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How to Avoid Picking Up the Wrong Luggage at Baggage Claim

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Dhinesh Manuel
Written by Dhinesh Manuel

You know the drill. Get off your long flight, get through customs, and then go claim your bags. After it’s all done, you catch a cab back home. You open your luggage…

It’s then that you realize the nurse’s outfit, blond wig, handcuffs, and Pokémon soft toys you discover are definitely not yours. Worse, this means someone has your embarrassing Spongebob boxer shorts.

Shoot. You must have accidentally picked up someone else’s bag.

In an age where you could probably buy the exact same piece of luggage (same color too) online, just how do you distinguish your bags? Here are a few tips on what you can do to avoid any baggage claim confusion.

Tie Some Ribbon on to Your Bag

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A colorful piece of ribbon or fabric tied to the handle of your generic-looking bag will definitely avoid any awkward, and perhaps unpleasant, incidents. Make sure you go bright as possible and look for shades that are a bit off the norm.

Use Luggage Handle Wraps


Uniquely patterned handle wraps can help you keep a firm grip on you bags’ distinct features while giving you some comfort for your fingers as well. Choose patterns and colors that are unique to you and ones that you can easily identify even at a distance.

Go Ol’ School – Use Luggage Tags

Remember your parents insisting you should always have your name and address on your bags? Well, it’s not entirely an outdated idea. You can find tags nowadays that are trendy, colorful, and practical at the same time. Personalize at will and you’ll have an easy way to identify your bag … with a bit of panache.

Stick with Tape

Some colorful duct tape – think blue, red, green, or patterned – carefully pasted on to the sides or handles of your bags can stand out in the sea of the similar. Make sure you hit all sides so that you can make out your bags no matter what angle they come out on the belt.

Get a Colorful Luggage Belt

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Bought too many clothes and souvenirs on your trip? No worries. Just use a luggage belt to keep your tightly bound bags from bursting open when being thrown about by baggage handlers AND see it double as a unique identification tag for your bags by selecting special colored and patterned belts.

Iron, Sew, or Pin on Patches

Get some patches of your favorite band, city, TV show, or superhero and iron, sew, or pin them on to your cloth-covered luggage. They’ll make for eye-catching accessories to your luggage, and who knows… maybe even act as a great conversation starter with fellow travelers.

Unleash the Artist

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Let the inner Van Gogh in you go to town on your bags. Use spray paint or water-proof acrylic to customize your cases with a painting, pattern, or a figure that screams your name. Use stickers if you have a hard-cover suitcase. Note: hard-cover suitcases might need a paint touch up after a few miles back and forth.

Go High Tech

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Apps such as Tile, which can be used on Android or iOS, use Bluetooth to locate proximity of your bags within 100 feet. All you have to do is place a small Tile hardware device as a baggage tag or even on the inside sleeve of your bag, and your phone will be notified when you’re close to it.

 

Got any tips to help easily identify your bags? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author

Dhinesh Manuel

Dhinesh Manuel

Socialite, philanthropist, costumed crime fighter by night...no wait...that's Batman...my bad ...

Musician, writer, travel junkie, dog lover, and database of useless information. I love to learn about new cultures, experience new cuisines, meet new people, and have a few laughs along the way!

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2 Comments

  • I bought flourescent orange yarn and made a small to medium pom pom to tie on my very common black luggage!! Works perfectly. For guys, just a few strand tied in handle works too. Now, I always see my bag very easily…..now if the luggage would just come off the conveyor faster!! Hahaha

    • That’s very creative Deborah, thanks for the tip! Lol yeah don’t we all wish The Flash was working the bags on the belt??? A geek can only dream …