Every once in a while, I remember why I do something that seems utterly nutty even to me. For example, why exactly do I so love going to Disney? Answer: I don't have to bring car seats with me. I mean, obviously there's a lot more to it than this, but the get-on-a-plane-but-not-need-car-seats thing is Not Trivial.
We are contemplating a trip over the water, and the Dutch are part of the European rules about car seats and kids: if you're under 1.35 meters, ya gotta be in something. While I think both my kids could use boosters just like here, there is the question of which boosters meet The Standard (aka ECE 44/03 or /04, if I understand this correctly). It may come down to something as simple as a sticker.
Arriving in Schiphol, we can rent a car, and with it (perhaps) a baby seat. Generally you have to make sure they really have one of those available and, again generally, it's not for the bigger kids, probably because two day's rental of the seat is often enough to cover the cost of buying a booster. Ah, but you have to get to the baby shop (or winkel, as the case would be), and whatever you do between Schiphol and the babywinkel would appear to be in violation. Honestly, you don't need to invoke another country to encounter this problem; trying to solve it for rental cars in Florida is what led me to fall in love with Disney's Magical Express -- because I truly hate checking car seats. But whereas a trip to Florida with a checked car seat I could at least be certain the car seat would meet relevant regulations, I have no such certainty that would be the case with a trip to Europe.
I see several possible solutions. Contact a rental agency at Schiphol and try to find out from them what other people do, or if they'd take receipt of a shipped pair of boosters and hold them for my arrival, or whatever. Bring a pair of seats I'm pretty sure is the same as a seat sold in the Netherlands, and hope that the lack of a sticker doesn't matter (will I go eyeball the seat at Target to see if it has the sticker? Sure! And if it does, you'd better believe I'll buy it on the spot). Wildly violate the law while driving with booster-less children from the airport to the nearest babywinkel where we buy seats to drive around the country in.
Or, possibly, order booster seats from the Netherlands, have them shipped to me in the US, check them for the trip over and thus be certain of a legal solution.
That last option seems completely WRONG. However, in the absence of a definitive answer, my spectrum-y traits will urge me to try it -- while my pragmatic self says ah, fuck the damn sticker and buy the seat at Target. No one is going to check anyway.
ETA: Oh, never mind. Turns out at least one of the car rental operations at Schiphol will include booster seats free of charge. Guess who is getting my business.
Did I see this at either of the first two rental places I was trying to navigate?. No, I did not.