The turmoil in the airline industry caught up with me.
While in Europe I learned of the Brussels Airline strike. The very airline set to take us home. After having to scurry to change flights due to a flight delay on our route TO Europe I was on high alert. Luckily, the strike ended prior to our day of travel and our flights were not affected. But that isn’t what this story is about, it is about my luggage.
My luggage never made it out of Brussels. No big deal, I wasn’t stressing it. I figured it would catch up with me in a few days. Better to have this happen post-vacation rather than pre. No stress until I started unpacking our other bags and realized my jewelry bag was in THAT suitcase rather than my carry-on. Rookie mistake and one I am sure I will never make again.
The air travel system has been struggling with staffing shortages not only affecting flights but all the matters that transpire on the ground. Meaning those people handling our luggage.
While on our Viking River Cruise there were several couples that went the entire cruise without their bags. That unpleasantness is compounded by having to shop for clothes and incidentals at every port stop as opposed to taking in the sites, having to check in daily, and having frustrating conversations with guest services about “where is my bag,” and the topic just won’t leave you alone as fellow passengers ask on repeat “did you get your bags?”(Well-intended of course, but I’m sure it got old.)
So with all of this at the forefront of thought, I created these tips for packing for travel to avoid or at least deal with lost luggage woes.
Tips to Avoid Lost Luggage Woes
- When traveling as a family or a pair, divide clothing between all suitcases as opposed to putting all of your individual items into one bag. That way if only one bag makes it you have something to work with.
- If everyone in the family can make a carry-on work, go that route. This of course takes skill in the art of packing light.
- Make use of the laundry facilities while traveling, maybe this is a washer/dryer in a home rental or laundry services in a hotel or on a cruise. Also, consider packing a travel-size packet of laundry detergent.
- Never check essential items like jewelry, medication, your passport, electronics, and chargers.
- Make sure your luggage has a secure baggage tag with your current information (email and phone).
- Opt for non-stop or a longer layover to allow for extra time to move luggage from one plane to another.
- Make sure you pack a change of clothes (or two) in your carry-on. If headed to a tropical destination, toss in your swimsuit.
- Choose the crazy color or print luggage, or have some unique indicator on your bag. Having a black bag is the worst in a lost luggage scenario. How do you explain a differentiator for a black bag?
- If you really want to eliminate the possibility you can have your luggage shipped through a company like Luggage Free.
Here’s to hoping that the only excitement you experience on vacation is actually on the vacation rather than the voyage to or from.