Travel hack: A homestay for your luggage
Having difficulty storing your luggage when travelling? These services have you covered
It was while walking the streets of Copenhagen that I found the sign, outside a restaurant: “drop your luggage here". It turned out the restaurant wasn’t just luring tourists but was a LuggageHero storage space.
Across the world, new apps and websites are allowing travellers to store their luggage at unusual places for a small fee. These services are most common across European cities with a walkable city centre, varied rental options and good public transportation. It’s being called the new B&B for your luggage.
Just go online, choose a service, make a reservation and drop off your bags. The bags are given some version of security locks or seals, there’s insurance, and users can rate the facilities. Most places advise against storing valuables as those aren’t insured. Here’s a list of some of the better-known storage options.
Jannik Lawaetz started LuggageHero in Copenhagen in July 2016. He began on the ground, convincing passengers at the central train station to drop their bags off at a local shop. Today, he has more than 300 storage locations at hotels, cafés, and speciality retail shops across Copenhagen, London and New York.
The storage capacity is listed with each shop, and you activate a storage timer when the bag is dropped off. Payment is €1/£1/$1 (around ₹ 80/ ₹ 88/ ₹ 70; Copenhagen/London/New York) per hour with a handling fee twice that amount. Everything is done online, and includes insurance of $3,000 (and its equivalent).
USP: Free cancellation and you only pay if you show up.
Nannybag was founded in 2016 in France by Matthieu Ballester with the help of Samir Senouci. They claim credit as the biggest luggage storage network in Paris, and one of the largest in the world. Nannybag is available in over 150 cities in 16 countries. Bags are stored at their partner hotels or businesses (called Nannies). You have to make a booking and pay for it online before visiting a Nanny. Payment is $6/€6/£6 per bag per 24 hours. All reservations are insured by Axa Assurance for up to €1,500 per bag. The Nannies accommodate all kinds of luggage.
USP: Many Nannies are available 24/7 and some also offer additional services like free breakfast or a shower.
The idea for this London-based start-up came to co-founder Matt Majewski by accident. He asked a friend who lived near King Cross station if he could store his bags at his place. His friend replied with a, “yes, but I will have to charge you". In 2015, CityStasher, now Stasher, was born. It is available in the UK, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy, with plans to expand to the rest of Europe.
Luggage is stored at local businesses, hotels and food stores, called StashPoints. You make a booking on the website, and show the confirmation email to the host when you drop off your luggage. Payment is £6 per day, and £5 for every additional day; bags are insured for up to £750. The main focus is suitcases but they are open to other items, just email them beforehand.
USP: They are open to unusual requests too, like short-term storage. For instance, a diabetic travellers’ insulin fridge.
The Rome-based start-up founded by three friends—Alessandro Seina, Giacomo Piva, Giulio de Donato—went online in 2016. They work with cafés, bike rental shops, bars and hotels that are called Angels. It has the biggest concentration of Angels in Italy and has expanded to Europe, the US, Australia, and Asia.
The process is a bit rigid: you have to choose a location, drop-off time and pick-up time and pay. Only after booking will you be given the address of your Angel but each listing has a description of the place. Reservations are non-refundable or cancellable. Rates are calculated till midnight and many Angels have fixed timings for pickup and drop. The price is €5 per baggage day. There’s a guarantee of up to €200 for every single baggage.
USP: Widest reach; the possibility of booking “private" angels (individuals and people’s homes).