With apologies to ice cream trucks and darkened movie theaters, a swimming pool is the most effective antidote to blazing summer temperatures.
Fortunately, there's an easy and reasonably affordable way to take a refreshing, chlorinated dip during your next warm-weather vacation (or staycation), even if you've booked lodgings that lack a pool on the premises.
An online marketplace called Swimply lets users rent private swimming pools by the hour.
Pool owners list their backyard oases on the Swimply website and mobile app, which water seekers can search by date, location, and desired rental duration to find options nearby. You're likely familiar with the concept from vacation rental sites like Airbnb.
Swimply debuted in select U.S. cities in 2018, but the company expanded to 25 more locations earlier this month, bringing the nationwide total to 125 cities with pools available for rent.
Hourly rates in the $50–$75 range are the norm, with cheaper and more expensive prices available based on the level of luxeness.
Those numbers are pretty good—and even better when you divide the cost among members of a group. (You could also buy day passes to lounge poolside at a resort, but those will be priced per person and the experience won't be private.)
The maximum number of guests allowed at each pool is included in the property's Swimply listing. That's also where you'll find details about whether an onsite restroom is available and learn about amenities such as hot tubs, fire pits, lounge chairs, and Wi-Fi access.
Hosts can set rules, too, governing matters like pets, kids, noise, and cleanup.
Taking a quick lap around the site, we found a sun-drenched spot for a soak in Houston for $30 per hour, a spacious, flower-flanked offering near Boston for $75 on weekends (for up to 10 people), and something that looks like it came from a David Hockney painting in Los Angeles, also for $75 on weekends ($60 on weekdays).
To reserve a pool, you'll need to enter the date, time frame, number of guests, and reason for booking (options from the dropdown menu include "Family Swim," "Social Swim," "Pet Swim," "Photo/Video Shoot," and others).
If you encounter a pool with a stopwatch icon in the listings, that means the place is available right now.
Dive in at Swimply.com.