Having your suitcase go missing is the worst, but gadgets like the Apple AirTag and Tile will help you find it.
It’s time to start preparing for holiday travel — which also means bracing for any unexpected mishaps. And if flying is as chaotic as it was this past summer, you’re going to want to use all the travel hacks you can in order to avoid more headaches. This includes an easy way to keep track of your luggage.
If you’ve ever arrived at baggage claim only to find your suitcase is nowhere in sight, you’re familiar with the gut-wrenching panic that sets in. But even though this circumstance can be extremely stressful, using a portable tracker is one of the best ways to alleviate some of the terror. This type of device can attach or clip on to almost anything, including keys, dog collars and, of course, luggage.
One of the most popular gadgets you can use to track your belongings is Apple’s AirTag, but there are others to choose from, too. Check out the other trackers fliers are using below.
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If you're an iPhone user, these precision tracking tags can help you keep track of important items such as purses, luggage, wallets or keys in the event that they are stolen, even during international travel. Each discrete tag uses ultra wideband to connect with your phone and provide accurate location monitoring or to automatically notify you when your AirTag becomes detected in Find My Network on your iPhone.
Promising review: "Bought a four pack of these prior to my trip from US to Spain. One on my wallet, one inside my backpack, one INSIDE my luggage. Airline lost luggage in the UK. AirTag notified me it was missing and left in London, then tracked it as it was sent from there to Madrid, on to Santiago, and then to my hotel in Sarria. I knew where it was at all times, even before the airline. Made this common travel nightmare less worrisome. All my travel companions were amazed." — Kent P Steinnagel
Similar to an AirTag is the Tile Pro, which can be clipped to keys, bags and luggage. When its within Bluetooth range, you can use it to find objects around your home, and when it's out of range (like at a different airport or on an airplane), you can use the Tile app to locate it. It also has a feature that lets out a loud beeping sound so you can easily find your bags at baggage claim. It's compatible with both Apple and Android phones.
Promising review: "We took a flight last month and with all the news of luggage getting lost I thought I would try this. It let me know every step of where my luggage was. We had three transfers with the airlines, and the alarm was plenty loud enough to hear when it came through baggage claim. Extremely easy to link to phone." — David R. Nye
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
If you have a Galaxy phone running Android 8.0 and higher, the Galaxy SmartTag is a travel essential. It's a portable tracker that works with the Samsung SmartThings app, where you can track the location of whatever you attach it to.
Promising review: "Used the tag for our checked suitcase on our trip to Europe this summer as I didn't want to take any chances with the suitcase debacle that took place this summer. So many people lost their luggage for weeks!! I purchased this just in case my one checked suitcase went missing I could pin point where it was. As soon as we landed in Ireland I checked the app and my suitcase pinged in the airport. It made it. On the way home.. Same. It worked great!! Now my husband uses it for his keys until the next trip!" — Rua