love to pack up to go travelling but you will all
agree that for most of us, it is the most inconvenient
part of travelling. With baggage weight and size limits
aboard airplanes, now, travelling with luggage is
not as easy as we want it to be. Security procedures
and airline crackdowns on luggage allowances do not
companies have developed innovative and excellent
solutions to these problems.
Isn't it just
nice to have someone take care of your luggage for you?
Can you imagine what it
would be like to leave your bags on your front door step
and find them, waiting for you, in your hotel room at the
other end. What a marvelously convenient way to travel!
Besides many airlines now charge extra if your bag weighs
more than 30lbs, and many airlines are cutting back on the
number of bags you can ship for free. And although in the
past you could often 'sneak' an extra or overweight bag
onto the plane by generously tipping a porter or because
a friendly check-in agent gave you 'the benefit of the doubt',
these strategies are now more difficult. More and more,
passengers are finding that they have to pay extra money
to transport their bags. In addition to these new problems,
all the old problems still exist. You can never be exactly
sure where your bag will go, or when you will ever get to
see it again! And there is also the danger of the bag getting
scrunched up in the baggage handling machinery in the airports,
or of being stolen or pilfered. So what are the options?
What is available to the traveller?
services and how they work
As you'd expect,
whereas the airlines seem to do all they can to make travelling
with checked baggage as unpleasant as possible, third party
baggage services do all they possibly can to make the experience
as painless and pleasant as you'd ever hope for.
Most of them have freephone
numbers use it or use their website, to schedule a bag pickup.
You tell them the number and approximate size/weight of
the bags (i.e. are they small, medium, or large suitcases),
when you'd like them collected, and where you want them
delivered. You then choose from fast overnight, regular
overnight, two day or three day service. Pay their fee,
and that's it.
You don't even need
to put a baggage tag on your bag. They take care of all
the paperwork and all the hassle. And you can safely lock
your bag, because it is shipped via an airfreight or air
courier company - there are no security inspections to worry
Pack a day earlier.
To have suitcase taken
the day before travel is a wonderful liberating and relaxing
experience, and an unexpected side-benefit of a luggage
service. For the return service from the hotel back to home,
leave the bag at reception when you check out, and have
it delivered to your home the next morning – another
Top ten packing
- Buy good
quality luggage – it will be cheaper in the long
run. World Traveler has a wide range
of good quality luggage and travel accessories and will
freely ship any orders over a $100 (about £65).
- Having a
packing checklist is ideal but there is always the tendency
of packing more than you really truly need.
Depending on your style of travel and duration of journey,
you can probably make do without many of the creature
comforts of home. The ideal packing list (and packed
suitcase) contains only what you need, and nothing that
you could do without.
- Always keep
ready a packed kit, perhaps one for you and one for other
family members, complete with travel toothbrushes/toiletries,
prescription and ordinary medications for about a week,
travel size dual voltage appliances and other bits and
pieces, so when you prepare for a trip, these items are
already packed and all you need to do is add appropriate
clothing for the number of days you will be gone.
- If you travel
to a one place on a regular basis, become a regular at
one specific hotel and ask them to store a suitcase of
things for you between trips.
- Don't pack
anything in checked luggage that you can't do without
for several days. Any essential medications or documents
should always be kept in your carry-on luggage.
- If travelling
with a partner, divide your stuff between your respective
suitcases, so if one gets lost, you each lose some things
but still have other things.
- Save time
and keep things like dresses, blouses and suits from wrinkling,
put them on a hanger and inside a bag from the dry cleaner.
Knot the bottom of the bag, creating a little air pillow
around the item. Place gently folded in half on
top of the suitcase and of course, take out as soon as
possible when you reach your destination.
- Do not pack
too many things in one bag. The airlines do not charge
you for the number of bags you carry. Pack sensibly and
add another small suitcase where necessary. It is better
to arrive with your clothes and accessories in tact rather
than find yourself with a broken bag or accessories! Worse
– can you imagine the sight of your personal effects
travelling on a conveyor belt while other passengers watch
- Know your
weight allowances. If unsure, check
with the airline or travel agent and weigh your own bags
before leaving home. Airlines have an allowance
per bag, if you're travelling with one bag that is overweight,
split the contents and take two bags. This means
more hassle for the airline, but it keeps you safely clear
of having to pay an excess baggage charge.
- Make your
suitcases visually distinctive by adding something brightly
coloured to them. This not only makes it easier
for you to spot them when they arrive on the conveyor
belt, but it also prevents other people from either accidentally
taking your bag by mistake or deliberately taking your
bag on purpose. If your bag is visually distinctive
and unique, other people won't confuse it with their bag
and thieves won't take it because they are more likely
to be spotted with your bag and can't then claim it was
an innocent mistake.