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Can I send luggage to hotels before I go?

Can I send luggage to hotels before I go?

Old Nov 16th, 2009, 01:20 AM
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Can I send luggage to hotels before I go?

Hello all,

Since we plan to go on a long trip in Feb and possibly pack up pretty much stuff, we're wondering if, after each destination, it's possible to send our luggage to hotels in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia before checking in? Has any of you here done this?

Thank you
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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Let me give you a clue.

Taj.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 10:22 AM
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A better clue (no Taj in SEA) - laundry.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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I think you need to ask the actual hotels this question. Then you need to decide if you trust that the stuff will actually arrive on time. Vietnam has been known too charge pretty hefty import fees, so that might be an issue in all three countries.

I can see shipping big purchases home, but how long is this trip that you can't carry your clothing with you?
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 11:12 AM
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No matter how long your trip is you do not need that much stuff!! Your trip will be much less stressful if you take less with you to somehow schlep around.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 07:09 PM
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Thanks for your replies.

We're going in Feb for 2 months, hopefully it's long enough for the 3 countries. As we're in our fifties and the wife doesn't seem to stop worrying about the weather in each country.

We plan to visit Vietnam first and from what I've known, it's normally cold there in Feb but gets hot and dry as we move to Laos and Cambodia. That's partially why we plan to pack much stuff.

I didn't intend to send the stuff when we're still home. Rather, I just think it'd be far convenient if we send it to Laos from Vietnam when we finish touring the country and, similarly, from Laos to Cambodia.

Your opinions would be highly appreciated.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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I wouldn't do it, unless I had someone carrying it for me....
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 07:15 PM
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I don't think it will be possible due to the custom laws of each country. You will need someone at the country of the package destination to clear customs for you and I doubt if your hotels or travel agent will be willing to do that. February - April will be hot, hot, hot!
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 07:23 PM
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Just pack lighter. Laundry is cheap, cheap, cheap in most places you're going. Use it. That's what it's there for. Trust me, you'll be glad you did--instead of lugging 4 suitcases around.

I know it seems like you're gone for a long time, but really, you could get along just fine with one bag per person and utilizing the laundry services at each of your destinations.
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Old Nov 16th, 2009, 09:54 PM
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when you book the hotel you can ask the waiter whether the support this service.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 01:20 AM
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Here are my thoughts/suggestions:

1. “Cold” in Vietnam is a relative term. Look at weatherbase.com and other sites to see the temperatures. Temps generally are in the 60s F to mid 50s F, and in some cases more like the 70s F. Sapa and similar highland areas would be the one exception, as these areas can get close to freezing. But even for Sapa, you would not need a heavy winter coat, snow boots, thick wool sweaters, etc. You would want a jacket in wool or leather, and some sweaters as well as tops to layer under these. A wool shawl is very helpful. (Gloves probably would be nice to have for Sapa, but they don’t take up room, same with a hat, same with warm socks.) But you generally won’t need or want heavy or bulky winter clothing, so you may not need that much extra room in suitcase for these items. You may find the jacket useful for flights or heavily air conditioned restaurants in Cambodia/Laos, so you may in fact want to keep the clothes with you for the entire trip.

2. I think you would find it much cheaper to mail the winter clothing home from Vietnam, rather than messing with shipping options to Laos or Cambodia (see below). You can ship surface mail from Vietnam, which is cheap but slow (but you don’t care how long it takes to arrive in any event). Used personal clothing is not subject to US customs duty, so you won’t have to worry about paying tax on it, and you can then save room in your suitcases for souvenirs which are dutiable. For information on shipping via the Vietnamese mail, see http://www.vnpt.com.vn/, click on English on the top right. I believe you can insure the package.

3. You could also send the package via mail to “Post Restante” in Laos and Cambodia. The package would go to the main or general post office in the town you name, i.e. “Post Restante, GPO Phnom Penh, Cambodia”. You would then show your passport at the main post office to collect the package. Sometimes there is a small fee for the service. As noted above, you may have to pay duty on it; generally, however used personal effects are not dutiable. (In the olden days before e-mail and mobile phones, Post Restante was the way one kept in touch with people traveling outside the US with no fixed address. You may be old enough to remember those days.) I don’t know much about the relaiblity of the Laotian or Cambodian mail service and personally don’t know that I would mail a package using it.

4. You can ship by mail or DHL or Fed Ex to a hotel in another country; however you first have to have the correct hotel address and the assurance that it will be accepted on the other end. It also may not be cheap. If duty is due, the hotel may just refuse to accept the delivery unless you have worked out an agreement with them before hand to reimburse them for this.

5. You could also ship via a commercial air freight company from the Vietnamese airport to the airport in Cambodia, and go collect it yourself and pay any duty at that time. You can find commercial air shippers in yellow pages and on the internet, or your hotel in Vietnam may have a suggestion. I personally think both this and the DHL/Fed Ex options are a lot of time and trouble to go to, not to mention expense.

6. I think other than mailing winter clothes back to the US, the easiest thing to do is just carry and many suitcases as you need, as long as you don’t mind paying excess baggage if you exceed your allowance. On flights to and from the US, even in economy you are generally allowed 2 checked bags of something like to 50 pounds each, which is a LOT of clothing. (And use the largest suitcases in terms of linear size which you can legally check; these are huge almost to the point of unwieldiness, but do hold a ton of stuff.) On the intra-Asia flights, you would have to confirm your baggage limits, but it may not be expensive to just pay excess baggage for those short flights. (If you go business class for those flights, your allowance will probably be higher, and sometimes you can talk your way into not being charged excess baggage.) There are free luggage carts at all airports and also porters should you want or need them, so having a lot of bags when arriving or departing an Asian airport is never an issue IMO.

7. There are organizations which will ship luggage for you. An outfit called FirstLuggage apparently has a tie-up with FedEx and will ship luggage, take a look at http://www.firstluggage.com/. I know nothing of their reliability and whether they operate in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 03:08 PM
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I have not used it and it is not cheap but look at www.personalporter.com.au which offers a pickup and delivery service internationally . If you do not mind the expense then this service will do what you want to achieve .
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Old Nov 17th, 2009, 08:59 PM
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Thanks all for your useful advice. Will tell the wife to look at this forum! Laundry service seems far more convenient.

Thanks again
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 04:05 PM
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travelblogger, on trips of up to 7 weeks we've never exceeded 20 kg of checked baggage each except when returning from the US, when we had about 45 kg between us - and we're not fanatical light-packers by any means. 20 kg is, in any event, as heavy a bag as I feel like lugging around.

What are you planning to pack to create such a nuisance? In SE Asia you only need a few changes of smart casual (plus a bit of dumb casual) clothing. I'd be inclined to spend the money on buying some light, washable, non-iron shirts and pants of the type sold by camping/outdoors stores before you travel. As mentioned, laundry services are inexpensive and small items are easily washed in a hotel bathroom and left to dry overnight.

If you're thinking of making some heavy or bulky purchases en route, I'd look at having them shipped home rather than lugging them around.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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I agree with Neil Oz. 20 kg is 44 pounds. That's a lot of stuff, and still under the limit you are generally allowed on international flights to and from the US.
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Old Nov 18th, 2009, 07:05 PM
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Thanks Neil Oz and Cicerone! Will do just that.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 09:58 AM
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Don't worry about taking 4 suitcases to Asia-we do it every time we go and its not a big deal- labor is cheap in Asia so you can always get people to help you get the bags to the car, from the car , etc. In fact when we go on our 2 week trip to Asia we take 4 good size suitcases and 2 carryons plus a full size pillow and we do just fine. You get luggage carts, cabs, porters etc so its not you schlepping it around.
Now i agree with those here- use laundry services where you can. You can also buy some clothes while traveling as they are cheap as well. You can tell we are not of the Rick Steves school of travel (one carry on- pul lease!)
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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BillT, what on earth do you pack to fill all those bags? I'm genuinely curious.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 05:45 PM
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Honestly you it will be much easier if you pack lightly. We have travelled for a few months in SEA including the stuff for a 3 week trek in Nepal & did fine with one bag each. Have a fantastic trip.J
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 06:00 PM
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BillT, thanks for sharing your experience. Glad to hear you had no difficulty managing your stuff. We did intend to pack that much but have just decided to take 2 big suitcases only
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