In these stressful times, the idea of jumping on a plane and escaping from everything with a short holiday sounds more ideal than ever. Modern stress could be the reason why short trips have become so popular, with many holiday makers taking several, shorter weekend trips, opposed to the traditional long anual holiday planned way in advance.
Startups have done well to encourage this trend with companies such as AirBnB providing afforadable properties in all corners of the world. In addition to this, other startups are working hard to get us to these obscure corners as cost effectively as possible. Hopper, one of the fastest-growing travel apps, uses AI to provide recommendations for when to book flights, making travel more affordable for those who aren’t able or willing to hire a travel agent.
However, accommodation and flights aside, there are still many unexpected pricing hicups which can turn a short weekend get away into a financial nightmare. For example, even though aforadable travel providers such as Flybe and JetBlue have announced the introduction of cheaper routes between popular cities and skiing destinations, there is still the issue of lugage. For skiing trips this can be one of the most expesive aspects.
In light of this, skiiing fanatics have three options – Suck it up and pay the expensive lugage costs, become a minimalist packer, or rent out what you need at an affordable price. The last two are not mutually exclusive, in fact, thanks to the innovate startup Kit Lender, you can now arrive in any state with almost no ski equipment and still have a great time.
Kit Lender was created by Forrest Shinners, who first came up with the idea after he lent ski items to close friends. “I grew up skiing and snowboarding my whole life and when I moved to NYC after school I found fewer people were going on ski trips, and if they did it was only once a year or less,” says Shinners in a recent interview with StartupBeat. “One of the main problems people faced was the increasing cost of the trips (lift tickets are $150+/day, Lodging is very expensive, and of course the gear – it is costly to buy, it’s a pain to store and carry, and if you borrow it from someone it might not fit well or not be your style).”
He adds: “I would take friends to my hometown in Stowe and tell them to just fly up with a pair of jeans and some apres clothes and they could get everything else from me in Stowe; rental ski equipment from my parents ski store and they could borrow ski clothes from me. Because my parents have a ski shop our closets are filled with high-quality ski clothing of all shapes and styles.”
“I had a girl tell me: “wow, this is like RENT THE RUNWAY for ski clothing”. That’s when I had the light bulb moment and looked to see if ski clothing rental in this model existed and could help others have this white glove rental ski gear experience. Well, it didn’t! So I self-funded the business with my father and the rest is history.”
Escaping the daily grind with a weekend getaway has become more affordable and arguably more necessary than ever before. Thanks to startups such as Hopper and Kit Lender, our ability to take a weekend break is becoming increasingly more affordable, regardless of whether we wanto to glide down a snowy mountain or kick back on a sunny beach.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company