In a way, business trips and vacations start the night before you leave home, when you are tasked with the dreaded chore of…dun dun dun…packing. It is the bane of many travelers’ existence. Packing is very time consuming, and can cause some travelers to feel stressed or anxious.
What do I choose? Am I taking too much? Did I forget something? How am I going to make it fit? This dizzying internal conversation likely sounds all too familiar. Even if you travel often for meetings and conferences, you may still not have perfected the art of packing.
Imagine how improved life would be if the need to pack magically evaporated into thin air. No more rushing to get laundry done and no more folding or rolling. No more squeezing everything in or fighting with zippers to close. Even better, no more lugging luggage through an airport, lifting suitcases into the overhead compartment or waiting at baggage claim.
Newsflash! All of the above are now possible thanks to these below services.
Designer Clothing Rental
Never worry about getting photographed in the same outfit twice. Want a sleek suit for a meeting or gown for a reception, but experiencing sticker shock? Rent the Runway enables fashionistas to wear designer labels at an affordable rate by renting them from a “closet in a cloud” rather than purchasing them. Orders can be shipped to hotels. Simply enter the hotel’s name in the company field and your name in the attention field of the order form. Make sure to notify your concierge that you’re expecting a package.
Rent the Runway also has retail stores in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., so you can shop for rentals in-person if your meeting brings you to any of these major cities.
Trendsetters interested in relying on this service as their new norm, can subscribe to Rent the Runway’s monthly unlimited package. There are also options with less of a commitment. Shipping and dry cleaning are free, so it really is hassle-free. Plus, you can elect to have 10 percent of your order go toward a charity that the company supports—Dress for Success, Girls in Tech, Global Fund For Women and She Should Run. They also take sustainability into account by reducing the amount of clothing women dispose of annually, donating last season’s styles to organizations like Operation Prom, designing reusable garment bags for shipping and eco-friendly dry cleaning.
Fitness Clothing Rental
Westin Hotels & Resorts encourages guests to stop making excuses to avoid exercising while traveling. In December 2010, the hotel chain partnered with New Balance to offer workout clothing in a Gear Lending program. They’ll provide sneakers and fitness attire for rental for only $5. You get to keep the socks. Within 15 minutes of calling Service Express, a freshly laundered outfit will be delivered to your hotel room.
“Keeping guests’ fitness goals in mind, we’ve partnered with New Balance to provide yet another option to help travelers stay well on-the-road,” says Nancy London, vice president of Westin Hotels & Resorts. “Guests simply need to show up ready for a great workout. We provide the rest.”
The initiative provides disposable insoles in the sneakers they loan out, so hygiene is definitely taken into account. Shorts, shirts, capris, shirts and sports bras are amongst the items available.
The DUFL app has made packing possible by the tap of your finger. Your business clothes are stored in a personal DUFL closet. Ahead of each trip, virtually check out your wardrobe and select which items you’d like to wear. Arrange for your suitcase to be shipped directly to your hotel and picked up when you depart. DUFL will do your laundry and hang everything back up in your closet. The company says this concierge service saves travelers an estimated three to five hours per round-trip. The closet has a monthly fee of $9.95 and standard shipping for domestic trips is $99 per round-trip. International shipping is also available.
DUFL Sports is another segment of their business that allows you to store and ship clunky sporting equipment that takes up a lot of space in your home and can be challenging to fly with. This is available for items such as surfboards, skis, snowboards, scuba gear, bicycles and more.
The service is not just for personal items. Their business sector enables meeting professionals to ship trade show supplies directly to the convention center. The DUFL Locker will store banners, monitors, swag, cables and more. The company will photograph and inventory all of your contents so they are available in the palm of your hand at any time. Shipping is just a few clicks away, and return labels are included.
DUFL’s Door to Door service gives customers the option of keeping their belongings at home, but schedule round-trip pick-up and drop-off so you don’t have to schlep luggage and sports gear. Bags can be picked up at your home, office or hotel, or you can drop them off at FedEx.
Another company, LugLess, provides a similar service. You might recognize these guys from ABC’s Shark Tank. Shipping rate is dependent on distance, weight, size and quantity. Additional add-ons, such as value protection, enhanced tracking and ability to change or refund your reservation cost extra. Users print labels at home and drop luggage off at UPS or FedEx. Home, office and hotel pick-up/drop-off is also an option for an additional fee.