There are many stories out there about families that have had bad experiences with baby equipment rental companies. Families need and want reliable resources to avoid having to lug heavy, bulky items when traveling — given the number of equipment rental companies out there, how do you ensure that the company you’ve found online is a good option?
1. How is your equipment sanitized? Appropriate sanitation processes can include (but are not limited to) hot water and bleach products, antibacterial wipes, and laundering with baby gentle soaps.
2. How often are your rental items replaced? The most important thing to remember is that most car seats expire within 7 years and should be replaced. Other than that you should feel comfortable with the frequency of replacement that the company reports.
3. What is the company cancellation policy? Be sure to understand deposit, refund and cancellation policies before your order is placed.
4. Is the company independently owned by parents or grandparents of young children? Larger corporations are likely to be less personable or knowledgeable as moms and dads of current young children.
5. Does the company guarantee the exact item that is described and/or pictured on their website? Make sure you are getting what you ask for – there is a difference in safety ratings among car seats and other baby gear items. Some companies feature an item on their website but do not guarantee the exact item shown. Double-check with the company to make sure you are getting what you are expecting.
6. What information can I provide the company to help me choose the right baby equipment for my baby? By providing your child’s estimated height and weight at the time of travel, the baby equipment rental company can choose appropriate equipment for your child – like car seats, sleeping options and strollers. Also, let your baby equipment rental company in on some of your travel plans – often times they can come up with a delivery and pick-up plan that will make travel less hectic for you.
Sarah Peters of Sweet Pea Baby Rentals in Phoenix, Arizona, Sarah Wyles of Toddler’s Travels in San Diego, California, and I got together and formed Baby Travel Pros to help families find the best rental options in popular destinations. The website lists independently owned baby equipment rental companies who have established best practices for the sanitization of rental items and safety checks.
The companies affiliated with Baby Travel Pros rent everything from car seats and strollers to toys and wagons to full-size cribs and pack-n-plays. Many of the rental outfits will meet you at car rental counters or deliver your items to hotels and timeshares or even deliver to rental homes or to the homes of relatives. Visit the Baby Travel Pros website to find member baby equipment rental companies companies.
Raquel Quaid is the owner of Las Vegas Baby Equipment Rentals and the Co-Founder of Baby Travel Pros and the Mom of 2 boys.
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