Imagine this. You’re flying out of a city a bit further away from home than normal, and the best option is to take a train to get there. In case of train delays, you book an earlier train than necessary just to make sure you don’t miss your flight… and that actually means booking a train the day before and staying at a hotel near the airport. Now… since you’ll be traveling for 2 weeks altogether, you have a bag with you.

What do you do?

Walk around all day carrying your bag.

This is the most obvious option, but not a very fun one especially if you’re planning to do a lot of walking.

Let’s look at some alternatives to carrying luggage around all day…

Go out to the airport hotel, check in, leave your bags, and then come back into the city.

A slightly better option than walking around with your bags all day, but not by much. Depending on the city, going round trip from the city center to the airport is going to take an hour or more, not to mention paying for subway tickets or a taxi.

Leave your bags at a downtown hotel, different from the one you’re staying at.

DINGDINGDING! We have ourselves a winner here! Now, you do have to find a hotel that will *let* you leave your bags there if you aren’t a hotel guest, but I’ve done this a few times now and have usually been successful.

Here are my tips:

1. Find a hotel that is part of a chain you have status with.

2. Find a hotel that is part of the same chain you are staying with later in the day (or stayed with the previous night).

3. Don’t call attention to the fact that you didn’t/aren’t staying at that hotel.

4. Leave a tip.

Have you ever left your bags or tried to leave your bags at a hotel you weren’t staying at? How did it work out for you?