When you’re staying at a hotel, it’s easy to have them hold your luggage before or after your stay in case you want to explore a location without lugging around your bags. However, what do you do if you stay at an Airbnb, or are just enjoying a long layover or stopover? In this video/post, we review where to store luggage when traveling.
Why storing luggage might be an issue
Storing your luggage used to be a straightforward process when hotels were the only option for lodging. Also, before 9/11, it was common to find baggage lockers at airports. Though things have changed. Most airports don’t have lockers due to security concerns. With lodging options like Airbnb, it makes it harder to find places to hold your bag while you’re traveling. Luckily, there are several services available to hold your luggage while you explore your destination.
Can I just ask a hotel to hold my luggage?
I know some savvy travelers will recommend asking any hotel to store your luggage, even if you’re not a guest of that hotel. That may work, but I wouldn’t want to deal with the complications if something happened to your bag. You’d likely have limited recourse in the event of theft or damage.
Luggage storing services
Below are five services that can temporarily store your luggage. For the sake of comparison, I’ll compare whether each of these services is available in four major and popular destinations: Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, and Paris.
Bounce is available as both a smartphone app and website. Bounce charges $6 per day to store your bag. They claim to have partnered with businesses in several cities. Bounce provides $5,000 insurance coverage for your bag and bookings and payments are made completely online via the app/website.
While Bounce lists Los Angeles as one of its top destinations, I noticed that there were only two locations listed. However, New York seemed to have a lot more locations. Tokyo and Paris also had no locations. Bounce provides details on their storage locations and also provides discounts for these establishments. However, I couldn’t find any locations with special discount offers.
2. Luggage Hero:
This service is only available on the web and does not have an app. Also, the service is limited to specific cities, with strong representation in many popular European and American cities. Luggage Hero has partnered with hotels, cafes, and local stores to provide a safe and secure place to store your bags. The big difference with Luggage Hero is that you’re charged by the hour versus a flat daily fee. For example, in New York, you’re charged about $1 per hour plus a $2 handling fee. $8 is the maximum daily rate that you’ll get charged for your luggage storage.
When you drop off your bag, you’ll initiate a timer on your account. The timer stops as soon as you pick up your bag. This determines how much you owe.
Luggage Hero places a seal on your bag zippers and provides $3,000 of insurance coverage. They offer 24/7 customer service through a chat line. However, they only provide details on locations after your booking is complete.
When I checked the four cities for availability, Los Angeles and Tokyo had no locations listed. Though New York and Paris had numerous locations available.
Stasher is another similar service. They seem to have a comprehensive network of locations including popular tourist destinations like Sydney and Bangkok. The service costs $6 per day and bags are insured up to £1,000 (about $1250). Stasher says that they have partnered with shops and hotels around the world to securelty store your bag.
It’s worth noting that Stasher has some significant endorsements and partnerships listed on their website. While it doesn’t mean that the service is necessarily better than the others, it does provide additional credibility to the company.
Not surprisingly, when I checked Stasher availability in our four test cities, all had locations available. Though Los Angeles and Tokyo had fewer locations available when compared to Paris and New York. Stasher also provides details on the locations, like the name, hours, and a picture. The exact address is provided upon booking, but you can often look up the address with just the establishment name.
Since I’m familiar with LA, I was curious at the type of locations available. It was a mix of established and potentially sketchy places. Though you can see the reviews for locations to help you decide which one might work best for you.
Bagbnb is a web-based service that partners with local businesses to store your luggage. The rate is $6 per day and you can pay through the website with either a credit card or PayPal.
Bagbnb doesn’t show you the exact location of their hosts (or “angels” as they call them). You get the details after completing the booking. Though many reviews mention the type of establishment. For example, one of the reviews in Los Angeles mentioned that the location was a talent agency.
When I checked the four cities, each had strong representation. Bagbnb offers 24/7 customer service via chat and email. However, they did have the lowest insurance coverage at €500 (about $560). That might not be an issue, but it was the lowest of all the services.
Nannybag’s website and app claim to have the largest network of storage locations. The website says that they have 2,000 places in more than 250 cities. However, when checking each of the cities in our test, all had locations except for Tokyo.
Nannybag charges $6 per bag for 24 hours of storage and $4 for every additional 24 hours. They include insurance coverage through AXA, which is a major insurance carrier. The coverage is for €1500 (about $1700).
Nannybag does not show the exact address or location name, but provides the hours and services available at each location, along with the reviews. This includes details like free wifi, restrooms, and security seals, which could be useful in determining the right spot.
There are several options available when it comes to temporary luggage storage. The service that is going to be most useful to you will likely depend on the location you’re visiting. Looking at the summarized results, Luggage Hero and NannyBag offer the most competitive rates. Bounce offers the best insurance coverage. In terms of location details, both Bounce and Stasher provide the most information prior to booking.
In terms of locations, Bagbnb had the most locations in Los Angeles, Paris, and Tokyo. However, LuggageHero had significantly more locations in New York than any of the other services.
Which luggage service should you use?
It’s worth checking all of them if you’re planning to book luggage storage while traveling. All these services do not have any restrictions on the size or weight of your luggage. This makes them a great option for holding your luggage while exploring a location. If I had to choose one, I probably would start with Stasher, mostly because they provide location details and have a fairly wide range of locations around the world. LuggageHero also seems like a good pick since they have an hourly rate and provide a security seal on all stored bags. Though I wish they provided more upfront information on their storage locations. It reminds me of Hotwire, where you can find a great deal but you won’t know the details until the booking is complete.
Tips and considerations when using a luggage storage service
1. Lock your own bag:
Despite keeping your bags in a secure location, it pays to lock your bag separately. I recommend using non-TSA locks on your luggage for this purpose or packing a portable safe. This can also help you to secure items when staying at an Airbnb or hotel. Just remember to remove it if you’re checking in your bag since it will get cut by baggage inspectors in the US.
2. Don’t leave valuables inside your bag:
Most of these services advise against leaving your passport or other important valuables in your stored bag. It might seem like a pain to carry your laptop or tablet while exploring a city, but it’s not worth leaving them behind and dealing with a potential theft.
3. Beware of location hours:
If you plan to drop off or pick-up your luggage outside of normal business hours, you may want to confirm that your location will be open. Some locations are available 24 hours a day. This is important to consider if you need a late-night or early morning luggage drop-off/pick-up.
4. Understand the conditions at your destination:
This one occurred to me when I was looking at the locations in Los Angeles. While these locations are safe during the day, some might be risky during the late night or early morning hours. It pays to research the conditions and warnings of your destination. You don’t want to end up traveling into an area where you might be at a higher risk of crime, especially when you’re carrying all your luggage.
While getting exact crime statistics can be tough, you can generally find safety information online. Sites like SafeAround can provide information on areas to avoid during the day and night, as well as specific warning and dangers for cities around the world.
Have you used a luggage storage service? Do you have any other tips for storing your luggage while traveling?