents, electronics, water bottles, and more.

The adjustable shoulder straps and straps that go across the chest and waist help evenly distribute the backpack's weight, making it more comfortable to carry around, although we noticed during our long-term testing that the bag can still feel heavy if you pack it completely full. The 100 percent recycled nylon material felt durable and would likely stay in good condition over time. 

The Details: 30 liters | 12.5 x 20 x 7 inches

Best Customizable

Roam the continental.

  • Capacity 4.5 /5
  • Comfort 4.8 /5

You can choose from four colors to customize the shade of the front, back, sides, and straps of the backpack. 

The laptop sleeve isn’t padded.

Customized luggage can be hard to come by, but Roam’s The Continental backpack makes it easier than ever to build the carry-on backpack of your dreams. The front, back, sides, and straps of the bag can be red, green, black, or blue, or you can keep the backpack all one color for a monochromatic look. We were a bit worried about the light colors when we first got our hands on this bag, but after four months of traveling, is has no signs of wear and tear, there are no stains or loose threads, and everything is still in good shape. We were also impressed by the exterior pockets to stash headphones, snacks, chargers, water bottles, or anything else you could need whether lounging in the airport or mid-flight. The bag is made with a lightweight, water-repellent fabric and YKK zippers so it easily handles temperamental weather while traveling. Spacious and easy to access, the front flap opens wide so packing the bag with clothes and shoes was a breeze, too. The laptop pocket in the back could easily fit a 17-inch device, but it isn’t padded, so you may want to store your computer in a case to be on the safe side. 

The Details: 26 liters | 17.75 x 14 x 8 inches | 2.4 pounds | Water-repellent fabric | Laptop pocket

Travel + Leisure / Jessica Juliao

Best Expandable

Nomatic travel pack.

  • Capacity 4.8 /5
  • Comfort 4.5 /5
  • Durability 4.5 /5
  • Value 4.8 /5

The expandable zippers add an extra 3.5 inches of space which increases the capacity to 30 liters.

Some of the pockets feel unnecessary.

The Nomatic Travel Pack is the ultimate versatile carry-on backpack thanks to its expandable zippers that add an extra 10 liters of space. Ideal for an overnight trip or a long weekend getaway, the bag has a variety of pockets and compartments to efficiently organize shoes, clothes, accessories, and technology. While the number of pockets on the interior was a bit overwhelming at first, travelers who like to be extra organized will appreciate the designated padded laptop sleeve, sunglasses case, discrete passport pocket, and plethora of slip and zippered pockets in the main compartment. The handles and padded shoulder straps are comfortable for carrying the bag, and the small-to-medium size of the backpack makes it super comfortable to carry since it doesn’t feel bulky or heavy. We used this bag on a variety of international trips throughout four months of testing, and it still looks new, despite rough handling and being shoved under airplane seats.

The Details: 20 liters (expands to 30 liters) | 18.5 x 12 x 6-9.5 inches | 4.16 pounds | 16-inch laptop pocket

  • Travel + Leisure/Jessica Juliao

Matein Travel Backpack

  • Durability 4.3 /5

It has several compartments for keeping clothing, shoes, tech, and accessories organized.

The materials feel a little lower in quality than other backpacks we tried.

If you’re not ready to invest in a pricier carry-on backpack, you can always dip your toes with this functional and spacious one for under $60. This 40-liter backpack has one large main compartment that can fit several tops, bottoms, and a toiletry case without any issues. We particularly love the separate footwear compartment to prevent the bottom of your shoes from coming into contact with clean clothes and that storage can even fit pairs up to size 12. In addition, there is a laptop pocket and a large front pocket with spots to put items like phone chargers, headphones, and other small accessories that could get lost easily. Compared to the pricier bags we tried, this one feels a bit lower in quality, but none of the nylon fabric tore and scuffed during our durability tests, so we still think this bag has a good lifespan ahead of it. 

The Details: 40 liters | 20 x 13 x 8 inches | 2 pounds | Water-repellent nylon

Best for Hiking

Kühl eskape 25.

The 25-liter capacity makes this backpack versatile for an airplane or the great outdoors.

It takes some adjustments to get it to fit comfortably on the back.

This rugged carry-on backpack from Kühl is the perfect option for travelers embarking on an outdoor adventure. The smaller size of this bag is its greatest strength since it can easily fit enough clothes for a weekend trip, or you can use it as an adventure pack for day hikes or camping trips. There are a variety of thoughtful features for hikers including a stowaway hip belt for extra support while trekking, load-lifting shoulder straps, and the bag is made with durable TPU-laminated nylon. Plus, the chest strap slides up and down the shoulder straps so travelers can get the most comfortable fit for their upper body. We found that it takes some extra effort to adjust all of the straps for the right fit, but once you do, the bag is comfortable to carry for long periods of time. For even more versatility, the bag has a padded laptop pocket and a variety of other small and large zippered pockets to stay organized if you’re commuting or traveling for work. 

The Details: 25 liters | 20.5 x 9.5 x 12.5 inches | Waterproof nylon | 17-inch laptop pocket

Best Waterproof

Tortuga travel backpack.

This bag is basically a suitcase without wheels thanks to its large capacity and clamshell-style opening.

The bag can feel a bit heavy to carry when it’s fully packed.

If you’re traveling somewhere with a rainy climate, you’ll want a carry-on backpack like this one from Tortuga that can ward off the elements. It’s made with the brand’s 100 percent recycled and waterproof Shell200 or “sailcloth” material to protect your belongings and prevent bad weather from putting a serious damper on your trip. During a rainy overnight camping trip, the Tortuga Travel Backpack essentially sat in a puddle for hours, yet none of our gear or clothing inside got wet at all, and the bag was easy to clean with just a wet cloth.

This is a seriously spacious bag at 40 liters, so we found that you can seamlessly fit a week’s worth of clothing (or more) between the two clamshell compartments. Because of the split style of the bag, packing it up is hassle-free since it’s easy to see exactly how much space is left on each side. And if you run out of space in the main compartments, there are top, front, and side exterior pockets to store a laptop, accessories, water bottles, and more items that you’ll want to have handy while traveling.

The Details: 40 liters | 21.7 x 13.8 x 7.9 inches | 4.5 pounds | Waterproof sailcloth | 16-inch laptop pocket

Travel + Leisure / Taylor Fox

Everlane ReNew Transit Backpack

This lightweight backpack has a sleek and contemporary design that comes in several earthy colors.  

It has a smaller capacity than many backpacks and can only fit a day or two of clothes.

If you’re looking to travel in style, Everlane’s The ReNew Transit Backpack is the perfect fit. Functional and contemporary, we found it to be best suited for weekend trips because of its smaller capacity. The bag fit all of the packing items during testing, but it would be difficult to fit much more in the main compartment. The ReNew Transit was comfortable to wear thanks to its lightweight polyester material and compact build. The front flap of the backpack has an external pocket for smaller items, and it folds over to attach magnetically to the front of the backpack. During our durability tests, the front magnets stayed securely together, and the body of the backpack didn’t get crushed or damaged. We liked how it can fit under an airplane seat, making it a versatile backpack for traveling with or without other pieces of luggage. There is a laptop sleeve in the back of the bag as well as a water bottle holder on the side and a front zippered pocket below the folding magnetic lock. With four earthy tones to choose from, this is a bag to fit all travel style preferences. 

The Details: 27 liters | 12 x 17.5 x 7.25 inches

Best for Foot Travel

Osprey fairview 40.

The compartments and various straps made packing effortless. 

It’s a large bag, but it wasn’t so heavy that it was uncomfortable to wear.

For travelers journeying on foot, the Osprey Fairview wowed us with its spacious interior and comfortable fit. The straps for walking longer distances are really the best part — making your bag feel like you're carrying less since the weight is so well distributed. The bags have the same storage capacity and general style, but Osprey’s women’s backpacks are designed to fit a smaller torso with waist and chest harnesses that sit upward and outward for a more comfortable carry. In testing, the main compartment and mesh zippered pouch on the front flap proved to be spacious. There are two internal compression straps and one external strap that kept belongings secure through our rough handling, so we think the bag would provide sufficient protection if you do need to check it in for a flight. 

We appreciated the padded shoulder straps and back that made wearing the backpack comfortable, despite the weight of its contents. The Osprey Fairview bags have an internal suspension the brand calls “LightWire” that distributes the weight from the harness to the hip belt, and our shoulders didn’t hurt after carrying the backpack since most of the weight shifted to the lower body.

The Details: 40 liters | 22 x 14 x 9 inches

Travel + Leisure /Jhett Thompson

Other Carry-on Backpacks We Liked

While we tested plenty of high-scoring carry-on backpacks, there were some that almost made our list but didn’t quite make the cut due to several weaknesses revealed during testing. 

Bellroy Transit Backpack Plus : We loved the adjustable sternum and waist straps that you can tuck into the bag when not in use, but we think there are better bags out there for a fraction of the price. 

AmazonBasics Carry-on Travel Backpack : It had plenty of compartments for staying organized and the material felt durable, but there weren’t any standout features that made it a must-have backpack. 

Vancropak Carry-on Backpack, Extra Large 40L : This backpack fits all of the packing items, and it even fits under an airplane seat, but our budget pick performed slightly better and it costs less. 

On two separate occasions, we tested carry-on backpacks in our New York City lab to make sure we were creating this list with the best options from trusted luggage brands. For our latest tests, we built a specially designed airplane set that includes a row of real airplane seats and an overhead storage bin. To date, we've put over 34 carry-on backpacks through a series of trials that compared capacity, design, comfort, durability, and overall value. After completing our in-house testing, we sent the backpacks out with our Travel + Leisure editors to give us insight on how they fared during real-world travel. We have been updating this article with long-term testing insights as soon as they become available. 

To test for capacity, we began by packing the bags with three shirts, two pairs of pants, one jacket, one pair of shoes, and a toiletry bag. We noted if any space was leftover as well as how functional the compartments were for organizing the contents packed. We evaluated the overall design of the bags by paying attention to how they fold out, how well the zippers and buckles work, and the functionality of each pocket or compartment. 

Next, we put on the backpacks and walked around for 10 minutes to rate comfortability. The highest scoring backpacks were exceptionally enjoyable to wear with the weight evenly distributed on the shoulders or hips.

Then, we threw the backpacks a few feet or off a countertop to test for durability. The highest-rated bags had no scuffs or tears after rough handling, and the packed items inside remained unharmed as well. 

Our testers had no previous knowledge of the cost of each backpack until after testing was completed. This allowed us to give an unbiased rating of overall values, where the top bags were determined to be fairly priced based on a high-quality performance, especially for the pricier bags. After our lab tests, the backpacks were sent out for real-world testing for up to six months.

Tips for Buying a Carry-on Backpack

Consider under-the-seat versus carry-on bags.

Not all carry-on backpacks will fit under the seat of an airplane, but if that’s your intended use, we recommend checking an airline’s underseat dimensions before heading to the airport. Similarly, with a carry-on backpack for the overhead bin, you’ll want to double-check the airline’s carry-on size restrictions to avoid paying unwanted fees if the bag is stuffed full of clothes. 

Keep in mind what the bag will be used for

For those traveling by foot, a smaller, lightweight backpack would be better for portability and comfort. For those traveling by air, a compression bag or backpack that has plentiful organization could be a better choice so you get the most out of the limited airline baggage space. When traveling by air, you might also want to consider an option with wheels for added convenience, like a rolling backpack, weekender, or duffel bag .

Frequently Asked Questions

During our test, we packed three shirts, two pants, one jacket, one pair of shoes, and a toiletry bag into each bag and often had extra space for more clothes. Many backpacks come with a laptop compartment , but you’ll want to make sure that feature is included before purchasing yours.

Carry-on size restrictions vary by airline, and it’s possible for a carry-on backpack to not fit within some limits. Most bags will have a product details section highlighting the dimensions of the backpack. If you’re looking to fit the bag solely under the seat , you should check to make sure the bag fits the dimensions while it’s packed.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Anna Popp is a commerce writer at T+L, where she reviews travel products and writes the majority of the team's "Travel + Leisure Trusted" articles. Anna owns several carry-on backpacks, including the top pick from Cotopaxi, so she combined knowledge of traveling with just a backpack and the thorough lab testing and real-world insights to put together this list of the best carry-on backpacks.

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Related Articles

UNCLASSIFIED (U)

OFFICIAL TRAVEL

(CT:LOG-343;   02-11-2022) (Office of Origin:  A/LM)

14 FAM 531  EmploymenT and Assignment Travel

(CT:LOG-343;   02-11-2022) (State/USAGM/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)

When two or more types of travel are combined, the pertinent provisions apply separately to each segment of the trip.  Types of official travel follow below.

14 FAM 531.1  Appointment Travel

a. Official travel and transportation for U.S. citizen employees, their families, and effects, may be authorized from place or places of residence or other place specifically authorized to official duty station.

b. Effects may be authorized to be shipped at U.S. Government expense from place of storage.  Shipment of effects is authorized for employees whose tour of duty at post is one year or more or who serve less than a year and are transferred or otherwise removed from post for the convenience of the U.S. Government (see 3 FAM 2440 regarding curtailments).

14 FAM 531.2  Alternate-Seat-of-Government Travel

a. Official travel and transportation for U.S. citizen employees, their families, and effects, may be authorized to and from the alternate seat of government.

b. There is no per diem at destination unless specifically authorized. Shipment and storage of effects, and privately owned vehicle, may be authorized.

14 FAM 531.3  Relocation Travel

Official travel and transportation may be authorized for employees to move from one official duty station to another.  This includes permanent change-of-station (PCS) and transfer moves.

14 FAM 531.4  Home Leave Travel

a. Official travel and transportation may be authorized for U.S. citizen employees and their families from post or any place abroad where presence is due to U.S. Government orders to home leave address within the United States (or U.S. commonwealth or possessions) and return to post of assignment or a new official duty station.  Home leave travel is not authorized for family members already on separate maintenance allowance (SMA) authorization (see also 14 FAM 536.1 ).

b. Employees and their families traveling should spend 20 workdays in the United States (see 3 FAM 3434.2 for exceptions).  Except as provided in 14 FAM 532.4 the family may not travel until the employee is eligible for home leave and has been issued home leave orders.

14 FAM 531.5  Rest and Recuperation Travel

a. Travel of an employee and eligible family members may be authorized and performed in accordance with 14 FAM 523.2-1 , subparagraph f(1)(d) and in 3 FAM 3720 .

b. Each post eligible for rest and recuperation (R&R) travel will fund one of the following three travel options to employees and eligible family members:

(1) Round-trip travel to post's designated foreign relief point.  Lists of eligible posts by regional area and their designated relief points are in 3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-3722(1) through 3 FAH-1 Exhibit H-3722(5) ; or

(2)  Round-trip travel to any one city in the United States (the 50 States and the District of Columbia) or one city in its territories including American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands; or

travel 14 seat

c.  Only the designated foreign relief point, the traveler's selected city in the United States or U.S. territory, or "R&R Cost-Construct Cap" can be shown as the destination on the authorized itinerary of the R&R travel authorization.

e.  Employees authorized premium class travel through MED/DRAD will have a cost-construct cap established on a case-by-case basis using the same methodology used for economy caps outlined in 3 FAH-1 H-3726.3 .

f.  The Department recommends that posts use the lowest cost unrestricted airfares for travel to the designated relief point or U.S. city or U.S territory.  However, funding for R&R travel is a post function and, as such, the final decision whether to use restricted or unrestricted fares for R&R travel is a post responsibility.

14 FAM 531.6  Marine Security Guard

See 12 FAM 435 .

14 FAM 531.7  Military Furlough, Resignation, Retirement, and Other Separation Travel

a. Official travel and transportation may be authorized for U.S. citizen employees, their eligible family members, and effects, from post or any place where presence is due to U.S. Government orders to designated place of residence in the United States (see definition of "United States" in 14 FAM 511.3 ).

b. When a U.S. citizen employee elects to reside at other than the designated place of residence, expenses must be allowed based on constructive cost (for "cost constructed travel," see 14 FAM 511.3 and 14 FAM 612.3 ) to designated place of residence in the United States.  See 3 FAM 2510 on separation of U.S. citizen employees and 3 FAM 2560 on military furlough.

c.  This regulation provides Civil Service employees, who mandatorily converted to Civil Service from Foreign Service under the Foreign Service Act of 1980, those benefits of travel and/or transportation of effects to which they were entitled at the time of such mandatory conversion.

14 FAM 532  Family tRAVEL

14 FAM 532.1  Family Travel for Representational Purposes

14 FAM 532.1-1  Eligibility and Purpose

Travel for representational purposes may be authorized for one family member only.  The authorizing officer is expected to make sparing and judicious use of this authorization.  In all cases, the justification must demonstrate a clear advantage to the United States.

14 FAM 532.1-2  Within Country of Assignment

a. As a general guideline, local travel of a family member should be authorized when:

(1)  Representation by the officer alone could not be accomplished effectively; or

(2)  Protocol or local customs would be served; or

(3)  The travel is necessary in connection with VIP visits or important meetings at which spouses of foreign dignitaries are present.

b. The chief of mission in consultation with heads of other agencies in their country of assignment will develop local rules and practices to promote the maximum degree of uniformity in the exercise of this authority.

14 FAM 532.1-3  Outside Country of Assignment

Representational travel outside the country of assignment is restricted to family members of high-level officers and will be authorized only when a clear need for dual representation exists.  Normally, travel will be restricted to eligible family members of chiefs of mission, deputy chiefs of mission, country public affairs officers, and USAID mission directors or USAID representatives.  However, in exceptional circumstances, the eligible family members of a subordinate officer may be authorized such travel.  Typical of the circumstances warranting representational travel outside the country are the following:

(1)  When an ambassador or USAID mission director accompanies a foreign dignitary to the United States on a state visit or as a presidential guest and the dignitary is accompanied by a spouse or other members of the household;

(2)  When a State, or USAID officer attends an international conference or meeting sponsored by a group or organization of nations, such as the United Nations, and the spouses of participants have also been invited to attend; and

(3)  When the President sends U.S. delegations abroad or congressional or other high-level delegations proceed abroad, accompanied by their spouses.

14 FAM 532.1-4  Domestic-Based Employees

Representational travel by family members of domestically assigned employees is restricted to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Deputy Secretary for Management and Resources, and Under Secretaries, unless a waiver is granted by M, and will be authorized only when a clear need for such representation exists.

14 FAM 532.1-5  Authorization and Documentation

a. Department of State : The chief of mission may (subject to the availability of travel funds) authorize representational travel within and/or outside the country of assignment for employees at post.  This authority may be redelegated only to the deputy chief of mission.  The Assistant Secretary of the regional bureau may authorize for the chief of mission.  For representational travel outside the country of assignment, advance approval must also be obtained from the assistant secretary of the regional bureau.  For domestic based employees, the Under Secretary for Management must approve all representational travel for family members.  Representational travel by a family member of M must be approved by D.

b. USAID :  The director of the USAID mission or USAID representative may (subject to the availability of travel funds) authorize representational travel within and/or outside the country of assignment.  This authority may not be redelegated. For representational travel outside the country of assignment, advance approval must also be obtained from the regional bureau Assistant Administrator in Washington.

c. The officials cited above must provide and sign a justification statement.  For control and inspection purposes, the authorizing officer should record and file the justification statement in the Department's eTravel Services (ETS) software (currently E2 Solutions).

14 FAM 532.2  Adding New Eligible Family Members

Employees who wish to add a new eligible family member – EFM - (see 14 FAM 511.3 for the definition of "eligible family member") do so by completing Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residency and Dependent Report, to GTM/EX/IDSD or HCTM/FSC for USAID staff.  Once the new EFM is added to the Form OF-126 then the employee’s travel authorization will be updated to include new EFM and travel expenses may be incurred based on the updated travel authorization, notwithstanding the time limitation specified in 14 FAM 584.2 .  Travel will be authorized from either the location at which the new EFM joined the family (for example, place of birth or adoption) or from the employee’s official home of record.  Shipment and storage of additional effects may be authorized in accordance with 14 FAM 613.2 .

14 FAM 532.3  Advance Return of Family Financed by U.S. Government

14 FAM 532.3-1  General Policy

In certain cases, an employee's family may be authorized, before the employee's eligibility for travel, to return to employee's residence in the United States.

14 FAM 532.3-2  Conditions of Authorization

a. The Department of State, USAGM, Commerce, Agriculture, or the USAID mission director or USAID representative may authorize advance travel of an employee's family members when the chief of mission or the head of the agency establishment abroad determines that the public interest requires the return of a member of the family for compelling personal reasons of a humanitarian or compassionate nature, including but not limited to cases which may involve physical or mental health or death of any member of the immediate family.

b. The Department or Agency in Washington, DC, may authorize advance travel of family members when there is an obligation imposed by an authority or circumstances over which the individual has no control.  Advance travel may be authorized by the Department or Agency in Washington, DC, after family members have been at the post at least 6 months under the following conditions:

(1)  A child who is not eligible for educational travel (see 14 FAM 532.5 ) has been at a post abroad and educational needs (for the equivalent of grades 1 through 8 only) so require; or

(2)  A child 21 years or older, is unmarried, and has traveled to the post before attaining such age (see 14 FAM 532.6 ).

14 FAM 532.3-3  Authorized Costs

Only one-way transportation will be authorized for advance return of family.  If a family member subsequently travels at U.S. Government expense to the same or another post to which the employee is assigned, the total cost of the advance return and subsequent travel may not exceed the cost which would have been incurred had the family member traveled at the same time as the employee.

14 FAM 532.3-4  Repayment Agreement

Before any obligation of U.S. Government funds is incurred, the employee must execute a repayment agreement in accordance with the format in Form DS-4020, Repayment Agreement for Advance Travel of Family.  The original and one copy should be forwarded to:

(1)  State :  GTM/CDA, by memorandum, subject:  APER;

(2)  USAID :  M/PM, USAID/W as an attachment to a memorandum;

(3)  Commerce : USFCS/OIO/OFSP as an attachment to a memorandum;

(4)  USAGM :  E/O, P/N, VOA/X, and D/OHR as an attachment to a memorandum.

(5)  USDA/FAS :  Foreign Agricultural Affairs, International Services Division; and

(6)  APHIS :  International Services/Administrative Services/Personnel.

14 FAM 532.3-5  Repayment Requirements

The conditions under which repayment must be made by the employee for travel expenses borne by the U.S. Government in connection with the advance return of employee's family are as follows:

(1)  The employee fails to complete the service period (see 3 FAH-1 H-2423 , subparagraph c) required to become eligible for travel and transportation at U.S. Government expense; or

(2)  There is a change of dependency status which cancels the eligibility of family member(s) for return travel to the United States (see definition in 14 FAM 511.3 ) at U.S. Government expense.  (A divorce or an annulment prior to the issuance of travel orders no longer cancels eligibility of family members for return travel to the United States.)

14 FAM 532.3-6  Repayment Liquidation or Refund

(CT:LOG-343;   02-11-2022) (State/USAGM/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture)

If the employee is subsequently transferred, assigned, separated, or returned on leave at U.S. Government expense to the United States and the expenses of the advance travel become a proper obligation of the U.S. Government, the employee will be relieved of the obligation set forth in the repayment agreements to the amount of allowable expenses (see 14 FAM 532.3-4 ).  If the employee has previously made repayment, employee may request and receive an appropriate refund.

14 FAM 532.4  Advance Travel of Family Financed by the Employee

a. The employee may arrange for advance travel of family, paying the cost initially and claiming reimbursement after the employee has been issued travel authorization which covers the travel of family and after the employee has reached eligibility date.  Reimbursement is limited to the amounts payable had the family traveled at the same time as the employee.

b. Reimbursement may be made for advance travel or return travel to the United States for a spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3FAM 1610 and/or minor children of an employee who have traveled to the post as eligible family members even if, because of divorce, annulment or dissolution of domestic partnership, such spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 and/or minor children have ceased to be eligible family members as of the date the employee becomes eligible for travel.  Reimbursable travel may not be deferred more than 6 months after the employee completes personal travel pursuant to the authorization.

c.  If the advance travel of family was to the employee's temporary duty (TDY) post and the employee was transferred to the post at the end of the employee's TDY, employee may claim reimbursement for expenses of allowable travel and transportation of family and effects which were incurred prior to the effective date of transfer of the employee and the date of employee's transfer travel authorization.

14 FAM 532.5  Educational Travel

a. Travel of a child may be authorized in lieu of an educational allowance, once each way annually between school and the employee's post for secondary education and for college education in accordance with section 280, Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas) and the Federal Travel Regulations.

b. Unaccompanied air baggage is allowable in accordance with 14 FAM 613.3-1 .

14 FAM 532.6  Travel of Children 21 Years of Age or Older

a. An employee's child who is unmarried and who is 21 years of age or older may be authorized return travel to the employee's place of residence for separation purposes in the United States (see definition in 14 FAM 511.3 ), provided the child, when attaining the age of 21 was at, or proceeding to, a post abroad to which the employee was assigned.  The first travel authorization that is issued to the employee authorizing travel of the family after a child has reached the age of 21, constitutes authority for such travel.  The return of the child to the United States should be completed within 1 year of the date the employee's travel begins.

b. A child 21 years or older, who proceeds to the employee's post, may not be returned to the United States nor perform any travel at U.S. Government expense, except as provided for educational travel up to the 23rd birthday, plus additional years allowed for any military service, in subchapter 280 of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas).

c.  Travel of a child who is under 21 will usually be authorized to an employee's next assignment if the employee's transfer is to occur before the child's 21st birthday.  If that child's travel does not commence prior to turning 21, that authorization is no longer valid.

d. If a child commences R&R or home leave/return travel before attaining the age of 21 and turns 21 while in travel status, the child is authorized return to post under the travel authorization that was in effect prior to his turning 21.

14 FAM 532.7  Travel of Family While Employee Is on Temporary Duty (TDY) En Route to or from Post of Assignment

a. Payment of per diem during an employee's period of TDY, which may not exceed 30 calendar days total, is authorized for members of an employee's family accompanying the employee to the post of assignment only under the following conditions:

(1)  When the employee is ordered to stop within the country of destination for orientation, training, or consultation while en route to post of assignment;

(2)  When the employee is ordered to stopover outside the country of destination for orientation, training, or other TDY while en route to the post of assignment, provided that the stopover is in the positive interest of the U.S. Government and is made necessary by a threat to the health, safety, or well-being of the employee’s family if required to continue on to post of assignment other than in the company of the employee;

(3)  In cases where the family member, because of representative responsibility in the U.S. Government's interest, is required to stop at agency headquarters while en route abroad to employee's post of assignment in order to undergo special orientation and/or training designed to ensure the effective discharge of those responsibilities; or

(4)  In any other cases when specifically authorized by the agency in advance in writing in travel orders.

b. When an employee is ordered to stop for TDY in the United States or abroad en route to or from employee's post of assignment, the family does not have to accompany the employee as long as they join the employee at the stopover point.  Per diem at the stopover point may be allowed for members of the family only during the period of TDY of the employee and for the actual time at the TDY location.

c.  Per diem, not to exceed 3 work days, may be authorized when an employee or the employee's family members who are at a constituent post and are traveling on home leave, transfer, or separation orders must stop, at the time of travel, at the Embassy in country or at an embassy in a neighboring country for the purpose of storing or retrieving effects or obtaining passports, visas, or immunizations.

d. Stopovers should generally not be authorized for family members in connection with international, interagency, interregional, or intermission conferences, unless specifically authorized by the agency in advance in writing and reflected in travel orders.

14 FAM 532.8  Return Travel of Spouse, Domestic Partner as Defined in 3 FAM 1610, and/or Dependent Children to the United States in Connection with Marital Separation, or Divorce, or Statement of Dissolution of Domestic Partnership

a. Return travel of an employee's spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 may be authorized to the employee's service separation address in the United States (see definition of "United States" in 14 FAM 511.3 ) or any other location on a cost-constructive basis from the employee's post of origin to the employee's separation address when a permanent marital separation or divorce is intended, or a statement of dissolution of domestic partnership has been submitted.  Generally, a separation agreement should exist, but in the absence of an agreement, the chief of mission or head of agency's establishment abroad may determine that such travel is warranted and may initiate authorization action.  The circumstances upon which this determination is based should be summarized in writing and retained at post in accordance with 5 FAH-4, Records Management Handbook.

b. Return travel of spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 may be included in the first travel authorization issued to the employee authorizing travel of the family after an agreement to separate, divorce, or dissolve a domestic partnership is reached.  In the circumstances referred to in paragraph a of this section, such travel may also be requested as advance travel in accordance with 14 FAM 532.3 and 14 FAM 532.4 .

c.  Only one-way transportation to the employee's service separation address, or to any other location in the United States on a cost-constructive basis from the employee's post of origin to his or her separation address, will be authorized for return travel of spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 .  If the employee subsequently requests travel of the spouse at U.S. Government expense to the same or another post to which the employee is assigned, the total cost of the return and subsequent travel may not exceed the cost which would have been incurred had the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 traveled at the same time as the employee.  In such cases, if the cost of the return and subsequent travel exceeds the employee's authorized travel, the employee will be liable for payment of the excess cost.

d. Before any expenses are incurred for return travel of spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 , the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 must execute an agreement in accordance with the format in Form DS-4021, Agreement for Return Travel of Spouse (or domestic partner).  This agreement states that the spouse or domestic partner as defined in 3 FAM 1610 understands that travel back to the same post will not be authorized at U.S. Government expense, and that the agreement is signed voluntarily.

e. Travel of dependent children of an employee may be authorized under this provision only if a legal custody agreement exists or the employee otherwise agrees in writing to permit the children to leave post permanently with the spouse.  The employee must also submit a revised Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report, to declare as a loss those children for whom return travel is requested under this provision (see 3 FAH-1 H-2347.8 , subparagraph a).  The employee may also request advance travel of children in accordance with 14 FAM 532.3 , if travel is not intended to be a permanent return to the United States.

14 FAM 532.9  Transfer Travel

(CT:LOG-343;   02-11-2022) (State/USAGM/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture) (Foreign Service)

a. Official travel and transportation may be authorized for U.S. citizen and Foreign Service national employees, their families and effects, from old post, or any place where presence is due to U.S. Government orders, to new post.  Transportation of effects is allowed from old post to new post and/or to point of storage; or to new post from old post, previous posts, and/or points of authorized storage.

b. Effects may be shipped between places other than those authorized subject to provisions in 14 FAM 612.3 .  When emergency conditions exist at the new post, another destination may be designated for travel of the family and transportation and storage of effects and a motor vehicle.  Upon termination of the emergency, travel and transportation to the new post may be authorized.

14 FAM 532.10  Spouse Travel to Obtain a Visa or Reset Residency

Management officials at post may authorize, from post funds, travel expenses when the spouse of an employee assigned to post must travel out of country to obtain appropriate visas or reset residency permissions to remain in-country when the host government will not accredit the spouse.  The travel expenses under this provision may include transportation expenses, per diem, and authorized miscellaneous expenses (e.g., visa fees, where authorized under 14 FAM 562.1 , subparagraphs a(1) through a(4).  Expenses incurred are for the spouse only.  Time in travel status should be minimized to the extent possible to obtain a visa or reset residency permissions at the most cost-effective point to post.  Spouses who are employed on family member appointments (FMA) or personal services agreements (PSA) are not authorized administrative leave for the purpose of the travel.

14 FAM 533  Temporary Duty (tdy) Travel

14 FAM 533.1  General

Official travel and transportation may be authorized for U.S. citizen employees from any place to TDY station or stations and thence to such place or to post (see also 14 FAM 532.7 covering travel of eligible family members). Official travel and transportation may be authorized for Locally Employed (LE) Staff from their post of employment to TDY station or stations and for return to the post of employment.

14 FAM 533.2  Authorizing Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel

a. State only :  Form JF-144, Temporary Duty (TDY) Official Travel Authorization, is used for approving TDY travel.  Approval may cover travel performed for administrative or medical purposes, rest and recuperation, short-term training, attendance at conferences, etc., between the United States and other countries, within the United States, or abroad.  Authorizations issued in the form of telegrams, etc., are confirmed by the subsequent issuance of a Form JF-144, or equivalent official form.

b. USAID only :  See ADS 522, Performance of Temporary Duty travel in the United States and Abroad.

c.  Commerce only :  Form CD-29, Travel Order, is used for authorizing TDY travel when headquarters, Washington, DC, issues the travel orders.  Otherwise, Form JF-144 is used when post issues the travel orders.  Included is travel for administrative purposes, rest and recuperation travel, short-term training, medical purposes, attendance at conferences, etc., performed abroad, within the United States, and between the United States and points abroad.  Authorizations issued in the form of telegrams are confirmed by the subsequent issuance of either a Form CD-29 or a Form JF-144.

d. USDA only :  Form AD-202, Travel Authorization, is used for authorizing TDY travel.

e. USAGM only :  Form IA-34-A is used for authorizing TDY travel; Form JF-144 is used for overseas correspondence travel.

14 FAM 533.3  Training Attendance

Official travel may be authorized for employees to receive training.

14 FAM 533.4  Conference Travel

14 FAM 533.4-1  Attendance

Agencies must select conference sites that minimize conference costs and conference attendees' travel costs.  Agencies must minimize conference attendees' travel costs by authorizing the minimum participation necessary to accomplish agency goals.  The authorizing official must assure that the number of attendees from the Department is necessary and justified.  In addition, the need for conference and meetings for which the total travel and per diem estimate exceeds $5,000 must be authorized by an Assistant Secretary, executive director, or equivalent.

14 FAM 533.4-2  Conference Site

When available, use U.S. Government-owned or U.S. Government-provided conference facilities to the maximum extent possible.  The authorizing officer should avoid conference sites that might appear extravagant to the public.

14 FAM 533.4-3  Conference Site Selection Process

a. Locality selection procedures :

(1)  When arranging to conduct a conference, the authorizing officer must consider at a minimum three alternative conference sites;

(2)  Each considered site must be selected based on the belief that it would result in lower overall conference costs and conference attendees' travel costs.  The sponsoring or co-sponsoring office must survey the cost of conference facilities at each of the considered sites, and must determine the potential cost to the U.S. Government of conducting the conference at each of the alternative sites.

b. Exception :  A conference site may be selected without following the procedures outlined above for the reason of disproportionate participation.  The procedures outlined above do not apply when a majority of the U.S. Government attendees are from the locality proposed as the conference site, or when only one site accomplishes conference goals.  In the latter case, the authorizing officer must certify in writing that the selected locality is the only conference site compatible with accomplishing the sponsoring or co-sponsoring office's objectives.

c.  Documentation :  The authorizing officer must document the cost of each alternative conference site, and must retain a record of the documentation for every conference held.  The authorizing officer must also make the documentation available for inspection by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), or for other interested parties.

14 FAM 533.5  Experts and Consultants Travel

Persons employed intermittently as consultants or experts and persons serving without compensation (including citizens or subjects of other countries) are authorized travel expenses, including per diem, while away from their homes or regular places of business, in accordance with 14 FAM 560 .

14 FAM 533.6  Information Meeting Travel

(CT:LOG-343;   02-11-2022) (State/USAGM/USAID/Commerce/Agriculture) (Foreign Service and Civil Service)

Official travel and transportation may be authorized for employees to attend a meeting to discuss general agency operations, and/or to review status reports or discussion topics of general interest.  If a site visit is conducted as part of the same trip, the entire trip should be considered a site visit (see 14 FAM 533.10 ).

14 FAM 533.7  International Conferences

When travel to, or in connection with, conferences is financed under Department of State appropriations available for international conferences, such travel must be performed in accordance with the provisions of the travel authorization and other appropriate instructions issued by the Department pertaining to the conference.

14 FAM 533.8  Invitational Travel Authorizations Federally Financed

Each invitational travel authorization must specify the purpose of the travel (e.g., conference attendance, information meeting, speech presentation, etc).

14 FAM 533.9  Invitational Travel Authorizations Non-Federally Financed

To defray the cost of air travel, any donations from non-Federal sources must comply with the Department's regulations in accommodations on airplanes ( 14 FAM 567.2 ), including all applicable OMB guidelines (OMB 93-11), as well as the Department’s regulations regarding gifts of invitational travel (see 2 FAM 962.12 ).

14 FAM 533.10  Site Travel

Travel of an employee may be authorized to visit a particular site in order to perform operational or managerial activities; e.g., oversee programs, grant operations, or management activities for internal control purposes; carry out an audit, inspection or repair activity; conduct negotiations; provide instructions; or provide technical assistance.

14 FAM 533.11  Special Mission Travel

Travel of an employee may be authorized to carry out a special agency mission such as involvement in noncombat military unit movements; providing security to a person or a shipment (e.g., diplomatic pouch); moving witnesses from residence to other locations; and covering travel by Federal beneficiaries and other nonemployees.

14 FAM 533.12  Speech or Presentation Travel

Travel of an employee may be authorized to make a speech or a presentation, deliver a paper, or otherwise take part in a formal program other than a training course where the authorizing official makes a specific determination in writing that such activity is related to and in furtherance of the agency’s mission.

14 FAM 534  Medical Travel

a. Official travel and transportation may be authorized for U.S. citizen employees and their eligible family members from any place where presence is due to U.S. Government orders to nearest locality where suitable medical care can be obtained and thence to an official duty station.

b. Travel of attendants may be authorized.  For other special provisions, see 16 FAM 316 and 14 FAM 523.2-1 , paragraph e.

14 fam 535  oTHER TRAVEL

14 FAM 535.1  Directed Departure

14 FAM 535.1-1  General

When, in accordance with 3 FAM 2443 , it is the judgment of a chief of a diplomatic mission that the departure of an employee assigned by the Department or Agency to a post under the chief of mission's jurisdiction would be in the interest of the U.S. Government, the authorizing officer at the post may issue a travel authorization detailing the employee to a nearby country.  For the Department, the post-authorizing officer may issue a travel authorization transferring a State Department employee and that employee's eligible family members to Washington, DC.  For USAID, a travel authorization transferring an employee to Washington, DC, must originate in or have prior approval of Washington, DC headquarters.  For USAGM, a travel authorization transferring an employee to Washington, DC must originate in or have prior approval of Washington, DC headquarters.

14 FAM 535.1-2  Procedures in Connection with Directed Departure

To authorize purchase of transportation permitting the detail of an employee or to transfer an employee and eligible family members in accordance with 3 FAM 2443 , chiefs of mission may allow issuance of Forms OF-1169, U.S. Government Transportation Request (GTRs).  The travel order establishing the official obligation of funds will be issued by the Department or the Agency, after the travel commences, upon receipt of the report required in 3 FAM 2445 .  Travel will be chargeable to the current applicable appropriation.  Other fiscal data will be supplied by Washington, DC.  Movement of household effects and shipment of automobiles must not be authorized until receipt of instructions from the Department or Agency.

14 FAM 535.2  Travel under Authorized/Ordered Emergency Evacuation

14 FAM 535.2-1  General

a. When the Under Secretary for Management (M) makes a determination that an emergency exists at a post requiring the evacuation of official U.S. citizen employees, official travel and transportation may be authorized for the employees, their eligible family members, and effects from post of assignment to place designated in the travel orders, and thence to post.

b. When M makes a determination that an emergency exists at a post requiring the evacuation of Foreign Service national employees, official travel may be authorized for the Foreign Service national employees and their immediate families to the nearest practicable place for the duration of the emergency.

c.  The authorizing officer at post must issue individual or blanket travel authorizations (see 14 FAM 628 for shipment and storage of household effects (HHE)).

14 FAM 535.2-2  Travel Authorizations under Authorized/Ordered Emergency Evacuation

a. State only :  The authorizing officer at post must issue individual or blanket travel authorizations.  Each authorization must cite the names of the persons traveling.  In addition to the usual post distribution of copies, the authorizing officer must furnish information copies of all evacuation travel authorizations to the:

(1)  Bureau of Global Talent Management (GTM/CDA/AD);

(2)  Travel and Transportation Management Division (A/LM/OPS/TTM);

(3)  Appropriate regional bureau; and

(4)  Office of Accounting Operations (CGFS/F/AO).

b. Commerce only :  The authorizing officer must furnish evacuation travel authorization copies to the:

(1)  Office of Foreign Service Human Resources (USFCS/OFSHR);

(2)  State's Travel and Transportation Management Division (A/LM/OPS/TTM); and

(3)  Office of Planning and Management.

c.  USAGM only :  The authorizing officer must furnish evacuation travel authorization copies to the:

(1)  Office of Foreign Service Personnel (D/OHR);

(2)  Office of Administrative Operations Division (M/AO); and

(3)  Appropriate administrative office.

d. USDA/FAS only :  The authorizing officer must furnish evacuation travel authorization copies to the:

(1)  Foreign Agricultural Affairs/International Services Division (USDA/FAS/OFSO/ISD); and

(2)  State's Travel and Transportation Management Division (A/LM/OPS/TTM).

e. APHIS only :  The authorizing officer must furnish evacuation travel authorization copies to the International Services/Administrative Services/Travel Section.

f.  U.S. Despatch Agents :  The Department's or Agency's transportation office will ensure that the appropriate U.S. Despatch Agent receives a copy of the evacuation order or request and authorization for use in clearing the employee's shipment(s) through U.S. Customs.

14 FAM 535.2-3  Prohibitions Against Official and Personal Travel to Posts under Authorized/Ordered Emergency Evacuation

See 3 FAM 3770 regarding requirements and restrictions for official and personal travel to posts under authorized departure, ordered departure, suspended operations, contingency operations, and posts designated partially unaccompanied or unaccompanied.

14 FAM 535.3  Emergency Visitation Travel

The cost of emergency visitation travel in connection with the serious illness, injury, or death of an immediate family member is performed in accordance with the provisions of 3 FAM 3740 .

14 FAM 535.4  Visitation Travel

14 FAM 535.4-1  Authorization

Travel of an employee or eligible family member may be authorized and performed in accordance with regulations in 14 FAM 523.2-1 , subparagraph f(1)(h), and in 3 FAM 3730 .

14 FAM 535.4-2  Travel to Countries With Closed Posts Or No U.S. Diplomatic or Consular Relations

See 3 FAM 3780 regarding requirements for official and personal travel of employees to countries with which the United States has no diplomatic or consular relations or where all U.S. posts have been closed, and where travel may be prohibited or restricted.

14 FAM 536  SPECIAL TRAVEL

14 FAM 536.1  Voluntary Separate Maintenance Allowance (SMA) Travel

14 FAM 536.1-1  Authorization

a. Travel may be authorized for all eligible family members for whom SMA is granted under Section 260 of the Department of State Standardized Regulations (DSSR).

b. Per 3 FAM 3232.3-3 , only one change of status of SMA for each family member will be permitted for a single tour of duty.  See DSSR 264.2(b) regarding change in status in an evacuation.

14 FAM 536.1-2  Authorized SMA Location(s)

a. The following SMA travel at U.S. Government expense may be approved to authorized location(s):

(1)  When the employee's point of origin is in the United States, an employee's family members may remain at the employee's last official duty station in the United States, or travel to the home leave location designated on Form OF-126 or Washington, DC when the employee is transferred to a foreign post of assignment;

(2)  When an employee transfers from one foreign post of assignment to another, an employee's family member(s) may travel to the home leave location designated on Form OF-126, Foreign Service Residence and Dependency Report, or Washington, DC;

(3)  If an SMA is granted during an employee's tour of duty abroad, the employee's family members may be authorized travel to the home leave location designated on Form OF-126, or Washington, DC.

b. For shipment of household effects under SMA Grant, see 14 FAM 613.7 .

14 FAM 536.1-3  Alternate SMA Location

a. U.S. family members traveling to an alternate SMA location in the United States (see definition in 14 FAM 511.3 ) may do so on a cost-constructive basis.  The maximum amount of reimbursement is the cost required to move the family members from the authorized point of origin to the authorized SMA point.

b. Foreign location: An employee's family members traveling to a foreign SMA location may do so on a cost-constructive basis.  The maximum amount of reimbursement is the cost required to move the family members from the authorized point of origin to the authorized SMA point.

c.  Should an employee's SMA grant be terminated due to the employee's subsequent transfer to another post of assignment while the family members are at a foreign location, the employee will be responsible for the payment of excess travel costs involved in relocating the family members to the new post of assignment.  The excess travel costs, if any, must be determined through a constructive cost analysis that compares the travel cost of the employee's eligible family members that would have been authorized from an authorized SMA location to the next post of assignment compared to the amount that is actually incurred.  Any amount in excess of the amount allowable is payable by the employee.

d. Family members in a foreign alternate SMA location have no diplomatic status or privileges.

14 FAM 536.1-4  SMA Travel Financed by Employee

An employee who initially pays the costs of advance travel of family members may subsequently claim reimbursement of travel and transportation expenses if the agency later authorizes an SMA grant for the affected family members.  An employee may not recover a greater amount than would have been incurred had the U.S. Government procured the travel (see 14 FAM 544.2 , paragraph c).

14 FAM 536.2  Death of U.S. Citizen Employee

The following applies to an employee abroad, on domestic assignment, or on TDY.

14 FAM 536.2-1  Expenses in Connection with Remains

a. Following the death of a Foreign Service employee or EFM while in a foreign area, expenses may be authorized for the reasonable cost of preparing remains including the cost of embalming, clothing, cremating, casket, or container suitable for shipment to the place of interment; expenses incurred in complying with local and U.S. laws; and transportation of remains from place of death to the employee's authorized separation address. Transportation of remains to any other place in the United States or its territories as designated by the next-of-kin may be done on a cost-construct basis against the authorized separation address, by surface, or by air.  For shipment of remains to a foreign country, see 14 FAM 536.2-4 .

b. Following the death of a Foreign Service employee or EFM while on assignment in the United States or a non-foreign area, expenses may be authorized for transportation of the remains from place of death to the employee's authorized separation address. Transportation of remains to any other place in the United States or its territories as designated by the next-of-kin may be done on a cost-construct basis against the authorized separation address, by surface, or by air.

c.  For Civil Service employees, refer to FTR, chapter 303.

14 FAM 536.2-2  Family Travel Expenses

Expenses may be authorized for the travel of the family from the last place at which dependents resided and traveled at U.S. Government expense, to any place in the United States designated by the next-of-kin as separation residence or place of interment.  For travel to foreign countries, see 14 FAM 536.2-4 .

14 FAM 536.2-3  Transporting Effects

Expenses may be authorized for the transportation of effects from the last post of assignment, and safe haven if effects are located there, and from any place where effects are stored at U.S. Government expense, to separation residence designated by the next-of-kin.  For transportation to foreign countries, see 14 FAM 536.2-4 .

14 FAM 536.2-4  Foreign Destinations

Actual authorized expenses may be authorized for travel, transportation of effects, and/or shipment of remains to a foreign country and are allowed up to the constructive cost to place last designated by employee as separation residence.  Place of interment may differ from residence for travel and transportation of family.  When one location or the other is in a foreign country, this does not limit the next-of-kin's discretion in designating an authorized location in the United States for either interment or travel and transportation of family.  Authorized expenses may be incurred at any time within 12 months following the date of death, unless the time limitation is waived by the GTM/EX Director or USAID Executive Officer for USAID staff.

14 FAM 536.3  Family Member Death

a. This section applies when the employee is assigned abroad or is on domestic assignment.

b. Actual expenses may be authorized for round-trip travel of a family member and for transportation of remains to the separation address or on a cost-constructive basis to any other point in the U.S. or foreign country.

14 FAM 536.3-1  Expenses in Connection with Remains

See 14 FAM 536.2 .

14 FAM 536.3-2  Family Travel Expenses

Travel expenses are authorized for an employee or an eligible dependent to accompany the remains of a family member to the place of interment in the United States or abroad and return to the duty station (see 3 FAM 2550 ).

14 FAM 536.3-3  Transporting Effects

Transportation of effects is not authorized in connection with a family member death.

14 FAM 536.4  Travel and Transportation Expenses Authorized in Connection with Deaths of Locally Employed (LE) Staff when in Temporary Duty (TDY) Travel Status

Travel and transportation expenses are authorized when a LE Staff dies at a post abroad to which that LE Staff has traveled at U.S. Government expense.  Types of expenses authorized are detailed below.

14 FAM 536.4-1  Expenses in Connection with Remains

Expenses in connection with remains are authorized only as prescribed by 5 U.S.C. 5742, and within made available to the post.  The chief of mission must determine the payments to be made.

14 FAM 536.4-2  Transportation of Effects

Transportation of effects is authorized from the TDY post where death occurred to the LE Staff's post of employment.  Payments are to be made from allotments made available to the post.

14 FAM 537  through 539 unassigned

Air Force pilot-instructor dies after seat of training plane ejects at Texas base

A T-6A Texan II waits for another T-6A to pass before taxing onto the runway Nov. 1, 2017, at Sheppard Air Force Base. The 80th Flying Training Wing hosts the world’s only internationally manned and managed pilot training program in addition to operating the Air Force’s second busiest joint-use airfield outside of a combat zone.

An Air Force Base instructor-pilot died in Texas on Tuesday morning, just a day after the ejection seat was activated during ground operations, according to base officials.

The pilot at the Sheppard Air Force Base was injured when the ejection seat of the trainer aircraft , the T-6A Texan II, was activated at about 2 p.m. on Monday, public affairs officials said.

The aircrew member was transported to the United Regional Health Care System in Wichita Falls for treatment after the incident.

Per Air Force policy, the base is withholding the name of the pilot until 24 hours after the notification of next of kin.

Investigation into cause is underway

An investigation into the cause of the ejection is underway, 82nd Training Wing public affairs officials said in statements.

The pilot was part of the 80th Training Flying Wing, which conducts the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training program at the Sheppard base, according to the its website . Combat pilots for NATO are trained in the multinational program, the only such program in the world.

The T-6A Texan II is primarily used for entry-level training, and it is equipped for a crew of two, a student-pilot and an instructor-pilot seated one in front of the other, the base website states.

Their positions are interchangeable. But an air crewmember can also pilot the plane alone from the front seat. The single-engine aircraft was designed to train students in basic flying skills for Air Force and Navy pilots.

Ejection seats intended to save lives

Ejection seats are a safety mechanism for pilots who need to exit the plane in immediate danger.

Over 8,000 pilot lives have been rescued with the use of their ejection seats, according to aircrew training group AMST Group .

However, ejection seats have previously failed. Officials identified the failure of one as a partial cause for the death of Lt. David Schmitz, a 32-year-old pilot who was killed in an F-16 crash at South Carolina’s Shaw Air Force Base in June 2020.

Trish Choate reports for the Times Record News and Anthony Robledo reports for USA TODAY.

13 Most Popular Products of May Our Readers Are Shopping for Summer

They keep adding this #1 best-seller one-piece to their Amazon cart.

most popular may products

We've been independently researching and testing products for over 120 years. If you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

April showers bring May flowers ... and great finds on Amazon and Walmart our readers couldn't stop shopping within the last 30 days. Our experts within the Good Housekeeping Institute evaluate almost every product under the sun, giving you tons of shopping inspo.

Ahead of summer, Good Housekeeping readers were prepping with warm weather essentials like top-rated sunscreen , slimming swimsuits and beach totes ahead of the seasonal shopping wave. May also marks a slew of events and holidays, including summer birthdays and weddings. And no one wants to show up empty-handed.

We pinned down the most popular products of May you can shop for every occasion on your social calendar, including adorable presents for college grads and more.

Owala FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

FreeSip Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

Of all the insulated water bottles we evaluated in Lab, our kitchen pros named the Owala FreeSip one of the best . Either sip through the built-in straw, or tilt the bottle back and drink from the spout opening. Our Lab tests revealed its locking push-button lid prevented the Amazon's Choice bottle from leaking.

UERRUAM Tote Bag

Tote Bag

No matter the season, a good tote bag is always handy. Whether you prefer a large-sized bag to hold fresh veggies from the farmer's market or a small-sized tote (pictured) for daily strolls, you won't have to spend more than $15 . This bag comes in 20 different colors and patterns, and it has a convenient magnetic close and thick strap. One online reviewer said, "As soon as I took it out of the package, I thought, 'Okay, [I'm going to] return [it]; this is way too small. Then, I put all my stuff in it, and then some! I absolutely love it now!"

Eomenie Women's One-Piece Swimsuit

Sun finally peeking out? Pack this #1 top-selling swimsuit on Amazon with stylish ruched sides and a high-cut design. We also rated the one-piece one of the best Amazon swimsuits because of its cute criss-cross front and adjustable straps. For under $40, scoop up this bathing suit in almost 30 colors and patterns.

TheCloudies Cloud Slides

Cloud Slides

Our readers cannot get enough of the cloud slide trend. Available in six solid colors, these slides have drainage holes on the bottom so your feet don't get as wet . Its thick sole offers ample cushion, while its non-slip tread is designed for more secure walking. We love these for a Memorial Day weekend spent poolside or a shower caddy necessity.

Maidenform Shaping Brief

Shaping Brief

Once wedding guests lock down the dress, it's time to find accessories and shapewear to boot. A crossover hit when GH Textiles Lab pros tested underwear and bras , shapewear brand Maidenform also has shaping briefs that feature compression in the stomach area and a silicone waistband to prevent it from slipping.

WOSIBO Hummingbird Feeder

Hummingbird Feeder

Bird lovers will adore this Amazon's Choice hummingbird feeder. It comes in stunning multi-colored, hand-blown patterns designed to look like a flower. The wide opening allows for easy filling, and birds can eat from four feeding ports. One satisfied shopper left a five-star review online, writing: "Purchased four of these and would not hesitate to buy more. Quality is excellent with heavy glass and vibrant colors." At 33% off right now, you can buy multiple for less than $100!

Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Skin Nourishing Milk Sunscreen SPF 50

Mineral Skin Nourishing Milk Sunscreen SPF 50

Sunscreen is a beach bag must-have. However, finding a body sunscreen or a face sunscreen that won't irritate your skin can be challenging. Luckily, GH Beauty Lab pros regularly test SPFs and found this mineral sunscreen a match for sensitive skin types. Our testers found it non-drying and easy to apply. Its affordable price can't be beat, either.

Colorfulkoala High-Waisted 7/8 Workout Leggings

As you venture out and about in the breezy weather, these affordable leggings come in clutch. The top-rated high-waisted leggings retained their shape in Lab tests, impressing our textiles pros . One GH consumer tester who tried the pair said, "I like them better than my other high-end expensive workout leggings."

BiC BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Markers for Skin

BodyMark Temporary Tattoo Markers for Skin

While bubbles may be for the younger kiddos, temporary tattoos are more teenagers' speed. Let their creativity sprawl with these temporary tattoo markers designed for use on skin (easily removed with soap and water) . An Amazon reviewer bought the set for their daughter: "Her and her friends are always using markers to write on their hands. I thought, well, at least, I'll give them some designed for that use."

Coco & Eve Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse

Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Self Tanner Mousse

Tanning season is upon us. In our recent testing, our GH Beauty Lab pros named the Coco & Even Self Tanner Mousse best overall. In fact, 100% of consumer testers reported that it looked natural ; they liked how it looked on their skin — achieving the desired depth of color in just one application — and said they would recommend the product to others.

PHYTO Permanent Hair Color

Permanent Hair Color

Come late spring and summer, you may feel tempted to go a couple shades lighter. PHYTO's at-home hair dye performed well in our Lab testing thanks to its ammonia-free formula that left hair feeling soft. It gave the most uniform dye, and testers said it lasted the longest . No mess, no stress: It also scored high for ease of application. However, users noted that the shade range isn't that expansive.

IFLOVE Bubble Machine

Bubble Machine

Amp up birthday parties with a bubble machine that blows more than 5,000 bubbles, per the brand. All it needs is four AA batteries (not included). From there, manually adjust the head, and click the single button to start the machine. The manufacturer also claims the bubble blower is designed to resist leakage, so you can use it both indoors or outdoors.

Squishmallows Zozo Blue Bigfoot

Zozo Blue Bigfoot

Whether you're looking for a middle school or a high school graduation gift , the student in your life will love squeezing this Squishmallow upon reaching a major milestone. A tiny grad cap is perched adorably atop Blue Bigfoot's rainbow fur head. The soft cuddle buddy is popular among online Amazon shoppers , even those with older grandchildren.

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Jim Justice Wins West Virginia’s Republican Senate Primary

The governor is now positioned to win the seat being vacated by Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, and flip it to the G.O.P.

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By Campbell Robertson

  • May 14, 2024

Jim Justice, the second-term governor of West Virginia, won the Republican primary for Senate on Tuesday, according to The Associated Press, positioning him to win the seat being vacated by Senator Joe Manchin III, a Democrat, and flip it to the G.O.P.

Mr. Justice, a coal and hospitality tycoon known for his pet bulldog and his companies’ prodigious debts , defeated six other candidates for the nomination. His most serious competition came from Representative Alex Mooney from the Second Congressional District — essentially, the state’s northern half.

Mr. Mooney attacked Mr. Justice from the right, criticizing his response to Covid and his expressions of support for President Biden’s infrastructure plan. But Mr. Justice, 73, comfortably led the race from the beginning, and an endorsement by former President Donald J. Trump in October most likely made that lead insurmountable.

Mr. Justice’s Democratic opponent in the general election will be Glenn Elliott, the two-term mayor of Wheeling, who won the Democratic primary, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Elliott was one of three Democrats contending for the nomination. The others were Zach Shrewsbury, a Marine veteran running on a progressive platform, and, to widespread surprise, Don Blankenship, a former coal baron. Mr. Blankenship has run for office several times since 2015, when he was convicted in federal court in connection with an explosion that killed 29 workers at one of his company’s mines. After a year in prison, Mr. Blankenship ran for U.S. Senate as a Republican in 2018 and for president in 2020 as a candidate from the Constitution Party, though he did not come close to winning either race.

Democrats immediately spurned Mr. Blankenship’s candidacy, and prominent figures in the party, including Mr. Manchin, lined up to endorse Mr. Elliott. Mr. Justice is beginning the general election as a heavy favorite in a state that Mr. Trump won in 2020 by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Mr. Justice’s initial entry into the race last spring was seen as a victory for Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, who had recruited him. The governor’s decision to run was especially welcome to Senate Republicans when it was unclear whether Mr. Manchin, who had long managed to buck his state’s partisan trajectory, was going to run for re-election.

The showdown was shaping up to be a dramatic one: Mr. Manchin had championed Mr. Justice’s entry into politics as a Democratic candidate for governor in 2017, but just months into his first term, Mr. Justice announced onstage at a Trump rally that he was switching parties to become a Republican. The relationship between Mr. Justice and Mr. Manchin went south after that, but the governor’s popularity with voters did not. He easily won re-election in 2020, and when the Senate race was approaching, Mr. Justice led Mr. Manchin in early head-to-head polls.

After Mr. Manchin, 76, announced last November that he would be retiring at the end of his term, Mr. Justice’s road to the Senate largely cleared.

Of the two other congressional primaries on Tuesday, one in particular drew national attention. In the state’s First Congressional District, Representative Carol Miller, the Republican incumbent, faced a challenge from Derrick Evans, a former state lawmaker who was arrested after livestreaming himself among the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Since leaving prison, where he served three months on a federal charge of civil disorder , Mr. Evans has been unrepentant, attracting support from far-right figures and campaigning as a “J6 political prisoner.”

Campbell Robertson reports on Delaware, the District Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, for The Times. More about Campbell Robertson

Our Coverage of the 2024 Election

Presidential Race: News and Analysis

President Biden railed against “extremist forces” and drew contrasts with Donald Trump in a commencement address  to hundreds of young Black men at Morehouse College.

Biden’s narrow win in Georgia in 2020 was seen as a sign of the state’s emergence as a battleground. But in 2024, he faces a changed landscape there .

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has been floated as a possible running mate for Donald Trump, refused to commit to accepting the results of the 2024 election .

Political Violence:  Public officials from Congress to City Hall are now regularly subjected to threats of violence. It’s changing how they do their jobs .

Trump’s Running Mate:  Trump’s V.P. search is still in its early stages, but he is said to be leaning toward more experienced options  who can help the ticket without seizing his precious spotlight.

Biden-Trump Debates:  How might the candidates try to win their two planned debates? Veteran Republican and Democratic strategists offered their advice .

Burning Cash:  It is a time-honored tradition in U.S. politics: wealthy people burning through their fortunes to ultimately lose an election. Here are some of the biggest money-pit campaigns .

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Maryland Democrats pick Angela Alsobrooks to take on Hogan for open U.S. Senate seat

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Maryland Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks reacts after a voter tells her he voted for her outside at the Marilyn Praisner Community Recreation Center on May 14 in Burtonsville, Md. Andrew Harnik/Getty Images hide caption

Maryland Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate and Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks reacts after a voter tells her he voted for her outside at the Marilyn Praisner Community Recreation Center on May 14 in Burtonsville, Md.

Maryland Democrats chose Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks to be the party's nominee for U.S. Senate in Tuesday's primary election, beating a handful of Democrats including Rep. David Trone. Her win sets up a crucial race for the party in its attempts to maintain control of the chamber this fall.

Alsobrooks will face former Gov. Larry Hogan, who easily won the Republican nomination and gives the party its best chance to win a Senate seat in Maryland for the first time since 1980.

As Trone conceded the Democratic contest Tuesday night, he urged his supporters to move forward by backing Alsobrooks and reelecting President Biden.

"We cannot let the party of Trump take our Senate," he said. "We can't let them take our country."

Incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin, 80, announced he would not seek a fourth term in office last year. That set off a scramble within the Democratic Party to replace him, and Alsobrooks and Trone quickly rose to the top of the list. It was expected the winner of their clash would coast to the seat in the fall election.

travel 14 seat

Former Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visits the Bridge Boat Show in Stevensville, Md., April 12. Hogan easily won the Republican Senate primary in the state on Tuesday. Susan Walsh/AP hide caption

Former Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan visits the Bridge Boat Show in Stevensville, Md., April 12. Hogan easily won the Republican Senate primary in the state on Tuesday.

But on Feb. 9, the last day of candidate filing for the primary, Hogan announced he would seek the Republican nomination after consulting with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and former President George W. Bush. The 67-year-old popular two-term governor, portrayed as a moderate in large part because of his criticisms of former President Donald Trump, had previously shown no interest in the race, instead making noise about a potential presidential run.

Alsobrooks is in her second term as county executive of Prince George's County in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. She previously served as state's attorney in the county, which is the second largest by population in the state. If elected, the 52-year-old Alsobrooks would be only the third Black woman ever elected to the Senate, and the first from Maryland. She had the backing of most of the state's Democratic establishment, including Gov. Wes Moore.

Trone poured a significant amount of his wealth into his Senate hopes but failed to win. He is in his third term in Congress representing Maryland's 6th District, which comprises the westernmost part of the state. The 68-year-old is the co-founder of the national liquor store chain Total Wine and More and he mostly self-funded his campaign, spending more than $60 million.

Hogan easily won the Republican primary with two-thirds of the vote. The only other candidate with double-digit support was Robin Ficker, a perennial candidate and disbarred attorney best known for his days as a heckling fan at Washington Bullets (now Wizards) games at the Capital Center in Landover.

"Like you, I am completely fed up with politics-as-usual in Washington where the politicians — on both sides — seem to be more interested in attacking each other than in actually getting anything done for the people they represent," Hogan told supporters on primary night in Annapolis.

"I don't come from the performative arts school of politics. I come from the get-to-work and get things done school, and I'll work with anyone who wants to do the people's business. Most Marylanders and most Americans prefer straight talk to empty rhetoric and they think it's time for less talk and more action," he continued.

Polls had shown a tight race, with Hogan benefitting from his statewide name recognition and popularity as governor. But the most recent polls done this month — from Public Policy Polling and Emerson College — show Hogan trailing Alsobrooks. The PPP poll had her winning 46% to 37% with 17% undecided, and the Emerson College poll had Alsobrooks up 48% to 38% with 14% undecided.

Charles Mathias was the last Republican to win a U.S. Senate race in Maryland, winning his third and final term in 1980. The closest the party has come to winning this century was in 2006, when Cardin won his first term by defeating then-Lt. Gov. and future Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele 54% to 44%.

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Train advice from the Man in Seat 61...

The Man in Seat 61

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Trains between European cities

Trains from moscow.

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Train travel UK & Ireland...

Train travel in europe..., train travel in asia..., train travel in africa..., train travel in america..., train travel in australasia.

This page explains how to buy train tickets from Moscow to other European cities at the cheapest prices, buying online direct from the operators, usually with print-at-home or collect-at-station tickets.  Click here to for journeys starting in another city .

IMPORTANT UPDATE:   All international trains to/from Russia are suspended until further notice, originally due to Covid-19, now due to sanctions & the war in Ukraine.  There are currently no trains to or from Russia.  The Foreign Office now advises against all non-essential travel to Russia.

I want to go from Moscow to...

Moscow to other destinations in russia.

See the Train travel in Russia page .

Moscow to St Petersburg

You can do this journey on high-speed Sapsan daytime trains taking 3h50 or a variety of sleeper trains including the famous Krasnaya Strela (Red Arrow) and the luxurious privately-run Grand Express, see the Train travel in Russia Moscow-St Petersburg section for details .

Moscow to Warsaw

Option 1, Moscow to Warsaw by daily sleeper train.  Suspended due to sanctions

You can check fares & times and buy tickets online at the Russian Railways website www.rzd.ru (can be fiddly and may reject some western credit cards, but does usually work) or using the Real Russia form on this page (easier, no credit card problems, but with a mark-up).

The train consists of two or three impressive modern Austrian-built sleeping-cars with 4-berth compartments built in 2014, see photos of this type of sleeper here & see panorama photo inside one of these modern sleepers .  Each compartment can be sold as 1st class 1-berth, 1st class 2-berth or 2nd class 4-berth.  The sleeping-cars go through to Prague.  A Russian restaurant car is attached between Moscow & Brest on the Belarus/Poland border and there's a bistro car within Poland.

This train crosses Belarus, so you will need a Belarus transit visa .  Warsaw Centralna station & city information .  Map of Warsaw .

Option 2, Moscow to Warsaw via Kyiv, with no need to cross Belarus.  This takes 2 nights with a day to explore Kyiv.

Other night trains are available and times vary, so check times for your date using int.bahn.de or www.poezda.net .  2-berth and 4-berth sleepers are available.  Enjoy the best part of a day in Kyiv.

The fare is around €92 with a bed in 4-berth kupé or €180 with a bed in a 2-berth spalny vagon.

Book at the Russian Railways website www.rzd.ru .  If you have any problem, try contacting www.polrail.com .

The train has 2-berth & 4-berth sleepers, see the Kyiv Express photos on the London to Ukraine page .

Kyiv to Warsaw costs around around €46 with a bed in a 3-berth sleeper.

Book this train at the Ukrainian Railways website booking.uz.gov.ua/en .  Booking only opens 30 days ahead.  If you look further ahead than this, no train appears.  If no trains appear when you book to Warsaw Centralna, try booking to Warsaw Zachodnia, it doesn't really matter.

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Moscow to Budapest & Bucharest

Option 1, Moscow to Budapest using the direct sleeping cars from Moscow to the Czech Republic, suspended due to sanctions

The fare is approximately €120 with a bed in a 4-berth sleeper. €180 in a 2-bed sleeper or €215 in a single-bed sleeper.

You can check fares & times and buy tickets online at the Russian Railways website www.rzd.ru (can be fiddly and may reject some credit cards, but does usually work) or using the Real Russia form on this page (much easier, no credit card problems, but with a mark-up).

This train crosses Belarus, so you will need a Belarus transit visa .

If this seems a tight connection, don't worry.  The EuroCity train actually starts its journey at Terespol in Poland on the border with Belarus, and run coupled up to the Moscow-Prague sleeping-cars from Terespol through Warsaw all the way to Bohumin, as one combined train.  You do not even need to get off in Bohumin:  As the train approaches Bohumin, you can simply walk along the train from the Russian Railways sleeping-cars through the Czech Railways (CD) seats cars to Prague to the Polish Railways (PKP) seats cars bound for Budapest.

Option 2, Moscow to Budapest via Kyiv, avoiding Belarus so no need to get a Belarus transit visa

Step 1, take one of the daily sleeper trains from Moscow to Kyiv, for example train 5 leaving Moscow Kievskaya at 19:35 arriving Kyiv Pass at 06:32.  This has comfortable sleepers in 2-berth & 4-berth compartments.  There are no known problems for westerners travelling this way.

Step 2, then take the direct Kyiv to Budapest sleeper train leaving Kyiv daily at 13:07 arriving Budapest Keleti at 08:20 next morning.  This also has comfortable Ukrainian sleepers in 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin.

Contact reliable Polish agency www.polrail.com to see if they can book both these trains for you, although you may be able to book the Moscow to Kyiv train using Russian Railways www.rzd.ru with ticket collection from a Russian ticket office.

Step 3, travel from Budapest to Bucharest & Romania as shown here .

Moscow to Prague & Bratislava

Option 1, Moscow to Prague by direct train, suspended due to sanctions

A direct train with comfortable Russian sleeping-cars links Moscow with Prague every day, leaving Moscow Belorussky at 14:15 (13:14 from late March to late October) and arriving Prague Hlavni at 17:40 next day.

Option 2, Moscow to Prague via Kyiv, avoiding Belarus so no need to get a Belarus transit visa

Step 3, travel from Budapest to Bratislava or Prague by EuroCity train as explained on the Budapest to Prague page .

Moscow to Vienna

The best routing is via Kyiv as trains run daily and it avoids Belarus so no need to get a Belarus transit visa.  Suspended due to sanctions.

Step 1, travel from Moscow to Kyiv by sleeper train, for example Train 5 leaving Moscow Kievskaya at 19:35 arriving Kyiv Pass at 06:32.

This has comfortable sleepers in 2-berth & 4-berth compartments.  There are no known problems for westerners travelling this way.

Step 2, travel from Kyiv to Vienna by direct sleeping-car, leaving Kyiv at 13:07 every day and arriving Vienna Hbf at 11:21 next morning.

This sleeping-car has comfortable sleepers in 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin, see the Kyiv to Vienna page for details .

Moscow to Berlin , Cologne, Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona...

Option 1, Moscow to Germany using the weekly Moscow - Paris Express , suspended due to sanctions

An excellent direct train links Moscow with Berlin & Paris once a week on Tuesdays.

It's run by RZD Russian Railways, with modern & comfortable standard sleepers with 2 & 4 bed compartments, and VIP luxury sleepers with en suite toilet & shower.  It crosses Belarus, so remember your Belarus transit visa .

For days of running, fares, how to buy tickets & photos of the train, see the Paris-Moscow Express page .

For Brussels , travel to Paris, walk 10 minutes to Paris Gare du Nord and catch a train from Paris to Brussels in 1h25, booked at www.thetrainline.com .

For Amsterdam , book this train from Moscow to Berlin at www.rzd.ru , stay the night in Berlin, book a Berlin to Amsterdam Intercity train from €37.90 at int.bahn.de for the following day.  See the timetable here .

For Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt , book this train from Moscow to Berlin at www.rzd.ru , stay the night in Berlin, book a train from Berlin to anywhere in Germany from €27.90 at int.bahn.de for the following day.

For Barcelona & Spain , take a taxi or metro to the Gare de Lyon for the afternoon TGV to Barcelona, see the Paris to Barcelona page .

Option 2, Moscow to Berlin using the twice-weekly Swift sleeper train , suspended due to sanctions

Option 3, Moscow to Berlin & Germany using the daily Moscow-Warsaw sleeper train, suspended due to sanctions

Step 1, travel from Moscow to Warsaw by daily sleeper train, leaving Moscow Belorussky at 14:15 (13:14 from late March to late October) arriving Warsaw Centralna at 08:45 next morning.

The fare is around 6,600 rubles (€94) in a 4-bed sleeper, 9,900 rubles (€140) in a 2-bed sleeper , 12,200 rubles (€173) in a 1-bed sleeper.

Step 2, take the Warsaw-Berlin EuroCity train leaving Warsaw Centralna at 12:33 and arriving Berlin Hbf at 18:16.  Change onto the 18:50 ICE train with restaurant car arriving Cologne Hbf at 23:13.  Fares from €29.90 to Berlin or €39.90 to Cologne if you book at int.bahn.de .

Step 3, stay overnight in Cologne .  Suggested hotels near to Cologne Hbf with good reviews include the Breslauer Hof Am Dom , Hotel Domspitzen , CityClass Hotel Europa am Dom , Hilton Cologne , Excelsior Hotel Ernst am Dom

For Brussels , take the 07:42 or 09:42 ICE train arriving Brussels Midi at 09:35 or 11:35, fares from €19.90 pre-booked at int.bahn.de .

For Amsterdam , take any suitable onward ICE train to Amsterdam Centraal from €19.90 pre-booked at int.bahn.de .

For Paris , take the 06:44 or 08:44 Eurostar (formerly Thalys) high-speed train to Paris Gare du Nord , booked at www.thetrainline.com from €35.

Option 4, Moscow to Germany via Kyiv, avoiding Belarus & the need for a Belarus transit visa , also suspended due to sanctions

This route takes you from Russia through Ukraine into Slovakia and Hungary, avoiding the need for a Belarus transit visa.  It's a safe and comfortable option.

Step 1, take one of the daily sleeper trains from Moscow to Kyiv, for example train 5 leaving Moscow Kievskaya at 19:35 arriving Kyiv Pass at 06:32.  This has comfortable sleepers in 2-berth & 4-berth compartments.

Step 2, then take the direct Kyiv to Vienna sleeper train leaving Kyiv daily at 13:07 arriving Vienna Hbf at 11:21 next morning.  This also has comfortable sleepers in 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin.

Booked through Polrail, Kyiv to Vienna costs around €138 in a 3-berth sleeper €149 in a 2-berth sleeper, or €241 in a single-berth sleeper.

Booked at the station in Ukraine, Kyiv to Vienna costs around €80, Lviv to Vienna around €60, in both cases with a bed in a 3-bed sleeper.

To buy tickets, contact reliable Polish agency www.polrail.com and ask if they can book both these trains for you.

Step 3, travel from Vienna to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris or anywhere in western Europe as shown on the Trains from Vienna page .

Moscow to London

See the UK to Moscow page for full details of routes, options, fares and how to buy tickets from Moscow to London.

Moscow to Helsinki

An overnight sleeper train called the Tolstoi links Moscow with Helsinki every night, see the Moscow to Helsinki page for details .

Train suspended due to sanctions

Moscow to Stockholm & Oslo

Step 1, travel from Moscow to Helsinki overnight on the sleeper train Tolstoi , see the Moscow to Helsinki page for details .  Train suspended due to sanctions.

Spend the day in Helsinki .

Step 2, sail overnight from Helsinki to Stockholm by cruise ferry using one of two competing companies, either on the direct ferry or via Turku, as shown on the Trains & Ferries from Helsinki page .

Step 3, travel from Stockholm to Oslo by train, as shown here .

Moscow to Copenhagen

Option 1, Moscow to Copenhagen via Helsinki - avoids the need for a Belarus visa .

Step 1, travel from Moscow to Helsinki overnight on the daily sleeper train Tolstoi , see the Moscow to Helsinki page for details .  Train suspended due to sanctions .

Spend a day in Helsinki .

Step 3, then catch a fast X2000 train from Stockholm to Copenhagen booked at the Swedish Railways website www.sj.se , or if you have any problems with sj.se, at Omio.com .  You print your own ticket.

Option 2 Moscow to Copenhagen via Berlin

Step 1, take the weekly Moscow-Paris train or the twice-weekly Strizh sleeper train from Moscow to Berlin.  You can book from Moscow to Berlin using the Real Russia form above , just click Advanced search next to arrival to, select Germany and enter Berlin .  Remember this train passes through Belarus, so you'll need a Belarus transit visa .  Trains suspended due to sanctions .

Step 2, then simply book a Berlin to Copenhagen ticket from €37.90 at the German Railways website int.bahn.de and print your own ticket or show it on your laptop or phone.

Moscow to Kyiv

Several overnight sleeper trains link Moscow with Kyiv every night, you can check train times and buy tickets from Moscow to Kyiv using the Real Russia form on this page :  Click Advanced search next to arrival to and select Ukraine as the destination country then Kyiv as destination city.

Moscow to Mongolia, China, Vladivostok, Japan, Korea

See the Trans-Siberian railway page .

Hotels in Moscow

Backpacker hostels.

www.hostelworld.com :  If you're on a tight budget, don't forget about backpacker hostels.  Hostelworld offers online booking of cheap private rooms or dorm beds in backpacker hostels in most cities at rock-bottom prices.

Travel insurance & VPN

Always take out travel insurance.

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least £1m or preferably £5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy with Staysure.co.uk myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

UK flag

Get an eSIM with mobile data package

Don't rely on WiFi, download an eSIM with a mobile data package for the country you're visiting and stay connected.  Most newer mobile phones can download a virtual SIM card so you don't need to buy a physical SIM, including iPhone 11 & later, see device compatibility list .  Maya.net is a reliable eSIM data retailer with a 4.5 out of 5 Trustpilot rating and a range of packages including unlimited data .

Get a Curve card for foreign travel

Most banks give you a poor exchange rate, then add a foreign transaction fee on top.  A Curve MasterCard means no foreign transaction fees and gives you the mid-market exchange rate, at least up to a certain limit, £500 per month at time of writing.  The money you spend on your Curve card goes straight onto one of your existing debit or credit cards.

How it works:   1. Download the Curve app for iPhone or Android .  2. Enter your details & they'll send you a Curve MasterCard - they send to the UK and most European addresses.  3. Link your existing credit & debit cards to the app, you can link up to two cards with the free version of Curve, I link my normal debit card and my normal credit card.  4. Now use the Curve MasterCard to buy things online or in person or take cash from ATMs, exactly like a normal MasterCard. Curve does the currency conversion and puts the balance in your own currency onto whichever debit or credit card is currently selected in the Curve app.  You can even change your mind about which card it goes onto, within 14 days of the transaction.

I have a Curve Blue card myself, it means I can buy a coffee on a foreign station on a card without being stung by fees and lousy exchange rates, just by tapping the Curve card on their card reader.  The money goes through Curve to my normal debit card and is taken directly from my account (in fact I have the Curve card set up as payment card on Apple Pay on my iPhone, so can double-click my phone, let it do Face ID then tap the reader with the phone - even easier than digging a card out).  I get a little commission if you sign up to Curve, but I recommend it here because I think it's great.  See details, download the app and get a Curve card , they'll give you £5 cashback through that link.

Get a VPN for safe browsing.  W hy you need a VPN

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN encrypts your connection so it's always secure, even on unsecured WiFi.  It also means you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geoblocking which a surprising number of websites apply.  See VPNs & why you need one explained .  ExpressVPN is a best buy with a 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot ranking which I use myself - I've signed up as an ExpressVPN affiliate, and if you go with expressvpn.com using the links on this page, you should see a special deal, 3 months free with an annual subscription.  I get a small commission to help support this site.

Carry an Anker powerbank

Tickets, reservations, vaccination records and Interrail or Eurail passes are often held digitally on your mobile phone, so it's vital to keep it charged.  I always carry an Anker powerbank which can recharge my phone several times over if I can't get to a power outlet.  Buy from Amazon.co.uk or from Buy from Amazon.com .

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Air Force instructor pilot killed when ejection seat activated on the ground

This image provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a U.S. Air Force T-6A Texan II taxiing down the flight line at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, on Jan. 26, 2024. The Air Force says an instructor pilot was killed when the ejection seat activated while the jet was still on the ground at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, when the seat activated during ground operations on May 13. (Airman 1st Class Keira Rossman/U.S. Air Force via AP)

This image provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a U.S. Air Force T-6A Texan II taxiing down the flight line at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, on Jan. 26, 2024. The Air Force says an instructor pilot was killed when the ejection seat activated while the jet was still on the ground at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, when the seat activated during ground operations on May 13. (Airman 1st Class Keira Rossman/U.S. Air Force via AP)

travel 14 seat

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WASHINGTON (AP) — An Air Force instructor pilot was killed when the ejection seat activated while the jet was still on the ground at a Texas military base, the Air Force said Tuesday.

The instructor pilot was in a T-6A Texan II at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, when the seat activated during ground operations on Monday. The pilot was taken to a hospital and died Tuesday, the Air Force said. The pilot’s name was being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

The T-6A Texan II is a single-engine two-seater aircraft that serves as a primary trainer for Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps pilots. In a training flight an instructor can sit in the front or back seat; both have lightweight Martin-Baker ejection seats that are activated by a handle on the seat.

In 2022, the T-6 fleet and hundreds of other Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps jets were grounded after inspections revealed a potential defect with one component of the ejection seat’s cartridge actuated devices, or CADs. The fleet was inspected and in some instances the CADs were replaced.

When activated the cartridge explodes and starts the ejection sequence.

Father Elias Lopez reads by candle light during Sunday morning 8:30 mass, Sunday, May 19, 2024, at All Saints Catholic Church where parishioners endured no lights and no air conditioning due to a lack of electric power following severe storms that passed through the area Thursday evening. (Kirk Sides/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Ejection seats have been credited with saving pilots’ lives, but they also have failed at critical moments in aircraft accidents. Investigators identified ejection seat failure as a partial cause of an F-16 crash that killed 1st Lt. David Schmitz, 32, in June 2020.

In 2018, four members of a B-1 bomber crew earned the Distinguished Flying Cross when, with their aircraft on fire, they discovered one of the four ejection seats was indicating failure. Instead of bailing out, all of the crew decided to remain in the burning aircraft and land it so they all would have the best chance of surviving. All of the crew survived.

TARA COPP

GOP, Democratic favorites prevail in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District

Democrats picked John “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. on Tuesday in a primary fight for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District, setting up a contest with Kim Klacik (R) to represent the heavily blue swath of suburban Maryland.

travel 14 seat

There were no surprises Tuesday in the Democratic and Republican primary elections for Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District to succeed Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D).

Baltimore County Executive John A. “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr., 41, a moderate who had been endorsed by Ruppersberger and former U.S. House majority leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), had no difficulty fending off five challengers in the Democratic race. In November he will face Kim Klacik, 42, a conservative radio talk show host who easily won her primary against her two opponents.

“I look forward to engaging with voters across the district ahead of November’s general election and focusing on our priorities of protecting reproductive freedom, building safer communities, and restoring transparency and accountability in our government,” Olszewski said in a statement Tuesday night. Klacik did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her victory.

The results set up an election that comes at a pivotal time for the district, which has been directly affected by the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in March. The full reopening of Baltimore’s port and the bridge’s rebuilding will be a major issue for the Maryland delegation and whoever represents the 2nd Congressional District for years to come.

A former teacher who served two terms in the Maryland House of Delegates and campaigned on his governing experience and ability to “compromise without compromising our values,” Olszewski will be the heavy favorite in the solidly blue district that includes most of Baltimore County and Carroll County and a small part of Baltimore City. But Klacik has the support of former president Donald Trump ’s base and has said repeatedly on social media that she’s in a strong position to flip the district to Republicans.

“God clears a path,” Klacik posted on X, formerly Twitter, earlier this month. “HE has put me in the perfect position to flip Maryland’s CD2.” Without naming him directly she also took aim at Olszewski, saying the district was winnable for her because of a “potential Dem nominee that ignored residents for years to satisfy developers.”

In 2020, Klacik received support from Trump in her unsuccessful bid against Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D) in Maryland’s 7th District. She grabbed headlines when she released a campaign video that featured her walking through dilapidated Baltimore streets in a stylish red dress while describing the city’s crime and poverty issues and suggesting Democrats didn’t care about Black people. The video went viral, attracting the notice of Trump and other Republicans, and leading to a massive surge in donations to her campaign.

This year, she has so far failed to attract similar attention or significant fundraising. Her campaign reported approximately $38,000 in contributions as of April 24.

By contrast, Olszewski, now in his second term as county executive, reported contributions of almost $837,000 as of April 24. In an interview earlier this month he said his campaign would welcome running against Klacik.

“Should the two of us be the nominees there couldn’t be a more stark contrast for voters in November,” Olszewski said. “I’m happy to put our record up against the positions that she holds, which I think are extreme not only to the district but to the state.”

Support for Klacik from Trump will probably not benefit her in the general election, said John T. Willis, a political science professor at the University of Baltimore who served as Maryland secretary of state from 1995 to 2003.

“That’s not helpful in that district,” he said. “The voters in Baltimore County don’t want to associate with that kind of politics.”

Willis believes Olszewski’s support from the Democratic establishment and his tenure as county executive will give him a big edge in November.

“County executives are like mini governors, and their name is on everything,” Willis said. “By November he will have six years in office, and that’s a substantial advantage. To many of the voters he’s basically an incumbent.”

Baltimore bridge collapse

How it happened: Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed after being hit by a cargo ship . The container ship lost power shortly before hitting the bridge, Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said. Video shows the bridge collapse in under 40 seconds.

Victims: Divers have recovered the bodies of two construction workers , officials said. They were fathers, husbands and hard workers . A mayday call from the ship prompted first responders to shut down traffic on the four-lane bridge, saving lives.

Economic impact: The collapse of the bridge severed ocean links to the Port of Baltimore, which provides about 20,000 jobs to the area . See how the collapse will disrupt the supply of cars, coal and other goods .

Rebuilding: The bridge, built in the 1970s , will probably take years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild , experts said.

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  28. Trains from Moscow to other European cities

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  29. Air Force instructor pilot killed when ejection seat activated at Texas

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