18 March 2009

When traveling, have baby supplies shipped directly to your hotel

We've talked before about avoiding packing hassle by shipping diapers to your travel destination, but good friend and frequent traveler Cory Doctorow (of BoingBoing and Craphound fame) took it a big step further with great results:

Don't suppose I'm the first to come up with this, but I've had amazing travel success pre-ordering baby supplies (diapers, formula, powder, wipes, organic food -- anything bulky and/or hard to come by at a 7-11) from Amazon and drop-shipping them to our hotel in advance. We don't have to fill a suitcase with consumables, and Amazon beats grocery-store prices in most cases (especially for us, since this stuff is always lots more expensive in the UK).

After our wedding we spent a couple days in Houston en route to Honduras. Rather than bring a month's worth of baby stuff to Toronto, shlepping it to Houston, and thence to Honduras, we ordered EVERYTHING - -- formula, rice cereal, food in jars, diapers, powder, wipes, cream, pop-up crib, baby bathing suit, sunscreen, etc etc -- from Amazon (along with a $10 wheeled duffel-bag to put it all in!) and had it shipped straight to Houston. It worked INCREDIBLY well, and since we left a suitcase worth of wedding-clothes, etc, in Toronto after the wedding, we were able to go very light indeed.

You know the best part? They left all of the packaging at the hotel (along with a generous tip) and it was taken away by housekeeping.

Related: Peapod travel bed review

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This is a fabulous tip! As the editor of WeJustGotBack.com, a family travel site, I've seen many variations of this tip--from boxing your own supplies and sending them to your hotel via USPS's Parcel Post to using a baby supply-shipping service, which can be super convenient but expensive. We've also posted on our blog (http://blog.wejustgotback.com) about resorts that offer so-called "baby butler" packages, which give you all your baby supplies (diapers, wipes, etc) plus gear (crib, stroller, etc) as a complimentary service. This tip, ordering online from a good-value source, then shipping it directly to yourself at your hotel, is probably the easiest and cheapest ways to go.

This is such a great idea - anything that adds this amount of convenience, especially during travel, is fantastic. The company I work for, Alice, will have a similar model for this type of convenience all the time.

This is a great tip! Especially now that airlines are charging additional fees for checked luggage.

We've done this too, through Amazon, and also from http://babiestravellite.com/, and drugstore.com. Each has different pros and cons for selection vs. cost.

If you are traveling to see family or friends, you can avoid the shipping costs and just send them a shopping list ahead of time.

I wrote about these tips in a series on traveling with your baby or toddler, on my blog Organized Mommy:
http://organizedmommy.blogspot.com/2008/01/traveling-with-you-babytoddler.html

Love this tip!

Just a note if you're going to a place where you know you'll be returning with goods for other people: if you pack a suitcase full of things you'll use up on the trip, it'll be empty on the way home for things that you may pick up while at your destination.

GREAT idea.

Wait--a honeymoon WITH a baby!? Put me in the save-it-for-marriage club merely on that basis!

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