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What to do with old luggage?

Two other threads got me thinking about this. I recently received a replacement bag, but the old one was still usable.

Another poster keeps the old bag for spare parts (wheels), which I think is brilliant!

I donated my old bag to the Campus Minister at my college, for students going on Alternative Spring Break service trips. I have donated other bags (too heavy or too big for packing light) to homeless shelters, or emergency relief efforts.

What do you do with your old luggage?

Posted by
1194 posts

Some I've given away to students or friends.

The homeless shelter is a great idea!

Posted by
327 posts

Many foster child (social services) programs welcome luggage donations. Often children are given only a trash bag to use for their possessions when being moved. In Boise, the AAA office will accept the donations and forward to social services.

Posted by
11507 posts

Lynn I had never thought about that , those poor kids !!!

Posted by
1221 posts

A local cat rescue runs a thrift store to support their programs, and gets my old luggage along with other goods donations.

Posted by
5697 posts

Whatever charity you support may have a local thrift store -- American Cancer Society has ones in many cities, or local hospitals.
Or you can use the old luggage to store your emergency supplies.

Posted by
15664 posts

eBags has a program called Trade In, Trade Up. You send in an old bag that they give to charity and in return you get a $25 voucher towards your next order from them. They send you a shipping label.

Ebay, not to be confused with eBags, has Ebay Valet. Send your item in and a group of "professionals" sells it for you. I've done this with fairly new bags. You won't get anywhere near what you think the bag is worth because they take a big cut, but you will get something and they do the work. They also send you a shipping label so sending the bags to them is free. If they can't sell the bag, they return it to you.

I've given numerous bags to the local Habitat for Humanity Restore. They'll be getting a bunch more soon after my next clear out.

Posted by
4593 posts

I have taken 'free' luggage from the curb as I was taking donations to Africa or South America on some trips. There are bound to be missions soon going to Caribbean following Irma.
We also have a service wherein tourists can carry a suitcase of medical supplies to a country. Not Just Tourists is the organization in Canada.

Posted by
16087 posts

I passed our first set (no wheels) to a nephew for his first trips. Our 24" Travelpro bags are still going strong, thank heavens, as they discontinued that model and we've yet to see another bag we like as much.

Posted by
173 posts

I donate items to our local domestic violence shelter, especially the many toiletry bags I buy in the never-ending search for the perfect one. I also support their mission with Amazon Smile and my Kroger card.

Posted by
3791 posts

I pack my old luggage with clothing that I am also donating and give the items to a local non-profit.

Posted by
2531 posts

Donatations to a local all-volunteer thrift shop supporting women.

Posted by
2630 posts

I just tidied up my garage yesterday and decided it was time to donate a perfectly good--but quite heavy--rolling Sharper Image suitcase that I have since replaced with one that's a good 5 lbs lighter. It will go--along with all kinds of other stuff-to a gigantic local rummage sale run by the Oakland Museum.

Posted by
392 posts

I store my clothes seasonally in a storage unit in our building's basement (tiny NYC apartment). MY suitcase recently had both the telescoping handle break (fixable) and then the zipper start to stick. The zipper problem made me decide it wasn't worth fixing. I decided it could still be useful for storing clothes in the basement.

Posted by
630 posts

We store them as our Emergency Bags in case we need to pack up important items from the house quickly. We once lived in California and had to evacuate with a wildfire quickly approaching. The Emergency Bags came in handy.

A friend of mine that lives in Houston had her house flooded from Hurricane Harvey. The National Guard (or another government entity) is allowing her 4 hours to go into her house to retrieve any important belongings. This would be an opportunity to use the old luggage for clothing, etc.

Just giving another example of how they can be used. Of course, donating to a worthy cause is a great way to reuse them.

Posted by
581 posts

Having made three service trips to Central and South America, I can vouch for that option. In particular, old hard side luggage can be useful. Last summer I took a bag full of donated bandages and Diabetic test strips in an old hard side case. Brought it back empty and will take it again next summer.

Posted by
2349 posts

First of all, if you have young kids and are going somewhere for Christmas, just pack presents in an extra suitcase and they'll never know that Santa had help.

The homeless aren't the only ones who need suitcases. Those without cars need them to take groceries home or go to the laundromat. If you have accumulated extra reusable grocery bags they can use those as well. Often you'll get those at trade shows or conventions.

Posted by
3992 posts

I wish you could all see what greeted us in the baggage area of our new "home" airport, Sacramento. It really put a smile on my face after a long flight last month to exit through the baggage claim area and see these luggage "tornadoes" that reached to the sky. Scroll down to Samson.

I pointed out my old high school graduation present, a blue hard case Samsonite suitcase that was somewhere near the top. It was so high up I couldn't see if had my initials, R.S.T., on it 😉.

P.S. I think an art field trip to SMF might be a nice excursion for the Sacrament travel group after all we only meet about 10 miles away.

EDIT: from a practical standpoint we've passed our slightly older but very usable luggage down to family members over the past several years. I like the idea mentioned above to save up things you are going to donate IN the outgoing luggage and just wheel it all away to your favorite charity when it gets full.

Posted by
891 posts

Hubby and I grew up in south Louisiana. Hurricanes are a fact of life. Many people there have learned to keep an old roller bag that stores their files of needed papers. Wills, insurance, birth certificates, discharge papers from the military, pictures of personal property and family photos. (You get the idea) Now we live in Colorado and many people here have to keep a "Grab and Go" bag or box of the same items in case of wildfires. Just goes to show that old luggage can have a great use.

Posted by
11480 posts

When we replace our bags, as we finally did this year, we keep the old ones for potential use such as a "pack heavy" trip when we need an extra bag to take along gifts at the holidays. Eventually we donate to a not-for-profit if there is some utility left in them. In our endless search for the perfect day packs, we've sent many to a refugee program when they did not work for us.

I love the idea of creating an emergency bag.

Posted by
19167 posts

One thing you don't want to do is put it out for the trash pickup and hide things in it you can't legally put out.

My partner's (late) ex tried that. Someone discovered the cans of paint he had hidden inside, and he had forgotten to take off the luggage tags with his name and address on them. Needless to say he got a citation.

Posted by
420 posts

I had a garage sale once. I was really surprised the first things that went fast was all my old luggage and reusable water bottles.

You probably could just leave it out on the curb with a "free" sign.

Posted by
7072 posts

If anybody I know (friends or family) wants them, I'm happy to pass them along. Otherwise they go to the Goodwill or ARP.

Posted by
788 posts

I put all my old luggage -- green fabric Samsonite, all in great condition, but with the old wheels-in-each-corner configuration -- out for a garage sale and no one paid the slightest attention. It ended up going to Goodwill, so I hope someone found it useful.

Thanks to RS standing behind its products, I just received a replacement Civita day bag. The cord on one of the water bottle pockets was frayed, but the bag was in otherwise good condition. I'm now using the old one to store all those odds and ends that I don't need regularly -- the Euro power adapters, earplugs, money belts, clothesline and other assorted knick knacks. I was just keeping all that stuff in one of my other suitcases, but would have to transfer it out when I wanted to use that bag for a simple domestic trip.