Business and leisure travelers alike know the struggle of coordinating sightseeing and flight times. You finish a big presentation in Rome and have just enough time to finally see the Sistine Chapel before heading to the airport. Unfortunately, you have luggage, and the Vatican frowns on the sounds of wheeled carry-ons in sacred spaces. You don’t have time to run back to the hotel or to the train station or to the airport.
You have two options. Give up, and resign yourself to hours in the Fiumicino Airport lounge. Or find a Bagbnb. Similar to Airbnb, this sharing economy solution to travelers’ baggage woes is one of several creative baggage storage companies popping up all over the world.
Bagbnb, available all over Italy, allows you to stash your luggage with approved “Angels” near your touring location for a low cost. Secure businesses, frequently cafes, will watch over your things while you tour. Using a map, you find businesses close to your destination. Looking at three restaurants near the Vatican (including a salad and waffle bar!), all were only five euro per day for luggage storage, promised a three-minute “fast check-in” and were open as early as 5:30 a.m. and as late as midnight.
Rome isn’t the only city hopping on the clever baggage solutions bandwagon. CityStasher, in the UK and Netherlands, is a similar Airbnb-style left luggage service. I checked out two locations near Buckingham Palace—a key cutting shop and a business service center. While six pounds for one day was a great deal, neither location was open on Saturday and Sunday.
Nannybag is another service with extensive locations, primarily in France, but also in Ireland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. You pick the days and time you need bag storage, and a convenient map shows you available “Nannies.” Selecting a nanny will show whether it’s a hotel or shop. If a hotel, you’ll see the price for breakfast, if available. If a shop, it will show if you get a discount at that shop for leaving your luggage there. Nannybag also shows if there is wifi and bathroom availability as well as the languages spoken at that location.
These sharing economy services are hardly the only option for the traveler with bags and a time crunch, Spain’s no-luggage is a hotel-to-airport service that will pick up your luggage from your hotel and keep it at the airport. You only have to pick it up prior to your flight.
Stow Your Bags, another service in Rome, offers both self-service locker locations and serviced storage that includes dressing rooms, bathroom, computers for use with the ability to print (in case you need a copy of your boarding pass), and even free wifi.
There are also services that allow you to send your luggage from your residence to your destination and vice versa. However, those aren’t always practical in this situation due to the higher costs and extra preparatory work.
Business-hosted left-luggage services have multiplied the options for luggage storage. No longer are you forced to find your way to the train station or return to your hotel for your luggage. Similar services are popping up regularly, and this is one trend that I hope gains traction in more cities.
Know of a great bag service we didn’t mention? Let us know @tandtnews.