A carefully planned vacation can be ruined with a single lost suitcase. When you are missing a piece of luggage, it can dampen your excitement for the trip. You also need to spend plenty of time and energy talking to airline staff members to locate your baggage and to figure out where to get your change of clothes. This kind of scenario can be frustrating for any traveler. Losing your luggage can add a lot of stress to what’s supposed to be an best trip.Here’s how to avoid losing your luggage while traveling.
While packing extra shirts in your carry-on bag can get you through a couple of days, it can be difficult to enjoy the rest of your trip knowing that you have yet to be reunited with your checked-in baggage. To avoid losing your luggage while traveling, here are some helpful tips.
Make Your Luggage Stand Out
When half of the passengers on the flight own a similar black suitcase with the one you also have, it’s easy to get your baggage mixed up with others. Even with a luggage tag, someone might get your suitcase by mistake. To ensure your luggage can be quickly identified, you can have custom luggage tags made in your preferred colors or patterns. Take customization to another level by having your name engraved or your preferred images and text imprinted on the tags.
If you want to easily spot your suitcase as soon as it lands on the baggage carousel, you can add a colorful luggage strap, tie neon ribbons, or paste some vibrant stickers on your suitcase. Get creative with the distinguishable items you want to add. It will surely help make your bag stand out from the others.
Check in Early
One of the common reasons passengers get separated from their luggage is because they checked in late. You need to understand that it takes quite some time for airport baggage handlers to process all the baggage from the check-in drop-off points and transport them to the designated planes. Even if you make it just before the airplane doors close, your luggage may not share a similar fate. It might not get loaded into the plane’s cargo in time. To avoid this, experts advise checking in your belongings early or before the cut-off—which is 30 minutes before departure.
Place a Copy of Your Itinerary Inside Your Bag
While many luggage tags are made from sturdy materials, there is still a possibility of the tags coming off as your suitcase goes through the handling process. As an additional precaution, print a copy of your itinerary and contact information and place it on top of your belongings inside your suitcase. In some instances, airline staff members would open delayed baggage to look for the owner’s information. With a copy of your details inside, airline staff will be able to contact you and send your luggage.
Take Photos of Your Suitcase
If you happen to lose your suitcase, a photo of it will greatly help airline staff locate it faster. You can show the photo of your luggage to the airline staff assisting you. This way, they have a clear description of your luggage—from the color, size, and any distinguishable marks. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of the contents of your suitcase, in case you need to file an insurance claim for the lost items. While you’re at it, snap a photo of your baggage claim ticket as well. This can be handy when you can’t find the original copy.
Avoid Short Layovers
Pieces of luggage can get lost due to tight layovers. If you have a connecting flight, make sure there is ample time between flights for your suitcase to make it to the next plane. When booking your flight, pay close attention to your layovers. In the event of delayed flights, the time your bags get loaded onto the next plane becomes slim. Meanwhile, the chances of losing your luggage increase.
For an international connecting flight, you may need to pick up your checked luggage, go through customs and airport security, and recheck your bag. It’s similar when you arrive in the United States from an international destination and need to take a domestic connecting flight. With the transfers, you need to allow at least two hours for international layovers. In case you are uncertain about the process, you can ask the airline staff if you need to check-in your suitcase again at your connection.
Consider Shipping Your Luggage
Another alternative to ensure your luggage arrives at your destination is to ship it instead. Apart from this, you get to save up on extra baggage fees, and you won’t need to haul your suitcase around the airport. While airlines offer some protection in case of lost baggage, the claiming process will require a lot of your time and energy.
When you opt to ship your luggage, it will be easier to track. You just need to consider the shipping time. You might need to ship a few days in advance or wait a day or so when you reach your destination. This kind of option is also ideal for families who will need to bring a lot of bags or someone who is not a fan of packing light.
Losing your luggage can add a lot of stress to what’s supposed to be an exciting trip. So remember to take the necessary measures when traveling. This way, you can avoid your suitcase disappearing or being sent to the wrong place.