We Shipped Our Luggage Instead of Checking It – Was It Worth It?

On our recent trip to Scotland, my husband wanted to take along his golf clubs. He has a travel case that we have checked for a number of trips, but I decided to ship them this time due to the limited amount of space we would have in our rental car.

Luggage Forward ScreenA popular golf magazine had recommended Luggage Forward so I contacted them. Their website was straightforward and easy-to-use. Literally, it walked me through the process asking where the luggage was originating, where it was being shipped to, and size. It even gave me an approximate weight or at least a maximum one and gave me a few options as to a window when it could be picked up based on when I needed it delivered. After adding info for the return leg, I entered the exact pickup and delivery addresses and was able to add insurance to cover the bag and its contents. At that point, I paid with my credit card and received both a confirmation on the screen as well as in my email.

Shipping Instead of Checking Luggage - Is It Worth It?A few days prior to the pickup date, we received the shipping information and tags. It was very well marked. There were two envelopes, one for each leg of the shipment since we were shipping both there and back. There were very specific instructions including a copy of the shipping information to put inside the bag and a packet of documents to affix to the outside of the bag in an adhesive envelope provided. Since our bag was going out of the United States, it also contained customs documentation and a copy of my husband’s passport, which we sent to Luggage Forward when scheduling our shipment. While not mentioned in the instructions, I took a copy of the shipping label for my own records just in case.

During the 2-hour pickup window, DHL arrived to pick up the bag. I am guessing the actual shipping company may vary based on where the bag is and where it is going.

When we arrived at our hotel in Scotland, his golf clubs were at the resort front desk waiting for us. They were in perfect condition, exactly as they had been shipped. So far, so good!

After my husband had golfed his rounds, we opened up the packet for the second leg and again followed the very detailed instructions. We put a copy of the shipping label inside the bag and affixed the packet to the bag in the envelope provided. I also took a photo of the shipping label for our records since I didn’t have access to a copier. Then, we took it to the resort front desk to await pickup and went on with the rest of our trip.

The clubs beat us home! We were very surprised to hear from our in-laws who were staying in our home that the clubs had arrived the day before us. It only took two days to get from St. Andrews, Scotland to Phoenix, Arizona. Again, they arrived in the same condition they were shipped.

I was thrilled with how easy it was and how well everything went with Luggage Forward. The only drawbacks I could find:

  1. While the clubs did beat us back, they weren’t scheduled to arrive until four days after we got home and they were shipped three days before we left. If he had planned to go golfing in the few days before or after our trip, he wouldn’t have had clubs to do so. This is probably OK for golf clubs, but I’m not sure it would work for a regular suitcase unless someone had two of certain items and could live without the clothes for a period of time around the trip.
  2. It was really expensive, much more expensive than checking them. Our price was $671 round trip. Even if we would have had to pay to check the clubs because we had gone over our checked luggage allowance, the cost would have been as little as $170 or $340 at the most.

Would I do it again? Only if I had to. It was just too expensive and took too long in comparison to checking our luggage. If you have to ship luggage, though, Luggage Forward certainly did a great job for us.

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