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Hacks to prevent your luggage getting lost on holiday

Follow these expert tips to reduce the risk, says Katie Wright.


(Alamy/PA)

If you’ve found yourself staring at an empty baggage carousel when all the other passengers have long since departed the airport, you’ll know that losing your luggage is at best a minor inconvenience, and at worst a total nightmare.


If you manage to get your bag back quickly you can breathe a sigh of relief and get on with your trip, but if it takes days – or weeks – to locate, you’ll need to hotfoot it to the nearest shops and get ready to shell out a small fortune on replacing your holiday wardrobe, toiletries and other essentials.



“Despite taking every precaution, luggage can occasionally go astray,” says Anthony Collias, co-founder of luggage storage service Stasher.


“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.”


Plus, there are several steps you can take to help reduce the chance of your baggage going missing in transit…


Tag your bags


(Alamy/PA)

As well as the airline tags provided at check-in, you should also make sure to attach current identification tags.


“These should detail your name, mobile number, and email address,” says Collias.


“For security reasons, it’s best to leave off your home address.”


Attach a tracker



Luggage trackers such as Apple AirTag, Tile and DynoTag have become hugely popular in recent years, providing peace of mind for nervous travellers, with prices starting from around £15.


“These devices, utilising GPS or Bluetooth technology, enable you to keep track of your bag’s location,” Collias explains.


“Through a mobile app you can conveniently track your luggage with real-time updates.”


Take photos


As well as celebratory ‘We’re going on holiday!’ selfies in the airport, make sure to photograph each of your bags before you check in for your flight.


“These pictures can prove invaluable if your luggage is misplaced and you need to describe it to the airline or insurance firms,” says Collias.


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,” Collias.


However, be wary of logo-covered designer luggage which may be more attractive to thieves.


Check in early


(Alamy/PA)

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,” Collias suggests.


“This provides airline staff with ample time to load your bags onto the aircraft.”


Choose direct flights


If you’re really keen to reduce the risk of your bags going astray en route, avoid stopovers where bags have to be unloaded from one plane and loaded onto another.


Collias says: “Where feasible, select direct flights to minimise the risk of your luggage being misplaced or delayed during transfers.”

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