Any links in this post to a merchant may contain an affiliate link, which means that if you click on that link and then buy something, I may earn a commission from it. However, all opinions in this link are 100% mine and 100% honest. If I didn't believe in a particular product, I wouldn't recommend it to you.
Chris Evans once said “Lost luggage is just an opportunity to start afresh.” While this may be true, it’s not a fun way to start your vacation. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to avoid losing your luggage. Read on to find out how to ensure your luggage arrives at your destination with you.
Tip #1: Use distinctive luggage.
When buying new luggage, choose suitcases that are brightly colored or that have a distinctive pattern.
Avoid using black or red luggage if at all possible. Almost everyone has black or red bags, and this makes it difficult to find yours among hundreds of others at baggage claim. You want your bags to stand out and easily catch your eye.
You want to be able to spot your suitcase from a hundred yards away. So, think about this when picking out new luggage.
Having a suitcase that is similar to others also makes it more likely that someone grabs your bag by mistake. If you are the only one on the plane with a polka dot bag, no one will take it inadvertently.
Tip #2: Give yourself plenty of time before boarding.
Many times, the reason for losing your luggage when flying is that the baggage handlers did not have enough time to get your bags onto the plane. Just like you have to give yourself enough time to get through security before boarding, you have to give your bags time to get to the gate as well.
So, make sure you check in for your flight and check your bags with plenty of time to spare before boarding. This simple thing which is completely within your control can make all the difference when it comes to your luggage making it on your flight.
Tip #3: Use bright luggage tags or stickers.
The next tip to avoid losing your luggage is to make your bags even more noticeable by using brightly colored luggage tags on them or marking them with an eye-catching sticker. This will make them even more unique.
Using distinctive luggage tags will help others to not take your suitcase by mistake. It will also help you to spot it easily at baggage claim.
Many people like to tie colorful ribbons to their suitcases. But, I prefer to use eye-catching luggage tags instead because there is less danger of them falling off or getting caught on something in transit.
I have some bright orange luggage tags that we always use on our suitcases. You can easily see them from 50 feet away. This means I can spot our bags long before they reach us on the conveyor belt at baggage claim.
Tip #4: Avoid tight connections.
The next way to avoid losing your luggage is to not book connections that are too tight. This is a surefire way to guarantee you lose your luggage.
Just like you have to give the baggage handlers enough time to get your bags on your first flight, you also have to give them time to move your luggage from the first plane to the second.
Make sure you have at least an hour between landing and boarding the next flight. The more time you have between flights, the better chance you have of your suitcases making the connection.
Almost every time we have lost our luggage, this has been the reason.
Tip #5: Include your contact information.
Be sure that all your bags have tags with your contact information on them. This way, if your luggage does miss a connection or gets picked up by someone else by mistake, you can be contacted and reunited with your luggage.
If your bags do not have your contact information on them, it is much more likely that they will be lost forever.
Tip #6: Take a photo of your luggage.
The next tip that will help you to avoid losing your luggage is to take a photo of your luggage (both inside and out) with your phone before checking it.
This way, if your luggage is lost, you can show the airline employees what your bags look like and what the contents are. Your photos can help them find your bags faster and get them back to you.
It can also help you with reimbursements if you do lose your luggage. Find out how to file a claim in the event you do lose your luggage.
Tip #7: Check as little as possible.
Another way to help avoid losing your luggage is to check as few pieces of luggage as possible. The fewer bags you check, the less chance there is for one to get lost. This is simply a matter of increasing your odds by decreasing your bags.
Tip #8: Use luggage in good condition.
A very important step in helping you to avoid losing your luggage is to use luggage that is in good condition when flying. Flying is hard on suitcases.
If your luggage is worn out, it may burst open during the flight. If this happens, you may very well lose your luggage or the contents of it.
The first time we flew to American Samoa, one of our bags busted open because the zipper on it was broken. When we claimed our bags at baggage claim, we found the contents of that bag in a trash bag. It was the last bag off the plane. We were very close to losing it completely.
Tip #9: Don’t overstuff your bags.
Just like you don’t want to use luggage that is in bad condition, don’t overstuff your bags.
If your bag breaks in transit, it is more likely to get lost. And if it is overstuffed, it is more likely to break open. Use our tips to prevent overpacking your bags.
While there is always a chance of losing your luggage, you can minimize the chances of that happening by using these tips. I hope these tips improve your next family vacation!
For more ways to improve your travels, see stress free travel with your spouse, what to do when things go wrong, tips to improve your family vacations, and how to avoid child meltdowns while traveling.
P.S. Are you ready to finally take that dream vacation? Our FREE worksheet “How to Turn Your Dream Trip Into a Reality” can help! Grab yours in the box below and start planning today!
Plus, as a bonus, you’ll receive our weekly email newsletters full of trip ideas and inspiration free! Enjoy!