During my hikes, I often store my luggage either at train stations, airports or at my hotel. In case of a hotel, I make sure I stay at least one night before and one night after my hike and that I arrange with my hotel that I can leave some luggage. I used the train station storage for my hike of the Kumano Kodo in Japan, airport storage for many of my business trips (and I had planned to do that for my GR20 hike in France) and the hotel storage during my Laugavegur Trail hike in Iceland and the Via Algarviana hike in Portugal with my brother. So, here’s to luggage transfers: mailing your hiking gear in with the post, DHL or UPS.
Luggage transfers: mailing your hiking gear in with the post, DHL or UPS.
But when preparing for my Jordan Trail hike, I realized this wouldn’t work out. I would be staying two nights in Amman, before heading out for the trail, but I wouldn’t return to Amman city anymore, only at the airport where I would be catching my connecting flight from Aqaba via Amman back home to Brussels. As I really wasn’t into bringing all my gear on the trail and as it would be convenient to have some clean clothes when arriving in Aqaba in my resort after a week of heavy hiking, I started to look for options to get part of my gear from Amman to Aqaba.
First, I asked my hotel in Amman how much it would cost to transfer my luggage from the hotel in Amman to another branch of the hotel in Aqaba. They would charge me 150JOD which is about €182,58. Yes, I am a tourist, but no, I am not stupid.
So I looked for an alternative option. Remembering advice from many thru-hikers doing long trails like the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, who would mail themselves supplies while on the road and mail obsolete gear back home, I decided to look into that option.
I quickly found that in this case, there were several options, with Jordanian Mail, UPS, and DHL, where DHL had offices in both Amman and Aqaba – which sounded like a clear backup option if the hotel would not accept my package (for whatever reason – despite I would have informed them upfront); I could still pick it up at the local DHL office.
A quick check with the comprehensive quote tool on the DHL website showed that a standard format Large DHL box measures 45,0 x 35,0 x 20,0 cm, which was just enough to pack my North Face Duffel bag and some clothes and would cost me 20JOD (about €24,34) to mail from Amman to Aqaba with door-to-door delivery.
In other words: a pretty reliable and efficient way to transfer my gear.
Luggage transfers: mailing your hiking gear in with the post, DHL or UPS – conclusion.
Mailing gear is still more expensive than storing it (for free) at your hotel, but comparable (or cheaper) than storing it at a train station or an airport. I will definitely do it more with my future travels and hikes.
Luggage transfers: mailing your hiking gear in with the post, DHL or UPS – what are your tips?