Lost bags can take days or even weeks to locate again, but following some simple steps could reduce the risk of them getting misplaced.
There’s nothing more exciting than that first step off the plane when you arrive in a different country – arguably one of the best things about a holiday.
But things can get stressful very quickly if you arrive at the dreaded baggage carousel only to find that your luggage hasn’t quite found its way to you.
Lost bags can take days or even weeks to find again, and it can put a real sour mood on your holiday. But there are certain things holidaymakers can do to reduce the risk of luggage being misplaced.
Travel whizz Anthony Collias, co-founder of luggage storage service Stasher, said: “Despite taking every precaution, luggage can occasionally go astray,”
“Ensure you’re covered with suitable travel insurance that includes provision for lost or delayed luggage.”
He also recommends keeping valuable items in your hand luggage: “This includes crucial documents, money, jewellery, electronic devices and medications.”
And if you’re travelling with others, consider dividing your belongings between your bags: “This means that if one bag gets lost or delayed, both of you will still have access to some of your items.”
Here are Anthony’s tips for the best chances of keeping your luggage safe on holiday.
Tag your bags
You should always make sure to have current ID tags on your luggage, 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’s best to leave off your home address.”
Attach a tracker
Electronic tags such as the Apple AirTag, Tile and DynoTag are really popular at the moment. Starting from around £15, they help provide travellers with peace of mind.
“These devices, utilising GPS or Bluetooth technology, enable you to keep track of your bag’s location,” Anthony explained.
“Through a mobile app you can conveniently track your luggage with real-time updates.”
It’s worth snapping a picture of your bags prior to checking them in for your flight, as it could help to identify them if lost.
“These pictures can prove invaluable if your luggage is misplaced and you need to describe it to the airline or insurance firms,” said Anthony.
Stand out from the crowd
Brightly coloured or distinctive bags aren’t just for making a fashion statement – they serve a useful purpose.
“It simplifies the task of identifying your bag on the carousel and minimises the risk of another passenger mistakenly picking it up,” said Anthony.
But try to avoid designer bags covered in logos, as these can be targeted by thieves.
Check in early
One of the reasons bags don’t make it to the right destination is because they don’t make it into the airplane hold on time.
“Endeavour to check in your luggage as early as you can,” Anthony suggested.
“This provides airline staff with ample time to load your bags onto the aircraft.”
Choose direct flights
To really reduce the risk of misplaced luggage, try avoid booking flights with stopovers.
Anthony said: “Where feasible, select direct flights to minimise the risk of your luggage being misplaced or delayed during transfers.”