Why airport lockers are the unsung heroes for mega travellers everywhere.
I travel, a lot. When I do get the time and funds together to pull off a really epic trip, I go all out. This means that I’m bring home a mass of rare finds, flea market jewels, and- yes, I know it’s lame- a ton of souvenirs for friends and family. On top of the fact that my baggage has baggage, I also like to make sure that I book flights with extremely long layovers (sometimes up to 48 hours) in cities that I want to lounge around in for a few hours.
This works great for me, I get to see everything and more, and I really get to make the most of the time and money I have available to me. The only part of it that was starting to get a bit worrisome was what I was going to do with bags upon bags of necessities, gifts, and all those fantastic items that make my house look like an 18th century museum. I wasn’t ready to sacrifice any of my luggage, but I also wasn’t wanting to sacrifice my travel time either. The simple solution to my perceived travel woes? Airport lockers.
This brain child came to me as I was lugging a small pachyderm and six of it’s friends worth of bag weight around Sydney Airport. I had booked one of my famous 48 hour power tours of the city, complete with museums, walking tours, discos, and bar crawls. Sydney is known for its wild nightlife as well as as for being city that is steeped in history and class. I had booked a cheap overnight in a crowded hostel near the city center. While this is a tactic I rely on more often than not, I also use websites like couchsurfing when I can and stay with locals I don’t know. This is fine by me and I’ve never really ran into any issues with it, but it does feel a bit awkward busting into someone’s home with seven giant bags and two large suitcases- just to snag a nap for the night. So there I was, standing in the middle of the airport, amongst a sea of overstuffed luggage, with a plan that absolutely did not include toting those bags with me. Right on the verge of mental breakdown, I look up and what do my wondering eyes spy? A line of airport lockers.
The lockers in the Sydney airport are brilliant. They come in a number of shapes and sizes, and are great for overnight storage. I ended up having to hire about six of them, but even then it didn’t break the bank. I kept one of my favourite messenger bags stuffed with essentials and set off. Feeling the freedom and confidence of running around the city, only armed with a fresh pair of underwear, cocktail dress, and a toothbrush, was incredible. The lockers enabled me to run around without having to concern myself with the safety of my artefact’s, or the safety of my health.
Running around with a mass of luggage isn’t just awkward and embarrassing (no one wants to be that tourist) but Sydney is hot, and I am not exactly in my prime health. I mean, I’m fit, but I’m not running any marathons any time soon. Pack on seven huge bags, heat, and several miles worth of walking tours, and I would have ended up looking like the back end of a baboon. Only extra sweaty.
Leaving my bags in the airport lockers kept me looking fresh as a daisy while I spent all day and all night experiencing this great city. Not only that, but I didn’t lose any sleep over worrying about whether or not my purchases were safe from any prying roommates.
I always find it surprising that lockers aren’t utilized more often. They’re spectacular for packing away your baggage while you have an overnight romp in an unknown city- but their usefulness doesn’t stop there. Travelling with kids? Lockers are a great way to store a bunch of luggage for a few hours while you bustle around the airport, making sure that you have your hands free for feeding, changing diapers, and general wrangling. They also work really well for stowing things away while you use the bathroom to freshen up between flights, or slip into the bar to relax before hitting the plane again. Lockers are what keep you from looking like a harried sentinel, desperately attempting to keep one eye on your charge at all times.
The peace of mind that you get from knowing that your items are safe and easily retrievable is something that you can never get enough of when your living out your travelling dreams. Lockers are definitely the things that keep these dreams from turning into nightmares.