This is your luggage. Do not loose it. It wants to stay with you and give you all the wonderful things you packed for your trip. The last straw for me loosing my luggage was when bags were lost on a trip to Puerto Rico. Was I reunited with my bags? Luckily-yes! But, a month later. In Puerto Rico, I had only what I brought in my carry-on. Since then, I learned a few tricks and tools to help keep your luggage.
- Identify your luggage…repeatedly.
The number 1 reason luggage is lost is because of damaged labels. Now, you can only control only so much in terms of making sure that ticket handlers print and attach the label. It may be torn off during your bag’s journey from the ticket counter through TSA, onto the plane and then back to you. But, you can also make sure to fill out an identification card. I also attach a laminated card on the inside of my luggage as well as undeniable proof that my bag is indeed mine if it is lost.
2. Take a picture of your luggage tag.
Loosing your luggage tag is easy when juggling multiple tickets, tags, currencies, etc.
- Take advantage of priority handling.
Many reward programs provide upgrades for your luggage along with easier to identify luggage tags. These bags are given priority handling and are less likely to become lost. If you are a frequent traveler, sign up for these programs and accrue points.
- Make sure the attendant enters the correct destination code on your luggage. Humans make errors and this is a common reasons bags are lost.
- Try to not change flights or airlines.
Avoid changing your flights and if this can’t be helped, try not to change airlines. Changing airlines changes luggage identifying systems and it’s easy for bags to literally slip through the cracks.
- Let your bag stand out from the crowd.
Most bags look alike. The pompoms, ribbons, luggage tags, etc. may seem cliché but they work. Landing in Las Vegas once, I saw a random man grab my suitcase and walk away. Thankfully, my husband saw him as well and chased him down. I was minutes away from becoming luggageless. Since then, I bought bright bandanas and tied them to my luggage.
- Check in 2 hours or less before your flight.
Bags aren’t loaded earlier than 2 hours before a flight so, checking in too early can cause your bags to become lost in the shuffle.
- Store your valuables in a carry-on.
While your can’t control 100% of what happens to your checked bags, you can keep an eye on your carryon. This is a great place to store your valuables like jewelry. Ladies, make-up is another great thing to keep in your carry-on.
- Track your luggage with GPS
Tile.com offers a $25 GPS device, which connects to your smart phone. Never loose your bags again!