How to spend 10 hours in Houston burdened with luggage
March 26, 2019 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Due to flight cancellation, my wife and I must exit our Houston Airbnb at 11 AM this Friday but our flight doesn’t leave until 11 PM. We have no car, but have two rolling luggage bags to deal with. Can’t leave bags at Airbnb. Can we check bags anywhere anymore, or what can we do with bags in tow that isn’t a huge hassle? Please save us from 10 hours waiting at the airport.
posted by Jackson to Travel & Transportation around Houston, TX (15 answers total)
Best answer: Nannybag was the first result when I searched 'bag storage app houston' -- it's not even an app / there may be others.

Short of that, the old fashioned way to do this is to go to the valet desk at nice hotel or bag check at an art museum.
posted by batter_my_heart at 3:47 PM on March 26, 2019

You can go to the airport early, check in, then go back into town for the day.
posted by w0mbat at 4:01 PM on March 26, 2019 [4 favorites]

Best answer: You can ask at the luggage desks at many hotels — they will often happily watch your bags for you for a tip. (We recently did same, for similar reasons, at the InterContinental Hotel in New Orleans; we had to ask around a bit to find a place where we could pick up our bags after midnight, but that won’t be a problem for you.)

Bonus: if you’re tired you could even hang in the hotel’s lobby.
posted by wyzewoman at 4:07 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Make sure your airline will allow checking in so many hours ahead of your flight, not always an option.
posted by RoadScholar at 4:15 PM on March 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've never had a hotel even ask me if I'm staying there when I check bags.
posted by COD at 4:16 PM on March 26, 2019 [2 favorites]

There are many hotels that won't store baggage for non-guests, as I've discovered, so it might take a while to find one that will. I've always been shot down when I called ahead to ask if it's possible.

In the US, the technique that has worked for me is to pick a mid-range or nicer hotel that would have a bell desk. Walk straight to the bell desk (don't go to the front desk) and just tell them you need to store your bags until your flight later in the day. Be sure to tip well.

If you're flying out of IAH it would burn up a lot of time to go all the way there to check-in your bags early and then go back into town, but that is certainly something you could do.
posted by theory at 4:17 PM on March 26, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The Amtrak station in Houston has baggage storage. They charge more if you haven't booked a ticket - $20 per item for 24 hours.
posted by theory at 4:26 PM on March 26, 2019

If you rented a car for the day, you could leave your bags in the trunk and you'd have a car.
posted by bricoleur at 5:21 PM on March 26, 2019 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding bricoleur, I see single-day rental cars available at Houston Hobby airport for less than $25 this Friday. YMMV depending on where you pick up and drop off, but that's probably as cheap and easy as any other option. Even if you just pick up the car, drive it to a nearby parking lot, and leave it there all day.
posted by Hatashran at 5:41 PM on March 26, 2019

Seconding what theory said with going straight to the Bell Desk. I've done this several times in cities like Houston. If you act like you should be a guest there, many times they just assume that you've just checked out.
posted by cholly at 5:50 PM on March 26, 2019

The bag storage issue might not be separate from how you're going to spend your time. There might be bag storage at whatever museum or activity you'll be doing during the day. Or pick something to do where they'll also store your bag.
posted by thenormshow at 7:02 PM on March 26, 2019

Yes- get a car and just spend the day doing something fun. (hopefully this is financially an option!)
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:44 AM on March 27, 2019

Response by poster: Nannybag (who knew!), hotels, Amtrak, $25/day car rental. Great ideas all. FYI, can’t check bags more than 3 hours before flight. Thank you all - I love AskM!
posted by Jackson at 7:20 AM on March 27, 2019

If you rented a car for the day, you could leave your bags in the trunk and you'd have a car.

I live here. You're not going to have a very good time finding cool stuff in Houston without a car. We're a car city, for good or ill.

Which airport?

There's a TON of great stuff to do here, but right now one of the coolest is probably the Van Gogh retrospective at the MFAH, which is also walking distance to several other cool museums (including the stupefyingly amazing Menil Collection; sadly, the Rothko Chapel is undergoing renovations).

Do you like food? Because we are ALL ABOUT FOOD here. MeMail me and I'll happily play virtual tour guide based on your preferences.

I will note, sadly, that despite the obvious appeal a trip to NASA is probably not viable in the timeframe you're talking about. NASA is waaaay down in Clear Lake, and odds are you're flying out of IAH; those two places are at least an hour apart -- and that assumes no traffic, which is never a safe assumption.
posted by uberchet at 7:22 AM on March 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: FYI to all: found and settled on LugHub. They will pick up our bags for $7 at our Airbnb and store at place downtown until 8 pm for $10/bag.
posted by Jackson at 8:11 AM on March 29, 2019

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