I was next in line to board the hotel shuttle when I heard my name over the loudspeaker.
“Michaela Hall, please return to baggage claim.”
Glancing at my suitcase, I noticed scuffs that hadn’t been there before the flight. A knot of dread formed in the pit of my stomach and I cautiously unzipped the front compartment of the suitcase. It wasn’t mine!
My sheepish entrance back into the terminal to return the luggage didn’t go without punishment.
I tried to make small talk with the victim; she coolly brushed me off. And as I made my way back to the end of the shuttle line, I vowed that I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
Here are six cool ways to distinguish your luggage so you don’t make my mistake:
Cool Ways To
Distinguish Your Luggage
1. LUGGAGE TAGS
These are my first line of defense to prevent mistaken luggage identity. Designed to display contact information, luggage tags are an inexpensive identifier.
One of the major issues with luggage tags is finding tags that are durable and that will stay secured to your luggage.
Try this set of fun and functional luggage tags with cute sayings like “Caution: Hands Off” and “Excuse Me, Do I Know You”.
This set offers enough tags to put one on each piece of your luggage and your personal item.
2. COLORFUL TAPE
Duct tape has come a long way from the gray that I remember. Grab a roll of colored tape and add a few vertical strips to your luggage. Alternatively, you could roll the suitcase handle in colored tape.
For those wanting an extra layer of security, wrap the duct tape around your luggage a few times to secure it before leaving it with bag check.
A break in the tape will let you know that your luggage was opened even if you don’t get a note from TSA!
Remember to pack a pair of scissors in your checked bags to cut the tape and pack more tape for the return trip home.
3. COLORFUL HANDLE COVERS
Check out these bright luggage handle covers. You’ll notice your luggage from a mile away!
Not only will you have an easier time identifying your luggage, but these handles make it easier to pull your luggage through the airport all day. The velcro that keeps the luggage handle secured doubles as padding for your hand. Win-win.
They are so durable that you can even throw them in the wash when they need a cleaning.
Iron-on appliqués are a fun way to add distinguishing features to your luggage.
To secure the hold, I recommend adding another layer of adhesive around the edges, like a strong craft’s glue.
Ribbons are more than a childhood hair accessory. They also double as an inexpensive way to distinguish your luggage.
Braid or knot a few ribbons on your luggage for an easy way to tell your bags apart. Brightly colored zip ties, shoe strings, scrunchies, scarves and key chains also work to separate your items from the luggage river that comes out of baggage check.
Keep spares in your luggage in case your ribbons are torn during your trip.
6. SPRAY PAINT
Although you could just blast a few sprays of paint to your luggage, your artsy side has a better idea.
Pick up a stencil at any craft store and use spray paint to decorate your bag with your initials or unique shape. Regular paint also works.
If you’re talented with the paint brush, you can avoid the stencil altogether.
For a long lasting design, cover your finished design with a clear gloss.
Fabric luggage practically killed the trend of marking your travel history using stickers. With the boom of plastic suitcases, this cool travel statement is on the rebound.
You can also use cutouts of your favorite quotes or characters. Cover your decorations with a thin layer of craft’s glue to prevent damage to your design.
Additional Tip: Place contact and final destination information inside your luggage. If it is accidentally taken or misplaced, this information helps make sure your luggage reaches you.
Have you accidentally taken someone’s luggage or am I the only one? Confess below!