Rare is the day when check out times and flight times align in perfect synchronicity. In most cases, check out times are early-ish, leaving travelers to figure out where to store baggage while squeezing in some last minute fun before heading to the airport.
Hotels are happy to store bags for guests, but that's not an option for the growing number of folks who opt for apartment rentals over hotels.
Travelers can rely on most major airports to offer some sort of storage rental service. Great for arriving passengers, but departing passengers would have to schlep out to a distant airport only to turn right back to enjoy their final few hours in the city center.
True, you could cart your bags around town, but no one wants to be that tourist trying to navigate the metro with a massive suitcase dragging behind.
Enter the sharing economy with a slew of new sites making it easy to find a willing someone to mind your bag for a few hours.
For just $2 per hour per bag, travelers in New York can choose to leave their luggage with a Lower East Side tailor shop, Upper West Side bike tour company, a Williamsburg, Brooklyn hair salon, and 36 other trusted businesses listed on Knock Knock City, which also operates in both Boston and San Francisco.
Dropped bags are sealed with coded zip ties and stored out of sight in secure basements or private spaces. Insurance is included, though it's limited to $500 per bag. That's not very much, considering what most folks pack. Similar to ridesharing apps, no cash is exchanged between the traveler and storage facility. All payments are made directly through the website.
LuggageHero is another such service available to travelers in New York, London, and in its hometown of Copenhagen. In New York, LuggageHero charges $1 per hour per bag, though tacks on a handling fee of $2 per bag. Insurance coverage here is more in line with what is offered by airlines, with bags insured for up to $3,000 per bag. (£2200 in London, €2500 in Copenhagen). Also similar to airline insurance, electronics, jewelry, and other valuables are excluded from coverage. You'll either have to carry those items in a daypack on your person, or leave them packed and hope for the best.
For those searching for storage services elsewhere in Europe, Stasher covers hundreds of locations across the continent, including Barcelona, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Amsterdam. For €6, bags can be stored for up to 24 hours. Add an additional 24 hours for €5 more. Insurance coverage seems to vary by location, with €750 standard, or a 'premium option' of up to €2,500.
It may seem strange to entrust the staff at a random coffee shop with keeping an eye on your belongings, but it wasn't so long ago that the idea of paying to sleep in a stranger's apartment struck most folks as pretty odd, too. As with Airbnb, storage spaces also rely on positive reviews from users.
Service in the U.S. isn’t nearly as extensive as in Europe. Some major cities currently offer only a handful of drop locations, though service is quickly expanding.
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