For every 1,000 bags handled by US airlines, only 6 get mishandled. While this figure sounds good at this scale, with nearly 2.5 million passengers traveling every day, this number quickly jumps up over 10,000 a day.
This has led an increasing number of people to look into how to ship luggage.
If you’ve ever lost a piece of luggage or know someone who has, you know what it can do to ruin a trip. You’ll show up for business meetings looking unprofessional. If you’re on vacation, you could show up to the beach with nothing but your winter clothes.
Shipping your luggage might be a no-brainer after considering the statistics but if you don’t know how to ship luggage, you could feel stuck. Follow these 9 tips to make sure you’re prepared for your next trip.
1. Eliminate Waste
Your first step before deciding how to ship luggage should be to make a list of all the things you absolutely need. Then rewrite a leaner version of that list. For the least expensive shipping and easiest time moving your luggage around, get rid of unnecessary items.
You should be able to shave some weight off by considering the weather and if necessary, wearing some of the clothes you’ll need while traveling. You can always take advantage of the hotel or your host’s laundry machines.
Make sure you pack intelligently. If you have fragile items to pack, use softer objects to help to pack or protect them. Don’t add packing materials to your luggage when you can avoid it.
This will help save space, weight, and time.
2. Get All The Details
Before you decide how to ship luggage, get all the details about where you’re shipping to. If you’re going to a work function, you might be checking in at a hotel or conference center that you’re unfamiliar with.
Make sure you have the right room number, address details, and phone number. You don’t want to have your luggage meant for West 42nd Street delivered to East 42nd Street.
Double check spelling with the person you speak with from the delivery company as well. You don’t want someone with a similar sounding or similar spelled name getting your luggage in their room.
3. Find Out Urgency
Do you know how soon you need the package to be delivered versus how much the delivery options cost? Compare some carriers to see who can offer you the best deal.
If you get a good quote from someone but would rather work with another company, quote the other company when you speak to the one that you want to work with. You never know what it’ll take for them to dig out a promo code or special discount for you.
4. Check Weight Limits
Some shipping companies have weight limits for individual packages. Any luggage or package that exceeds that limit should be split into multiple packages or parcels.
You might also be packing lightly when you’re far off from hitting the limits. It’s better to know how much rope you have before you start limiting yourself.
Some companies have no weight limits at all, just size limits. Call ahead to find out when you’re figuring out how to ship luggage.
5. Schedule Pickup
If your package is too heavy to drop off or if you’re too busy before your trip, see if they can pick up your package for you. You might need to have someone around to do the handoff.
Scheduling pickup should be fairly easy. Most delivery companies will work around your schedule and be available to pick up on off hours if you work a 9-5 schedule.
Some companies even offer airport courier services to make things easier.
6. Let Your Recipient Know
Call the help desk or hospitality service desk of where you’re heading and be sure that they can accommodate you. They may need some information from the delivery service or to hold a credit card number from you.
Just be sure they’re prepared before a 100-pound baby gets dropped on their doorstep.
7. Label Inside And Out
Make sure you’ve included a label with all of the essential contact information you can think of. Add your phone number and even an email address along with your home address.
Tape it securely to the front of your luggage and make sure it’s completely visible and weather resistant.
Put all the same information on another piece of paper and place that inside of your luggage. Accidents can happen, things can get torn, and having a second label on the inside of your luggage can save it from being lost.
It can also help confirm with handling staff that you’re the rightful owner, rather than your luggage being handed over to someone who claims it’s theirs.
8. Wrap It Tightly
If you can find some masking or painter’s tape that won’t damage your luggage, pick that up. Wrap the zippers and every potentially porous edge with the tape. This will keep anything from falling out or anything from seeping in.
Buy some plastic cling wrap for your luggage. Tightly wind it around the outside of your luggage. This will protect it from the elements and also make sure your label doesn’t get wet.
The more tightly you pack and protect your luggage, the less damage your items are likely to incur during transit.
9. Get Insured
Don’t skimp on insurance. If your delivery company offers insurance of any kind, you should take advantage of it.
See what the limitations are and find out what you could be covered for. If you’ve already got insurance on expensive electronics, you might not need to buy a redundant plan.
Figure Out How To Ship Luggage So You Can Enjoy Your Trip
Worrying about your luggage should be the furthest thing from your mind when you’re preparing for a trip. There are so many other things to prepare in advance and ensuring that your luggage arrives on time and to the right location shouldn’t be one of them.
If you’re ready to ship luggage in advance of your next trip, contact us today for more tips on getting the right service for your needs.