One of the least enjoyable parts of any trip is having to carry your luggage around.
Lugging your luggage around town before you check into or out of a hotel or Airbnb is a hassle that can delay the start of your vacation and deter you from indulging in one or more last adventures before you leave town. And, of course, nothing screams “tourist” and “bad planner” louder than trying to squeeze into hip coffee shops, galleries or attractions with a suitcase or two in tow. But take heart—as with so many other things these days, start-up entrepreneurs are using modern technology to solve this problem with (you guessed it!) apps.
Using the now-familiar “It’s like Airbnb but for…” model, app-powered luggage storage services serve as a match-making service between travelers who have bags to stash and in-city venues, such as coffee shops, restaurants, bike shops and, yes, even hotels with bits of extra space. Currently, at least a half dozen startups are offering a version of this convenient service, which lets users download and/or open an app, locate a nearby storage space, and then reserve and pay for the length of storage needed. Users then proceed to the storage venue, show their confirmation email or code, hand over their bags for storage, and proceed merrily out for the day.
Except for the cities served, almost all of the luggage storage app services we looked at offer pretty much the same services, with some nuances. Some companies charge by the hour; some by the day. Some offer restrictions on the size of luggage you can store; others are looser when it comes to size. Most also include some sort of tamper-proof seals or tags as well as insurance coverage for damage, theft or loss. Most won’t allow you to pay the storage site directly. And, citing security reasons, some services don’t reveal the exact location of the storage venue until payment is made.
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In a second, there’ll be an app that lists and compares all these services, but for now, here’s a snip-and-keep list of what’s available:
This Toronto-based company has locations in about 15 cities around the world!
Price: $1.50/hour or $5.95/day.
Cities served: BagsAway currently has locations in five major Canadian cities, Manila, Tel Aviv, Seattle, San Juan, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami.
Insurance included? Yes. $1,200 per bag.
Bounce, like most of the services listed here, partners with hotels, restaurants, dry cleaners, and other venues in a wide variety of cities to offer convenient short-term luggage storage options.
Price: $5.90/day for backpacks, suitcases, and bags.
Cities served: At least a dozen major cities, including Austin, Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C., with more on the way.
Insurance included? Yes.
LuggageHero, which acquired competitor Knock Knock City in August 2019, currently lists its service for more than two dozen cities in the U.S. and around the world.
Price: $1/hour, plus one-time $2 handling fee, per bag. Maximum $8/day, per bag, including handling fee.
Cities served: More than 30 cities around the world, including Boston, Copenhagen, New York City, Dublin, Chicago, Florence, and Venice.
Insurance included? Yes. $3,000.
Book: Online. Receive directions
Nannybag boasts that it has storage spots in more than 2,000 places in more than 250 cities.
Price: United States: $6 per day/piece of luggage; add 24 hours for $4.
Cities served: Nannybag is strong in Europe and currently lists about 20 U.S. cities on its site, including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City, and Seattle.
Insurance included? Yes, 1,500 euros (about $1,650) per bag.
Book: Online only or via the app.
Stasher offers luggage storage in shops and hotels in more than 1,000 locations in more than 200 cities.
Price: $6/per item, per day in the United States.
Cities served: Locations in the United States include Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago and more than two dozen spots in New York City alone.
Insurance? Yes. Up to £1,000 (about $1,200).
Vertoe currently has more than 300 storage partners in more than 30 cities.
Price: Can vary a bit location, but starts at $5.95/day, per item. Discounts offered for weekly and monthly rentals.
Cities served: U.S. cities service include Boston, New York City, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and others.
Insurance? Yes, $5,000 per item.
Book: Online or via the Vertoe app.
Some airports have bag storage shops that participate in one or more of the services listed above. Baggage Nanny (not related to Nannybag) is a recent startup launched at San Diego International Airport with a new model that blends bag storage with bag delivery. Baggage Nanny invites arriving passengers to drop off their bags at an airport kiosk and then arranges to deliver those bags to the traveler’s hotel, office, or vacation rental later in the day at a specific time. The service works in reverse as well: A traveler can arrange to have Baggage Nanny pick up their bags in town and transfer them to the airport for check-in later in the day.
Price: $20 for delivery within a 15-mile radius of the airport. Extra charge for deliveries outside the 8 am-9 pm window.
Cities served: Currently in Terminal 1 at San Diego International Airport, with a kiosk scheduled to open soon in Terminal 2. Baggage Nanny is also looking to offer the service at Portland International Airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Nashville International Airport, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Insurance: Baggage Nanny says it has “plenty of liability insurance to go around” and that each bag is placed in a storage unit with a high-tech security system and triple lock access. The bag “nannies” undergo TSA background checks as well.
Book: Online. App coming soon.