The bags tumble onto the roundabout, and around and around they go. You stand there, a mix of excitement and anticipation, waiting for your bag to make its grand entrance onto the carousel. Yet, as you watch weary travellers claim their belongings and head to their destinations, panic bubbles up within you. Where is your bag?

Airport Luggage carousel overflowing with luggageYou glance at the board for the third time, confirming you’re at the right carousel. Still nothing. Where could your bag be? As you stand there, hope waning, you watch the lone suitcase make its repetitive journey around and around.

Whose bag is that? What happened to its owner?

Why couldn’t that solitary piece of luggage be yours? What do you do now?one bag left behind on the airport luggage carousel

Ah, the joys of travel! With the holiday season fast approaching, here are seven tips to ensure collecting your luggage doesn’t turn into a stressful ordeal.

  1. Choose the Right Luggage:

Your journey to stress-free travel begins with investing in high-quality and durable luggage which is essential for hassle-free travel experiences. Don’t compromise on the safety of your belongings by settling for flimsy options. Opt for sturdy and reliable luggage that can withstand wear and tear while providing ample storage space.. Hard-shell suitcases offer additional protection for your holiday travel (I know they are harder to squish in the carry-on), but they are less likely to get damaged or tampered with during transit.

  1. Use TSA-Approved Locks:

TSA Locks on SuitcaseSecure your luggage with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved locks. These locks allow airport security to inspect your bags without causing any damage to your suitcase. Set a unique combination, steering clear of easily guessable codes like birthdays for an extra layer of security.




  1. Keep Important Items with You:

Valuables such as passports, electronics, and medications should never be placed in your checked suitcase. Keep them with you in your carry-on luggage to ensure they remain safe and easily accessible throughout your journey. You don’t want to arrive at your final destination without your medications – that is not a great start to a well-deserved vacation. Clothes and incidentals are much easier to replace – but medications can be a nightmare!

  1. Stay Vigilant

Be alert and cautious at all times. Airports, bus stations, and train terminals are hotspots for opportunistic thefts. Keep a close eye on your luggage while waiting in lines or sitting in the waiting area. Don’t let distractions take your attention away—thieves often strike when travellers least expect it.

  1. Photograph Your Suitcase and Belongings:

In a sea of grey suitcases, how do you describe your suitcase to the airport Lost and Found agent? Make it easy by attaching a luggage tag with your correct contact info and adding a distinctive marker, like a ribbon or sticker. However, I counted eight grey suitcases with a yellow ribbon on my flight to London at Heathrow. Better yet, take a photo of your suitcase and its contents.   This will prove invaluable when trying to explain your suitcase to the Lost and Found agent in the unfortunate event of lost luggage.

  1. Travel Insurance:

While it won’t physically keep your luggage safe, investing in travel insurance provides financial protection in case your belongings go missing. Ensure you thoroughly read and understand your policy to know what’s covered and how to proceed in case of loss.

Following these tips significantly reduces the risk of losing your luggage during this holiday season. Stay vigilant, pack wisely, and take proactive measures to ensure your journey remains memorable and free from the stress of lost or stolen luggage. Safe travels!

Meet Jackie Kloosterboer

Jackie Kloosterboer Disaster SpecialistJackie Kloosterboer is a renowned Emergency and Disaster Preparedness leader, boasting an impressive 30 years of frontline experience that has allowed her to witness firsthand the life-saving impact of preparedness. Her unwavering commitment is evident through her dedication to presenting Disaster Preparedness Workshops, responding to disasters across BC, supporting evacuees, and skillfully leading Emergency Support Services teams during activations, most notably in her recent role with the City of Vancouver.

Her profound expertise in disaster preparedness has made her a sought-after resource by the media, who frequently seek her insights, underlining the crucial significance of preparedness. Moreover, her book, “My Earthquake Preparedness Guide,” is the quintessential resource, offering practical tips to equip individuals for any disaster. Jackie’s expert advice is the compass pointing toward safety and readiness for those seeking to face whatever challenges come their way.