If you're planning to travel, don't overlook the importance of placing properly completed luggage tag on all of your bags. Filled out with accurate information, tags can be a lifesaver for your belongings. Tagged luggage can be quickly identified if lost or stolen. With so many similar types of luggage tags can also ensure you are grabbing the right one from the carousel.
Never put the address where you are departing from even if its your home address, use a business address if your stay at the destination will be less than 2 days. I always put the address where I am travelling to.
People make this mistake especially when going on long vacations. They put their home address, it is a clear invitation to let someone know that your home will be vacant. E-mail is best, and also a mobile phone number, which can accept text messages.
Put one name tag inside the bag. This is an old trick, when people try to walk away with your bag and you need to prove its yours, because they replace your baggage tag with theirs, happens quite a bit in international travel, the name tag inside is a dead on and you have a slim chance of getting your belongings back. A vigilant customs officer saved a friend of mine from a disaster when he saw the inside luggage tag did not match the passport that the person was carrying.
Don’t plan on going to the bathroom once you land, go in the plane so you can be in the baggage claim as soon as the bags start to arrive, any bag making two rounds of the carousel is a target (all international, domestic is much safer). I have seen these played out across Europe, Africa and popular vacation spots like Thailand.
And if you do lose your bag, get to the hotel, and you get a call that someone accidentally walked away with your bag, they are willing to return it, of course they are busy and want you to come and pick it up. Do not go. Get the address where they want to meet, thank them and offer them a reward, let them know that you are on your way. Hang up and call the airline immediately.
Its even worse if they offer to come by and drop it - you are looking at some serious stuff in your bags and a visit from the local drug cop, you will soon be on hook and working for them.
Remember your bag is no longer in your possession. Anything can happen.
Information to Include on luggage tag
Whatever information you provide on your tags should make it easy for airline or transportation employees to contact you in case luggage is mishandled or lost. Some people feel that providing too much information is a mistake because -in theory- it can make it easier for burglars and identity thieves to commit crimes against you.
- Name: Make sure to include your name, preferably as it is written on your airline tickets or boarding passes. Families traveling with multiples suitcases for family members can put one primary contact name, such as a parent, on all suitcases.
- Cell phone number: If you carry a cell phone and can be contacted on it in the area to which you are traveling, this is often the best way for the airlines to reach you. If you are traveling out of the country, be sure to include the country code in addition to the area code and phone number.
- Hotel or destination phone number: Many individuals also place the hotel or destination phone number on luggage tags. This can be particularly helpful if you won't have cell phone access in the area you're traveling, or in case your phone battery dies, has limited access, or you experience other technical difficulties. Be sure to include the country code if you are traveling internationally.
- Alternate phone number: Having an alternate phone number, such as a voice mail line or someone you can trust to receive messages for you is a good option if you will be staying at more than one accommodation during your trip. Include the area code and phone number, as well as the country code if you will be traveling internationally.
- Email address: This can be helpful if you will have access to e-mail on your travels. Emails from the airline can also be printed for reference and communication confirmation.
Cautions Against Home Contact Details
Some information is considered controversial in terms of travel safety to place on luggage tags.
- Home Address:Some people feel that providing your home address can be dangerous, because doing so can alert would-be burglars that your home is vacant. Others feel, however, that having a home phone number and/or address is practical in case luggage is lost, mishandled, or stolen on the return trip and will allow personnel to contact them and/or ship luggage to their home address. If you want to give an address but prefer not to include your home address, consider listing your office address if you work outside the home.
- Home Telephone Number:Home phone numbers are also considered controversial since potential thieves could access the address with a reverse phone number search. Some travelers may opt to place a cell phone, destination phone, or alternate phone number on one side, and a home phone number on the reverse side along with an email address to cover all bases in terms of contact information.
Deciding how much information you provide on a luggage tag is a personal choice; however keep in mind the primary goal it to make it identifiable and ensure the most accurate and relevant contact information is available.
More Luggage Tag Tips
- Write clearly or print the information so all information is legible.
- Consider durable, waterproof luggage tags to keep information from smearing or tags from tearing.
- Many travelers include luggage tags on each handle of a suitcase or bag for extra precaution in case one becomes loosened and lost.
- Opt for bright, distinctive tags to easily identify luggage among similar styles on a carousel.
If you need help downloading the printable tags, check out these helpful tips.
Protecting Your Belongings with Luggage Tags
Few things can put a damper on a vacation or cause frustration on a business trip like luggage getting lost, stolen, or in other mishaps. Tags serve very important purposes, including allowing people to quickly and easily identify who the luggage belongs to, and provides essential contact information for returning lost or stolen luggage.