Long Layovers: Where to Stash Your Stuff

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself in the hotel lobby with a pile of baggage, a few hours to kill before your train or plane departs and nowhere to leave your anti theft handbags. Yeah, me too. It’s a frustrating experience to be held back by a mountain of luggage. No one wants to drag a suitcase around longer than necessary, but don’t let your baggage hold you back from a few extra hours of exploring. Here are a few suggestions for secure places to leave your bags after you check out from your hotel.

Ask the hotel
Most hotels will let you store your stuff behind the front desk or in a luggage room. If you know in advance that you’re going to have some time to kill after checking out, double check your hotel’s policy on storing luggage before you book. Though some youth hostels tend to be less flexible with storing baggage, many of them do have extra lockers or a luggage room where you can leave your stuff before you check in or after you check out.

Airport and Train station lockers
In many major airports and train stations you’ll find either lockers that you can rent or a bag check where you pay a small sum to leave your bag behind under the watchful eyes of paid employees. Though these are great options for stashing a suitcase or bag full of clothes and toiletries, be sure not to leave any valuables behind. It’s also wise to invest in a small travel lock, which we just so happen to have.

Museum visit
This option depends on how much stuff you’re dragging along, but if you have a reasonably-sized bag, head to a museum you wanted to visit and check your stuff in at the coat and bag check while you wander around the various exhibits baggage-free. Again, don’t leave any valuables behind.

Laundry Day
Ok, only applicable if you’re traveling for more than two weeks (Or…do laundry more frequently than I do), but if you are, this is the perfect time to head to the laundromat. If you’re in San Francisco, you can grab a drink and do laundry at the laundromat/bar. Just saying. It’s probably worth googling “laundromat bar” before heading to your destination. You never know.

Designate that day for sedentary activities
In Lyon and looking to have a fabulously long French lunch? Now’s your chance.

Internet café day
If you’ve exhausted these options and are still left with your bags in tow, your next best option is to find a cozy café and chill out for a few hours reading a book or, if they have WiFi, catching up on your e-mail. No, it’s not the most exciting option, but it’s always good to have a little bit of down time and if you play your cards right, you can coordinate down time with awkward layovers.

By Nikki Hodgson

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