The weird-but-genius thing my friend does on vacation.

We spent some time with good friends this past week, hanging out in Palm Springs. We lounged by the pool, played with the kids, and mostly just relaxed. It was a great vacation.

While we were there, I shared a moment with one of my friends that I absolutely loved. It was one of those times when you just have to stare and blink for a second before you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

We had been at the resort for a couple of days, so we were in full vacation mode. We were waiting for our meals to arrive at a restaurant, just chatting about nothing too important, when my friend reached into his backpack and pulled out a new-looking book. “I’m looking forward to reading this later,” he told me. “It just arrived yesterday.”

I must have looked a little confused, because he smiled and continued. “Whenever I go on vacation,” he said. “I always get a package delivered at the hotel where I’m staying. It’s a gift to myself. It just makes me feel like the vacation has really started.”

I was slightly awe-struck. What a great idea! “What do you send yourself?” I asked him.

“Books, sunglasses, specialty snacks…” he answered. “Stuff I need but don’t have time to get before I leave. Or stuff I want but haven’t bought for myself yet.”

So brilliant. I can hardly wait to try it!

Have you ever had a package sent to your hotel while on vacation? What did you get?

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Comments

  1. Silly, indulgent waste of money. I would never do this. You need to check our http://www.mrmoneymustache.com

  2. Diapers and Wipes! No need to pack a ton when you can just order from Amazon and have them delivered.

  3. MSPDeltaDude says:

    Careful! Some hotels have STEEP charges for receiving mail……

    • Points Pixie says:

      MSPDeltaDude – Good to know. That would definitely make the experience less fun and probably TOO indulgent.

  4. We ship a flat rate box to almost every hotel we stay in, packing it as full as we can with GF snacks, nut free snacks, coffee, magazines, random comfort items. Due to food allergies, we cannot run down to the Quickie Mart and grab food.

    When we were in Anaheim for a week last month, I had 4 packages from Amazon shipped to hotel. We really wanted to watch a movie, but there was no DVD player in room, so we paid $21 for a cheap DVD player and it was there the next day! The hotel even sent a package back to Amazon that arrived after we left.

    We generally do this 4-6 times a year, and so far haven’t ever been charged to receive a box. We do not stay at high business end hotels, though. Our 5-7 stays that require a box are generally at Residence Inn, or another Marriott property.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Krista – That is a REALLY good idea if you have food allergies. Also I LOVE the DVD player idea!! We’ve been in plenty of hotel rooms where there wasn’t a DVD player and my kids watched movies on a laptop – which works fine, but isn’t as comfortable. I’m definitely going to use your awesome idea next time this happens. Thanks!

    • This would be my only worry with my fairly short hotel stays. I never know exactly when packages are going to arrive. Of course I’m really frugal and always ship the cheapest possible way – pack mule over the mountains. 🙂

  5. Have not but love the idea!

    I once planned a vacation around the release of a Harry Potter book. It was fabulous.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Rebecca – Ha ha! That is funny. Good idea, though – it’s not always easy to carve out a big chunk of reading time all at once.

  6. I want 2 mins of my life back.

  7. All the time, but for different reasons… When you live in a country where everything is twice as expensive as the US, it’s very convenient to just order stuff off Amazon and have it delivered to your hotel. I sometimes have 5 or 6 packages waiting for me to arrive, including books, food, clothes, electronics, luggage, swords…

    I’ve only been charged once, by the way, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. They have this FedEx Kinko’s (IIRC) centre handling their parcels, and charge you if they’re held for over 5 days.

  8. When my kids were babies, 20 years ago, I always shipped everything to the hotel in big cardboard boxes. You cannot imagine how much easier it was to travel with an umbrella stroller and diaper bag, checked the car seats if they didn’t have seats, versus juggling babies, all the luggage, etc., when we landed. Shipped it all home too when the vacation was over. @Mike, get over yourself. You might learn something.

  9. Love having things delivered to the hotel. Once in London, I forgot the camera batter charger, Amazon UK to the rescue!

    • Points Pixie says:

      Allison – I am having a series of “doh!’ moments. I have forgotten my charger several times but didn’t think of this.

  10. JustSaying says:

    Isn’t that like paging yourself to get out of a meeting?

  11. Convention hotels are the ones that charge, for the most part.

    Bottled water, snacks, sunscreen, and so on. Things that are hard to pack. Amazon Prime or free s/h from other places. You can also mail from home before you leave, label box with check in date and make sure the name matches the 1st name on your resservation. You can also include your confirmation number.

    If there is a grocery delivery service in the place you are going to this is another option.

  12. Things I don’t want to pack but that I’ll need as soon as I get someplace, mostly liquids since I usually travel with just a carry-on. If I’m away more than a few weeks I’ll order shampoo, contact lens solution and toothpaste through the UR portal from anywhere with free shipping.

  13. Not for myself, but my wife travels a great deal for work. Often I will order her something to have arrive during her stay or to be there upon her arrival. She always seems to appreciate it. Not sure about others, but Westin and St. Regis have always been very accommodating and never charged a fee.

  14. Truly don’t mean to sound harsh, and really do enjoy your blog, but your need to receive junk in the mail you don’t really need (all those mystery boxes, etc.) totally escapes me. I collect points and miles to save money, and all those savings seem eaten up by your never-ending collection of things I can’t believe are really necessary. Just IMHO.

    • Points Pixie says:

      Lynn – Hmm. Thanks? I do love PopSugar boxes (I think those are the mystery boxes you are referring to), as well as Birch Box (beauty samples), but aside from that I’m not really sure what you are talking about. I post about deals that people could get if they are interested, plus sales that people could shop if they wanted to save money, but that doesn’t mean I’m running out to snap everything up myself. 😉

  15. Not exactly the same concept, but on a recent trip to Italy I traveled around Tuscany (by car) touring wineries and visiting wine shops. I picked up wine a bottle or two at a time and then shipped it to my final hotel destination (the Sheraton at Brussels airport) before I gave up the rental car. I also bought a case of wine in Montepulciano where they offered free shipping anywhere on the continent. Then a week later, I arrived at the hotel, picked up my boxes and the next morning I could then walk to the terminal and ship my wine home. Best of all, by using special wine shipping boxes, nothing broke! I did send a friendly email to the hotel advising my boxes would be coming (I just addressed the box to myself, care of hotel, and noted my arrival dates). They were extremely gracious and there was no charge.

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