What is the world coming to? Do they still use that phrase? It used to be that this was said in a negative way, i.e. what crazy negative thing has happened in the present that makes you wonder how the world got this way? But I think of it, in this case, as: Wow! How did the world come to this?
What I’m talking about is luggage storage. In some cities, you can store luggage at train stations or the airport, but last year, while in Rome, and wanting to store a bag for a day, so I could do some sightseeing, I remember that it was so complicated that I gave up.
This year, needing to store a bag for a day, I looked up luggage storage, and instead discovered an entirely new model. Instead of a place with storage lockers, there are now apps that match up the consumer to various locations that have agreed to store luggage. It’s cheap and easy. Luggage Hero at https://app.luggagehero.com was the first app I found. They seem to charge 1 euro an hour, but a 2 euro handling charge, to a maximum of 8 euros.
Then I found a competitor, https://bagbnb.com, which at 5 euros was a better deal. And boy, was it easy. The app told me the closest place to drop my bags off, I paid online and followed Google Maps to the address, a 6 minute walk from my AirBNB (which I had to check out of) and located conveniently for when I wanted to pick up my bags before heading off to rent a car and start our Italian driving holiday.
The storage place was a tabacherria, an Italian store that sells tobacco and bus tickets (and now vaping supplies) (though I understand that different types of stores or hotels or maybe even private individuals can sign up to offer this service). The friendly fellow at the counter, checked my information, had me sign a waiver, and then put my bag in the back of the store. I picked it up 8 hours later. So easy!
Over many decades, in many countries, I recall memories of finding baggage storage lockers in airports and train stations, of forking out money or sweet-talking hotels or hostels to leave luggage a little longer, of seeing how much you can fit in a locker, of trying to getting the right coins to put in the lockers, and of rushing to get to places before they closed for the day. But what is the world coming to? These new apps seem very useful for this age, wherever they are operating, and as long as you can sign onto the internet, they work well!