Whether you’re moving to university or embarking on a year-long Erasmus adventure, you’ll probably be considering how to move all of your belongings to your new home. For some people, a parent’s car is sufficient for the September uni run, but for those venturing further afield or overseas, the options are fewer and more restricted. With most airlines imposing a two-bag limit with strict weight constraints, and many “budget” airlines charging a pretty penny for both checked and excess baggage, taking enough stuff with you can be a real challenge before you’ve even reached the point of dragging three cases through an airport terminal…
Two years ago that was my exact experience. Madrid-bound in Manchester airport with two large suitcases, a carry-on, and a 7kg cardboard box following with Parcelforce for the hefty sum of £65 – an experience I did not wish to repeat the following summer. Enter Send My Bag; a recently-revamped UK-based shipping service that offers generous luggage allowances at competitive prices. For only £30* you can package and send up to 30kg of your life to many European destinations, to the USA for £78, and within the UK for just £16!
Since my very first shipping almost 15 months ago, Send My Bag has gone from strength to strength with a number of new features rolling out this past summer, including the recent launch in Ireland on 5th September. With this in mind, along with my upcoming move to Paris, I decided it was time to test the new waters and book another shipment.
The website has had a huge overhaul, making the booking process quicker and easier with a new destination map showing the global routes along which luggage can be collected and delivered. The updated quick quote calculator expands upon these destinations by offering more specific transit time estimates according to individual postcodes and now offers the choice of either a one-way or return shipment upon booking. Once collected, your bag or box is fully trackable along its journey – a service that helped Send My Bag to rescue my second box after Spanish baggage handlers put it on the wrong plane – and you now receive updates when it has been collected and when it is out for delivery.
A new feature of the service is the option to receive Send My Bag’s very own label holders, complete with blue cable ties and a branded Send My Bag luggage tag. In the past I’ve battled with plastic wallets and Sellotape – not entirely compatible with suitcase fabric – and received my case back with bits of paper and plastic flapping on all sides. The label holders come in the form of two small, sealable document wallets with metal eyelets to hold the cable ties, and the luggage tag serves to further ensure the safe arrival of your belongings to the correct address – and also as a cheeky form of advertising.
Sturdy and reusable, the wallets and luggage tags are marketed as FREE with any booking, but you are required to pay the £1.99 for next day delivery (which is guaranteed by 1pm). The barcoded labels are generated shortly after your booking has been processed and, although fully printable from home, SMB can now print and post them to you with your tags for a small fee should you have limited access to printing facilities.
Although I loved the Send My Bag Experience the first time around, the company has come on leaps and bounds this year. They’ve expanded, improved and really made a name for themselves in the market, offering competitive service and prices that you’d be hard-pushed to beat. The website is modern and slick, and now features a dedicated student removals section where you can get discount and add hints and tips about delivering to your uni and individual halls – although the tiny link at the bottom of the homepage is surely being overlooked by the majority of the student population. Send My Bag will definitely take the hassle out of my Parisian emigration and allow me take my entire wardrobe with me, and the secure luggage tags and extra tracking features are giving me more piece of mind. So, just like last year, I’m sending Send My Bag to the top of the class with 10/10 for being generally awesome. I’ll be using them for years to come!
With an NUS Extra card you get 10% off shipping with Send My Bag.
(For my original 2013 Send My Bag review and the full story of my lost box’s adventures in Barcelona, take a look at REVIEW: sendmybag.com.