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Jul 01 2013

Luggage Storage while Travelling

luggage storage, lockers, storage, luggage, baggage, travel

When I travel from one place to the next by train or bus, I sometimes arrive early, have to change to another mode of transport, or have to vacate my accommodation (baggage and all) hours before my next train or bus.  That means I have time to explore a place for a few hours, which is great but the problem is… I have all my baggage with me.  I have been presented with this problem a few times and my recent trip to Italy was no exception.

If I arrive at my destination early, I will normally see if I can leave my luggage at the accommodation I have reserved but that isn’t always an option before check-in.  In that instance or if I am in a place for a few hours before I get on another train or bus, I look for luggage storage at the nearest bus or train station.  That option isn’t always available but it’s certainly worth trying because it is so much easier to explore a place without having to lug all your stuff around; believe me, I’ve tried it!

To find that:

  • Look for a sign or symbol that looks like it could be luggage storage.

  • Ask someone at the station or go to the nearest tourist information office.

  • If you think of it in advance, you could check the bus or train station’s website to see if it’s a service they offer or search on the web for luggage storage at a particular bus or train station.

  • There might actually be luggage storage options in the city or town you are visiting (Barcelona is a good example of that), which is another reason for checking the web in advance.

  • Pose the question on one of the many travel forums.  It’s likely that someone will know the answer.

Types of luggage storage

You don’t actually get to choose how to store your luggage; you have to accept whatever way they do things or carry your luggage around with you.  The types of luggage storage I have come across over the years are:

  • Lockers of varying sizes – This is my preferred option because your luggage is secure.  You can choose the most suitable locker size and leave your luggage there for a decent period of time, normally up to a 24 hour period.  It tends to be very reasonably priced.

  • A room with an attendant – Your luggage is tagged and you are given a ticket.  I have come across this form of luggage storage a couple of times.  The first time was in La Paz, Bolivia, and the second time, more recently, in Bologna, Italy.  In La Paz, it was very reasonably priced and there were no restrictions on weight and I left my luggage there for the whole day, having arrived by train at about 7am.  Apparently, this form of storage is used throughout Italy for security reasons.  Based on my recent experience, I’m not so keen on this option because it worked out really expensive and it wasn’t a very flexible service.  This is because they charge per piece up to a certain weight for a relatively short period of time; over and above that you will be charged extra!  Having said that, it is the most secure of the luggage storage options because you need to produce some form of ID to check your luggage in and there is someone in attendance the whole time.

  • An unattended room – Your luggage is locked in room with other people’s luggage.  It isn’t tagged but you have a ticket which shows that you paid to store some luggage.  This is my least favourite option because it is the least secure.  It isn’t always the cheapest option but may be your only choice in some places.

Have your say

Do you have any other ideas for storing luggage when you want to explore a town or city for a few hours?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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