Traveling light doesn’t mean you have to do without necessities on a vacation. The secret to minimalist travel is checking ahead to see which items your hotel or rental provides. Fill in the blanks with online purchases that can be picked near your destination or delivered to wherever you are staying. If you don’t want to carry your vacation purchases home, ship them or donate them to charity.
Users of Amazon Prime, Amazon’s free two-day and one-day shipping service, can have vacation must-haves sent anywhere from coast to coast in United States. A same-day shipping service from Amazon Prime is available in certain U.S. cities. Amazon Prime members also can try ShopRunner’s unlimited free two-day shipping for a year.
Shoprunner provides free two-day shipping, no minimum order requirement and free returns from more than 100 retailers such as Toys “R” Us, Drugstore.com, PetSmart and Eastern Mountain Sports. The Shoprunner service is available for a membership fee. Membership is free if you are a member of PayPal or Yahoo or have an eligible United States consumer or small-business American Express card. Visitors to a limited number of select cities can use eBay now, the auction site’s local shopping service, or try Google’s same-day shopping and delivery service known as Google.com/express.
Craigslist is a possible source for secondhand beach and camping equipment. If you want more reliability, you can go online to make purchases at Walmart and arrange pickup at a select store and approximate time through the retailer’s free Pick Up Today service.
Hire someone else to do your destination shopping or store pickup by hiring a local errand runner through TaskRabbit. Your TaskRabbit assistant can ship your local purchases home by UPS or take them to a local charity for donation when your vacation comes to an end. Here are some items you can purchase on the go, or bring them for double duty!
Bring an inflatable version or put a large pashmina shawl on double duty.
Travel is the perfect time to explore local drugstores for new toiletries. Pack an empty T.S.A. approved quart-size plastic bag to carry your latest discoveries for the trip home.
More and more hotel chains such as Westin Hotels and Resorts and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts are lending guests gym clothes and running shoes for a small fee.
If your hotel or home rental is one of the few that doesn’t offer a hair dryer, get one from a local drugstore. If you’ve traveled outside the U.S., you won’t need to buy a converter for your new hair dryer to use it where you are.
You’ll need more sunscreen than you can fit into a few three-ounce bottles in your carryon. Buy sunscreen and bug spray when you arrive.
Many summer rental houses come equipped with beach pails and shovels for the kiddies, while mountain cabins offer sleeping bags for campers. If your rental does not, you don’t have to schlep toys on the plane. Try visiting some second hand stores in the area – you may find all kinds of goodies.
You may need an umbrella, and then again rain may never dampen your vacation. Most hotels will loan umbrellas to their guests.
Most vacation rental houses are equipped with towels, but if yours is not, put them on your list of destination purchases. If you don’t want to send them home at the end of your stay, launder and leave them for the next guests or donate them to charity.
You won’t leave home without your smartphones, tablets and chargers, but you can use their apps for many of the gadgets you should leave behind. Who needs to lug around video cameras, GPS devices and flashlights when your phone will do triple duty?