In my earlier days of traveling it seemed my luggage and I rarely got to the same destination at the same time. Iíve been lucky and that hasnít happened in a long time (knock on wood), but there are some precautions you can take to help minimize the anguish of not seeing your bag revolve around the baggage carousel with everyone elseís.
**Put identification tags on the outside as well as the inside of your bags. I usually put my ID in a couple of places inside where itís easily visible as soon as the bag is opened. You donít want strangers digging through your bag trying to find out whom the bag belongs to if itís lost.
**Always remove old flight tags. Leaving old tags on your bag is just asking for confusion.
**Donít expect your luggage to arrive in pristine condition. Buying that expensive luggage you fell in love with will probably only bring you heartache when you see how beat-up, it will soon be after a few flights. Sturdy rather than style is the name of the game if you travel often. I recently made the mistake of buying fabric bags that I thought looked quite sturdy. I soon found out that they must snag on everything by the number of gouges and tears they had after only a few flights. Expensive luggage may also draw the attention of thieves.
**Never leave your bags unattended. I know itís tempting to just ask that nice stranger to watch them for you while you run to the bathroom but I donít recommend that. Unfortunately there are unscrupulous people everywhere just waiting to take advantage of our trusting nature.
**Donít dawdle around after your flight arrives, make your way immediately (OK, make a quick bathroom stop on the way so you donít have to drag your luggage into the bathroom stall with you), to the baggage claim area and get your bags. If your bags happen not to arrive, report them as lost immediately.
**It helps to keep a photo of your luggage with you. If it does get lost itís much easier to give an exact description if you have a photo to look at.
**If youíre a conservative packer, and youíre luggage meets the size limitations for taking onboard the aircraft, you can either take it as a carry-on, or check the bag just before you board and pick it up as you come off the plane. This way you can save the checked baggage fee, as well as the trip to the luggage claim area, and the chance of having your bag not arrive on the same flight.