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SmartIdea? Manage Your Luggage From the Web
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By Rich Karpinski

Maybe it's because we've been traveling a lot lately for business, but the idea of using Web-based services to "manage" your luggage struck a chord.




We first saw word of this on WebWorker Daily, where editors actually asked their readers: What's your luggage strategy?

Luggage strategy? I'm not even sure what this means. I, for one, like to check my main bag, but I'm probably in the minority. It certainly slows you down when you arrive at your destination but between lugging the thing around and trying to find room in the overhead bin, I have better things to be worrying about in exchange for a fifteen-minute headstart to the taxi line.

But what they really mean by "luggage strategy" is using alternative means -- such as the mail or Web-driven concierge systems -- to bypass traditional travel routes all together.

Who knew?

A few services and sites caught our eye. We haven't tried them but we checked them out and they certainly look legit and useful. Do so for yourself if we've piqued your interest:

LuggageFree: Specializes in door-to-door ship-ahead shipping of luggage (with a focus on goodies like golf clubs and bikes). But regular old suitcases can ship with a two-day lead time for $3.00 per pound.

LuggageForward: Same basic idea, but a niftier Web site that offers more granulated price quotes depending on what you're sending.




CarryOn: I have to admit, this one intrigued me the most. I don't travel enough to make it an option, but Carryon gives you "real-time online management of a virtual closet." What the heck does that mean? Well basically you store frequently used travel items with the site and use their online interface to have them shipped to meet you as you travel. This seems less interesting when thinking about your wardrobe and more interesting if you're shipping sales items, etc. as you travel and want to manage the process via your virtual closet. Pricing includes the cost of a storage box and regular UPS shipping fees.

Once again: who knew?





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