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Air travel tips: If you have to check luggage, be sure to do these 4 things

Consider these checked bag travel tips

passport
Skitterphoto / Pixabay

Checking your luggage at the airport can sometimes feel like relinquishing control over your belongings, but by considering a few intelligent travel tips, you can ensure a smooth journey from check-in to baggage claim. 

Checked baggage provides you with the convenience of not needing to carry a large or heavy carry-on bag, and allows you to pack liquids and other restricted items in larger quantities. Additionally, you can enjoy a smoother security screening process if you aren’t traveling with a suitcase full of contents to be scanned. Before you check your luggage, however, make sure you consider these four smart strategies.

Baggage claim in airport terminal. Suitcases on the airport luggage conveyor belt. 3d illustration
Maksym Yemelyanov / Adobe Stock

1. Personalize your luggage

To reduce the risk of your luggage becoming lost, make sure your name and contact information are clearly displayed on both the outside and inside of your suitcase. Adding a luggage tag to your bag is a quick and easy way to make sure that you can be reached if your luggage goes missing. It is also a smart idea to include a card with your contact information inside of your suitcase in case your luggage tag falls off.

Additionally, you can add a bit of flair to your luggage so you can easily identify it at baggage claim. If you are purchasing a new suitcase, consider buying one in a vibrant color that is easily distinguishable from other luggage. Otherwise, you can tie a ribbon or bandana around one of your suitcase’s handles. 

2. Consider travel insurance

Before you check your bags, consider purchasing travel insurance. Travel insurance is never a bad idea, as it can cover unexpected travel issues such as lost baggage. Alternatively, many credit card companies offer delayed and lost baggage coverage if you purchase your plane ticket with their card.

Packing a suitcase.
Surface / Unsplash

3. Retain essential items

Although checked baggage can reduce the weight of your carry-on bag, it is important to keep essential belongings by your side. Any valuable items, irreplaceable belongings, and prescription medication should be kept in your carry-on luggage. Unfortunately, when you check your bag, you always run the risk of it getting lost, so it’s important to keep these crucial items with you at all times.

4. Bring a change of clothes in your carry-on 

Another important item to keep in your carry-on bag is a change of clothes. If your luggage gets lost, this will ensure that you have at least one fresh outfit to wear until your bags are returned, or you can shop for new clothing. Changing clothes is also necessary if you get stuck during a layover. Often, your bag will be checked to your final destination, and you will not be able to access them if your connecting flight is delayed or canceled.

Girl walking outside airport rolling her suitcase
Oleksandr P / Pexels

Should you check your luggage?

Checking your luggage is entirely up to you, but sometimes it’s a necessity when traveling with special equipment or excess liquids. Traveling with only a carry-on suitcase is not realistic for everyone, so it is important to follow these travel tips when checking your bags. However, checking luggage at the airport does not need to be daunting. By packing strategically and staying organized throughout the process, you can enjoy a stress-free travel experience.

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