Too Much Luggage? Ship It Ahead, Instead

Vacation trips need not overload your airplane's baggage capacity.

Overnight or weekend flights probably require only light packing, but a week-long vacation jaunt -- or longer -- can tax many airplanes' baggage capacity. Especially if all or most of the seats are full. As an alternative, consider shipping most of your luggage ahead to your destination, saving a small bag for essentials you might need en route and as a temporary backup should the shipment go awry. Besides the usual suspects: FedEx, DHL, UPS and so on, there are now services that will pick up your luggage at your door and arrange delivery to your hotel or any other address. One such service on the Internet is TheLuggageClub.com. Prices quoted for sending a complement of duffels, suitcases and a pair of golf bags from New Jersey to Florida range from less than $500 with four days' leeway on either end, to a premium of about $2,300 for next-morning service on both outbound and return legs. If you need your stuff there in a hurry but are in no rush to have your dirty laundry back, you would pay somewhere in between. Another service, luggagefree.com charges by the pound, also with premiums exacted for faster turnarounds. This service charges flat rates for oversize items such as bikes, skis, golf clubs, etc. Most FBOs are equipped and happy to accept delivery of your luggage and store it until your arrival, then handle the outbound leg as well. If you tip well, they'll probably even load them into your rental car.