Have you ever stood at the baggage claim carousel on your tip toes, squinting your eyes to see if the bag on the opposite side might be yours? Perhaps that was just me once upon a time.
Unless you’re traveling with a backpack, which tend to come in a variety of colors, chances are your bag looks very similar to mine. And when you’re eyeing the dozens of bags circling the carousel, you probably hope that it took the same flight as you and that you find it as quickly as possible.
No matter what style bag you travel with, you can make luggage identification an easy process. And making your luggage easy to identify is oh-so-smart for several reasons:
- It can speed up the wait at baggage claim – especially good news if you have a short layover at an international airport or you’ve just landed after a long flight and can’t wait to get home!
- IDing your luggage helps make sure no one mistakenly picks up your bag.
- You help make it easier for airlines to identify your bag should it be misplaced (like the time an airline sent my bag to Vancouver when I was on my way to London).
- Or if you’ve ever made a ridiculous mistake like me (why yes, I’m the gal who once left a bag at baggage claim on a layover at an international airport), it helps airport staff identify your bag more quickly amongst a crowded behind-the-scenes storage room.
- You can have peace of mind that your bag is unique and stands out!
If you’re looking for ways to identify your luggage more easily, check out our easy, colorful ways to mark your bags!
What color is your luggage? If I was a betting woman, I’d say black. All of the bags that I own are black. Most of the ones circling the baggage claim carousel are black. Some dare to be different with gray and a few stand out from the pack with reds, greens, or blues.
If you’re going for soft luggage, select a solid color that’s anything but black or gray. Though someone else may have a pink or green suitcase circling the carousel, chances are it’s yours!
If you prefer a hard shell case, a wide variety of colorful, feminine patterns are yours for the choosing, in addition to more traditional solid colours.
>> Buy this pink suitcase on Amazon
As you’re watching the black bags make their way around the carousel, you’ll notice that most have some type of luggage tag, whether it’s the one provided for free by the airline or a more unique one. They’re easy to find at most any store and relatively inexpensive.
I travel with black suitcases, and at some point, I decided to decorate my bags with one or two colorful, unique luggage tags to make them easier to identify. Why use more than one? I assume that I’ll be the only one with two very different tags!
My clown fish tag stays on the small carry-on size bag that I take from time to time, and a blue “Hasta la vista” tag always stays on my favorite checked bag. I also have a light pink rectangular tag with an “H” on it, a tag featuring the London Underground map, and tags I’ve snagged at business conferences simply because no one else will have them.
>> Buy this colorful luggage tag on Amazon
Whether you call them luggage belts or straps, you’ve probably seen a few people on any given flight use these.
They resemble a belt you would wear around your waist but are designed to wrap around luggage and stay put with a snap of a plastic buckle.
You can find these in just about any color, and I tend to see individual ones featuring the colors of the rainbow. Select your two favorite colors to make your luggage easy to spot!
>> Buy unique luggage straps on Amazon
Fabric and ribbon
The first time I noticed a bag with a colorful ribbon or piece of fabric tied to one of the handles, I wondered why I hadn’t thought of that!
You can find ribbon or fabric at any craft store, but I prefer to recycle the ribbons I receive with wrapped presents, gift baskets, or flowers! On my go-to bags, I currently have red, gray, or orange tied to a handle. I recently traveled to London and packed an extra suitcase to begin moving my fiance’s belongings to the states. I think he was surprised when he saw that I had packed ribbon from home to tie to his bag – it certainly helped me spot his (new to me) bag more quickly when I returned home!
If the ribbon is too long, tie it in a bow or consider trimming it – you don’t want it to get caught on a belt as it’s traveling behind-the-scenes at the airport or at baggage claim itself!
>> Buy strips of ribbon on Amazon
Colorful and unique combination
Use at least two of the methods above to help make sure no one confuses your bag for hers!
I received my black luggage second hand from a friend nearly 10 years ago, but it still looks fabulous, and I’ll use the pieces until they’re ready to retire. I love using both luggage tags and ribbons on each bag. Fellow travelers know that my bag does not belong to them, and I know that their bags, sans tags and ribbons, are not mine.
How do you make your bag stand out from the rest? Tell us about your tricks of the trade that we didn’t highlight above.