Rent Baby Gear on Your Next Trip for Easier Packing

We traveled with my son from India to Thailand when he was three months old. This wasn’t his first trip, but it was his first international one. Along with us came his car seat carrier, baby stroller, baby sling, and diaper bag. He slept with us, so that took care of the where to let him sleep. We stacked pillows around him whenever he was in bed alone. The baby stroller was also handy for transporting our own personal items through the airport and up to the gate. Strollers are hand-loaded onto an airplane and since you get it back as soon as you land, it’s mighty handy to have one.

There were times on other trips when we lugged along a portable playpen, but he really never used it. I can’t recall why not, but bringing it turned out to be a waste of energy and space. Probably because he never used it at home either, so why would he use it elsewhere? The what to bring along when traveling with a baby can be a stumbling block for folks whose child needs certain items to feel comfortable in an unfamiliar environment. I too pondered this before every trip away from home.

To help people who want to travel with their young ones, but hesitate with the thought of the stuff they could be dragging along, there are companies who are offer solutions. (see article). Baby’s Away rents out full-size cribs and stuff like ExerSaucers. The Traveling Baby Company rents high end strollers, baby bathtubs, car seats, baby monitors etc. You can also order stuff like baby food and supplies to have on hand when you arrive at your destination.When visiting friends and relatives, having a crib readily available could come in handy–it actually isn’t a bad idea to have some food at the other end too. Not that you can’t get any, but to not have all those jars to pack sounds divine. When traveling in some parts of the world, commercial baby food just seems a safer bet.

This summer was the first time we drove to New York without the jogging stroller. It was always such a pain to pack. Trying to keep the wheels from tumbling out each time the hatch of the station wagon was opened and closed was an issue. I can see how it might have saved us some grief if we could have rented a stroller for the few times we actually used it. As far as renting a car seat goes, since you can carry them to the gate and have them hand put on at no extra charge, I’m not sure why a person would rent one, unless you are one person traveling with a child and can’t manage to carry it too. I could be dense, though, and just not get it.

The photo by Six Continents Chick on Flickr shows what traveling with three adults and one infant can look like in the stuff catgory. Read the description and you’ll see what I mean.