Let’s face it, air travel is not as carefree as it used to be. With the increasing number of challenges the airlines are facing with being understaffed, the sheer volume of passengers, and the intricate web of connecting flights, the chances of bags going astray are at record highs.
But, fear not! This blog unveils valuable tips to navigate your travels with more peace of mind.
Carry your Essentials
Here at VIVE, we are experts in group travel, hosting multiple international group trips every year. One of the most common mistakes we see travelers make is packing everything in their CHECKED luggage. It’s important to not only pack your must-haves ( like prescription medication, valuables and electronics ) in your carry-on but to also pack clothing and toiletries so that if your checked bags do disappear, you have fresh outfits for your trip. Don’t forget some comfy PJs!
If you’re traveling as a couple, be sure to mix up your belongings so there are items for both travelers in each bag. This way, if one bag gets misplaced, you’ll both still have clothing to get you through your trip.
Apple Air Tags are your new best friend! There are countless stories with happy endings of travelers who have been able to track down bags on their own instead of having to wait for emails and calls to be returned from busy air suppliers. While these are not 100% perfected ( weak wifi among other factors can result in misinformed or delayed location services) but the good definitely outweighs the bad here. Snag yourself a set on Amazon.
Flight Attendants Secret
We have a personal story to share here. We once had a scare where we thought our bags had been left behind. During the flight, we mentioned the situation to one of our flight attendants while taking a stretch in the back of the plane. To our surprise, she offered to text the baggage team at the airport to locate our bag! Using the number on our luggage receipt, they were able to confirm that, yes, our bag had been scanned and loaded onto the plane. Needless to say, the rest of our flight was a huge sigh of relief. To this day, we are so grateful for the kindness of this woman who took the time to help.
Keep Your Receipt + Take Pics
You can see from the last tip, how important it was for us to have the baggage receipt to track our bags. Tuck it away and take a pic of it with your phone as soon as they hand you the receipt at the check-in counter. It’s also very wise to take clear photos of your luggage before your travels. If your bags do get lost, the airline will ask for photos to speed up the process of your claim.
Personal Identification Tags
Remove old airline stickers and labels from previous travels. Always have a secure tag with your contact information on each bag, inside and out. (Outer tags often get ripped off by accident during transit.)
Direct Flights + Proper Layovers
Whenever possible, choose direct flights instead of connecting. The more transfers, your luggage goes through, the higher the chances of getting lost. For longer itineraries that require connections, aim for a layover that is at least 3 hours long. Your bags need time to get to their next plane just like you do!
Be on Time
Seems obvious but one of the most common ways bags get lost is if you miss your flight or arrive late to the gate. The airlines have no mercy on this one!
You can follow all these tips and be an expert traveler, but sometimes situations are just out of your hands. Securing Travel Insurance before your trip will provide financial protection in case your bags are lost or delayed. It can ALSO cover the cost of replacing essential items and help ease the pain of showing up to your destination empty handed. You can reach out to us at VIVE for suggestions on the best Travel Insurance companies. We have some great partners.
Remember, It’s All Part of the Adventure
Travel comes with highs and lows on every trip. That’s just the nature of stepping out of your daily routine and exploring the world. Travel doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect to be meaningful.
The first time my luggage ever got lost was on the way to a family reunion in London many years ago. At the time, it felt like the end of the world. But upon returning home, I was compensated with airline credit. I used that credit to book a solo trip to Morocco that changed my life forever.
I hope these tips help you to feel more prepared for your next getaway and more importantly, remind you to find beauty in each adventure.
Author: Michelle Ruiz
Michelle + her husband Nelson are the owners of VIVE Society Travel.
They host Luxury Group Trips around the world and run their Travel Agency full time from their office in sunny Tampa, FL
You can read more on their bio here.