Where to store your annoying luggage before check-in & after check out while travelling

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Nothing ruins the thrill of sightseeing more than dragging around heavy luggage. Here are the best places to temporarily store your bags, suitcases, backpacks and strollers before check-in and after check-out so you can sneak in a few more hours to explore the city surroundings.

Where to store luggage travelling and sightseeing?

We’ve all been there.

You’ve arrived at your destination early and have several hours to kill before you have to check in to the hotel. What to do? 

woman sightseeing while walking with her luggage

What are the benefits of storing your luggage while travelling?

In a perfect world, we could coordinate our travel plans perfectly.

Nobody’s perfect, though!

There will come a time when you end up with huge chunks of time between your arrival and check-in time or departure and check-out time.

Sure, you could sit around and wait with your luggage, or you could make the most of your trip and do a little exploring around the city.

The only problem is you have to lug around your heavy bags and suitcases like a ball and chain. 

To get the most out of your trip, look for a place to store

Here are several options for anyone looking for temporary and short-term luggage storage locations near you while travelling.

*Keep in mind that not all of these short-term baggage storage solutions will be available in every city, but it’s good to know you have options.

1) Can You Leave Luggage at a Hotel Before Check-In?

Man at front desk trying to store his luggage before check in

If you’re staying at a hotel, the most obvious place to store your luggage before check-in and after check-out is at the hotel. 

Most hotels offer free short-term luggage storage for guests, but a select few may charge a small fee. It’s best to call ahead and ask.

If you don’t have the luxury of calling ahead, that’s ok too. 

Head to your hotel and approach the front desk to let them know you’d like to store your bags with them before check-in. They’re usually more than happy to store your luggage for a few hours until it’s time for you to check in to your room. 

2) Do Hotels Hold Luggage after Check-out?

You may wonder if you can leave your bags at the hotel after check out. And the answer is usually yes. 

Most hotels will be happy to store your bags for you until you’re ready to catch your flight train or bus later in the day. This is a great way to sneak in a few more hours to check out the sites or grab a bite to eat without having to lug around your bags. 

Tipping hotel staff for holding your bags:If you’re storing bags at a hotel before or after your stay, be sure to leave a small tip per bag for the porter, bellman or service person who puts them in storage and the person who returns them to you to thank everyone who kept your bags safe as favour to you. In my experience it’s usually two different people.1$/1€ per bag is often quoted as the appropriate amount. 

3) Hostels can store your backpacks and baggage too

a bunch of bags on the floor in a hostel

Like hotels, many hostels will also keep your bags safe before check-in and after check-out.

Call ahead to find out if it’s possible and if there are any size restrictions or special hours of operation. 

4) Use hostel luggage lockers when you’re sharing a room

hostel luggage lockers

If you’re staying in a hostel and sharing a room with someone, you may not want to keep all your personal belongings in the same room with strangers. If that’s the case, ask if there is a hostel locker room.

Almost all mainstream hostels have luggage lockers where you can store your bags, backpacks, electronics, passport, jewelry and other valuables safely and securely.

Always bring a lock with you because many hostels do not provide locks for their lockers. 

5) Storing luggage at an Airbnb can be tricky

couple walking up to their Airbnb with their luggage

Storing your luggage at an Airbnb before check-in or after check-out can get a bit more complicated than at a hotel or hostel.

Some Airbnb hosts can be flexible, but storing your luggage at an Airbnb may not be possible if someone is booked in the place before or after you. It’s not only an inconvenience for the Airbnb owner but also the people staying in the place before or after you. 

Another thing to consider is that many Airbnb rentals are now done without ever meeting the owner or contact person. You’re often given a code that’s good for the duration of your stay while the owner handles everything remotely. 

In any case, it never hurts to ask if you can store your bags at your Airbnb. They may even have alternative bag storage suggestions. 

6) Store your bags In the trunk of your car rentalluggage stored in the trunk of a car

If you have a vehicle or rental car, a convenient place to store your luggage in between check-in and check-out times and your next flight is in the vehicle’s trunk. There’s no need to drop your bags off or pick them up because they are always with you. 

This is also a great option if you’re planning on making some day trips or if you’re not planning on returning to your hotel or Airbnb until late at night.

7) Store your luggage at the airport

Airport luggage storage lockers in Japan

If you have a long layover and want to leave the airport to sneak in some site seeing in between flights, it makes sense to find storage for your luggage at the airport.

Even if you don’t leave the airport, storing your luggage at the airport before your next flight allows you to move around easily and freely. No more lugging your bags with you to the restroom, in duty-free or while standing in line to get something to eat. 

The bad news is airport storage isn’t always available, especially in smaller airports. 

More bad news for people travelling through airports in the U.S.A.  Airport storage lockers and services in the United States were once relatively commonplace, but most were removed for heightened security measures following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and never replaced. 

  1. Contact the airport to find out if storage services or storage lockers are available. 
  2. Have your photo ID ready; you may be required to show it when dropping off and picking up your stored bags. 
  3. Check the opening and closing hours o that you do not get caught in a difficult situation when it is time to return.
  4. It’s a good idea to put locks on your bags and check your luggage 

8) Check in your bags early at the airport

At some airlines and airports, you can drop your bags off hours in advance, which is ideal if you’re staying near the airport and want to get in a little extra sightseeing

North America

Passengers flying within North America (USA, Canada, and Mexico) can typically check in their bags 2-6 hours before their flight. However, it’s always best to check with your specific airport and airline for their policies.

Europe, Asia, Middle East

In Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, most airlines and airports allow passengers to check in their luggage 2-4 hours before their flight however, some may offer the option to drop off luggage up to 24 hours before departure for free or a small fee. 

For instance, if you’re flying Aer Lingus out of the Dublin airport in Ireland, passengers can check in at a self-service airport kiosk and drop off their bags the day before. 

9) Store your bags at a bus stop or train station

beautiful woman stepping off of a train with her vintage suitcase

One of the benefits of travelling by bus or train is that stations are usually located in areas perfect for tourists to explore.

This is good news for you because many bus stations and train stations have luggage lockers and or bag storage. You don’t even have to travel by bus or train to use them.

Not every bus station or train station will have a place to store your bags, but larger train stations in bigger cities most likely will. Some examples include the Tokyo station in Japan and the Paris train station. 

If you’re travelling through the US, remember that many train stations and bus stations no longer offer lockers due to increased security measures following the Sept. 11th attacks.

Your surest bet is to check out their website to see if they have a luggage storage facility or lockers. Don’t forget to find out what their hours of operation are and if there are any size restrictions for luggage storage.

Often, you can make a reservation ahead of time. 

10) Dedicated luggage storage facility and Luggage Lockers Near Me:

front of the City locker paris where you can store your luggage

Some cities have stand-alone Luggage locker facilities, whose main business is to offer a convenient way to store your luggage for a few hours, a few days, or even weeks. 

Reservations are usually made online in a web browser or a luggage storage phone app. Just search for a location near you, reserve, pay and drop off your bags and pick them up when you’re ready to go. 

You can usually find dedicated short-term luggage lockers near major tourist attractions, shopping districts, and transportation hubs.

For example, in Paris, there is a French company called City Lockers Paris, a 100% automated baggage storage facility. Depending on the luggage storage companies, each will have different procedures on how you can access your bags but the self-automated ones usually give you a personal access code to drop off and pick up your bags. 

11) Temporary Luggage Storage Service: (Airbnb for bags)

a luggage storage app mock up locating the nearest locations near me

Sometimes you need to store your luggage while travelling, but your hotel or Airbnb isn’t an option, and there aren’t any dedicated luggage lockers available either. 

Enter temporary luggage storage services. A relatively new luggage storage service that’s similar to Airbnb, but for luggage. They’re also a great alternative to left luggage, airport storage & lockers near you. 

Temporary luggage storage companies, such as Stasher, based out of London, and Luggage Hero, based out of Copenhague Danemark, have convenient locations for travellers to store their luggage by working with a network of local businesses in different cities and countries around the world that have the capacity and the security to hold and secure your luggage.

Here is an example of businesses that work with luggage storage services that operate much like homeowners on Airbnb in the sharing economy.

  • local stores
  • restaurants
  • souvenir shops
  • hotels
  • convenience stores
  • restaurants, coffee houses
  • Bus stations & train station
  • and many more…

Luggage storage services almost always have an app so that you can locate a place near you to store your bags.

There are quite a few luggage storage services available now, but not every luggage storage service will be available in every city or every country. 

Some are only available in certain cities or countries. Others like Stasher have locations in thousands of cities worldwide and continually add to their network. 

How do temporary luggage storage services work?

In general, luggage storage services work the same and operate similarly to Airbnb.

You open up a company’s luggage storage app, find a location, book online, put the number of bags you have, enter the dates and times you want to drop them off (and pick them up) and voila.

Cancellations are usually free. 

Stasher | Luggage Storage Near Me

Stasher is a luggage storage service that connects travellers with hotels and local businesses where they can safely store their bags while on vacation or a business trip, allowing them to freely explore the city. Over 2000 locations in 300 cities worldwide.

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Photo of Annie André: www.AnnieAndre.com

Annie André

About the author 

I'm Annie André, a bilingual North American with Thai and French Canadian roots. I've lived in France since 2011. When I'm not eating cheese, drinking wine or hanging out with my husband and children, I write articles on my personal blog annieandre.com for intellectually curious people interested in all things France: Life in France, travel to France, French culture, French language, travel and more.

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