Whether you’re going on vacation, business, or to school across the nation, carrying your baggage all the way to the airport check-in desk is unlikely to be one of your trip’s highlights.
One of the reasons why more and more people are shipping their luggage before their trip is because of this. What are some of the advantages of shipping bags, and what should you bear in mind while shipping baggage ahead of time?
What are the Reasons for luggage shipping
One of the most compelling reasons to mail your luggage ahead of time is that it is far more handy than hauling a case around with you. Traveling light offers a number of advantages, and arriving at an airport without bags to check could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
You can avoid:
- The inconvenient nature of airport check-in lines during the holiday season and other periods of high demand.
- The cost of checked luggage on domestic carriers (which is frequently rising).
- The possibility of losing your luggage when travelling. In 2018, US airlines lost, delayed, or damaged 1.8 million luggage, according to the US Department of Transportation.
- After your flight has landed at its destination, the time it takes to pick up your suitcases at baggage claim (no need to struggle getting your suitcases off the moving belt!)
It’s also possible that you’ll pick up the wrong case at the airport, or that someone else will pick up yours. Travelers, eager to get out of the airport, don’t always pay attention to the case they’re claiming as their own.
Then there’s the possibility of tension and strain caused by transferring luggage. Sports equipment (think skis or golf clubs) that is heavy and oddly designed has certainly taken a lot of individuals to chiropractors with torn muscles and sore backs.
Calculating the Cost of Shipping Luggage
One of the most important factors to consider when selecting whether to ship luggage or check it at the airport is the cost. A little research goes a long way in this case.
The majority of domestic airlines in the United States currently charge for checked bags. Heavy or excessive baggage, as well as checking numerous bags, may be subject to additional fees. Check your carrier’s baggage policy online, or call ahead of time to get an estimate on the cost of checking all or part of your bags.
The luggage shipping box
Once you’ve decided to go ahead and ship, you’ll need to find out how. You do, however, have options:
Pack your baggage normally, then store it in an exterior shipping container. To prevent your luggage from sliding around in shipment, fill extra space between the case and the outside box with packing material such as bubble wrap.
Ship your luggage as is, though you may be charged a handling fee if you don’t ship it in a box.
Here are a few more things to think about:
- The UPS Store locations are unable to ship combustible items such as aerosol sprays and cigarette lighters via next day air service due to FAA limitations. If you’re unclear about what you can put in your sent luggage, ask The UPS Store for help.
- Keep a copy of the shipping label both inside the box or in your case and on the outside of the container. Drop off your luggage at a UPS Store location, or have it picked up from your home or workplace.
Luggage delivery to a hotel
What could be more convenient than having your bags waiting for you when you arrive at your hotel? Just make sure to check with the institution ahead of time to confirm their baggage regulations and to inform them of your plans.
- Check the hotel’s particular address and see if there’s somebody you can name as the receiver of your shipment.
- Tell the hotel when the luggage is expected to arrive.
- Keep track of your shipment as it travels.
Shipping luggage overseas
Consider whether you really need to ship bags overseas due to the charges and costs associated with overseas shipments. If you do decide to transport your bags across borders, keep in mind that levies on personal effects may still apply, and there may be limitations on what you can ship.
Shipping luggage home
Consider shipping your luggage home, even if you take it with you on the outward journey. There are a few reasons why this could be beneficial:
- You might have brought home a few extra keepsakes from your trip.
- You can mail less time-sensitive things, such as those you already have on hand. On the way back, it usually doesn’t matter if your luggage arrives a few days later than you.
- Consider raising your Declared Value Coverage for further peace of mind.
Of course, if you’re shipping luggage outbound, why not coordinate the return cargo at the same time? Alternatively, drop your luggage off at a The UPS Store location before your trip home (there are over 5,000 locations nationwide) for the ultimate in travelling light.
Reducing the Load
There’s never been a better time to consider shipping your luggage ahead, with lengthier lineups at the check-in desk and the escalating expense of checked bags.