As the airlines heap on more and more fees for baggage, the question inevitably rises: Why not ship your bags to your destination instead? The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple "yes" or "no," as there are significant costs to shipping and multiple players offering a myriad of options for luggage transport.
Luckily, SmarterTravel.com's sister site SeatGuru has done a lot of the research for you, explaining and comparing the different options in its travel tips section. SeatGuru lays out the pros and cons of using a shipping service rather than checking your bags with an airline, explains the differences between the various providers, and has pricing charts showing how shipping fees differ depending on the provider, shipping time, and baggage weight. From the comparison chart you can link directly to each service so you can get price quotes for your specific situation.
From the looks of it, shipping your bags doesn't appear to be a money-saver, but it will spare you the hassle of schlepping your suitcases to the airport and hauling them to your hotel. And, most services offer guaranteed on-time delivery and delivery monitoring, which can be invaluable when you absolutely need to baggage to be there when you are.