Avoid losing your luggage with these tips

There really isn’t a worse way to start or end a vacation than with lost luggage. Many travelers choose to carry-on for this specific reason, however, some trips require more luggage than a single carry-on bag. Typical modern-day airports utilize the most advanced technologies to help you get from point A to point be as seamlessly as possible, but this isn’t always a guarantee that everything will go as planned. Human error happens, and computers can make mistakes too. When it comes to your luggage, a “plan for the worst hope for the best” approach could save you from every traveler’s worst nightmare, lost luggage!

Mark your baggage.
This might seem like a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many people forgo putting their name and information onto their luggage before checking their bags. Priority number one when it comes to your luggage is making sure that your baggage is properly tagged with your name, phone number, and home address. If your baggage has a common look, it’s also a good idea to add another easily identifiable marking to your bag so that your bag won’t be picked up by a stranger on accident. 

Carry-on valuables and other important items when possible. 
This is imperative so that if your luggage is lost you’ll still have what you won’t be able to replace. Always carry-on important items such as medications, your wallet (identification, credit cards, checks, passports), electronics containing personal and business information, cell phone and other electronic chargers, travel documents, and if possible a change of clothes. Worst case scenario your carry-on items will be able to hold you over until you’re able to recover your lost baggage.  

Arrive to the airport with plenty of time. 
Arriving to the airport 90-120 minutes in advance is always advisable but even more so if you plan on checking your bags. If you’re late, you not only risk missing your flight but you’ll increase the possibility that your luggage won’t make it onto the plane in time. Play it safe and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get checked in and make it through TSA before your plane is ready to board. It might seem like a waste of time to sit waiting for your plane for an hour, but you’ll end up wasting a lot more time if you end up missing your flight or waiting for your luggage because your luggage didn’t make it onto your flight. 

Know your airlines procedure for connecting flights. 
If you aren’t traveling on a direct flight, it’s important to know the airlines procedure for connecting flights. Depending on your connecting airport and the airline you’re flying, you might need to move your bags yourself so it’s important that you verify these policies before you take flight. Most larger airports will do the baggage moving for you but never assume this is the case and always check with the baggage attendants when in doubt. 

Simon Hailwood