Few things can ruin a trip faster than arriving at your destination only to realize that your luggage didn’t. In the best case scenario you’ll be stuck wasting time at the airport until your lost bag is tracked down. In the worst case, you may have endure an entire trip with nothing but the clothes on your back, and all the financial fallout that comes with replacing your lost items.
However, there are a few things you can do to minimize the chances of losing your bag when you fly. A little extra planning and utilizing these tips can save you a major hassle the next time you travel.
Take a Carryon Only
The most effective way to ensure that your checked bag won’t get lost is to not take one at all. For shorter trips where you don’t need to take as much, a carryon bag is usually sufficient.
Each airline has its own rules about how large and heavy a carryon bag can be, and how many you’re allowed to take onboard. Make sure you know the rules for your carrier before your start packing. With the right bag, a bathroom scale and a measuring tape, you can push the limits of carryon rules and maybe eliminate checking bags on your future trips altogether. Plus, this will allow you stop wasting time at the baggage carousel once you arrive.
Remove Old Luggage Tags
If you’re like most people, when you get home from a trip you simply stow your suitcase away until its time to pack again. You probably don’t take the time to remove those old luggage tags from previous trips. However, neglecting to do so could make it a lot more likely for your bag to go missing.
Even though those old luggage tags are no longer valid, they could cause your bag to get routed to the wrong location if they’re inadvertency scanned by the airport’s luggage sorting system. This is a particular risk if you’re flying on a different airline this time around. If the old tag gets scanned, it’s possible that your bag could get loaded on the wrong airline and shipped off to a totally different destination.
Removing your old luggage tags takes no time at all, and can go a long way in ensuring that only the correct tag gets scanned, and your luggage ends up on the same plane as you.
Buy Travel Insurance
No matter how careful you are, checked luggage can always get lost. The airlines are far from perfect and mistakes get made. The question is, how can you enjoy your trip without any of your stuff?
While most airlines and other common carriers will reimburse a traveler for lost checked luggage if it was due to their error, there’s a lot of red tape. It can take forever to get reimbursed, there are tons of exclusions when it comes to what items are covered, and reimbursement is often in the form of travel vouchers instead of cash. None of this is helpful when you’re out hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace your lost items.
A comprehensive travel insurance plan can help. The vast majority of plans can provide financial reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage while traveling. Plus, unlike the airline, a travel insurance plan can continue covering your luggage at other places, such as the hotel.
While travel insurance can’t prevent your bag from getting lost, it can ensure you receive appropriate financial reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged items. It’s a little extra peace of mind for travel situations that don’t go as planned.