01 Mar Packing Light and Traveling with Luggage Free
We have two completely different packing personas—we either pack super light with carry-on luggage only, or we pack everything including the kitchen sink. Our packing strategies really depend on the type of trip we take and what we are doing when we arrive, but either way, I don’t like dealing with large, heavy bags.
On short trips or trips where we are moving from one place to another via public transportation we pack light with backpacks to keep us mobile. But, when we are staying longer in one destination and renting a car, we bring all our camera equipment along, as well. This really makes our load much heavier and more of a hassle to deal with, especially at the airport.
Our recent winter trip to Alaska was one of our heavy packing trips. We were spending a week in chilly Anchorage and renting a car, which meant not only were we planning on bringing all our camera and video equipment, but we also needed to pack our winter gear and warm clothes, as well. As you can imagine, this meant we were going to need to haul large bags to the airport and then to our Airbnb. Not the worst thing in the world, but there is a much more convenient option available: Luggage Free!
When Luggage Free contacted us with an offer to try out their luggage shipping service on one of our next trips, we thought of our upcoming Alaska trip and were immediately intrigued. Luggage Free offers their customers the ability to ship luggage ahead of time to any destination in the world. Using the service removes the hassle of carrying, checking and claiming luggage on your trip.
How it works:
It’s very simple! You schedule your pick up by phone or online and then pack your bags. If you select full service, a representative will pick up your bags and take care of everything for you, such as the paperwork, tagging and wrapping. If you select self service, they create the paperwork and labels and send them to you for you to attach to the luggage yourself prior to them picking up the bags from your door. A representative will schedule a window of time when your luggage will be picked up, but you also have the option to drop off your luggage at FedEx if you would rather. Your luggage is guaranteed to arrive on time and will be dropped off at your lodging prior to or on the day of your arrival. That’s it!
Your luggage will be tracked all the way to your final destination, and you will receive an email when it arrives so you can travel with peace of mind knowing your luggage will be waiting for you. Also, if in some rare instance your baggage doesn’t arrive on time, your shipment is free and you will receive up to $500 per bag for your trouble.
Pricing and shipping options:
You can ship your suitcase, golf clubs, bikes, and skis through the Luggage Free service. Shipment options range from 1 business day to 5 business days, and pickups can be scheduled Monday through Friday. In some areas, Saturday delivery/pickup is available for an extra fee. Depending on your location and shipment speed, prices range from $2.20/lb to $5.80/lb. Golf clubs start at $99, skis start at $79, and bikes start at $175—even though it’s not necessarily cheap, you can save money by not having to rent gear when you arrive.
Shipping rates are calculated from the weight of your luggage, and all shipments are covered up to $1,000 with fair market value. If you want to add extra insurance on to your delivery, you can declare value over $1,000 for a rate of $19.95 per $1,000.
Our Luggage Free experience:
Since we were traveling to Alaska, we had to pick the three-day shipment option. I really liked the fact that it forced me to pack our luggage early. Usually, we pack our bags the night before we leave, but it always turns into a packing frenzy because we have so many other things to take care of and line up before our departure, as well. The scheduling and pickup were both quick and convenient—we just filled out the paperwork and received a pickup time via email. On the day of our luggage pickup, we received a phone call and just handed our bags over to the agent when he arrived.
We sent two bags via Luggage Free—these bags were stuffed with our winter gear and clothing for the trip. As for our camera gear, we decided to take that as our carry-on baggage on the plane. It was nice that we were still able to skip the luggage check in and head straight to security. We had all the benefits of traveling with carry-ons, but none of the hassle of checking our bags. It was great that we didn’t have to wait at the baggage carousel when we landed either.
Since our Airbnb host was out of town, we asked if our bags could be delivered on the day of our arrival—we weren’t sure if there were other guests staying at the apartment before us, so we wanted to make sure our bags weren’t a burden on anyone else. Luggage Free was ok with our request and had a courier drop off our bags within an hour of our arrival; they came wrapped and in great condition. The entire process was smooth and easy and we were updated via email along the way. It was a quick and convenient process and help was just a phone call away the entire time!
When we will use Luggage Free in the future:
Obviously, if you are traveling carry-on only, this service won’t really be a benefit to you. But for those times that you need to pack more, it is a very convenient option. There have been several times where we wanted to ship camera equipment to a destination because we didn’t dare pack it in our checked bags, but organizing the logistics of shipping through FedEx and arranging a pick-up was not convenient at all. I would love to use Luggage Free for shipping our camera gear (with the extra insurance option, of course!) to certain jobs in the future. Having a guarantee and insurance that our shipment will arrive on time would take the stress out of traveling with heavy camera equipment.
I could also see us use the service to send our skis or bikes somewhere. It’s always nice to use your own gear, so having a convenient way to transport sporting equipment is a great option for us. Also, we don’t have kids, but I could definitely see traveling parents benefiting from this service—I can imagine not having to deal with bags when getting your kids to the airport would be a lifesaver!
Overall, we thought Luggage Free was a great, convenient way to take the hassle out of handling bags on a trip. While we usually end up taking the hard/inconvenient way to save a few bucks, I can definitely see us using the service in the future, especially for the reasons I mentioned above. Sometimes it’s just plain nice to travel with extra convenience and luxury, and Luggage Free offers you all that and more!
This post is brought to you in partnership with Luggage Free. As always, all opinions are our own.