Two times within one month I had the the displeasure of watching my boyfriend go through the agony of trying to find lost luggage. The first time was arriving home on an airport shuttle only to discover another passenger had taken his bag and left theirs behind (neither owner had affixed an ID tag to their luggage). The second time was at the airport. Five of us were traveling together, but unlike our luggage, his – now clearly identifiable with a pink bandana and ID tag – never arrived at baggage claim.
My boyfriend, an already anxious traveler, declared he would never travel again. Fortunately the airline called us at 1 a.m. to announce his suitcase had been found in the airport and would be retrievable the next morning when we returned for our the final leg of our trip home.
A few days later my nephew, who also watched the lost luggage agony unfold, emailed us this article about the growing trend in luggage trackers. Could it be that easy? Buy a tracking device, connect it to a phone app, plop the tracker in your luggage and boom – you’ll know where it is at any moment?
Yes and no.
Bluetooth-enabled tracking devices, such as Apple’s AirTag, Tile, and Samsung’s Galaxy SmartTag, have a very limited range – up to 800 feet, so if your suitcase never makes it on the plane or ends up on the wrong one, it’ll take a bit more digging with your phone to track down its location. You’ll also still need to work with the airline to get your luggage returned to you. But at least you will know where it is. And at around $30 a tracker, you might think it’s the best money you’ve ever spent on travel.
GPS-enabled tracking devices by Americaloc, LandAirSea, Tracki and many others have no limit on distance, offer real-time tracking, and give you pinpoint precision on lost (or stolen) objects, but their use typically requires a monthly subscription. These devices are generally recommended for frequent travelers.
Trackers in general have a variety of applications beyond tracking luggage. Unfortunately, their lightweight and small size have resulted in the misuse of the technology, so be sure to learn how to keep your items and yourself as secure as you can.
The internet is chock full of roundup articles on the best trackers available, so instead of recreating the wheel, we encourage you to check them out through a simple search and then compare what you learn. If inspired, consider purchasing one for your next travel adventure, whether that’s an international bicycle tour with ExperiencePlus! or a trip to visit family or friends. We’d love to know what works for you as a traveler.
As for my boyfriend, he’ll be getting one in his stocking this holiday season!