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Shipping baggage ahead via FedEx - good idea?

Old Jul 5th, 2010, 08:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 58
Shipping baggage ahead via FedEx - good idea?

I would like not to have any checked baggage on next trip, only carry on. Is it smart to ship ahead via FedEx, and is it simple? Any tips I should know? Thanks.
desperado is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 09:44 AM
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Check with your hotel to make sure they will accept delivery for you.
abram is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 10:03 AM
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Shipping it is easy as long as you have it packed properly - and have the specific name of a person who has agreed to hold it for you. What it will cost is another matter.

(I have shipped tons of stuff to hotels in advance for meetings. The keys are: 1) get a name of the person to ship it to, 2) make sure that person is scheduled to be on duty when you arrive and 3) get an email from them acknowledging that they have received the package and where it is being stored (in case they are hit by a bus).

(I have had juniors spend literally hours searching storage rooms of large hotels looking for large quantities - 20 to 25 boxes - of materials that we have shipped ahead for a meeting - even when we had delivery receipts hotels denied knowledge of the shipment.)
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 10:08 AM
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How much luggage are you talking about? I never check luggage - carry-on only is doable for the vast majority of trips (of course, not for business presentations/manuals/display items like nytraveler).

Shipping luggage is something you can do -- but will likely cost nearly as much as your airfare.
janisj is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Nov 2006
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In addition to FedEx you might want to check companies such as Luggage Forward - just google it - that I've heard others have used. I've checked a time or two but the cost is just too high to me.
patandhank is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Shipping luggage ahead takes a lot of planning and is quite expensive (about 4 to 10 times the cost of checking a bag). So I'm not sure it can be classified as a "good" idea. If you really don't want to check a bag and refuse to pack light, then I guess it's an alternative. I believe that FedEx now has an actual baggage forwarding service; otherwise, you will have to pack in a box, which I think is pretty completely impractical. I'd actually use a luggage forwarding service since they will pick up the bag and help you work out the logistics and timing, but unless you want to pay in the hundreds of dollars, you're going to have to ship your luggage about a week ahead (more if it's an international trip), so you have to deal with wrinkles.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 11:16 AM
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Use FedEx Ground for cheaper rates.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 12:38 PM
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We used UPS to ship golf bags ahead. We had two flights before the golf so the $60 Ups was about the same as checking it. It worked perfectly. But why check or ship? Pack less - it's not so hard!
christabir is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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I won't get into the cost factor. However, I will point out that shipping packages for a conference or meeting is one thing. Shipping a single suitcase for simple hotel stay is another matter.
For the former, you make arrangements through the individual or individuals you've been working with prior to the event who will tell you how to mark address labels on the packages, etc.
If you are simply shipping a bag to the hotel where you will be staying, the usual procedure is to address it to yourself at the hotel and mark the label, "Hold for arrival..." and add the date of your arrival. However, double check with the hotel to make sure that's their policy/procedure.
HowardR is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Resist the urge to pack your kitchen sink along on this trip.

easytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 05:45 PM
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Sorry - the same rules apply even if it's only one box. We just did a meeting when we couldn;t carry everything and had to get it from NYC to LA. Send 2 not huge FedEx boxes and got delivery confirmation. the hotel still couldn;t find them (even though we had arranged in advance and had shipped to my name as instructed. The hotel was useless, so I got a junior to capture a bellman with a full set of keys to search the hotel. Found under someone's desk in the catering department (which was closed for the weekend!!).

In my experience most hotels will find a way to lose things shipped to them in advance,
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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Sorry for your bad experience, nytraveler. Call me lucky, if you want, but in my 30+ years in the conference planning business, it was a rare experience to not find my packages awaiting me, whether it was simply one sent in advance in my name or a host of them. From my experience, I certainly don't agree with your blanket condemnation that "most hotels will find a way to lose things..."
HowardR is offline  
Old Jul 5th, 2010, 07:09 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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We have shipped baggage ahead to hotels several times and we just shipped to ourselves at the hotel and marked it hold for our arrival date and we had no problems. I did check with the hotels in advance to make sure this was acceptable. We used UPS.
Cali is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2010, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I ship my baggage FedEx Ground a lot. So I have to give it a few extra days - it is worth it. I just shipped 2 suitcases from Ft. Lewis WA to Ft. Eustis VA last Thursday. They were each 28"*14"*11" in size and weighed like 30 lbs and cost $28 each to send. That is 2 less bags in the airport I have to deal with now and it was cheaper than actually checking them as well. I highly recommend using FedEx Ground for this movement (no need for Express if you just give yourself an extra few days). I have shipped snowboards to Canada FedEx Ground before as well rather than take them on the planes. It is all I will use now. I also bought Pelican cases as my suitcases too which make it really nice. You can padlock them and not have to worry about TSA needing to get in them to look, they are hard sided, waterproof, have wheels and are guaranteed for life! Check them out at If they are good enough for the military, they are good enough for my luggage. (hint - ebay has them REALLY cheap brand new).
militaryman4 is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Perhaps my experienes are due to the fact that we are usualy going to a major congress and the hotel is full to the rafters - with attendees and many sponsoring companies. It can get ugly fighting it out for conference room space even a year in advance.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Jul 6th, 2010, 09:37 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My experience is also with major people-to-people events, in which the show or conference or whatever took over the entire facility. Still, there was rarely a major gaff. And, as previously noted, I won't condemn an entire industry for an occasional slipup!
HowardR is offline  
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