Traveling as a single parent with kids is no different from doing the job at home, in some ways. But when your child is highchair-aged, dragging along all that gear can ruin travel fun. Why not leave your stuff at home and just rent when you get there?
Baby’s Away: With 82 locations in 27 states, Baby’s Away can supply travelers to most tourist towns in the U.S. with airbeds, cribs, car seats, strollers, and many other pieces of gear. They rent by the day or by the week, and gear is delivered to your destination and picked up after you leave. Items are safety checked and cleaned/sanitized between each use. A wooden crib runs $50-$99 weekly depending on location; a stroller $30-$96, plus sales tax and a delivery fee of around $20 and up. Equipment can be reserved months in advance, or tomorrow.
Babie on Board: If you’re traveling to Denver, this gear rental firm can drop your stuff off. If not, choose the stroller, crib, sleeper, car seat, carrier, highchair, or toy you need and it will be mailed to your hotel or will be available to pick up at a UPS Store near your destination. Full-size cribs are $12 a day, strollers $4 to $9 daily, plus shipping charges—which can range from around $6 for small items all the way to $30 for a double stroller. Babie on Board also charges a $20 cleaning fee. Drop it all off at a UPS Store when you leave, using the return label provided.
Rent the Baby Gear: This baby-rental company offers an easy-to-use site that operates something like an online store. You search for the stroller, high chair, car seat, or other piece of gear you need. Then you order and it is shipped, free, to any continental U.S. location of your choosing. When you leave, you can ship your gear back free by dropping it off at a UPS location with its prepaid return label, or have UPS pick up the package for a $15 fee. Rent the Baby Gear requires 4 days of notice for online rentals, but you can call the company to see if it can accommodate last-minute needs. Since shipping is free, rental prices are correspondingly higher: travel—not wooden—cribs are $60 a week; strollers $75 to $200 a week.
Baby-Equipment-Rental.com: If mail-order doesn’t appeal to you, this consortium of independently owned stores just might. Pick your location in any U.S. state or 18 different international countries and find which of hundreds of firms rents where you are going. Each firm has different policies and prices, naturally, but most offer cribs, car seats, highchairs, and strollers. Some stray into more exotic territory: ski, surfing, or beach equipment, camping gear, books, and toys. Most deliver to hotels and private locations within a certain area. Check for delivery, cleaning and other fees, as well as cancellation, cleaning, and safety policies.