What if you have a few hours or even a day or two to spend sightseeing but need to store your luggage? There are now many different services that fit the bill.
Bounce Bounce has partnered with local NYC businesses and has a network of more than 100 shops spread across important traffic hubs. These include Grand Central Terminal, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, and Times Square but also convenient areas in Brooklyn. To ensure the safety of the contents of your luggage, Bounce has you affix a security seal through the zippers of your bag. This will insure your bags up to $5,000. Take a picture of the seal attached to your bag as a receipt for delivered luggage. Everything is paid online for your safety and convenience.
LuggageHero Travelers can leave luggage at one of dozens of locations spread throughout the city including important traffic hubs such as Grand Central Terminal, Port Authority Bus Terminal, Penn Station, and Times Square. LuggageHero guarantees the security of your belongings, providing a $3,000 insurance as well as having you attach a security seal through the zippers of your bag. Take a picture of the seal attached to your bag as a receipt for delivered luggage. Everything is paid online for your safety and convenience.
Additional luggage storage solutions may be found at CBH Luggage Storage located at 45 West 46th Street and Schwartz Travel & Storage NYC which is located on the ground floor at 357 w 37th St. between 8th & 9th Avenues.
Pennsylvania Station offers a luggage storage, but the facility can be hard to find. Ask a uniformed Amtrak employee for assistance at the station if you have difficulty finding it. Generally, you need to be able to present a train ticket to use this service, but not always. Costs are moderate. This option is most useful if you intend to travel via Amtrak, or if you will take NJ Transit/AirTrain to Newark Airport.
Of course most of Manhattan's finer hotels have a luggage storage room. If your hotel does not store luggage, you might ask the concierge of a nearby one that does. You might also find that a generous tip can possibly help find you a solution if the hotel clerk hasn't got an answer.
A mention of places that currently do NOT store luggage: The Port Authority Bus Terminal; LaGuardia Airport; and Newark Airport. Advance airline check-in does not function here as it does in some European countries, whereby your luggage can be delivered to the airline 24 hours in advance. Thus, an early trip to the airport would be a waste of time anyhow. Some foreign carriers do make special arrangements for their first-class passengers; inquire of the airline.
Although JFK airport does have two luggage storage facilities, unless you intend to fly into JFK and fly out again from JFK, it's a waste of your time to travel so far just to store your luggage. This service is most useful if you have just arrived after a long-haul international flight and have a day to spend before your onward connection. At the Terminal 4 Arrivals area, the facility operates 24 hours per day, and charges per day depending on the size of your luggage. For more information, phone (718) 751-4020. The facility in Terminal 1, located near Alitalia and Olympic Airlines in the Arrivals area, operates from 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM, also charges per day depending on the size of your luggage. For more information, phone (718) 751-2947.
Due to heightened security concerns, museums are now more reluctant to store big items. Certainly if you arrive with three suitcases you will have an extremely difficult time convincing the museum staff to accept your luggage. But one medium-sized backpack or suitcase with wheels and carrying handle might be perfectly acceptable. Usually museums store luggage for free.
You might also try the coat check facility of a well-known restaurant, although this could require some persuasion and a generous tip. While a decent-looking suitcase on wheels might be fine, more than that likely would be unacceptable. A generous tip is appropriate, especially if you have no intention of eating at the restaurant. Do if you intend to return at an off-hour such as 4 p.m. ensure the restaurant does not close in the mid-afternoon!
In sum, with a bit of planning you can arrange to store your luggage should you find you have a day or so to spend in New York minus your possessions. A final note: Always lock your luggage before storing it! Even though United States air transportation policy no longer allows you to lock your checked luggage, things unfortunately do occasionally disappear in hotel facilities. Obviously under no circumstances should you leave any valuables your luggage (camera, passport, money).