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Oops Where's My Luggage?

Joanna Hall

It's only ever happened to me once in years of travels, touch wood, but if it's happened to you recently, you already know that losing your luggage can be a major inconvenience. If you're coming home it's not such a problem, unless your case is permanently lost, but if you're just arriving on vacation, being without clothes, makeup and all your essentials is a disaster. So what can you do to prevent loss in the first place? Besides choosing an airline with a good reputation for handling luggage, one thing to do is make sure your luggage tags are tough and good quality, with all the relevant info written on them - don't just rely on the flimsy ones provided by airlines. Another good idea is to have all your contact details on a sticker clearly inside your luggage - such as attached to the inside of the lid - in case the exterior ones go walkabout, and someone checks inside your case for ID. If you add a printout of your itinerary too near the top, that would help someone track down where you are going.

I am also a firm believer in checking in early; leaving it until the last minute could end up with you being separated from your bags, as handlers need time to process check-in luggage, transport it to the aircraft and load it. Also avoid tight flight connections, as this increases the risk of your bags going missing between planes. Another good tip is to make your luggage more easy to identify; if it's a neutral colour and popular brand, add a brightly coloured scarf, ribbon, or luggages straps so you can spot your bags more easily, and someone else doesn't mistake them for being theirs. Besides making sure you have good insurance, one final thing you can do is invest in tracking gadget which uses a combination of GMS cellular signals and state-of-the-art technology to locate misplaced luggage in any airport in the world. These devices are small and light, usually the size of a mobile phone, and they are easy to slip into any suitcase, thus tracking its movements. If all else fails, if you're travelling with a partner, don't approach packing in a "yours" and "mine" way. Instead, divide your belongings equally between your cases so if one gets lost you will both have some clothes and other essentials.

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