Traveling is great, but any seasoned parent will tell you adding kids into the mix can make it…ooooh, just a bit stressful. Topping the list, after a mid-air, up-the-back blowout of course, is figuring how to get all the gear from point A to point B.
Why rent baby gear?
The truth is, although that lap ticket might be free, the cost of shipping one room of your house to your destination adds up quick. And even if cost isn’t an issue, the logistics of packing and carrying all that gear around is notable. There’s also the very real concern of your own gear being lost or damaged in the process, which is a huge pain in the arse.
Renting baby gear can take a little off your plate.
Baby gear rental companies allow you to rent just about anything and everything you might need on vacation with your babe. Car seats, strollers, pack ‘n plays, full-size cribs, high chairs, baby bathtubs, toys, baby gates – the list goes on.
Depending on which company you go with, you can even select from a package that includes the most common things you may need. How simple is that?
Hidden perks to renting baby gear.
Depending on the company, your equipment can be delivered to the airport or where you’re staying.
Some places offer to install or otherwise set things up for you, which means more time at the beach, and less time sweating your buns off in the airport rental car lot.
Gear is sterilized and inspected for damage between uses.
You can rent things you forgot to pack, rather than buy them (though most places need a few days heads up).
It’s an international movement, making it easy to travel anywhere your whimsy (and pocketbook) can take you.
It’s not just baby gear. Need somewhere for your lanky teen to sleep? How about a wagon to pull your elementary school-aged kid? Look around and you may be able to find what you need for rent.
Some things to consider.
You’ve got to be on your game, and make arrangements before you travel. How far in advance varies on the company.
It’s not super cheap. In some cases, it’s just cheaper to buy what you need and then donate it (or ship it) back home.
Every company has different policies, so if you’re shopping around it’s wise to make sure you understand the ins and outs of each place before committing. Figuring out if there are extra charges if the item comes back dirty or late, or what happens if you break it… ya know, those kinds of things that your mom would think of but you might not immediately consider when you have piña coladas on the brain.
If you decide to bring your own stuff, it might be wise to invest in some protective carrying cases or even something with wheels to make transporting your car seats easier. They even have them for strollers, which can make gate checking them a little less stressful.
Sounds great – what are some popular baby gear rental companies?
BabyQuip– Nearly nationwide, as well as in Canada. Offers custom formulated packages, based off your itinerary and baby’s age.
Traveling Baby Company– Not nationwide, but several locations on both coasts, and a smattering of states in between.
Baby’s Away– Also not nationwide, but expanding. Has beach-specific travel products, as well as beds for bigger kids.
Babies Getaway – Nearly nationwide. Also offers packages as well as individual items.
When it comes to traveling, it’s really up to you to decide what the easiest, most practical thing to do is. For some it will be renting gear, for others buying an extra set of things might make most sense, and for others just bringing what you have will work. There’s no wrong way to do it.
Have you ever rented baby gear? If so, we’d love to know how it went!