“Health Aware Care” magazine knows we might lose our luggage. Usually, airlines are pretty good about it, but every now and then there’s a mixup and your suitcase winds up in Athens while you wind up in Nome, Alaska. If you pack smart before you fly, you’ll minimize the hassles.Much luggage looks pretty much the same. If you put a distinctive marker on yours, it will be easier to pick out on the carousel, and will cut down the chances of someone taking what they think is their suitcase, either through accident, or thievery.
A bit of bright yarn or string tied to the handle is simple enough, and should do the trick. You should also toss a business card with your name, address and phone number on it into the bag, in case the tag gets lost or falls off in the process. When the airline opens up your case in the lost luggage department, they’ll be able to find you. Lock it if it has a lock, and be sure you take the key with you. You should probably put jewelry, important papers, medicines, eyeglasses, and toiletries you’ll be needing in your carry-on. That way, if the suitcase does get lost, you’ll still have the basic necessities for an overnight stay without spending extra money. Toss in a change of underwear, too.
If you can time it right, check your luggage in about 1-1/2 hours before the flight. For some curious reason, statistics show that luggage checked in just before the flight, or 2+ hours early is the most likely to get lost. Statistically, then, if you can have your suitcase on the conveyer belt just about 1-1/2 hours before the plane leaves, you’re least likely to lose your bags. Don’t leave the ticket desk before double-checking that the ticket agent has put the correct tags on all your luggage. If you don’t understand the airline’s destination codes, LAX for Los Angeles, for example, then ask them to be sure it’s going to the same place you are. And read our IT luggage review article for choosing the right luggage for your travel.