Lost and (Never) Found: 15 Tips to Never Lose Your Luggage

Traveling can be exciting, but there’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination only to find your luggage is missing. Lost bags can ruin a trip, leaving you without clothes, toiletries, and other important items. It’s a headache no one wants to deal with on vacation or a business trip.

Luckily, there are ways to keep your bags from getting lost in the first place. Here are 15 tips to help you keep track of your luggage and avoid the stress of lost bags!

Use Unique Luggage

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Pick suitcases that stand out from the crowd. Choose bright colors or add colorful straps or stickers. This makes your bag easier to spot on the carousel and less likely to be mistaken for someone else’s. It also helps airline staff identify your bag if it gets misplaced.

Take a Photo

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Snap a picture of your luggage before you check it in. This gives you a clear image to show airline staff if your bag goes missing. Make sure to capture any unique features or identifying marks.

Remove Old Tags

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Always remove old luggage tags from previous trips. Old tags can confuse baggage handlers and send your suitcase to the wrong destination. Only keep the current tag on your bag to avoid mix-ups.

Use a Luggage Tag

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Put a sturdy luggage tag on the outside of your bag with your name and contact info. Add a second tag inside your suitcase in case the outside one falls off. This helps airlines contact you if they find your lost bag.

Arrive Early

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Get to the airport with plenty of time to spare. This gives the airline more time to process your bag and reduces the chance of it missing your flight. Rushing increases the risk of mistakes happening with your luggage.

Use a Tracking Device

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Put a GPS tracker or Bluetooth device in your suitcase. These gadgets let you track your bag’s location using your smartphone. It’s a high-tech way to keep tabs on your luggage throughout your journey.

Fly Direct

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Book direct flights when you can. Every layover is a chance for your bag to get lost or sent to the wrong place. Fewer stops mean fewer opportunities for mix-ups with your luggage. Although layovers may sound like a great idea, if you want to save yourself from headaches, it might be best to skip them.

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Pack Smart

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To ensure the safety of your important items, keep them in your carry-on bag instead. This includes medications, valuables, and a change of clothes. If your checked bag does get lost, you’ll still have essentials with you.

Check Your Claim Ticket

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Make sure the destination on your claim ticket matches where you’re going. Double-check this before leaving the check-in counter. A wrong code on the ticket can send your bag to the wrong city.

Use Airline Apps

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Download your airline’s mobile app. Many airlines let you track your luggage through their app. This gives you real-time updates on where your bag is during your trip and helps decrease the anxiety of losing it as you cruise through the flight.

Label Inside and Out

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When preparing your baggage, make sure to put your contact information inside your suitcase, too. If outer tags fall off, airline staff can still find your info inside. Include your name, phone number, and email address.

Use Fragile Stickers

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Put “Fragile” stickers on your bag, even if it doesn’t contain breakable items. These bags often get special handling and may be loaded last. This can mean they’re first off the plane, reducing the chance of mix-ups.

Double-check the Destination Tag

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Before your bag goes on the conveyor belt, check that the airline has put the correct destination tag on it. A wrong tag can send your bag to the opposite side of the world. This quick check can save you a lot of hassle later.

Use Zipper Locks

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Secure your bag’s zippers with TSA-approved locks. This prevents your bag from popping open during transit and spilling its contents. It also deters theft, keeping your belongings safe throughout your journey.

Check In Online

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Use online check-in when possible. This gives the airline more time to process your bag and reduces the chance of mix-ups. It also means less time standing in line at the airport, which is always a plus.

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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