Luggage storage box - material and dimensions

Hello everyone,

I’ve been thinking for a while about making a box to store luggage in. However, the details remain unclear and undetermined.

There are two main things to decide.

  1. What material should the box be made of?

  2. What should the dimensions be? Let’s talk inches and feet for concreteness.

For (1), options include aluminium, steel, galvinized iron and wood. None of these seem ideal. My preference would be for aluminium, which is light weight and looks good. But I was informed, possibly wrongly, that it’s not sturdy enough to support the weight of luggage. It seems to me that would depend on the thickness of the aluminium. The other options would be much heavier.

These people in the UK
(, might be the only people in the world who make large aluminium storage
boxes. At any rate, their site comes up frequently.

As far as (2) goes, I haven’t thought about the dimensions much, but am open to suggestions. And on a related note, should it open on the top or on the side?

Finally, this doesn’t really merit a separate bullet point, but I would like to use a smart lock with it, but choices here are limited, so I might end up going with a simple padlock. Low tech, I know.

@faheem. I don’t think any of us can help you with dimensions. If you looked at the average of your guests, how many bags did they bring and how big were they? You would need to calculate the length, height and depth, and the volume to determine what will be the best size for YOU guests.

As to the door orientation, I would add the door to a side so that you don’t have to lift a heavy bag up and over a wall. A rollup door like a garage or secretary [desk] would be really cool!

I don’t think my guests are anything special. Mostly they are international travellers/tourists. At any rate, those are the people for whom I would be making the box. And these days there are severe limits on how much luggage you can carry internationally. I imagine people here are familiar with them, but I am not, because I don’t travel enough. Can anyone remind me?

Most airlines allow two carryon “personal” bags and then you pay per bag for any luggage that you place in the belly of the plane. There is no limit to the number of bags that you can pay for.

@Faheem I think that I might have mentioned this in a thread way back. But have you considered getting a ready made deck box and adding a padlock?

Hi @jaquo,

If I could find such a thing here. What kind material is a “deck box” typically made of?

Here’s the kind of thing I had in mind. This looks large enough for luggage.

1 Like

True, but there must be some “typical” limit for how much luggage people carry. I guess I could add this as a conversation piece for upcoming guests, but they’ll think I’m weird. If they don’t think that already.

What dimensions limits do airlines put on luggage? I.e. limits on length, breadth, height?

Every airline has this information posted on their website. I would suggest looking at a sample of airline requirements, since they are all different, and use a median as your design tool.

1 Like

I thought there was an international standard. Ok, I could do what you suggest.

Yay @faheem! You’re going for it :slight_smile: From your previous posts on the subject it sounds like this will be a great bonus to your listing. As for dimensions, that’s very tricky. I have many guests with HUGE cases. They are travelling around Europe for a few weeks and feel the need to bring their entire wardrobe and shoe closet and goodness knows what else. The cases are often the biggest around: 75 x 52 x 31 cm. And there’s two of them. Plus their hand baggage which can be a small rucksack/bag of 30 x 20 x15. Again, two of them. In my experience, such guests are a specific group: Chinese and S Korean young females. And occasionally N Americans on an extended trip.

So, depending on what space and price you are prepared to allocate, I would look at something that can fit the two largest cases. That would be more than ample. People who travel with that amount of luggage are a minority, I think. If they have more than that, they’re looking to move in so you should just decline them straightaway!

1 Like

It’s interesting - but maybe a little off-topic - for me to say that I am weirdly fascinated by the amount of luggage guest bring, or don’t.

I’m a very light packer but sometimes I’ve been amazed by guests who are staying here for a week and then going on a two week cruise yet they only have one small suitcase each.

Then there are guests who come for just a weekend and seem to bring everything they possess!

1 Like

Well, I’m not sure how I am going to use the box yet. But it seems a reasonable thing to have on hand when hosting. My current option for securing luggage is basically to tell them to stick their luggage in the wardrobe, lock it, and keep the key. But (a) that won’t work if someone is occupying the room, or the space is unavailable for some other reason (b) The wardrobe shelves aren’t really designed for that kind of weight - they’re plywood. If the shelves collapsed, it would be expensive to fix.

So,what kind of lwh dimensions do you think would be good? 100 cm x 70 cm x 30 cm? Though that might be a freaking enormous box.

Faheem, is google broken in Mumbai?? Just kidding. A quick search reveals that the maximum size for airline hand-luggage is approximately 56cm x 45cm x 25cm. But you are the only one who can determine the average amount of luggage your guests bring. I have never been to India, sadly, and I’m of an age where I imagine all you would take is a small brightly-coloured rucksack, a kaftan and some dreams (just kidding again, I’m not really that old).

I think if you’re going to offer luggage storage, yes you should aim to accommodate the 2 large suitcases (don’t add in the rucksacks, they can take those with them). Unless you conclude that such size luggage is exceptional. The worst case scenario is that you have a box that is too small for the big stuff and too big for the average stuff. I see your dilemma.

1 Like

Most major international airlines that I’ve flown with (Qantas, emirates, Etihad, BA, Singapore…) for long haul flights allow 30kg split between two bags. Others only offer 20kg. There are generally not any size restrictions, the airlines will allow you to check your luggage as ‘oversize’ if necessary (sometimes for a fee, sometimes not).

How about a lockable garden box like this?
This is just from a google image search but I’ve seen them in my local garden store. Seems like an easy option if diy/garden stores near you sell them. I think these would fit most suitcases

I’m wondering why weight is an issue? Where do you plan to put the storage box? I assumed it would be outside on solid ground, in which case weight is immaterial and it’s only size that matters.

I’d look for a prefab resin container, they come in various sizes. Look for one with front opening doors, I have one and it’s easier to put stuff in. The top does flip up. Check the links from your last post re this. I’m assuming it will be outside. Will this be for one set of guests only? I don’t know how many rooms you have to let.

If your guests are international economy they will usually get a 25-30kg suitcase free, plus carryon cabin bag up to 7kg, handbag/small back pack and suit bag.

Business you can double the big suitcase.

My guests travel very heavy too & often over these limits.

To India I would say generally lighter due to more back packers and hotter weather = no need for big winter coats & shoes which take up soooo much room!

I travelled with hand luggage for six months so I guess I’d be one of the weird ones you’d notice :slight_smile:

1 Like

You also have to consider backpacks I find them easier to travel with if there is potentially a lot of waking and moving about. I actually took it to the Venetian in Vegas last year - you should have seen the looks lol

6 months continuous travel with this bad boy - ten years old and still going strong:

I think it’s 20kg in this picture :grimacing:

1 Like

Status on airlines also increase bag allowances. :slight_smile:

Qantas Baggage Allowance