Avoid Baggage Blues

by Lynn Elmhirst, Producer/ Host BestTrip TV

Are you worried about delayed, misplaced and missing baggage on your next trip? We’ve got your back with essential tips to make sure your holiday isn’t ruined by baggage blues.

Carry-on Heroes: For many, a solution is to not check bags at all. There are some people making rather short trips with little variation in clothing who can do that, and if you are one of them, I tip my (packed in my carry-on) hat to you. Even if you can’t pack just a carry-on bag, make sure that all your documentation, valuables like jewelry, medication and anything you can’t live without for a day or permanently in your possession at all times. Do yourself a favor and add a couple of essentials—dress clothes for dinner, a change of footwear and toiletries that can get you through a day of luggage delay.

Get Travel Insurance: Comprehensive travel insurance—unlike just travel medical insurance—can include compensation if your bags are lost. Some specialist luggage insurance even includes expert trackers who will work on your behalf to recover your luggage and reunite you with it.

Split Your Luggage: It’s like hedging your bets. The odds of all your luggage being delayed or going missing are pretty small. So if it’s two of you travelling, put half of your belongings in each bag you’re checking. So if one bag is delayed, you’ll still both have something in the bag you recover at your destination. It gives you essentials and some breathing room for your remaining piece of luggage to catch up with you.

Ship Your Luggage: If you’re like most of us, you’re using shipping services more than ever before, and it’s never been easier to ship your luggage to meet you at your hotel—or even your cruise ship. In fact, some ultra-luxury cruise lines offer that service to their guests. There are companies who specialize in exclusively shipping travelers’ baggage. It also makes your airport experience more relaxed as you are by then only traveling with your carry-on bags.

Document—and Make Your Bag Stand Out! I had a piece of luggage go missing recently—and it wasn’t an airline or airport error. Someone’s porter had mistakenly picked it up (and the traveler hadn’t been paying attention.) But because I had a label with my name, phone and e-mail on my bag, before I’d even made it to my hotel, she was texting, e-mailing and calling me to tell me she’d accidentally taken my bag. And she delivered it to my hotel for me.

Make a list of what’s in your bag and the value of the bag itself. If you do need to make a claim, you won’t be second-guessing yourself. Take a photo of your bag. If it does go missing, a photo can be a lot more help than a vague description of a bag that looks like a million other bags that go through the airport. Choose a bag that stands out or make your bag stand out from the million of other black suitcases on the carousel.

Tag It! Of course you’re going to put a solid, secure, proper label on every piece of your luggage. But some people are going to greater lengths, with Apple Air Tags or other digital solutions inside their checked bags they can track on their smart phones. The airline might not know where your bag is, but you will.

Arrive Even Earlier For Your Cruise: Cruise travelers should already know it’s best practice to arrive in your port of embarkation a full day ahead of sailing in case of any flight delays or luggage problems. These days, I’d suggest two days if you can. It’s much easier to be reunited with lost or delayed luggage if you’re still in the same place where your flight landed instead of two ports of call away, and these days, getting lost luggage sorted out can take more than one day.

Magic Carpet Travels is located at 1359 S. Main Road, Vineland, NJ 08360. Contact at magickellie@mctravels.com or 856-507-9110.

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