Call it a travel hack, if you like – but it really can work out to be simpler, cheaper and more convenient to send your luggage directly from your home to your hotel with a luggage shipping service than by any other means.
There are a number of obvious benefits to using a luggage shipping service, like AiroLuggage, to send your bags onwards to your destination before you fly. No queuing at check-in, and no praying at baggage carousels for your suitcases to finally show up. No juggling leaning towers of luggage through crowded airport foyers like a frantic octopus with a plane to catch.
By sending your luggage on ahead, you have peace of mind that your bags will be waiting at the hotel for you to arrive. This allows you the chance to relax and enjoy the journey. Additionally, sending your suitcases on ahead can often be cheaper than any of the available alternatives.
Let’s explore how you can take advantage of the low costs and high-quality services that luggage shipping companies are offering, and how you can send your suitcases on the cheap.
First of all, here’s our step-by-step guide on how to use a luggage shipping service:
1 – Choose a Luggage Shipping Company
There are many luggage shipping companies out there to choose from, but make sure you choose carefully. Not all of them will be able to provide the level of service that you need.
For example, not every company has the ability to ship suitcases across international borders. However, a luggage shipping company such as AiroLuggage has the technology and global connections necessary to send your bags, boxes, musical instruments, bicycles, golf clubs, etc, to anywhere in the world.
AiroLuggage also offers many distinct features for its customers that set it apart from its competitors. If you choose to use our Luxury service, there is even the possibility of having your luggage arrive at your destination as soon as the very next day.
£100 luggage protection insurance is offered as standard on every suitcase that AiroLuggage ships. We also provide our customers with a live tracker for you to follow your luggage’s progress on its journey from your front door to your destination.
Complete the booking form on our home page to get a quick quote on how much your bags will cost to ship.
2 – Contact Your Hotel
Most hotels will be able to receive your luggage and store it for you until you arrive. Many will do so for free, or for a small additional fee. It’s best to call ahead and confirm these details with them in advance.
Make the hotel aware that you will be sending your suitcase to them via a luggage shipping company. This allows them to make the necessary preparations for you. Have the hotel confirm their postal address and phone number to you, and use these details to complete our Airoluggage booking form.
You can decide between choosing a Luxury or Classic delivery service while filling out our booking form. Luxury delivery is an express service and will reach your hotel within 1 – 3 days. Classic delivery offers increased value for money, and will arrive at the hotel within 2 to 5 days.
3 – Print and Attach Your Shipping Labels
Shipping labels let our drivers identify where your luggage is being delivered to. Every label contains a live tracker. This tracker updates throughout your suitcase’s journey.
Your personalised shipping label will be sent to you via email – all you have to do is print them out. It’s important that you securely attach the labels to your luggage. We will send you a plastic wallet and cable ties to help you do this.
If you require any further assistance, our AiroLuggage team will be on call to assist you 24 hours a day. You can write to us via our webchat or give us a call on 0333 344 6692.
4 – We Will Collect Your Luggage
On a day of your choice, AiroLuggage can guarantee you a convenient collection time between 12pm and 4:30pm.
Once our driver has collected your luggage, you can access the live tracker through our website. This allows you to follow your suitcase’s progress as it makes its way to its destination. Using the tracker you will be able to view confirmation that your bags have arrived safely.
5 – Enjoy the Journey
Travelling without luggage is a more laidback experience.
Having shipped your suitcases, you can now travel in comfort and freedom, safe in the knowledge that your luggage is already at the hotel waiting for you.
There will be no check-in queues, or long waits at baggage carousels during your trip. There will be no punitive airline fees charged for overweight bags. These are some of the biggest stress factors that travellers dread having to deal with – and AiroLuggage users have the opportunity to skip them entirely.
Why Are Luggage Shipping Services Cheaper than the Alternatives?
One of those benefits of luggage shipping we’ve not explored in detail is affordability. Shipping your suitcases before you travel can actually save you a considerable amount of money.
That may seem counter-intuitive. How can shipping your suitcases with a door to door delivery service end up being more affordable than, for example, carrying your own bags through customs?
There are a number of quirky reasons for this. Let’s look at the alternatives to luggage shipping, and why they have become so much more expensive.
To avoid these charges, you have to travel light. Really light. Most airlines will allow you a 10kg carry-on bag without additional charge. This amounts to the size of a small backpack (typically defined as having 55cm x 40cm x 20cm dimensions). See our Ryanair Baggage page.
You will be subjected to on-the-spot penalties should your carry-on bag exceed the permitted 10kg weight, or is even slightly larger than the strict dimensions allows.
This can leave you at the mercy of whatever additional costs the airlines demand of you. You really do have little option but to pay them. Or else, you will have to lose the extra weight by discarding items right there at the check-in desk.
Of course, this is not ideal. These would be items that you once felt important enough to pack in the first place.
It was an airline industry standard, once upon a time, that every passenger could check-in two suitcases into the hold of the aeroplane for free. Today, however, the additional cost of checking your luggage in to the plane’s hold can end up costing much more than your seat on the plane.
The dimensions of your suitcase must fall within strict parameters that can vary massively depending on the airline you are flying with, and can result in you being charged additional fees between £10 and £450. As with carry-on luggage, you really have no option but to pay these fees. Or else, have to discard items that you previously felt were essential enough to pack in the first place.
Airlines lose 25 million suitcases each year, and a recent survey of 1,700 British travellers reported the moment at the end of the journey, of waiting for their luggage to show up on the baggage carousel, to be the most stressful aspect of travelling by air.
Even if the luggage you paid so much for to check in does arrive, there is no guarantee that it will have been well-treated, particularly if your suitcase is one of the last to be packed onboard. When calculating the total cost of checking-in your luggage, include the additional cost of taking out travel insurance to cover the potential damage.
Sending Luggage via a Courier Service
You can decide to ship your luggage by going directly to a courier company. Some brand names that you may have heard of include FedEx, and Parcel Force.
AiroLuggage works closely with many of these companies. However, approaching a private courier to ship your suitcases is a wrong move for many travellers.
As with luggage shipping companies, private couriers will also offer you a door to door delivery. However, private couriers don’t specialise in sending luggage, and the fees they will charge you to carry out this service could be at more expensive rates than luggage shipping companies ask for.
Items sent via courier typically clear customs as commercial goods. Therefore additional charges are incurred when shipping across international borders. Items sent via AiroLuggage are allowed to clear customs as personal items. This allows us to offer a specialised luggage delivery service at a lower cost than private couriers can match.