When you’re preparing for a trip, you’ve already got a lot to think about and plan for. However, one aspect of traveling that you won’t want to overlook is making sure all your luggage is properly labeled and tagged. Fortunately, luggage tags make it easy to identify your baggage—though there are a few things you should know before you slap one on your suitcase.
Do You Really Need A Luggage Tag?
In general, luggage tags are recommended for all your baggage while traveling. This is especially important if you’ll be flying by plane or using any other mode of transportation where other people will be handling your luggage and there is a risk of it being misplaced or lost. Having a tag on your luggage will help you be reunited with your bags in the event that they go missing.
Luggage tags can also be used to set your bags apart from others. Brightly-colored tags and other unique designs on a luggage tag can help you to be sure that the nondescript black suitcase you’re grabbing from the baggage claim is, in fact, yours and not somebody else’s (of course, you’ll always want to double-check your information on the tag to be 100% sure).
What to Include On Your Luggage Tag
Perhaps the most important thing to include on a luggage tag is your cell phone number. This will make it easy for anybody to reach you if your bag is found after it goes missing. At the same time, cell phone numbers are relatively private, so it would not be easy for anybody to find out more information about you based on your phone number alone. You might also want to consider adding an e-mail address to your luggage tag as an alternate method of contact.
Including your first and last name on your tag is up to you. Some people are hesitant to do this because they want to keep their luggage tags as private as possible. However, it is worth noting that an airline will have a much easier time identifying you and figuring out which flight(s) you’re on if you have your first and last name written on your tag.
What Not To Include On Your Luggage Tag
Keep in mind that pretty much anybody will be able to see the information you include on your luggage tags, so you don’t want to give away more personal information than needed. While your tag may have space for you to write your home address, it is generally best to avoid this for privacy reasons. As long as you have provided your cell phone number and/or e-mail address, it will be easy enough for you to give your home address (or the address of the destination where you’re staying) when the person who found your bag contacts you directly.
Think of it this way. If somebody finds your luggage and the tags have your home address on them, they already know you’re away from home. What’s stopping them from targeting your home while you’re gone?
Shopping For Luggage Tags
These days, there are a lot of innovative options when it comes to luggage tags. Aside from “traditional” tags, there are electronic options as well. Some of these come with barcodes that will allow airport workers to scan your tag to reveal your information; this is a great way to better protect your privacy and prevent your personal information from ending up in the wrong hands. Some other luggage tags will pair with an app on your phone and actually use GPS so you can see where your luggage is at all times.
Of course, these electronic tag options can be a bit costly, so they may be more with the expense if you’re the type of person who does a lot of traveling. Otherwise, traditional luggage tags will likely be just fine. Look for tags that have unique designs or patterns on them so that they’ll stand out.
A Note About Traveling Internationally
If your travels will be taking you to another country outside of the United States, you’ll want to take some additional precautions when it comes to your luggage tags and carry-on size. Keep in mind that while traveling, you might encounter people who do not like Americans; for this reason, it’s generally a good idea to avoid any luggage tags that would identify you as an American (such as a tag with an American flag on it). You should also avoid putting any information on your luggage tag that would obviously identify your citizenship.
For added privacy and peace of mind while traveling internationally, consider a luggage tag with a flap that will cover your information.
Most people don’t think too much about filling out a luggage tag and slapping it on their bags before traveling. However, there are some important privacy concerns that should be kept in mind. Ultimately, the goal is to provide as little personal information as possible while ensuring that whoever were to find your bag would be able to contact you and arrange to get your luggage to you. In most cases, this means writing down nothing more than your name and cell phone number.
By keeping these tips in mind while preparing your luggage tags, you’ll be better prepared for your upcoming travels.