Planning a plane trip? We’ve got five tips to help you pack your suitcases and ensure your precious belongings arrive at your destination. Packing may seem like an easy task until of course, you find out you’re missing your favourite essential such as your all-natural cream deodorant, or worse, missing your bags altogether. From personal experience, I’ve learned to take some resourceful steps in safeguarding my bags, hopefully preventing future luggage no-shows.

1. Luggage should be easily identifiable:

If you're due to replace your old luggage, be sure to purchase bags that are easy to identify. Think leopard print or bright colours, anything that stands out in a crowd. Too many travellers have typical grey/black luggage which can easily suffer from mistaken identity or theft. If this is your case, attach a bold and obvious attachment on it such as a pink scarf or a neon luggage strap.

Be sure to hang on to the baggage tag provided at check-in, have your contact information on each suitcase and if possible consider a luggage tracker device. Additionally, snap a photo of your luggage and its contents before you leave which can prove helpful for anyone assisting in locating it, should it go missing. 

2. Make a list of items:

Make a list of all the items you've packed. This is not only helpful for packing purposes, but it also provides a record of everything you have in your luggage. Airlines will not reimburse your goods without a list and cost of every item and in many cases a receipt per item. Speaking from experience, the last thing you want to do on your vacation is to spend all your time recalling every single thing you packed. Also noteworthy, airlines have a reimbursement cap which may not cover the cost of all your lost items.

3. Keep it light:

If you’re heading somewhere tropical, don't pack all your summer clothes. Mix and match to make the most out of your individual clothing items and only take one or two pairs of shoes if possible. Be sure you leave some favourites behind and if you have any meaningful, sentimental items, don’t pack them unless they are in your carry-on.

4. Bring a carry-on:

These bags are a great way to ensure you have some items with you when you arrive. Valuables and important essentials such as medications should be within close eyesight. Also, pack some clothes for at least a day or two, this can be a lifesaver if your luggage doesn't arrive on time or not at all; your favourite bathing suit, PJ’s, personal items and anything else that is not easily replaceable. If you’re travelling with kids make sure they have a carry-on too, a kid-sized backpack works perfectly.

5. Get to the carousel:

I can't stress this one enough. Don’t dilly dally, get to the baggage carousel quickly and watch for your bag to come down the airport luggage ramp. Don't stand on the opposite side of the carousel where you are unable to see your luggage once it appears, this decreases the chances of your luggage being taken by someone else.

Lastly and most importantly, if all else fails and you happen to still lose your luggage, don't delay, make an airline claim right away, thereby enabling an investigation. Stay positive, know it’s only material stuff, odds are you will get it all back sooner or later, but if you don’t be sure to make the best of it. You may not be travelling to your specific destination again, resolve to enjoy every moment and experience a vacation that will leave you with lasting memories.