Three Companies That Rent Baby Gear for Travel

Parents learn very quickly that going anywhere with a baby requires a lot of “stuff.” If you’re talking about going out to dinner and bringing a diaper bag packed with supplies, that’s not so bad, but family vacations are another story. If you’re traveling somewhere (say, doing an Airbnb with kids) rather than visiting friends or relatives who already have baby gear you can share or borrow, you’re likely to find yourself with a long list of things to bring: carseat, Pack ‘n Play, stroller, baby carrier, etc. — and that’s a huge hassle, especially if you’re flying with kids. Have you ever used a service that rents baby gear for travel? What did you rent? (Do you have any other strategies for dealing with a need for baby gear on a trip?) As the holidays approach, we thought we would round up three companies that rent baby gear for traveling families:

Rent the Baby Gear: Although it would take a miracle company to actually accomplish Rent the Baby Gear’s goal — “make travel with children safe, simple and hassle free” — their service does sound pretty great. At least four business days before you need a baby-related item for your trip, reserve it on the website and Rent the Baby Gear will ship it free (via UPS) to anywhere in the continental U.S. (You can take it abroad if needed.) When your trip’s over, you choose to either drop off the items at a UPS location (a prepaid return label is provided) or have them picked up. Don’t expect pristine baby gear — “Our gear is best described as ‘Loved,'” the FAQ page admits — but the company says it cleans and checks everything when it returns to the warehouse.

Here are some sample items and rental costs:

 

Three Companies That Rent Baby Gear for Travel

Baby’s AwayThis company operates in 28 states (listed here) and its site isn’t as detailed about the rental process as Rent the Baby Gear’s (which from now on I’ll just call RtBG). They’ve been around since 1991 (!), however, so they must be doing something right. Parents can visit the site and reserve what they want, and then a “local operator” sends an email to confirm the item is available in the chosen area and to review the price, sales tax, and delivery fee. At that point you can pay online. The company’s website notes that all items are cleaned and sanitized before going to the next customer and that all of it is in “new or in excellent condition (gently used).” Unlike RtBG, Baby’s Away allows parents to rent baby gear for less than a week at a time, although the advantage that RtBG has over Baby’s Away is that parents know which brand they’re getting when they make a reservation for an item.

Here are some sample items and rental costs (for a random location, NYC):

  • High Chair: 1-day rental, $7 / 1-week rental, $42
  • Pack & Play: 1-day rental, $7 / 1-week rental, $42
  • Infant Car Seat: 1-day rental, $9 / 1-week rental, $54
  • Jogging Stroller – BOB Single: 1-day rental, $12 / 1-week rental, $72

Babies GetawayTo rent from this company, which was founded in 2012, parents visit the site at least two days ahead of time, enter their travel dates and preferred delivery/pickup times, then click on “Rent Now” to find out the cost. Babies Getaway can deliver and pick up baby gear in the continental U.S. and offers the option of paying $20 for airport delivery, which is only available in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The company offers competitor price-matching, a 24-hour hotline, iOS and Android apps, and a maintenance program it boasts about on its site: “Unlike our competitors, we take great pride knowing that our fabrics are washed extensively with products such as Dreft and Natures Organics. Items are sanitized, steam cleaned, inspected for loose bolts and screws, and checked upon for expiration dates.” The site also has a wider selection of types of products (and brands) than the two websites mentioned above, including gliders, diaper pails, changing tables, potty seats, baby monitors, humidifiers, white noise machines, and even bikes and scooters.

Here are some sample items and rental costs, with the caveat that “1-day” appears to mean same-day return:

Side note: As a grammar geek, I’m irritated by this company’s name. If a bunch of babies are going on vacation, it’s a “Babies’ Getaway” (which sounds like a bad ’90s movie). If you are observing that babies can, in fact, crawl away when you’re not looking, then it’s “Babies Get Away.” If you’re tired and just want a nap, what you want is the phrase, “Babies, Get Away!” But “Babies Getaway” is just incorrect. (This paragraph is starting to sound like SNL’s classic Robot Repair sketch.)

Do you rent baby gear while traveling, or for any other reason? Have you ever used one of these companies to rent baby gear? Or, do you usually travel with all of your own things? If you’ve taken a plane trip with items like a carseat or Pack ‘n Play, how did you keep them from being damaged? 

Further Reading:

  • Flying with Car Seats: Seven Easy Ways to Get Your CRS to the Gate [Travels with Baby]
  • A Parents’ Guide to Packing Light: Baby Gear For an Easier Vacation [Wall Street Journal]
  • It’s Not Crazy If It Works: Tips for Sharing a Hotel with Baby [Suitcases & Sippy Cups]
  • Travel Mamas has a long list of regional, national, and international companies that rent baby gear, ranging from Mountain Baby Gear Rentals (“Essential gear for Aspen’s littlest visitor”) to UPABABY, a baby-gear rental company in Portugal (not to be confused with the high-end stroller and carseat brand called UPPAbaby!).

Picture via Stencil.
Gearing up for family vacation and dreading the amount of baby gear you have to bring? We have news, my friend: there are multiple companies that RENT BABY GEAR for travel. Here are all the details...

Comments

  1. Anon in NOVA says:

    I’m loving the mental image of shouting “Babies, Get away!” while trying to nap. Gave me a good LOL

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thus far, we’ve always traveled with our stroller if we thought we would use/need it. They are so easy to check – either at the check in or at the gate – when you fly and they fly for free. Bonus that you can use it to either schlep bags or the baby while traveling. That said, the pack & play has been the hardest thing for us to figure out. We rented once through a local place in a resort town. Results were mixed. It wasn’t in great condition, but it worked for a couple of days. I do recommend bringing your own sheet/mattress pad if you go this route. Recently, we’ve just ordered the cheapest, stripped down PnPs from Wal-Mart and “shipped to store.” We’ve picked up on the way from the airport to where we are staying and then donated on our way out of town. All things said, it was about the same price as the rentals above (like $45) and it was new.

    • +1. This is what we do. Particularly if we’re staying for more than a day or two, it’s almost always more cost-effective to just buy online and have shipped to store and/or hotel at our location. And yes, I research a place to donate before I leave town. Almost every city has some kind of women’s shelter or food pantry or even a local church that will take donations.

      The only horrible thing to figure out is car seats. We bought some Cosco brand ones specifically for travel, but it’s really hard to travel with two adults and two kids and two car seats. And dealing with two separate car seats on a plane is an absolute nightmare. We experimented with buying at location, but that only worked because there was a Walmart about 10 min from the airport – Parent 1 picked them up, came back to airport for kids and Parent 2, and then we just left them in the rental car when we returned it. It’s enough to make us drive most places until we’re into booster seat territory.

  3. Anon in NYC says:

    I’ve rented a pack and play and high chair from Baby’s Away. Both were in fine condition but the high chair was missing the over the shoulder straps (it had the waist straps though). I’m sure I could have called them to fix it but I didn’t.

    I just recently traveled and brought a travel crib (that we purchased, the Phil and Ted’s) and we bought a booster seat from Target (~$15) that we left when we came home.

  4. Kelly C. says:

    Our Baby Bjorn travel crib seemed really expensive when I bought it, but we have gotten a ton of use out of that thing. I bought a jumbo suitcase, the Bjorn crib fits in one half and I put all of baby’s gear in the other half (feeding supplies, toys, etc.). We end up checking a lot of bags (usually 4 suitcases for the three of us), but it works.

    For high-chairs, Amazon has some cloth thing that works OK for younger babies. A lobster clip seat can sometimes travels OK otherwise.

    For cheaper gear, we have bought things like bouncy seats or booster chairs at our destination, then donated before flying home. That seems to work OK.

  5. Christina Edwards says:

    We rented from Babies Getaway (haha) this past week and were impressed. We rented a full size crib, a pack and play and a city mini single. All were in perfect condition. There prices seem to be lower than the rest also. Theres a company called BabyChic NY that charges $70 for delivery. Thats insane.

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