If you are going on vacation in 2014, why not make it easy on your self and ship your luggage in advance? Many people are angry at the rising airline baggage fees and many are afraid your luggage will get lost, stolen or damaged. You should discover the joys of shipping luggage ahead using economical ground shipping services and you may be able to save money by shipping your luggage rather than checking it in. Do the math – as Airfarewatchdog.com has done for you in this chart — and you’ll see that it would cost you less in some cases to send your bags to your destination by FedEx, UPS or U.S. Postal Service ground shipping.
Passengers who have luggage that exceeds airlines’ size and weight limits will score the biggest savings. They’ll spend about $50 less by shipping one overweight suitcase than checking it in — and up to $200 by shipping two overweight bags. Even if the cost is the same for shipping and checking bags, you get so much more from FedEx and UPS, says Airfarewatchdog.com founder George Hobica, who ships his luggage. They have better delivery records than the airlines, they provide tracking numbers so you can follow your shipment online and they let you insure items that the airlines don’t, he says. Plus, you’re more likely to get a refund from a shipping company than an airline if your luggage is damaged or lost.
Price: The cost varies widely based on the size and weight of your bag, the distance it needs to travel, and the speed of service that you select. To send a 40-pound suitcase from New York to San Francisco in five days, UPS quoted us a fee of $48.91. Want it there in three days? The price skyrockets to $119. Raise the weight of the bag to 60 pounds, and UPS charges $65.13 for five-day delivery — which could be less than the penalties you’ll pay for exceeding your airline’s weight limit. (Most airlines charge fees for any bags exceeding 50 pounds.) We also looked at the Postal Service Parcel Post from Chicago to Dallas and the cost was $31.00 and gets there in three days.
- These services are quite reliable and will generally give you a tracking number so that you can keep tabs on the whereabouts of your bag.
- They’re less expensive than specialized luggage services, and (as in the example above) could be more economical than checking a bag with your airline under certain circumstances.
- Shipping your bags ahead of time allows you to skip check-in lines and waiting around at baggage claim.
- UPS, FedEx and the like do not offer as much personal service as the smaller luggage shipping companies.
- You may need to drop your bag off at a designated shipping location or arrange for a special pickup several days before your trip.
- Service may only be available on business days.
Another benefit: You won’t have to wait in long lines at the airport to check your bags. And if you have small children, you’ll be a lot less stressed if you don’t have to lug your kids and luggage from the parking lot to the terminal.
The key is to ship your luggage a few days BEFORE your flight so that it arrives at your destination when you do. If you’re visiting a relative, the shipping logistics are easy. But if you’re going to be staying in a hotel or condo, you should consider having the shipping company hold your items so you can pick them up. Otherwise, you might have to pay a fee to have the hotel or rental office hold your luggage until you arrive.