10 Companies That Ship Luggage, So You Don’t Have to Check a Bag

Sometimes, it’s easier to ship luggage instead of checking it. Here’s what you need to know about how it works, along with a list of the best luggage shipping companies.

A row of five gray and blue roller bags topped by colorful backpacks.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Few moments are more frustrating during travel than when the baggage carousel stops and you realize your bag didn’t make it. While mobile tracking helps airlines make sure that your checked luggage arrives at your destination safely and on time, it is still a far from perfect system. During 2022, approximately 26 million bags were mishandled worldwide, according to SITA, an IT provider for the air transport industry. That’s about 7.6 out of every 1,000 passengers that are mishandled (meaning delayed, damaged, lost, or stolen). And while some airlines will compensate passengers with miles if their bags are delayed, it’s still a high enough figure that some travelers might wonder if there’s another—better—option.

Enter: luggage shipping services.

In recent years, a number of baggage shipping companies have sprung up, offering a potentially attractive alternative to checking bags for travelers, especially those who don’t care for the hassle of lugging bags through busy airports. Some even cost less than baggage fees for checked bags on airlines, especially if you’re shipping multiple bags. While most U.S.-based airlines charge $30 or $35 for your first bag, the prices increase significantly with additional pieces of luggage. For example, on United, the first bag per customer is $35, then $45 for a second, $150 for a third, and $200 for a fourth. Special items, such as bikes, skis, and golf clubs, are often subject to oversize luggage surcharges. Shipping companies, however, offer the same price per bag, no matter how many you choose to send.

Luggage shipping companies also offer additional services like at-home pickup and drop-off and taking bulkier items (like golf clubs, ski equipment, or bicycles). Here are 10 great luggage shipping services to use, in no particular order.

1. Luggage Forward

Cost: $89 for a 25 lb. bag; $99 for 50 lb. bag; $149 for 75 lb. bag. Also, $89 for standard skis or snowboards; $99 for a standard golf bag; $189 for a bicycle case for five business days of shipping.

Boston-based, Luggage Forward, ships luggage domestically and in more than 200 countries worldwide, but it specializes in shipping to cruise ships (meaning the bag will be in the passengers stateroom on embarkation) around the world. Luggage Forward’s prices include doorstep pickup and delivery (from your home or office to your hotel or cruise ship and back), 24-hour phone support, insurance (that covers lost and damaged items), shipping labels that are mailed to clients, and an on-time delivery guarantee that promises a full refund and up to $500 in additional expense reimbursement if the bags don’t make it by the quoted date.

2. SendMyBag

Cost: Prices are the cheapest within Europe, starting at £20 (US$25 at current exchange rates), for bags up to 30 kg (66 lb.). From the United States to Europe, expect prices to begin at £109 (US$135) depending on the destination.

SendMyBag, a U.K.-based shipping service, is a solid choice for those traveling within Europe—in many cases, its rates are cheaper than airlines (shipping from the U.K. to Spain, for example, is just £35, or US$43, for a 24 kg—or 53 lb.—bag).

It’s also a good option for those moving to a new country, either long-term or to work abroad, as the company provides users with all the information and forms they need for the bags to make it through customs hassle free (a process that can be challenging to navigate on one’s own).

Travelers just need to print their labels and schedule a day for pickup, either from their home, dorm, or office. From there SendMyBag collects it and gets it to your next address. Most bags are delivered within four business days.

3. LuggageToShip

Cost: Prices start at $30 and go up from there based on how far your luggage will be traveling and the overall weight.

This New York City–based budget-friendly shipping service ships around the world. The company is able to ship everything from suitcases to boxes to sporting equipment. What makes LuggageToShip unique is that it offers free storage—it will hang onto any item for up to six months (after that it’s $10 per month). It’s convenient for those who don’t have extra space around the house for big items like ski gear.

4. Luggage Free

Cost: Prices vary depending on the services selected. Some examples include $219 for a 50 lb. bag shipped from New York City to Los Angeles, $280 for a bag shipped from the USA to Hong Kong, $499 for a bag shipped from the USA to South Africa.

If you’re looking for white-glove service (and are willing to pay a premium for it), New York City–based Luggage Free is a good option. All you have to do is pack your bag, and it will take care of pickup and drop-off, shipping labels, and customs forms.

Luggage Free ships between 150 countries and has guaranteed on-time delivery. If, for some reason, your bag doesn’t make it on the designated day, the company will waive the fee. There’s also a complimentary insurance policy on every shipment, up to $500 for loss or damage.

5. LugLess

Cost: Prices start as low as $15 but increase based on bag size and weight, distance traveled, and optional extras.

This luggage shipping service, based in Boston, offers some rates that are comparable to what the airlines charge for checked bags if travelers are willing to send their suitcases off five or six days in advance of their departure and receive them five or six days after their return.

Prices for LugLess are calculated based on the size of the bag, how far it’s going, and how fast you want it—with that in mind, sending one 50 lb. bag using the company’s slowest service costs between $15 and $50 (within the continental United States). The quicker you want the bags sent and the more service you want with those bags—such as optional doorstep pickup and drop-off (versus dropping the luggage off at a UPS location), insurance, customer support, and refundability—the more the price goes up. Note that LugLess doesn’t offer international shipping.

6. AirPortr

Cost: The service starts at £15 (US$18.50) per bag.

While not quite a shipping company, London-based AirPortr offers a check-in service, which involves collecting passengers’ bags from their home, office, or hotel and checking them at select U.K. and Switzerland airports. AirPortr says the service is intended to free up passengers who want to move around the city without their bags before their flight as well as to assist families trying to manage the transport of children and bags, sports travelers hauling equipment, and elderly or reduced-mobility passengers unable to carry their bags. Airportr recommends scheduling your pickup for the day before your flight.

7. ShipGo

Cost: Starts at $35 and may increase based on how far your luggage will be traveling and the overall weight.

ShipGo, headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, will pick up bags from your home, business, or hotel and have them delivered to a destination of your choosing in more than 180 countries (including some fairly remote locales, like Fiji, Bangladesh, and Seychelles). Travelers can schedule the shipment date online and then attach the provided shipping labels. ShipGo offers an on-time delivery guarantee, free insurance on every shipment (that covers loss or damage), and real-time tracking.

8-10. UPS, FedEx, and DHL

Cost: $50–$75 for suitcases under 50 pounds; $100 for a 70 lb. bag, all with four-day ground shipping.

Of course, traditional shipping companies, like, UPS, FedEx, and DHL, can get your bag to your destination, too. However, don’t expect the same amenities as boutique operators that specialize in sending luggage. You’ll still have to drop your suitcase (either as is or boxed) at one of their shipping centers or schedule a one-time pickup several days before you leave, but at least you’ll receive a tracking number so that you can follow your items along in their journey.

This article was originally published in 2022 and most recently updated on August 7, 2023, to include updated information. Michelle Baran contributed reporting to this article.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at Afar. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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