Here are some tips I learned recently that can make your travels less stressful. One of them came from a recent experience, and the other a recommendation from a friend.
Many of us pack a few essentials in a carry on as a convenience in case our luggage gets delayed–but what if your luggage never arrives? Well, this happened to someone I was traveling with.
First, you don’t know that your baggage won't arrive when it is first delayed. Airlines will always try to get your luggage to your destination within a day or two. However, in this case, we were going on a cruise, so if the luggage hasn’t arrived by the time you are setting sail. You need to tell the airline to re-route your luggage to your home address.
This is exactly what happened. They knew the luggage would not get to us by the time the day the ship was departing. So they had to request it to be shipped back home. In the meantime, they spent the day and a half shopping for replacement clothes and toiletries instead of enjoying a pre-cruise destination.
Thankfully, they had insurance, so it was all paid for–but you can't recover the time it all took.
How to avoid this? If you are travelling with someone, pack your suitcases and take half of what you are packing and put it in your companion’s suitcase and vice versa. That way, if only one suitcase arrives, you still have half your stuff. Maybe you may need to buy a few things, but you won’t need to replace everything.
It requires a bit of extra time, because you need to be strategic in your packing. That extra hour at home dividing your clothes and toiletries is well worth the potential day you might spend shopping.
I know–the idea of replacing your wardrobe might sound appealing right now, but it really isn’t going to be as appealing when you are supposed to be on vacation. Provided you can shop in stores you prefer–that is not always the case in some destinations.
Get an AirTag (or Tile if you are not an Apple person)For those of you unfamiliar with an AirTag. It is a small GPS device that you can track on your phone. It works pretty much everywhere in the world and it only costs USD30 / CAD40.
This won’t stop your luggage from getting on the wrong plane or being left behind. It will save hours of time once in destination wondering where your luggage is and if it will ever arrive.
I recently flew to Las Vegas for Virtuoso Travel Week and I had an AirTag in my luggage. When I was about to board the plane, I could see that my luggage was already on the plane. That is a serious stress reliever given a few of the stories we have heard lately.
Also, when I landed, and I was waiting for my luggage, I could see where it was in the airport relative to my location. Not a significant change, but certainly a pleasant feature to reduce the unknown elements.
Final side note regarding AirTags. I was recently told a story of someone in destination who had their luggage stolen out of their rental car, but they had an AirTag in it. They were able to inform the police, track it down, and recover it. A few valuables had been taken, but the majority of their belongings were recovered.
I am pretty confident that the recent airline and airport challenges will pass shortly, but these packing tips will still be relevant when things are back to normal. You just never know when you might be that person whose luggage goes in the opposite direction.
Happy and Safe Travels.