Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Lost and Found 2.0: GPS Tracking Devices for the Modern Man

Lost luggage, tracking devices
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Of the things the average man likes to lose, a few pounds and a bad hangover rank high on the list. His hair, wallet, luggage, and car rank low on the list. There’s not much help I can offer to combat male pattern baldness, but when it comes to keeping tabs on your stuff, I’ve got your back. Which is to say I’ve got the 4-1-1 on a few cutting edge tracking devices that will help you get your stuff back, or even help you avoid losing it in the first place.

Let’s start with the thing you would probably least like to lose: your vehicle.

The Scout Universal GPS Vehicle Tracker

The Scout Universal GPS Vehicle Tracker
Image used with permission by copyright holder

With a Scout GPS tracker installed in your car, SUV, motorcycle, boat, Vespa, or ATV, you will always know exactly where your vehicle is, provided you don’t also lose your phone. You need said phone to use the Scout app, which lets you check the location of the device and offers real-time tracking of its movements. You can set up geo-fenced alerts that go off when the vehicle leaves a given area, a great feature for company vehicles, for parents, or for anyone who has loaned their car to someone they suspect may well try to steal it. The Scout Tracker also offers instant movement alerts, so just as soon as your vehicle begins to move when it should actually be parked, you’ll know. It’s shock- and water-resistant, so you really can use it on an ATV or boat, by the way. The one major drawback is a monthly service fee you’ll have to pay, but if the Scout helps you get back a stolen car or yacht, it will be well worth it. The device itself sells for about $50.

The Trakdot Luggage Tracker

Trakdot Luggage Tracker
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you have ever lost you luggage while traveling, then you know that losing your luggage while traveling totally sucks. Finding it again doesn’t suck, though, and you have a much better chance of being reunited with that errant baggage if you had the foresight to tuck a Trakdot device in with your sundries. Using the paired smartphone or tablet app, you can track your luggage anywhere around the globe, confirming that it arrived in London/Lisbon/Louisiana/etc. along with you, or at least knowing that for some damn reason your stuff is now in Bahrain. Trakdot works by connecting to any cellular network it can find and broadcasting its location in real time. So don’t lose your stuff in the middle of the backwoods where there’s no signal. It’s all yours for about $40.

The Chipolo Plus Everything Tracker

Chipolo Plus Everything Tracker
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Chipolo Plus Bluetooth Tracker is about the size of a guitar pick, yet also happens to be the “world’s loudest Bluetooth tracker” according to a brand rep with whom I spoke. A Chipolo can help you find your lost stuff in one of two ways. First, say you have it tucked into a wallet, hooked onto your keys, or stashed in a purse, and said item has gone missing: you just activate the Chipolo via smartphone app then casually scream and cover your ears as the 100 decibel alarm chirps away (100 db is about the equivalent to the volume produced by a jackhammer). It’s hard not to find something screeching away that loud, for the record. But what if you’re outside of the Chipolo’s 200-foot range? Just mark your Chipolo as lost and you can then count on a large and growing network of Chipolo users who can help search for your device, and therefore for whatever prized possession it’s hanging out with. Once a fellow Chipolo user finds it, you will be notified. (Side bar: if you lose your phone, but have your Chipolo, the system works in reverse: you can use this plucky little device to activate your phone’s ringer.) One Chipolo Plus costs about $25, but four of them are yours for less than $70.

Steven John
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Steven John is a writer and journalist living just outside New York City, by way of 12 years in Los Angeles, by way of…
How to find the best street food (and other travel tips), according to YouTube megastar, The Food Ranger
The dos and don'ts of everything from street food to digital safety when traveling.
Food ranger eating noodles

Trevor James, The Food Ranger, eating a bowl of noodles in Chongqing, China. thefoodranger / Instagram

With over one million followers on Instagram and almost six million subscribers on YouTube, Trevor James (better known by his social media handle, The Food Ranger) has made a career of traveling for food. Over the years, James has traveled to over 40 countries, creating food and travel content on countries ranging from luxurious omakase sushi in Tokyo to drinking camel milk straight from the udder in Pakistan.

Read more
Go ultralight on your next flight with the best carry-on luggage
Traveling lighter is traveling better with these carry-ons
A person pulling a carry-on suitcase through the airport

Taking precautions while traveling is as essential as investing in reliable carry-on luggage. It’s not cool when you shove your clothes in a backpack or duffel bag, only to have the straps get torn before your plane takes off. Or you realize that your bag does not offer much protection against thieves. No traveler wants either to happen.

With hundreds of options from the best luggage brands, hunting for the “perfect” luggage for all your travel needs can be an arduous task — especially if you’re a newbie. To aid in your search, we gathered the best carry-on luggage for your cross-country journey or future overseas travel, including some tips about choosing the best luggage to replace your tired rollaboard or travel backpack.

Read more
The best places to visit: says these are the most welcoming vacation spots
Looking for the best places to travel? Look no further
Arraial d'Ajuda is a district of the Brazilian municipality of Porto Seguro, on the coast of the state of Bahia.


Travel not only provides a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of life, but it also offers a chance to explore new cultures, connect with different people, and create memories that will last a lifetime. 

Read more