Modern Nomad is a weekly column dedicated to mobile gear, must-see world destinations, tips for life on the road, and traveling better through technology.
Even with the sheer amount of technology available today, it’s still somehow possible for the airlines to lose luggage. Thankfully, in the past two years alone, a number of clever, affordable, and long overdue solutions have emerged. From Bluetooth-enabled luggage, to smartphone apps, to dedicated luggage-tracking gadgets, here are three of our favorites.
Bluesmart Connected Luggage
We’ve previously covered Bluesmart luggage, but it’s so damn cool that it’s worth mentioning again. As perhaps the world’s only “smart, connected” luggage, it’s packed with a wealth of revolutionary technology. The most noteworthy is a tracking feature via Telefonica’s near-global 3G wireless service that links to your smartphone. Coverage is available in more than 120 countries without any additional roaming or cell service charges. As an added bonus, the luggage also includes an integrated scale, 10,000 mAh backup battery, and digital lock. Available now for $399 USD.
Smartphone Luggage-Tracking Apps
Frankly, most mobile airline apps suck, but a few carriers offer updated apps with useful, functional features. Delta’s app, in particular, includes a luggage tracking feature that allows passengers to see the movement of their luggage throughout every leg of their trip. The result is an almost obsessive level of detail that allows you to track your luggage like a FedEx package, knowing in real-time exactly where it’s located. The best part is that it’s a free service and your bag is automatically linked to your Delta frequent flyer profile at check-in. Available now as part of Delta’s standard smartphone app.
Trakdot Luggage Tracker
The Trakdot Luggage Tracker is the best of both worlds as it’s compatible with your existing luggage and features a free smartphone app. The tiny device is roughly the size of a deck of cards, weighs just nine ounces, and requires little more than tossing it in your suitcase. It uses patented technology to locate your luggage wherever standard cell service is available. Built-in smart technology even recognizes when your flight has taken off and landed and switches the unit into Airplane Mode accordingly. Available now for $70 USD + a nominal annual fee.