Flying between different climates and terrains, embarking on a ski or golf vacation, or undergoing a painfully thorough security check at the airport—there are many circumstances that make shipping your luggage, skis, or golf clubs an appealing prospect. But what may seem simple comes with hidden hassles. Russia, Denmark, Japan, and Argentina, among others, require a list of everything in the bag, and some countries add customs charges on items you already own. In addition, shipping companies won't send aerosol sprays, perfume, nail polish remover, fur, food, plants, or firearms. And hotels always need to be alerted that your luggage may arrive before you. Using a 40-pound, 24 x 18 x 12 suitcase, we put the shipping process to the test.
DOMESTIC Next-day delivery: New York to San Francisco, $134; Second-day: $96
INTERNATIONAL Next-day delivery: New York to Vancouver, $150; UPS ships personal effects internationally to Canada only.
POLICIES Suitcases must be unlocked and inside a box. Skis and golf clubs are $5 extra and must also be boxed.
CONTACT Domestic: 800-742-5877; International: 800-782-7892; www.ups.com
DOMESTIC Next-day delivery: $150, by 8:30 a.m.; $124, by 10:30 a.m.; and $113, by 3 p.m.; Second-day: $87
INTERNATIONAL Second-day delivery: New York to Paris, $235; Second-day: New York to Bangkok, $311
POLICIES Boxing the unlocked suitcase (or golf clubs or skis) is recommended but not necessary. Ask about customs restrictions for your destination.
CONTACT 800-463-3339; www.fedex.com
DOMESTIC Next-day delivery: New York to San Francisco, $119; Ft. Lauderdale to Atlanta, $98; Second-day: $88 and $45
INTERNATIONAL Second-day delivery: New York to Paris, $232; Third-day: New York to Bangkok, $311
POLICIES Luggage must be inside a box, as must golf clubs and skis. International shipping times are approximate. Ask about customs restrictions.
CONTACT 800-225-5345; www.dhl.com