Earlier this summer, I was gearing up for a monthlong trip abroad when I saw on social media that both Alison Roman and Jeremy O. Harris lost their luggage in the same week. If this was happening to two people with well-known names, what did that mean for the rest of us? Surely I was doomed for the same fate. When I mentioned my travel anxiety to a friend, rather than reassure me, she revealed that JetBlue had recently lost her luggage on a direct flight to Los Angeles — a route I thought was impossible to mess up.
Baggage claim has always been a nightmare, but with so many people traveling now that pandemic restrictions have been lifted and airlines struggling to find and retain employees, it seems like an extra-risky time to check a bag. I was traveling for a month, though; a carry-on was out of the question. So I started researching some solutions. Insurance was expensive, and if the worst happened, I’d only get back enough to cover the cost of my suitcase plus a few items. (I’m not a casual traveler and was also headed to a wedding.) This seemed crazy, but what about buying a baggage-tracking device? If I was going to lose my stuff, I figured I could at least try to get it back. And knowing where it was might give me some peace of mind. And while nobody asked this question and so far, I haven’t had any issues, it’s still turned out to be the best thing I purchased for the trip (and my sanity.)
After reading a few reviews of tracking devices online, I found my way to LugLoc. It combines Bluetooth and cell-tower technology to locate your bag anywhere in the world, even in places where GPS is blocked. (Not that I’m going there anytime soon, but cool.) It won’t give you an exact point on a map, but you’ll at least know what airport or city it’s in and when you’re within 50 feet of it. You just have to download an app on your phone and pay a small monthly fee if you still use it after the one-month free trial. My favorite part is that it texts you when you land that your suitcase has arrived safely in a new city, so waiting at baggage claim isn’t such a nail-biter. It’s also got a long battery life and is easily recharged. (And no, this is not an ad.)
It may seem like a lot of money to pay with no guarantee that you’ll get your bag back, but traveling can be stressful, and investing in a bit of peace of mind has had a huge payoff. I feel like it’s just me and my Lugloc against the world.
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