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do you ship/send luggage or "stuff" ahead to your vacation destination?


Mar 26th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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do you ship/send luggage or "stuff" ahead to your vacation destination?

Just saw an article regarding the rise in the number of travelers opting to ship luggage and other stuff to or from vacation destinations. We head to Maui every winter and I've often thought about shipping stuff ahead so we don't have as much to lug to the airport and check through, then shipping purchases and gifts back home before we leave.

Has anyone used one of those luggage shipping services (or a commercial shipper or USPS) to do this? How much of a hassle is it? Just wondering if it would be worth trying. Thanks!
iowagirl is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2008, 09:05 AM
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I never have but now with all the lost luggage, I will consider shipping for my next flying vacation.

It's not a hassle, but it's not cheap either!

Too bad you can't count on getting what you pay for with the airlines.
Dayle is offline  
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Mar 26th, 2008, 09:09 AM
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I've heard about this a number of times but I think the reality is that it's for people for whom cost is not an issue.

Also unless you're staying a hotel with a great record for service (i.e. a Four Seasons) I think a lot of hotels will not want the inconvenience of looking after a guest's luggage before they arrive.

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Mar 26th, 2008, 09:21 AM
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I've used UPS almost every time I travel to ship items back and forth and have never had a problem with a hotel holding a box, etc. for a day or so until I arrive as long as I give them notice. I usually check a suitcase but anything that is a "necessity" such as medications, etc. I make sure to ship. I started it after three trips in a row with lost luggage and it has worked out well for me. If you're organized enough you can send it regular ground but even overnight is cheaper than those companies that pick up and deliver your luggage.
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Mar 26th, 2008, 09:47 AM
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We've shipped customer's wedding gowns to hotels. We usually tell them to call the airline ahead of time and let them know that they are travelling with a wedding gown. Most airlines will hang it in the cabin-but occasionally one-mostly the more budget oriented will insist that it be checked, and you DO NOT want to let an airline check your wedding gown!
We've never had a problem with the hotel receiving the gowns, although they usually need a freshen-up press. We just tuck them into a box, garment bag and all, and send them UPS. I'm kind of glad we don't do it all that often, though.
I have sent personal possessions home from overseas, just used Surface Parcel, and had no issues at all, other than my father ripping off the side of the box in a frenzy of lust for the stamps and postmarks.
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Mar 26th, 2008, 04:50 PM
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I have sent a medium sized box home when I'm traveling in Europe, from a normal post office. To lighten my suitcase for the rest of the trip. Dirty clothes, paperwork I'm done with but want to keep, souveniers bought to date, etc.

I think sending a single box to Hawaii would be easy enough, since it's technically the U.S.
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Mar 26th, 2008, 05:09 PM
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We have been shipping luggage or a box ever since the 3 oz rule.

We use FedEx and ship them express saver (which is FedEX air, not ground). FedEx makes a special tag for suitcases. The hotels do not mind. What you have to do is label the tag with your name/reservation number and date of arrival. If your bags arrive a day or two before your bags are held in locked storage. You can check the delivery on line and get a signature. Usually your bags are brought to your room and are waiting for you. If not in your room, you tell the clerk at check in that you sent your bags ahead and the bellman will bring them up to your room.

When we travel with carryons we send a box with all our "liquids" and label the box the same way.

When leaving your destination, the concierge will ship your bags or box for you. When we travel to Captiva, Florida, we stop at FedEx on the way to the airport and drop off.

We love the convenience of not having to touch our bags or worry about them getting lost. Since you can track them on line you know they are at your destination. The price of shipement depends on the size, the weight and the distance.
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Mar 26th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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I work at a post office in Florida and a day doesn't go by that we don't have customers mailing suitcases. My only warning is that if you're going to use the Postal Service to ship to or from Hawaii, pay the extra few dollars to upgrade from parcel post to Priority Mail. I've seen parcel post from Hawaii to Florida take six weeks, while Priority only took two days.
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Mar 26th, 2008, 06:20 PM
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Have never shipped TO a destination but when in Hawaii I often use Priority Flat Rate Boxes to mail home our smaller heavier souvenirs, books and favorite food items (Kauai coffee and Aunty Lillkoi products) to lighten our suitcases.

I pick up the free boxes, available in 2 sizes, at the Post Office. They're not large but I pack them well. Cost to mail within US is now $8.95 per box, but it's regardless of weight!
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Mar 26th, 2008, 06:36 PM
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I usually pack a large collapsable bag like a duffle bag into my suitcase so that I can hold one bag for checking onto the plane and ship the rest of the luggage back home.

By the end of a trip my stuff seems to have grown and by then I'm sick of dealing with it. (Anyone notice how dirty clothes seem to take up more room than clean clothes?)

The trick for me is to carry fedex labels pre filled out with my home info and account number. Before I leave for a trip, I look up where the closest fedex drop off location is located near my hotel in case the hotel I'm staying at doesn't have a regular fedex pickup time. Then all I have to do is slap the label on the bag and drop it off for pickup. I send the luggage by the slowest method possible which translates to the cheapest and it usually costs about $25 per suitcase. While this might seem like a high price to pay for some, for me it is well worth it to shed some baggage at the end of a trip. Then I only have to deal with the stroller, car seat, carry on, diaper bag, toddler and one bag (the duffle bag) instead of all that plus the luggage for the vacation.
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Mar 27th, 2008, 05:58 AM
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We travel to put on shows at conventions. I have not shipped clothing, but I now ship our displays by DHL. The airlines seem to delight in destroying our displays. As another traveler stated, it is best to carry your shipping labels for shipping home. And our hotels have been entirely helpful about receiving our shipments. And now my husband is strongly suggesting that we ship our luggage, just to save the aggravation of dealing with the airlines. So far, shipping needed items has been much less of a hassle than checking and finding damaged luggage.
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Mar 27th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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I do this all the time, domestic and international, and have used FedEx with outstanding results!
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Mar 27th, 2008, 10:02 AM
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Does the international work well? I was thinking about doing this, but don't think I can do it for the trip out. We will be staying in a self-catering apartment our first three nights (in Edinburgh). Unless there is a way to pick items up from a local Fedex office? How long does it take for international?
GreenDragon is offline  
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Mar 27th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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FedEx can tell you 1) how long it will take, depending on how you choose to send it and 2) whether they can hold it for you at a local FedEx office. I have done this before.
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Mar 27th, 2008, 06:46 PM
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Hmm, so maybe I can Fed Ex myself to Europe, quicker, cheaper, and on time!
Dayle is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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I just got an email from Luxury Link with an offer to do this. Here is the link:


For me, even though we just lost luggage on our last trip, the price to do this is just too much -- since most of the time our luggage makes it just fine.
emcash is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2008, 05:48 AM
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Fedex will charge $450 per piece - thanks, I'll take my chances with the airline
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Mar 28th, 2008, 11:46 AM
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When we were in Glasgow last summer I had overdone it a bit with gifts for my children. We brought my Grandson along and had spent the summer in France and Switzerland so we had all that baggage too. Heathrow had arbitrarily decided you could have only one carryon, period. After scrambling and stuffing things into a big, ugly rubber purse I had, we managed, but I didn't want to face that again. I found a mailboxes, etc. near the hotel and shipped 3 boxes home. It was such a relief not to carry them and they arrived at my home almost the same time we did. It was expensive, almost what some of the items had cost themselves, but for a couple hundred dollars, it got us out of a real jam. They had the packing boxes, knew the procedures and were very helpful.
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Mar 28th, 2008, 01:32 PM
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I researched and found two companies, Luggage Forward and Luggage Free. Both are more reasonable than Fedex, and are designed for this sort of thing.
GreenDragon is offline  
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Mar 28th, 2008, 06:14 PM
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yes, I work for the Post Office but there's no such thing as a commission, so...There is a new Priority Mail flat rate box that's larger than the smaller $8.95 flat rate. The new one is about 50% larger and costs $10.95 anywhere in the US regardless of weight.
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