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Ready to stock up on travel gear? This weekend, outdoor superstore REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is celebrating its 81st anniversary with its biggest sale of the year.
Through May 27, shoppers can score discounts up to 30% off of all products, from tents and hiking boots to fitness watches and clothing. REI Adventures is also offering deals on classes and excursions, such as “Gourmet Camp Cooking Workshop” and “New Zealand Biking Trails of the South Island” when you book by May 27.
You definitely don’t have to be an avid outdoor enthusiast to enjoy the discounts, either. REI carries a vast selection of travel-specific items like packable blankets, travel backpacks and duffle bags. They also carry plenty of versatile clothing, footwear and accessories.
But before you swipe your card, be sure to join their membership program, which offers an annual dividend, member-only deals, events and in-store “garage sales” where you can score over 50% off gently-used gear. And speaking of cards, make sure to use one with price protection, like an IHG co-branded Chase credit card such as the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card or a Citi-issued card with Price Rewind.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that the card you use includes extended warranty protection if you’re purchasing something that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. TPG nomad Katie Genter has filed multiple successful extended warranty claims with Chase on pricey Icebreaker merino wool shirts that have developed stitching or fabric issues just outside their one-year warranty.
And the sales aren’t the only reasons we love REI. Here are a few other reasons to stock up on travel gear at REI this weekend.
The One-Year No-Questions Guarantee
With the exception of outdoor electronics, REI will take back almost any item that was purchased within the last year, no questions asked. Outdoor electronics (think: activity monitors, bike trainers, cameras) can be returned within 90 days. These slightly used returned items are significantly discounted and sold at annual garage sales, which are open to members only.
Incredible Perks for Members
For a one-time fee of $20, shoppers can sign up for a lifetime membership to REI. In addition to an automatic 10% discount on everything in the store (paid back in an annual dividend), REI often hosts members-only sales with discounts often exceeding 50%, making it a lucrative loyalty program we can get behind.
A membership also gets you access to a multitude of events, classes and gear rentals. Members also have the ability to vote for the company’s board of directors each year, allowing customers to have a voice in REI’s direction.
Travel Itineraries and Outdoor Courses
Going on your first hiking, camping, paddling or outdoor adventure-oriented trip can be intimidating. But REI offers a variety of classes including bicycle repair, wilderness first aid, climbing and map and compass navigation, which can help novice explorers step outside their comfort zone.
REI even offers 150 different guided itineraries on every continent through “REI Adventures.” These itineraries cater to a variety of demographics, like their recently-launched “Under 35” travel collection, designed specifically for 18 to 35-year-olds.
With additional reporting by Katie Genter.
Featured photo by Christopher Bellamy / Getty Images.
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