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Packing Tips
Luggage Services

We 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 help either.

Several 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?

Other luggage 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 about.

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 perfect convenience!

Top ten packing tips:

  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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 on?
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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