Packing expert warns passengers to always pack a soft toy in suitcases

Jetting off on holiday gives most of us feelings of excitement and eagerness, but there's also stress added in there. Nobody wants something to go wrong when they're looking to relax and lost luggage is one of the most frustrating.

Sitting by the pool without any swimwear or heading to dinner in your dirty travel clothes? Yeah, not a great time. Thankfully, it seems there are some actions you can take to reduce the chance of this happening.

Peter Drummond, head of baggage at air transport IT provider SITA, has shared his top tips to avoid your luggage being lost when you head on holiday. Following his advice could avert disaster next time you're heading abroad.

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He told CN Traveller: "If you have something unusual or unique in your bag, it’s much more likely to come up as a positive match to your lost bag report and be quickly returned to you."

Peter suggested adding a "soft toy or unusual clothing item" to your bag, so the aviation workers can easily search their database to see if they have a match. He also is a fan of putting a copy of your itinerary in the bag, including you hotel address.

While luggage tags can be ripped off by accident quite easily when a bag is being moved through an airport, a bit of paper tucked away in the luggage is not likely to get lost. Once the bag is located, the baggage handling firm or airline will be able to send it on to you much more easily.

Other airline workers have even suggested scrawling your details directly onto the bag with a permanent marker. That way it's pretty obvious even among a pile who yours belongs to. You should also make sure to remove any old flight tags so your bag isn't sent to a different destination.

Tying something bright such a ribbon to your bag is another way to mark it out from the crowd. Peter added: "One of the most common causes of bags getting lost is that they look just like someone else’s bag, and they get taken off the carousel in error."

The expert also suggested taking picture of the outside and inside of your bags so you can send them on to the airport workers if they do get lost. He also advised using tracking tags, which can be bought for as little as £3 online – however you should check whether this is allowed by your airline.

Some carriers have banned tracking tags like AirTags from going in the hold. This is due to the risk of powered up batteries in the plane's storage section.

If you’re going away for the weekend, or planning a short trip, you may be thinking of just taking hand luggage on your next holiday abroad. While going without checked bags means you won't be able to take as much you're pretty much guaranteed not to lose your things.

If you do choose to check your luggage in we would always advice taking a spare change of clothing, especially underwear, and any medications, precious items or house keys in your cabin bag. That way you can get changes and get home safely!

If your luggage is lost while flying it's important to know your rights. You have the legal right to claim compensation from the airline if your checked-in luggage is delayed, lost or damaged.

This could include money to replace your essentials on your holiday plus part of the cost of replacing or repairing luggage and its contents. However, they will need receipts for everything in your claim and often won’t offer more than £1,000 compensation, according to Citizen’s Advice.

They may also refuse to replace anything valuable or fragile. Plus, any missed connections caused by the inconvenience also won’t be covered in most cases.

Due to this, it’s very important to have travel insurance that will cover lost or damaged valuables. You should contact your insurer if this does happen.

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