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When visiting the city from the suburbs, I'll often spend most of the day there, shopping, eating and engaging in similar fun activities.

I'll usually take a backpack in which might have water in it, a book, portable phone charger, etc.

Over the course of the day, I'll generally get tired of carrying the bag, as well as perhaps a jacket, and the shopping bags I've accumulated.

What are some life hacks I could use to store and keep my bags safe while in the city?

Ideally these would be free - or relatively cheap.

One I've thought of is being a member of a gym, and utilising the usually free lockers at the gym for a short period. This might work; in my case I'm already a member of a gym that doesn't have an outlet in the city.

I'm in Melbourne, Australia, but feel free to answer in a sufficiently broader way that could work for any city. I'd be interested in universal ideas that could be applied in any city with a bit of further research, as I'd probably want to do this when on holiday too!

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    Does your gym have any reciprocal arrangements with others in other cities? Maybe you can propose they do for the benefits it can have. – Stan Jun 1 '16 at 4:44
  • @Stan They are a chain, so yes they do generally with other gyms in the same chain. Just requires them to have an outlet in the right place though ;) – Tim Malone Jun 2 '16 at 20:10
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Train & bus stations are usually located near city hubs. Lockers are almost always available there for short-term rental.

Some hostels, hotels, and motels have safe-keeping for their guests and maybe you could make an arrangement with one of them near your activities.

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    I've done this a few times with hotels. I have yet to be asked if I'm a guest. – Travelling Man Jun 9 '16 at 9:28
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Buy something in a department store and ask them to look after your bag till you go home. Put your other stuff in the bag too. I have often done this in the old days of dead-tree books.

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Look for places that have lockers.

In my place (Germany) this is common e.g. for libraries and university buildings (you may have to bring your own padlock). There are also some types of stores where you can lock your bag for a deposit (typically electronics stores or very large department stores).

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