While at the end of the day we can’t stop it from happening all together, there are things you can do to ensure you actually get your suitcase back, and within a reasonable time frame.
One thing that really does help when your suitcase goes missing is having a photo of what it looks like. So, before you check in your bags, take a quick photo of your suitcase. This will make it much easier for the airline to find it if it does go missing.
One traveller named Lynda posted on social media that she has done this ever since her luggage went AWOL once.
“I do this now ever since my baggage was ‘delayed’ (AKA lost) and I was told to pick from a sheet of line drawings which it looked most like,” she said. “It looked like none of them (soft/convertible suitcase/backpack). The woman at the desk replied, ‘Just pick one anyway’. Definitely worth two seconds to take a photo.”
Another, perhaps the world’s most unlucky traveller, said they lost their luggage three times in a row, stating: “A picture really does help. Do it!”
Another traveller who was fond of the idea said it can help not just at the airport, but during hotel stays and tours.
“It is a great idea,” she said. “My bag was put in the wrong room in China during a tour. By showing the hotel manager the picture of my bag on my cell phone, they were able to locate it and have it in my room within an hour.”'
This article originally appeared on Starts at 60.