Traveling with a young child can feel overwhelming. Besides worrying about how the child will react to car and air travel, packing for a trip requires tremendous planning and organization. In addition, many of the items that a child needs on a daily basis are bulky and heavy. For example, a travel crib, highchair and car seat add enormously to your luggage pile and many rental cars may not be equipped with large enough trunks to hold everything. As a result of this burden, baby gear rental companies have sprung up all over the globe and offer for rent almost anything you could need for your child while on vacation. Here are a few tips to consider when you rent baby gear at your travel destination:
The first thing to consider when renting baby gear from a company is the safety of the rental gear. Do your due diligence on the company itself and check online reviews. Make sure that the company’s rental gear meets current safety standards and is maintained and replaced on a regular basis. Consider renting items that have been certified by the Juvenile Manufacturer Association as they have the necessary safety mechanisms.
Once you know that the gear is safe, you also want to make sure that it will be clean. Understand the company’s policy on cleaning rental items and what products and methods they use to sanitize the items. Double check your rental gear before taking delivery to ensure that it is sparkling clean. A little wear and tear should be expected, but you definitely don’t want see any dirt or food residue. Even with rental gear that is sanitized, consider bringing your own sheets, blankets and swaddles to cover surfaces that are of questionable age or cleanliness.
Baby gear rental companies will often charge the renter a fee or even the replacement cost of the item if it breaks, is stained or is lost or stolen while being rented. Be sure you understand your rental policy and double check the gear to make sure it is in good working order before you take delivery. Pre-existing wear and tear should be noted to the rental company before your sign the final rental papers to avoid any chance you could be charged for the damage at the end of your trip.
Be sure to communicate your exact requirements to the rental company to ensure that you receive gear that is appropriate for the age, size and other needs of your child. For example, rental companies may stock different makes and models of cribs, high chairs, strollers and car seats. If you need a jogging stroller for an infant, you will be disappointed if a toddler umbrella stroller is delivered to your rental house. Take the time to understand the rental options and select the gear that meets your needs. Also, review all items upon pick-up or delivery to ensure that you received your selection.
Renting baby gear can significantly streamline packing and eliminate the need to lug extra heavy bags through a busy airport. Almost anything you need, from cribs to beach toys, can be rented at your destination. With a little research and planning, you can feel confident in your choice of rental company. Don’t forget to also research and purchase travel insurance to protect your family and your investment. Safe travels!