My husband and I will be backpacking, well, I guess I should say flashpacking through Vietnam next month. At times, we will have to check out of our hotel and spend the rest of the day sightseeing before we leave for our next destination. Instead of lugging our packs around with us, we thought it might be possible to check our bags with our hotel's front desk. I should mention, we're staying at moderately nice hotels. Does anyone know if it's safe? Any experiences? Any advice would be appreciated.
#1 mechlois has been a member since 12/1/2011. Posts: 2
At the mid-range places I've stayed, I've never had a problem with it. Some places will charge minimal fee for the service - expect to have a closet to lock it in if that is the case. You can also go to the left-luggage office (which I took as a lost-and-found for some time) at train stations and some bus stations and pay a small fee to leave the bag there as well. Some people will tell you to padlock the zipper - a small, light weight lock (just a few centimeters square) would do the trick of warding off the casual snoop. Of course, don't leave anything dear in there, no expensive electronics - common sense stuff.
If they don't have a closet for you and just stash it behind the check-in desk, use your best judgment. Again, in that circumstance I've had no problems (knock on wood) but I don't leave it anywhere that the staff is regularly leaving the check-in desk unattended.
I agree with casey - I have done this several times in various types of places, without problem. There have been a few times that I leave my main pack with them and use my daypack for 2-3 day excursions. I think the longest time I left a bag behind was 3-4 week. I've never had a problem, but ALWAYS padlock the zippers (for what it's worth) - and never leave anything of value.
Even with a padlock it is easy to get in through the zip with a bic pen and then re close the zip.
Put paper or cardboard over the lock and zippers and masking tape all around then write on the tape effectively signing the tape. It will be obvious if some one has tried to get into your bag.
Ant real valuables do the same in a plastic bag and ensure that reception puts it in their safe of locked cupboard at reception.
For real security get a pacsafe backpak.
#4 vietnamrum has been a member since 21/1/2011. Posts: 39
i can't imagine anyone wants to get to my dirty cloths and toiletry bag that badly. the only thing of value i carry is always with me in my day bag - my money belt/passport. sure i'd hate to lose my flashlight or something that i might leave behind but not enough to bother worrying about it, i can always get a new flashlight.
Thank you so much for all of your helpful advice. Much appreciated!
#6 mechlois has been a member since 12/1/2011. Posts: 2
The best advice I can give is to pick your hotels carefully, and then there will be no problem whatsoever. First of all, you should not leave any valuables in those packs. I wear a messenger bag for my camera and other valuables, and leave my larger 40L pack + another bag with gifts at my hotel. The only theft I've had in the entire country in 4 month-long trips to Vietnam was last Dec in Hanoi at the Sunshine Palace Hotel. Some staff member had entered my room while I was out at dinner, and removed some personal belongings that I left on the bed. Fortunately these items were not valuable, but I nevertheless felt violated, and promptly left that hotel. I urge you to travel with as light a load as you can manage, and you'll be fine. Do get a receipt when leaving bags with your hotel, and simply find another hotel when your sixth sense tells you it's not safe.