Have you ever had your luggage lost when traveling? If you have not you are extremely lucky, but if you have, you know how inconvenient, frustrating, and horrible it can be. When luggage is lost, the airlines you were flying tries to locate and have it back to you safely in a decent amount of time; however, sometimes it is lost for good. There are five, helpful tips to avoid losing or having your luggage stolen when traveling.

Several years ago my family and I took a ten day cruise to Europe and I had my own suitcase because I tend to over pack. I remember packing all of my nicest clothes and shoes because I wanted to look my best on the trip. We arrived at our cruise ship and everyone had their luggage except for my little brother and I. The cruise concierge tried very hard to cooperate with the airlines in locating our bags and bring them to the next port, but the bags were gone for good. It was absolutely horrible, and it will never happen again because these five tips should always be kept in mind:

  1. Go for a direct flight. If it is at all possible, a direct flight is your best bet in not having your luggage lost or stolen. Smaller airports like the ones in Lafayette or Alexandria don't offer direct flights to big cities, so it might be better to fly from New Orleans or Houston instead.
  2. Choose a distinctive suitcase. What does your suit case look like? Is it the big, black one with one zipper? Yeah, most people don't think about how important a suitcase's appearance is when purchasing one. Buy something with a noticeable color or pattern so it grabs your attention right away and others will be less likely to pick it up on accident. I like to tie a big, bright ribbon around my luggage handles.
  3. Always have a name tag on your bag. Buy the biggest, brightest name tag so others will be sure not to pick it up by accident and the airlines will know where to send it if it does become lost.
  4. Check your bag as early as possible. This will give the luggage personnel ample amount of time to have your suitcase loaded on the aircraft.
  5. Pack smart. Don't pack anything important such as medicine, jewelery, or keys into your suitcase. These should always remain in your carry-on. Also, wear something comfortable enough when traveling just in case you have to wear it for a day or two while your luggage is being relocated to you.

Here is a quick, fun video on preventing lost luggage. Bon voyage!