Everyone loves having a meal delivered to their hotel room from the onsite restaurant. Room service is a quintessential perk when traveling.
But what about those items you’d like to have, but don’t necessarily have the space or the time to pack? We sussed out third-party services that will deliver some surprising items to your accommodation (be it an apartment rental or hotel) to save some space in your luggage.
1, 2, 3, say “Cheese!”
Borrow Lenses, a subdivision of Shutterfly, will rent and ship any number of pieces of camera equipment, saving plenty of space and removing weight from a carry-on bag. Photogs can choose individual pieces, like, a specific lens you might want to try out for that safari you’re finally (finally!) taking, or renters can go the packaged route by dropping one of their “Wildlife” kits into their shipping cart.
Depending on budget and tastes, packages can start as low as $158 for a beginner Sony wildlife kit or for a bump over $1K, renters can opt for the advanced Nikon wildlife kit, which includes camera body, three lenses, a polarizing filter, memory cards and a battery.
Rental periods are generally for a week but it can be customized as needed. Shipping, of course, is extra, but when you’re done, everything can be shipped back in its original packaging. If you’re in the store's one of six regional U.S. locations, you can also drop off the items off at select brick-and-mortar photo stores.
Hit the slopes, not your luggage weight limit
Don’t want the hassle of skis and poles on the plane? Check out Skibutler.com for all manner of winter sports equipment that can be rented and delivered to 35 different resorts in the Western U.S. and Canada.
The process is a little wonky because you have to fill out a series of forms asking for information about ski location, snowboard, skis, boot size, helmet size, skiing ability and more before you can get to the price. Like purchasing a plane ticket, I hate being surprised by the final price, but there are so many variables here, the process is actually necessary to arrive at $646.08 for renting a goofy-footed performance snowboard (with boot dryers, goggles, and helmet thrown in) for a week in Park City/Deer Valley/The Canyons.
Not a bad price, says this tumble-prone novice snowboarder.
Fly the friendly skies, then the friendly waters
One of the fastest growing water sports worldwide is kiteboarding, and it, too, is expensive with some fairly unwieldy equipment to transport. Enter Demo A Kite, a site that lets you browse a large selection of kiteboards and bars before settling on your preferred configuration.
They charge $149 for the first week's rental, with additional weeks adding another $100 to the final bill. Bars rent for $75. The biggest drawback in that when you decide what you want to rent, you have to submit a form asking them to contact you to complete the transaction. They do promise to get back within one business day, though (and did reply to my question the same day). Still, this seems like an outdated online rental and retail model but for the sake of convenience, what are you going to do?
Say “spaaaah” even when there isn’t one
So you’ve been out shooting the big six on your safari in the morning, snowboarding during lunch and kiteboarding in the afternoon, your body is mostly likely pretty racked up. Why not a massage? Though higher-end hotels and resorts typically house a fully staffed spa, something like an Airbnb or a lower-end hotel won't.
That’s where Zeel comes in, literally, to provide some much needed muscle work from a licensed therapist. Both a site and an app, pick your location (most major U.S. cities), the type of body work you want (deep tissue, Swedish, etc), gender preference, length of treatment (60-, 75- or 90-minute massages) and whether or not you have your own treatment table. A 90-minute deep-tissue massage in San Francisco where the therapist has to bring their own table runs $164.02 (including tax and tip).