General bag storage tips?
July 2, 2008 5:14 PM   Subscribe

Where are some general places I can store my luggage?

I tend to go traveling via backpacking and what I usually do is spend a night on a bus, spend a day in a city, then take another overnight bus to the next city.

While the times I've traveled to Mexico I've had no problem, as nearly every city has a baggage storage place at the bus station, I have never encountered this sort of service in the US or elsewhere (except for JFK Airport, but that involved me spending $20 just getting to JFK to store my bag).

As I hate having to carry around a heavy backpack on my bag and being denied entry to places just because of my bag, does anyone have any suggestions of places to try to store my bag?

I know this has been covered before, but only in the specific case of Florence, London, and NYC. I'm trying to look for some sort of general list of places to try for baggage storage so I can move around easier and with far less hassle.
posted by champthom to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The first place that I would always check is the local train or bus station. In places that I've travelled outside the US, there was usually either a left luggage desk or coin operated locker array that provided short term storage. In the US, I've had middling luck with asking to have my bags stored at a hotel -- even though I might not be a guest. The concierge might charge a fee for the service if you're not a guest, and at the very least, you'll have to tip the bellhop.
posted by bl1nk at 5:34 PM on July 2, 2008

I should also clarify by "In places that I've travelled outside the US" that would be Japan (every Japan Rail station had some kind of baggage storage facility), France (at least at Gare Du Nord in Paris) and London (Victoria Station)
posted by bl1nk at 5:37 PM on July 2, 2008

If you're not to straggly, you can try walking into a hotel and just tell them that your flight isn't for another few hours and if they'd be kind enough to hold your bag for you (basically under the premise that you are a guest).

If that doesn't work, try a museum. Most places you can check your bag in before entering the ticketed area, so you don't really need to see the museum (although you should).'s dirty, but that's what a broke backpacker is, right?
posted by hobbes at 5:38 PM on July 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

I will 2nd the hotel suggestion... just act like you are staying there.. and a few bucks won't hurt. Best to go right up to the bell stand (not the concierge, as they might ask your name, room, etc)
posted by sandmanwv at 6:21 PM on July 2, 2008

I've seen pay lockers at bowling alleys. It might be worth a look, and you're not likely to have to "prove" you belong there.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:43 PM on July 2, 2008

I have done as the people above say at many hotels on many continents, even when I wasn't staying at the place in question. Pick a big or fancy hotel where they like service, tip the bagman five bucks and he'll keep whatever you like for as long as you wish.

Of course I have always had bags, not a backpack. It's possible you'd get a rougher time if you were post-camping and looking especially dirty-hippy-freakish, I guess.

Airports and train stations all seem to be cutting way back on the lockers (bomb worries?), and the left luggage facilities they provide seem to shuttle your things off-site and back when you request it. A bit less convenient.

Museums is a clever idea. Or a large department store or shopping mall. I've done that.
posted by rokusan at 6:52 PM on July 2, 2008

Or a large department store or shopping mall.

Unfortunately, this depends on where you some parts of the U.S., "I need to ditch this bag in this crowded commercial area" = "high time for a bomb scare!"

Museums do work wonderfully, just need to (a) keep track of what hours they're open and (b) hope you find one with bag-check attendant, since coin-op lockers are usually too small to fit a traveler's backpack.

And I'm surprised to hear you haven't found luggage-storage places in some bus stations...perhaps the next time this happens, you could go to the customer service desk and ask if there's a storage place nearby. It surely wouldn't be the first time they've fielded the question.
posted by kittyprecious at 8:16 AM on July 3, 2008

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