As a follow up to my post from Sunday, Life Lessons Learned when I Lost My Luggage, I decided to write a quick post with some packing tips I learned through this lost luggage ordeal. These tips will prove useful should you ever have the misfortune to arrive at your destination without your luggage.
Make a list as you pack. It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. Keep a piece of notebook paper handy and jot down items you pack. I have a pretty strong memory, but I was surprised at the things I missed when I compared my “from memory” list to what was actually in my suitcase when we were reunited. I would have lost out on the reimbursement potential for those items I forgot.
The fuzzy pom poms or colorful duct tape tricks really do work. When you report your missing bag, the agent will ask for a description of your suitcase. Since all are generally rectangular in nature, same approximate size, and basic in color, ANY extra item will help set it apart. Check out some of these fancy duct tape options! Wrap your suitcase in pink zebra print before handing it over the counter.
If you purchase souvenirs, gifts, or anything new while on vacation, keep the receipts from the purchased items in your wallet or carry on. I had mine in the gift bag, in the suitcase. Not helpful. The airlines need to have an audit trail when they negotiate and authorize your cash out. Thankfully I never got to that stage, but I did start the legwork of gathering receipt documentation for what I could remember was in my bag. Hello two hours combing through credit card statements. Not fun.
Take a photo of your suitcase and contents you’ve packed on the day you travel. A quick photo on your smart phone will suffice. It will also help verify the contents of your lost luggage claim if it comes to that.
Regarding Tip Two- I did not have any external identifiers that were helpful. When I spoke with the agent, she asked, “Is there anything inside your bag that would help us know it is yours?” As though I were confessing to smuggling contraband back into the country I admitted, “Well…I bought a bottle of wine and stuffed it inside one of my riding boots and then wrapped it up real good with one of my purple Lululemon jackets.” She laughed and then complimented my creativity.