Rented Fun: Short-Term Summer Fun Options

While you can’t technically rent fun, you certainly can rent a lot of the things you can use to have fun, including stuff that used to be available only to those willing to purchase it.

Of course, rentable summer stuff has been around for a long time. Airbnb, Vrbo and similar companies have allowed us to vacation in comfort without heading to a hotel or resort. And, many of us have become accustomed to renting cars or vans to travel without putting miles on our own vehicles.

But, recent years have put other vacation necessities within reach. For example, companies like CruiseAmerica and RV Rentals USA rent out recreational vehicles of all sizes, and like Outdoorsey, RVshare and their ilk offer Airbnb-like platforms for renting RVs and campers from individuals.

For people who enjoy occasional camping trips but don’t want to invest in expensive equipment, outlets ranging from REI to small, local firms offer rentable necessities including tents, sleeping bags, tools and other accessories. Some outlets offer individual items or complete packages with everything you need for a trip, like Arriveoutdoors.
com’s “Camping Set for Four,” which comes with a four-person tent, cooking equipment and four sleeping bags, sleeping pads and chairs.

Want a little water-based fun? Nearly every marina on a body of water bigger than a puddle will rent boats of various sizes by the day or hour. Sites like even list local private pools you can rent for a few hours.

As everything from kids’ birthday parties to neighborhood cookouts has become more elaborate, people rent more and more elaborate things. For example, National Events Pros offers such oddities as human foosball and a “Black Ops Obstacle Course,” ensuring that the grown-ups have as much fun as the kids at any outdoor gathering.

To line up a rental, schedule as early as possible, and be sure you’re renting from reputable sources. Get terms of the rental in writing before you commit to anything, and be sure you understand how you’ll be supported if something goes wrong. And, perhaps most important, read reviews and comments from other renters before renting. They can be the best way to ensure that what you’re renting is fun in the sun rather than a pain in the neck.

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