Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lightening the Load

Packing for a family getaway can be overwhelming, particularly if you have toddlers and young children in tow. Even if you successfully manage to remember everything you will need, fitting it all into a vehicle or lugging it all through an airport and checking it for a flight can be difficult, expensive, and time consuming.

Instead of bringing along everything you will need, consider renting large items (strollers, car seats, high chairs, etc.) when you arrive at your destination. The largest baby and child equipment rental service in the US today is Baby’s Away.  You can also find an extensive list of independent local vendors here (covers all 50 states and Washington DC as well as Canada). An additional benefit of renting equipment is that it gives you an opportunity to try out items you may not yet own, but are thinking of purchasing (such as premium jogging strollers, exersaucers, or jumpers).

In addition, some hotels will actually provide cribs, bedding, and collapsible play yards upon request. Check with your hotel to see what custom accommodations are available!

For the ultimate in convenience, consider using a company like Jet Set Babies to have your baby essentials (diapers, wipes, bath essentials, food, booster seats, portable beds, etc.) shipped directly to your hotel. This will reduce your luggage load which could save you on excessive airline baggage fees! 

Gear Recommendations by Age:

This checklist is courtesy of Baby Travel Pros and is meant only to be a guide, use your judgment when determining what items you will require and always check that the child using the equipment meets all height an weight requirements of the manufacturer:

Birth to 4 months
  • infant car seat and compatible stroller,
  • pack-n-play or crib,
  • glider or rocking chair,
  • bouncer or swing,
  • infant tub
4 months to 1 year
  • infant car seat, or rear facing car seat (check weight & height recommendations),
  • stroller,
  • pack-n-play or crib,
  • mobile,
  • exersaucer, jumper, or walker,
  • infant or toddler tub,
  • room monitor,
  • high chair or bumbo with tray
1 year to 2 years
  • forward or rear facing toddler car seat (the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends leaving children in rear-facing car seats until 2 years of age),
  • stroller,
  • crib,
  • safety gates,
  • room monitor,
  • high chair
2+ years
  • forward facing car seat or booster seat (3+ years),
  • stroller,
  • crib, toddler bed or bed rails,
  • safety gates,
  • room monitor,
  • step stool or potty chair,
  • high chair or booster seat
- Destination Mom

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