Who among us doesn’t have a travel horror story involving lost baggage and apathetic customer service reps? Next time you travel, minimize your chances of a repeat situation with these luggage safety tips.
Get a Quality ID Tag
The complimentary paper tags offered at check-in are convenient, but they’re free for a reason: They can easily be ripped off your belongings or disintegrated by water. Pony up for an ID tag made of a durable material, like plastic or leather, and make sure the window displaying your contact information is waterproof. You can even make your own tag with duct tape and some Velcro!
Document Your Luggage
Use your smartphone to snap a pic of each luggage item in tow as well as your baggage ticket. If—knock on wood—the airline happens to lose any of your items, you’ll have instant access to its tracking info and a clear photo to accompany the description on your claim. This is just one of many great travel tips from Babble.
Make Your Bags Stand Out
Whether it’s a checked suitcase or your carry-on duffel bag, your luggage will be out of your hands at some point. Make sure all items are easily recognizable so they aren’t accidentally scooped up by someone else. A few ideas from SheKnows: bright ribbons, an assortment of stickers and artfully applied paint.
Implement Cable Ties
Travel + Leisure suggests picking up some cheapo zip ties at your local hardware store and using them to secure the zipper tabs of your luggage. They’ll prevent would-be thieves from opening your bags but are easy enough to snip through should TSA need to inspect your bags. If you want to shell out a bit more, you can also get a TSA-approved combination lock or even a luggage tracking device.
Be Extra Vigilant
Keep your eyes on your checked baggage from the moment you enter the airport until the moment the attendant whisks it away. When you’re left with just your carry-on, watch it as it goes through the security X-ray and grab it the minute you can on the other side. And continue this hyper awareness once you’re on the plane—board early so you can use the overhead bins rather than being forced to gate-check.
You’ve got all bases covered to prevent your luggage from being lost or stolen, but how can you make sure your traveling closet comes back from life’s adventures the same way it left? Protect it with a plan from SIMPLR, which covers accidental damage and everyday use failures.