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Can I send luggage to hotels before I go?

Can I send luggage to hotels before I go?

Old Nov 19th, 2009, 06:03 PM
  #21  
 
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I never pack lightly, and live in Asia and I can tell you it is just as easy to pack heavily. It makes no difference. It is perhaps a hassle for the 5 minutes lugging them off the luggage belt onto the luggage cart, but after that it really is nothing at all. It's not like you are renting a car and have to deal with getting a lot of bags to the Avis lot via the shuttle bus from the terminal or anything. You will take a luggage cart to a taxi or hotel car. If you were taking a bus from the airport into town, I think that would be an issue with a lot of bags, but this is not the Lonelyplanet website, let's face it; most people here are not going to be doing that. You are going places where there aren't even going to be hotel shuttle buses offered. It's a taxi, hotel car or a public bus. (No train service yet to any airport on your itin to the best of my knowledge.)

The in-country travel is done by road or air, so again not a hassle with several bags. (Again, I doubt the posters here are taking public buses for in-country travel, but if so, they do have luggage facilities which for longer journeys is not a hassle, IMO.) Other than Vietnam, there is only limited train service in the countires on the OPs itin,and my guess is that the OP does not have plans for train travel; but if the OP is consdering a lot of train travel then the number of bags might be an issue. In that case, I would suggest he do what I did when I lived in Europe: duffle bags, thrown off and onto the train, quite literally. Then hand carry a small bag/suitcase with any breakable items.
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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"I doubt the posters here are taking public buses for in-country travel" - I certainly have. In fact, I recommend taking the bus from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap so you can see the countryside. And I've taken the "Open Tour" bus in Vietnam, although I prefer the train there. I won't travel with more than I can carry, and I can't carry that much.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 12:42 AM
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I think my clue was a little abstract. Actually, I was obliquely referring to the Taj Mumbai, 26/11 and the threat of 5 star terrorism. I can't really imagine too many up-scale hotels accepting luggage in advance from total strangers for that reason alone. Maybe I'm wrong.

No matter - hopefully by now the OP has battered his anxious wife into sensibility and her concerns have disappeared. Really, this is a non-issue, based on pre-trip jitters, rather than accurate information. Mrs. Blog wouldn't be Robinson Crusoe, though, in having a few of those. I hope these comments have eased her mind.

But it's been an interesting post, just the same.

I too can only wonder at just what BillT needs to load in his 4 good size suitcases and two carry-on bags for TWO weeks... 'puh-lease' indeed. The implication seems to be that everybody who travels with less is some sort of cretinous backpacker. Strangely, I jumped to some completely different conclusions.

So 'fess up Bill - just WHAT is in there?
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 04:59 AM
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Ok for all of you that are curious about why we take 4 suitcases- well I have a wife now that accounts for at least 2 full suitcases when you include all of her "stuff"! Most women I know (no not the lonely planet backpacker type please!) like to take a lot of clothes- and what woman takes only one pair of shoes and one purse- come on get real!
Now I take one full suitcase for my needs and then of course we need plenty of room for all the stuff we buy cuz we like to shop till we drop when we go to Asia as everything is such a bargain. We also take hershey bars/butterfingers/nestles crunch bars along to give out to the hotel and restaurant staff, front door staff, etc- they really appreciate getting these treats every day. Ok now don't go ballistic on me but we also pack a 12 pack of Coke Zero to take on our trips- yes you heard right - a 12 pack of coke. Why??? Because 1) we have the room going over and 2) we find it easier to do this rather than trying to find it at the hotel and paying a high price for it. Its just convenient to have in the room and we need it everyday.
There you see it makes all the sense in the world right!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 05:07 AM
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lol lol lol - I'm reeling.

You have truly made my day.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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As we have one full size empty going over we store one of our carryons in that suitcase- this gives us the maximum luggage allowance coming back, and as I said we like to shop in Asia so we need all the room we can muster without incurring fees.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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BillT - that's ironic, right? (Although I did run into one anxious American on the Trans-Mongolian with a suitcase full of American snacks - which he was trying to get rid of.)
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 06:38 AM
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When we travel to Europe we do bring a lot more snacks - for us- as we sometimes have a yearning for them while there. We don't bring as much luggage to Europe as the shopping there is not the bargain as it is in Asia and you don't the same level of service so you do wind up schlepping your bags more over there.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 06:50 AM
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True story- on one of Europe trips we were cruising up the Rhine- all day from Mainz to Cologne. We had our snacks in our carry bag- you know cheese peanut butter crackers, corn nuts etc. It was about mid day and this group of Japanese tourists get on board the boat and sit at our table. This was a large family- parents in front of us and the kids in the table behind us. They looked at the menu (we had lunch already on board and it was very good) but did not understand German so they did not order. They looked hungry so my wife told me to get out a few of our snacks and we gave it to them indicating that maybe they should pass it back to their kids. Well the snacks never made it back to the kids the parents ate all of them and were very thankful. So the woman dips into her purse and brings out a silk scarf and gives it to my wife! Now I’m thinking if I give the husband a few more snacks maybe he’ll give me his Rolex (ha ha ) . Moral of the story- don’t knock people that carry snacks on their overseas trips – you never know what’s in store for you!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 12:15 PM
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This post is better than processed cheese.

I want more stories about the undeniable benefits of traveling with a suitcase full of snacks and a 12 pack of Coke Zero. This is truly a glimpse into another world. Bless you BillT.

No, I'm not being sarcastic. I just love this. For some strange reason, I'm utterly besotted with you both.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 12:43 PM
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Ok you loved my last story now here is one better:

When we visit the Philippines and all of our relatives there here is what we do:

We take the max baggage allowed by law (meaning no fees) that means 4 large suitcases filled to the brim – max weight 2 carryons stuffed to the brim, one back pack and one full size pillow and of course my wife’s purse.

But that is not nearly enough – we also ship two good size boxes filled with stuff that I will explain shortly.

No when we visit Manila and all of the relatives we bring gifts for everyone. Now the relatives are a varied mix of folks on the economic ladder so to speak ranging from blue collar to the wealthy but they all have one thing in common- a love affair of all things from “ The States”. During the year my wife and I collect a hodgepodge of gifts items ranging from toys for the kids to make up/ perfumes for the adults to various food and toiletry items – you name it we probably have brought it. We also bring the heretofore mentioned Hershey bars for hotel and restaurant staff – and even the relatives.

We have so many relatives to visit with that it takes all of that luggage plus two shipped boxes- it takes about 6 weeks to get there.

On our last visit to Manila we played the “Stolen Christmas” game with our relatives. Inside those shipped boxes were gift bags that we prepared for the game.
All wrapped up so no one would see what was inside. We had a big dinner at the relative’s house and afterwards we played the game. There were about 25 people- adults and kids and we brought 25 gift bags. Everyone draws a number from a bowl- numbers from 1 to 25. Whoever has number 1 goes first. They pick one bag from the stack and open it. Wow it’s a bottle of Listerine and a tooth brush – they are so excited and hold it up for all to see. (Guys I’m not making this up- these are millionaires some of them!). Then number 2 goes next- they can pick another mystery bag or they can choose to take the gift from number one. If they take the gift from number 1, then number one chooses another gift and opens it. The game proceeds until all have picked their gifts all along choosing to take any other gift that has been opened along the way before them or pick one from the stack. The game ends when there are no more gifts to open.

The gifts were hats, toothpaste, make up, make up gifts (you ladies will know what I’m talking about – those gifts you get when you buy Ester Lauder or Christian Dior items), shampoo, deodorant, etc.

The game was a resounding success- now after the game ends the fun continues as the bartering and trading begins among the group- for each other’s gifts.

We also brought extra gifts and candy for our relatives a part form the game.

Now you have a better idea of why we go with a lot of luggage!
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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"Most women I know (no not the lonely planet backpacker type please!) like to take a lot of clothes- and what woman takes only one pair of shoes and one purse- come on get real!"

Really?
Wow, I guess I'm not like most women because I only own a 22" suitcase and that's all I ever pack plus one carry on. I did just fine with 17 days in Vietnam over the summer and a week in Rome last month. Heck, I traveled RTW for 9 months with just one (albeit slightly larger) bag.
Oh yeah, and I'm not the grungy backpacker type either. I usually bring 2 or 3 pairs of shoes and dress nicely. Sometimes I have to do laundry, but if the trip is under 10 days, usually not.
It's one thing if you are going somewhere loaded down with gifts, but entirely not necessary to bring 2 giant suitcases loaded with clothes per person, no matter how long the trip. But hey, if that's what you "need", who am I to say different?

travelblogger-I'm sure you've figured it out by now, but for a trip of 2 months, you're going to have to do laundry, no matter how much luggage you bring. In most of the places you are going, you should be able to have it done (outside of a hotel) for about $1 per kilo and you'll have it back within 24 hours or less. So why not free yourself up from carrying all those bags and bring just one (any size) each?

Dogster-so happy to see you back here. I've been hiding out over on the europe board, slogging through my Rome trip report so I haven't been here much myself. Planning any trips?
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 08:00 PM
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Kristina, rest assured you're not on your own. My wife, who assuredly isn't a grungy backpacker, has never travelled with more than one regular suitcase and a small carry-on.

I'm as fascinated as Dogster by this glimpse into BillT's alternative travel universe. Truly surreal stuff.

It's a blessing, though - isn't it? - that Asia still has an ample supply of sweating coolies. Lord knows what will happen when, one day, WE have to carry THEIR bags.
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Old Nov 20th, 2009, 10:44 PM
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It is truly amazing to me how people who think of themselves as "ones who travel lightly", seem to think that they are somehow better and smarter travelers than the others who travel with lots of luggage. I don't think that they ever get it personally.

Always the same in a discussion like this. Makes one wonder about traveling lightly.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 01:39 AM
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heya downunder - good to see you in here again. I'm clearly a bit stupid today - but what's new? I'm somewhere in India, so the grey-matter isn't functioning properly.

What is the 'IT' they don't get?

What conclusions have you reached about the light-travel brigade? This whole discussion is a real eye-opener to me.

BillT - that was a lovely story. I think the kindness and love you are willing to share can't be measured in kilos or multiple suitcases. You are a big-hearted man. But that's taking gifts - a slightly different topic. I never knew Listerine was such a prized item.

I tried tipping my room boys with a packet of crisps this morning. They snarled and gave them back.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 06:35 AM
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The problem with these threads is that there's no "one size fits all trips" answer. What BillT needs for a visit to his extended family in the Philippines is very different from what someone else would need for a long weekend in New York. If you're doing all your travel in Asia by plane and taxi you can obviously take more than someone who is using public transport.

I just finished a two month trip to the Caucasus and the Middle East. I started and finished with three nights in New York. The luggage that would have made sense for the New York part would have been a real pain for the Caucasus - my convertible backpack (gasp) fit much better on the marshrutkas I used to get around Georgia and Armenia.

And what's wrong with being a Lonely Planet backpacker? Would you prefer a Bradt backpacker?

dogster - lol! Maybe you should have tried coke....
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 07:35 AM
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Oh, I did that decades ago thursday - but then my nose fell off. I thought it best to stop.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 07:51 AM
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Ok... I wondered what in the world was happening on this thread that a simple question goes on for 36 replies... now I see that it is a discussion about packing light.

I'm much more of a BillT packer (altho I have no extended family in any other country). I take FULL advantage of my status with UA and always take 3 bags, whether it's to Asia or Europe. Europe friends like a certain cereal that is not available in Germany; another Swiss friend likes books that are not availble in his bookstore; certain Asia friends like wine, pain relievers, chocolate candy bars (mini size), and other gifts that I select and bring along with me (last time it was Coach bags that I bought for a great price in N.H. in October).

Then there is DH who is the supreme shopper when we go to trade shows in Europe. Since he doesn't have PE/1K status, he relies on MOI to pack many of his goodies in my spare bags.

DH can't travel for just a simple weekend trip without taking at least two duffels and a clothes bag that contains several more items than are realistically needed.

Does that mean I'm not a savvy traveller??? I don't think so.

Carol
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 07:56 AM
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Just to be clear - in Asia we hand out the hershey bars in addition to giving the proper tip in local currency. On one trip to Bangkok I handed out candy canes to people- a number of them had no idea what they were- I had to explain to them that its candy! Anyway these always make a great hit with the folks there.
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Old Nov 21st, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Where once in this thread did anyone say anything about the level of travel legitimacy attributed to their habits of packing?

Sounds like someone (dujack, achem--what a shocker!) is trying to stir up trouble.
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