I recently ended a four-week stint travelling for work to the Big Ten Basketball Tournament, the NCAA Tournament and the Final Four. I consider myself lucky to work for a program that encourages its employees to bring spouses and young children on working tournament trips. Without going into a long conversation about why I believe work trips with the kids are harder on working moms than working dads, I thought I would share a tip I recently got from another woman working in sports: Simplify the family travel portion and the work portion will be less stressful. Enter BabyQuip.
BabyQuip is a company that rents baby equipment to families who don’t want to pack large and often cumbersome items on trips. Just log on to babyquip.com and enter your travel destination and dates. A list of providers in that area will pop up along with the many assorted items they have available to rent. The website clearly shows each provider’s phone number and email address so that if you want to contact them outisde of the website, you can. When the first provider I contacted in Minneapolis didn’t have what I needed, she let me know that and even emailed me the information for an area provider that did. The best part about this service is that they deliver the items you rent to your hotel room, like we had done for us in D.C. and Minneapolis. When we were ready to leave at the end of our trip, all I had to do was bring it down to the desk and the provider picked it up once I checked out of the hotel. Every piece of equipment we used from each provider was IMPECCABLY clean, if not new. We rented a stroller and a Rock n’ Play (used the safety belt, of course) in each city, but almost anything you need to function with babies or kids was available to rent, including car seats and bases.
In terms of pricing, the strollers were between $8-14/day and the Rock n’ Plays were between $6-8/day. The diapers were about a $3 markup compared to what you could buy them in the store. For these prices, the ease of not having to lug mine to the airport, through security, onto a plane, then onto a bus, then into a hotel all twice per trip was totally worth it.
Overall, having a service like this when you are travelling with kids, especially for work, has been a Godsend to me. I am still a new mom and have not mastered the juggling act of parenting while on a work trip yet. BabyQuip (and yes, there are competing companies out there) took some of the burden of packing and preparing off me, and freed up some brain space for other more important things.