Originally appeared in September 2015 issue of Virtuoso Life; also reference this Virtuoso blog post on the same topic
Although it’s a rare occurrence considering her travel schedule, Birmingham, Alabama-based Virtuoso travel advisor Haisley Smith has had bags lost or delayed on numerous trips – including in Lisbon on her honeymoon. Here’s her hard-won advice.
Before You Go:
Pack items that are tough to replace or shop for in your carry-on: medicines, a small bag of makeup essentials, flip-flops, and a swimsuit – there’s nothing worse than trying to buy a new swimsuit! I also pack a dress that can double as a cover-up.
Never leave home without travel insurance:
Most policies from Travelex and Allianz Global Assistance have allowances for lost and delayed luggage. Check your policy, then hit the shops.
At the Airport:
Keep baggage receipt bar codes in a safe, easy-to-access spot, such as your wallet or inside purse pocket. Don’t wait until the carousel stops – send a member of your party to the airline office when the bags start dwindling. That way, you’re first in line to report lost luggage. Ask the airline representative to write the luggage-tracking phone number and web address clearly on two business cards.
At the Hotel:
Keep one card for yourself; give the other one to the hotel concierge and ask for help tracking and retrieving your bags. Let the concierge be tied to the phone while you start enjoying your vacation!
Or, Consider "Smart Luggage:"
Lift the handle on Bluesmart’s new carry-on, and its built-in scale weighs the bag while a complimentary app displays the weight on your phone. A TSA-approved digital lock provides security via Bluetooth, and you can track it worldwide through 3G connectivity. The tech-friendly bag includes an exterior pocket with sleeves for both laptops and tablets, as well as a battery that stores six cell phone charges. $400, bluesmart.com.
Trunkster redesigns luggage with a roll-top entry in place of zippers for toughness and easy access. Its first two pieces, a carry-on and a 27-inch checked bag, debut in November with a built-in scale, USB charging port, and a removable battery powerful enough to charge an iPhone eight times. An optional GPS tracking device provides three traces – you can remove it to use with other luggage as well. $325 (carry-on) and $350 (checked); GPS tracker, $40, trunkster.co.
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