There’s nothing more exciting than that first step on the plane when you arrive in another country – arguably one of the best things about a vacation.
But things can get stressful very quickly if you arrive at the dreaded baggage carousel to find that your luggage hasn’t quite found its way to you.
Lost bags can take days or even weeks to find, and it can put a real sour mood on your vacation. But there are some things vacationers can do to reduce the risk of their luggage being misplaced.
Travel genius Anthony Collias, co-founder of luggage storage service Stasher, said: “Despite all the precautions taken, luggage can sometimes go astray.”
“Make sure you are covered by appropriate travel insurance which includes a provision for lost or delayed baggage.”
He also recommends keeping valuables in your hand luggage: “This includes crucial documents, money, jewelry, electronics and medication.”
And if you’re traveling with other people, consider dividing your belongings between your bags: “This means that if one bag is lost or delayed, you will both have access to some of your items.”
Here are Anthony’s tips for the best chance of keeping your luggage safe while on vacation.
Label your bags
You should always make sure you have up-to-date identification tags on your baggage, as well as the tags the airline gives you at check-in.
“These should detail your name, mobile number and email address,” Anthony said.
“For security reasons, it is best to leave your home address.”
Attach a tracker
Electronic tags such as Apple AirTag, Tile and DynoTag are very popular right now. Starting at around £15, they help give travelers peace of mind.
“These devices, using GPS or Bluetooth technology, allow you to keep track of where your bag is,” Anthony explained.
“Through a mobile app, you can easily track your luggage with real-time updates.”
It’s worth taking a picture of your bags before checking them in for your flight, as this could help identify them if lost.
“These photos can prove invaluable if your luggage is misplaced and you need to describe it to the airline or insurance companies,” Anthony said.
Stand out from the crowd
Brightly colored or distinctive bags don’t just serve to make a fashion statement – they serve a useful purpose.
“It simplifies the task of identifying your bag on the carousel and minimizes the risk of another passenger picking it up by mistake,” Anthony said.
But try to avoid designer bags covered in logos, as they can be a target for thieves.
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Check in early
One of the reasons why luggage does not arrive at the correct destination is that it does not arrive on the plane on time.
“Try to check in your bags as soon as possible,” suggested Anthony.
“This gives airline staff enough time to load your bags onto the plane.”
Choose direct flights
To really reduce the risk of misplaced luggage, try to avoid booking flights with stopovers.
Anthony said: “Wherever possible, select direct flights to minimize the risk of your baggage being misplaced or delayed during transfers.”
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