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Lost luggage on airport transfers, confiscation of illegal content, and luggage cart fees can be among your travel headaches even before you enjoy your well-earned holidays. How do we avoid such bumps or at least minimize them in our next travel journeys? Here are some proven tips on airline luggage handling for weary passengers.

Check-in your luggage

So you don’t have to undergo hassles of lots of baggage inspection on your way to your boarding gate. Doing so also saves you from worrying if the luggage fits into the overhead compartment bins, and be forced to squeeze your gels and other liquids into small portions as required by law. Lastly, it saves time to check-in your luggage if you have stopovers, so you’ll only worry about looking for your next flight.

Carry your luggage

As a counterpoint to #1,  carrying your luggage puts you at peace, knowing that there’s less chance you’ll lose it. It saves you time because you don’t have to wait at the baggage carousel, and you can access your things inside the bag (pen, notebook, etc.) when you need them.

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Get good bags

And when we say good bags, they mean durable, secure, and easy to carry luggage. With the rigors of travel, things do happen. TSA-approved bags also ensure your luggage locks don’t get destroyed. Trolley bags are ideal for long walks at airport aisles and saves your energy for later.

Check-in luggage should be standard size

Before a check-in counter crew or flight attendant asks you to check in your supposed carry-on baggage, ensure that it fits the standard size (9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches) and does not weigh more than 20 pounds.

Put identification tags inside and outside of your bag

Sounds pretty standard, but worth reminding. In case the bag gets misplaced or lost, finders can quickly locate you. But if you think placing a personal address is a security risk, you may use your office address in the luggage tag visible without opening the bag.

Know packing basics

It saves you a lot of space and trouble if you follow essential packing tips. Never put guns, knives, and deadly weapons — sounds common sense, right, until you see the weirdest things uncovered by the TSA. Keep medications, mobile phones, passports, and reading glasses within reach.

Keep valuable items with you

Never consider placing laptops, cameras, jewelry, and similar stuff into your check-in luggage. Sometimes airlines insist on checking in large luggage in case cabin compartments are filled. To be sure you get to keep these valuables, place them in small cases that fit under the seat in front of you.

Customize the look of your bag

If you are sight-impaired and the stream of packets look the same, you may end up picking the wrong one — hope the real owner doesn’t see you before you realize it’s not yours. Tying a string, put a distinctive sticker, or a “not yours” tag will keep other passengers from picking it up by mistake.

Place your carry-on luggage in a compartment bin near you

Inside the cabin, we don’t lock our bags for convenience, but if stored away from our view, others may accidentally or deliberately open it without your knowledge.

Keep the keys

As explained in #9 (make your luggage within your eyesight) and #7 (do not put valuables in your check-in luggage), it may not be necessary to lock your bags. But with news of rising baggage theft on airports, securing your bag is a safe bet. But also make sure the key is within reach — can be in your wallet, purse, or passport holder. Otherwise, when your bag is up for the next inspection on a transit flight, officers may question you and destroy your locks for good.

Check the tag

Make sure you check that the luggage tag shares the same destination as you. In case it gets lost, it is easy to track personnel where it could have gone. After confirming this is right, keep it until you reach your destination with all bags in your possession.

Prepare for the worst

While not hoping for one to happen, be ready for it. What would you do if your bag gets lost, delayed, or routed elsewhere? Have the contact details of the airline handy, bring extra stuff (underwear, socks, toothbrush, crackers) in a handy bag just in case such incidents happen.

Have a pleasant trip!