Imagine the following situation, you’ve just gotten off a flight, and are waiting for your luggage to come down the conveyor belt, only to see a handful of bags that could be yours. This has happened to most people, from first-time flyers to business travelers for whom airplanes are practically second homes
As discerning as you try to be, you see a suitcase that you’re sure is the one you’ve been waiting for. You take it off the belt, only to realize it belongs to someone else. So you try to put back on the belt, but that belt is moving, and there are people around you, and they’re getting annoyed. Plus, you see another bag that might be yours, but you’re missing your chance to grab it because you’re fumbling with someone else’s bag you took by mistake.
This awkward scenario can be avoided with some steps that can help make your luggage stand out, so with that in mind, here are some tips to make it easy for you to identify your luggage.
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Buy something distinctive: As you watch all those bags come down the conveyor belt, you’ll notice a lot of gray, black, and dark blue bags with handles and rollers. Not only can having a common-looking bag make it difficult to find your belongings, it increases the chances of someone else taking your bag.
For example, Triforce Luggage has just rolled out four luggage sets featuring the colorful, cartoon-like artwork of neo-pop artist Francisco Ceron, while Kipling has partnered with HGTV interior design star David Bromstad to produce a collection inspired by vintage travel pieces. This gives the look of vintage with the convenience of 21st century luggage technology.
Consider colors such as pink, purple or light green. Another option is luggage available in patterns, such as polka dots, stripes or plaid. Sports fans can buy bags with their favorite team’s logo on it. You might even be able to find a logo themed around your favorite band.
Luggage Tags are another terrific options. A simple tag allows you to write your name, which helps identify your bag, but choosing a tag that stands out will make your bag easier to spot. Countess colors and patterns are available, as are tags decorated with iconic figures ranging from Mickey Mouse to Albert Einstein, and animals such as owls and bees.
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Decorate your bag. You don’t need to be an artist to make your luggage stand out. A lot of people use duct tape to identify their luggage. We’re not talking that gray stuff you use to stop a leak until the plumber arrives: Craft stores have dozens of colorful and playful options, and a placing a piece on both sides of your bag can be a big help. Other options include patches, decorative travel stickers, luggage belts, bungee cords, and ribbons—which are all affordable and simple ways to make your bag stand out.
Comedian Dan Nainan, who travels on average 200,000 miles-plus a year for his job, has had several issues with finding his bag over the years.
“I once caught somebody making off with my bag,” he says. “Now I’ve tied a ribbon around the bag and there’s no way anybody could mistake it for theirs.”
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Lain Ehmann, a writer and speaker, was once on a cross-country flight from California to Boston with her husband and 18-month-old son.
“On the plane, we saw a family with a child the similar age and we exchanged pleasantries and a few comments. We were super-surprised when we got to our hotel room with our bags, opened one, and saw it contained toddler clothes and diaper, but in pinks and purples, not reds and blues,” she says. “Yes, the other family had somehow gone home with our suitcase, and we had taken theirs.”
Since then, the family marks their suitcases with large, colorful tags, and she carries more diapers in her carry-on.
Finally, keep in mind that no matter how special you make your luggage look, someone else may have done something similar. You still need to check the name on the tag to make sure it’s yours, but following these steps are sure to take the guessing factor out of choosing your luggage.
And be sure to keep track of your luggage with LugLoc, the luggage locator that let’s you know where your luggage is in real time. It’s the perfect way to make sure no one runs off with your luggage by mistake.
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