After waiting patiently for 20 minutes, the panic began to set in. I was the only soul left standing at the luggage carousel and my suitcase was nowhere to be seen! Did it ever leave the airport? Is it on the wrong plane? Has someone else taken my bag by mistake? Will I ever see my nearly new, practically full bottle of Bronze Goddess ever again?!
I’m sure that this is a holiday nightmare for many of you, and certainly for myself, but when I was finally reunited with my beloved suitcase a few hours later, I realised that it’s a bit of a miracle that my luggage has always arrived at my desired destination up until this point!
Over the last 9 months I have been on more planes than I can remember, with nothing more than a flimsy luggage tag to identify my case! Seeing as everyone seems to have been bitten by the travel bug recently, I thought I’d share a few tips I have learnt about taking care of luggage and will definitely be implementing from now on!
Detailed luggage label and padlock
A detailed luggage tag is probably the easiest and one of the most effective things you can do to ensure the safety of your bag and to make sure it finds its way back to you if it should go missing! Your name and a scribbly phone number just won’t cut it! Should your bag go walkabout, you want to make sure that the person trying to return it to you can do so easily. It goes without saying that you should always lock your suitcase with a durable padlock and then keep the key in your hand luggage.
Make your bag stand out
I have often worried that someone would mistake my medium sized, black suitcase for their medium sized, black suitcase, so when purchasing my latest case I decided to go all out! Think bright purple Hawaiian flowers and you’ll be on the right line! It makes me cringe a little when I’m dragging it behind me, but I can spot it from a mile off, and I can be pretty sure that there won’t be too many similar cases on my flight! Alternatively if you’d prefer something a little more tasteful, bright straps and labels are a great way to make your case a little easier to identify on the luggage carousel.
Spread your luggage
This is a little tip that I learnt from my mum. If you are travelling with a close friend, partner or family member it could be a good idea to spread your belongings between both of your bags so that in the event that one bag goes missing, you will both have something to wear when you reach your destination. Otherwise, if you’re travelling alone, be sure to pack spare underwear and essentials in your hand luggage so that you’re never stuck with just one set of clothes!
Travel itinerary & photos
From now on I will be placing a detailed travel itinerary inside my case, so that in the event that my case and I are separated, someone should be able to get it back to me wherever I am (fingers crossed!)
This may sound a little excessive to some, but it’s a good idea to take a few quick photos of the contents of your case before you zip it up. If the worst case scenario happens and your luggage is never returned to you, it is more than likely that you will look to make a claim on your travel insurance. Any evidence of what was inside your case at the time will help to speed up the process and ensure that your claim is dealt with efficiently.
Keep valuables in hand luggage
As mentioned in one of my previous posts, I always keep anything of great value (sentimental or otherwise) in my hand luggage. You’re likely to pack your laptop, camera, wallet etc. in your carry on bag, but make sure you don’t forget that irreplaceable necklace from your Grandma!
While it might seem like common sense to most, I still have to remind my boyfriend to pack all his important paperwork in his carry on bag. Should your checked baggage go missing, you will want to have your insurance documents, future travel plans, tickets etc to hand.
Finally, being organised and on time really makes a difference with regards to how much I enjoy the experience of travelling. Making sure everything is packed, checked and labeled the night prior to my journey, and then arriving at the airport a couple of hours before my flight (ensuring enough time to thoroughly browse the duty free shops, of course) really allows me to ease into holiday mode or begin a stress free trip!
If you have any helpful travelling tips please feel free to leave them in the comments section and most importantly, enjoy your travels!
“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” Buddha