Show Up at a Destination Without Lost Luggage

Have you ever arrived at your destination and discovered that your luggage never made it? Travel can be stressful as it is, and if your belongings don’t show up with you, it adds to the stress. Though sometimes things may be beyond your control, you can take these precautions to avoid lost luggage on your next trip and know exactly what to do in case you do encounter such as situation.

Pack a Carry On

Though you may want to travel light, I firmly suggest a small backpack to hold valuables, such as passport, money, jewelry, camera, tickets, credit cards, copy of itineraries and important documents. Many hotels require you to show a passport to check in, so if you lose your bag you may not be able to get a room. I also keep a copy of the documents (passport, drivers license, itinerary, tickets, etc.) on my phone and laptop (backed by Evernote) in case I lose my backpack.

Additionally, keep a change of clothes and medications. One time I flew to Omaha for business and my luggage did not arrive till the next day. I had to sleep in the oversized Delta branded t-shirt and go in to work wearing jeans, t-shirt and sneakers. Looking back, it would have been nice to pack clean underwear, slacks and dress shirt in my day bag.

Track Your Bags

Left your purse in the bathroom or a laptop in the sleeve of your airplane seat? I am guilty of it. Many of new luggage brands have built in tracking devices. I attach a Homing Pin ($10) on to my laptop, backpack and check in suitcase. That way, I can track your lost bags even if they weren’t lost by an airline and have them delivered to me for a small fee.

Check In On Time

Also, make sure to check in at least 1 hour before departure to give the airline enough time to load your luggage on to the aircraft. Take a photo of the bag, note its weight and contents before handing it over to the airline agent. Save the luggage tag carefully as it is the only numbers you will be able to use to communicate with the airline about lost or delayed luggage. On one instance, my luggage did not arrive to India for 10 days and Air France could not track it. Apparently, it was lost at Sharles de Gaulle airport along with 80,000 bags during a snow storm. I had to give detailed descriptions of the contents in my check in for the airline to reimburse.

Be Smart About Booking Tickets

As a rule, if I have more than 1 flight changes or less than 1 hour between flights, I do not check in any bags. The chances of losing a bag goes up significantly if there are multiple carriers involved or if they don’t have enough time to move them between connections. You really can’t blame the airline for this. Often times, busy airports require loading up to 200 bags per aircraft in just a few minutes.

Have you gotten a good deal from another city and then bought a connecting flight on another ticket? Even though both the airlines may share systems (Skyteam, One World, etc.) they don’t necessarily talk to each other. On a recent trip to Japan, I traveled on Delta from ATL-LAX, got out to get my luggage and rechecked it at China Souther for LAX-TOK. Though it is inconvenient, it ensured that I got a luggage tag from the last carrier and if anything were to happen, I will not be shuffled back and forth between Delta and China Souther to find out who made the goof up. With connections, try to book all legs on one ticket.

Report Immediately 

In case of lost or damaged bags, report immediately to the Baggage Claim Customer Service of the airline you flew and don’t leave the airport without addressing the matter. After a one hour flight from EDI-SHN on Aer Lingus, I found the handle of my checked in bag was completely broken. It was clear that it had been mishandled. I went to the customer service counter of Aer Lingus in the baggage claim area and reported it. At first, they told me that “wheels and handles are not covered” but I stood my ground and refused to leave unless a solution was found. I was heading off on a 12-day trip around Ireland with a broken bag. The agent went to the back room and gave me a brand new American Tourister of about the same size for no charge.

Get Insured

If you paid a baggage fee (for checked bags) the airline is required to issue you a refund when your bag does not arrive with you. Your luggage is considered lost only after 21 days. The airline may reimburse you for the contents and the expenses occurred during the delays, but don’t expect too much (average comp $100/ day). It is better to have a back up travel insurance such as Allianz Global Assistance. An Annual Deluxe Plan costs $350 and reimburses up to $1000 for Baggage Loss/Damage and $200 for Baggage Delays. 

This is the suitcase I carry when I travel. It is easy to identify at the luggage carousel, hotels and especially when traveling with groups. Get your own personalized luggage on UGO Bags. Use discount code “sucheta20” to receive 20% off until November 15, 2017.

Customized Lightweight Luggage That You Can’t Lose

When shopping for new luggage, what are some things that you look for? For me, it is looks, durability and price. With thousands of black, blue and red check-in bags circling around the conveyor belt, it can get difficult to identify your bag. Have you ever picked up someone else’s suitcase because it was the same, make, model and color as yours? Have your personalized luggage tags and luggage labels fallen off? Well, you can now get some relief with custom bags from UGO Bags.

I ordered a medium hardshell suitcase with Go Eat Give logo design and immediately placed another order for a large one! Here are some things I loved about UGO Bags…

uno bags goeatgive

SUPER LIGHT – Don’t you hate it when the bag weighs half the luggage allowance, leaving little room for your much needed clothes and shoes? The UGO Bag has shell casing that is super lightweight and robust polycarbonate. I can lift the large bag with one hand and no effort.

CUSTOM EXTERIOR – You can select an existing design on UGO Bag website or completely customize your own. Collections include colorful images of pets, cities, sports, contemporary art, and more. Chose the case color (white, black or silver), upload a photo or logo, change the colors (10 options) of the handles and the wheels, and click “add to cart.” It takes less than 5 minutes and now you will be able to spot your bag at the airport! The image is actually engraved on the bag, so it doesn’t risk peeling off like some of the adhesive ones.

uno bags customize

SMART INTERIOR – One of the things I look for in a good piece of luggage is how much storage capacity it has. UGO Bag’s smart interior design with multiple pockets divides both halves of the bag and secures belongings when opening. You don’t need to carry packing cubes as everything is already built in.

IN BUILT LOCKS – You buy a $200 bag, then a $10-20 lock. Often times, you lose the locks in hotel rooms or at home, then you go buy some more. Not anymore! The UGO Bag has a built in TSA locking system, so you can ensure your luggage is secure at all times.

GOOD WARRANTY – My UGO Bag is made with high quality materials and looks very cool. It says “Made in US.” UGO Bags warranty promises to repair or replace any malfunctioning or defective luggage in the first 5 years.

FUNCTIONAL DESIGN – The bags also feature ultra smooth four-wheel spinner, top and lateral handles for easy loading and unloading, and side bumpers allowing horizontal storage of luggage. The multi-lock retractable trolley handle allows for smooth maneuverability.

ufo-bags-luggage

MOBILE ART – If you are an artist or photographer and want to feature your work on a bag, apply here.

UGO Bags come in 3 sizes – Small carry-on $199, Medium for 1-3 night getaway $249, and Large $299 for week long trips. If you would like to order one for yourself or as a gift, use discount code  “UGOEATGIVE25” to receive 25% off!

TUMI Celebrates 40 Years

When it comes to high-end travel products, TUMI is one of the most esteemed brands out there. Founded in 1975, TUMI takes its name from a Peruvian icon known to its founder from his Peace Corps days in South America. During the 1980’s, TUMI’s innovative introduction of soft, ultra-functional, black-on-black ballistic nylon travel bags catapulted the company to its current leadership position.

Under Charlie and Jerome’s leadership, the company has been creating new technologies, materials, and designs that have changed the way people travel for 40 years; from abrasion proof ballistic nylon, to the first tri-fold garment bag, to in-line skate wheels, luggage tracking devises and ID lock technologies. Tumi has more than 125 patents, which are used in products that upgrade and streamline travelers lives on-the-go.

Here are some of my favorite TUMI products:

Calais Backpack $325

This is the best feminine style backpack I have found for personal and business trips, especially when I want to look trendy while carrying my laptop safely, without breaking my back. Fashionable and light, the calais backpack comes from the best-selling Voyageur collection. Made from lightweight nylon with leather trim, it has a leather carry handle and padded shoulder straps. I personalized it with my initials in gold for easy recognition.

TUMI backpack

Medina Travel Kit $155

I have looked for the best and most comprehensive cosmetic bags that can accommodate all of my toiletries in one place, and can be hung at the door for easy access. Most of the bags I have found are made of cheap materials, are not very good looking, and lack enough compartments. The Voyager Medina Travel Kit meets all of these requirements for the frequently traveling woman like me. The nylon bag in fossil floral colors is made from lightweight-yet-durable fabrics and has easy-access U-shaped pockets, jewel tone metallic hardware, ribbon-like leather zipper pulls and distinctive ID tags.

This one travel kit can hold items large and small, from shampoo bottles to make-up and jewelry. Front and back zip pockets add extra storage options. The interior is organized with convenient, clear pockets and windows and a nylon zip pouch.

TUMI Medina travel kit

TUMI X uslu airlines $195

TUMI and uslu airlines, the Berlin-based luxury make-up brand celebrated for their one-of-a-kind nail polish colors, teamed up to create a multipurpose travel kit. A perfect melding of elegant beauty and practical professionalism, Larkin is a modern business collection for women. This larger and well-organized cosmetic kit features zip pockets, removable pouches, mesh pockets, brush loops and even a protective case for nail polish. It is a must have for the diva on the go.

tumi uslu_airlines

1975 Collection $75-$1495 

TUMI just launched its 1975 Made in America limited edition commemorative collection, which is crafted from natural full grain American cowhide leather inspired by the variety TUMI imported from South America in the early years and TUMI‘s signature ballistic nylon. Collection styles include an International Carry-On, Slim Brief, Rucksack Backpack and Square Duffel. Each style bears a special limited-edition embossed number. Included in this line are carry-on, duffel, day bags, backpacks, briefcases and travel accessories.

TUMI 1975 collection

Snap. Share. Win

Take a shot of your latest journey or dream destination for a chance to win a TUMI product of your choice! Upload your photo to Instagram with tag #PERFECTINGTHEJOURNEY between April 16 and May 14, 2015. 1 winner will be announced each week to receive $600 worth of products.

Travel Light, Shop a Lot?

If you are a traveler like me, you start with a “pack light” attitude, carrying only the minimal 1 check in + 1 carry. Even though I can take more luggage (due to my frequent flyer perks), I prefer to have only what I can haul myself, which is also challenging when I go abroad on 2-3 week long trips. Moreover, I when I am walking around markets in Turkey, Indonesia or India, I am tempted to shop for the amazing local crafts at dirt cheap prices. I don’t particularly like souvenirs, but I love to collect an occasional painting, a wall decoration piece, ceramics for the kitchen, and unique gifts to pass around the holidays.

As a result, I have often found myself leaving with 1 suitcase and coming back with 2. Most recently, I walked into a souvenir shop in Cannes, France and bought a cheap rolling bag for $40 because I had accumulated more things during my 2-weeks drive through the French and Italian Riviera. This cycle has happened over and over again, to the point I have so many one-time use bags that I don’t know what to do with them!

Finally, there is a solution. Biaggi is a portable suitcase that folds into a small box shape and fits inside your suitcase, or even backpack. When you need an extra piece of luggage, just unzip and expand. It is light, functional and durable enough to make it through airline luggage handling.
I tested out a medium-size bag on my recent visit to Washington D.C. for the Travel and Adventure Show. In my Biaggi ZipSak, I jammed in about 50 pounds of brochures, flyers and Go Eat Give materials for the show. When I arrived at the Convention Center, it was easy to roll the Biaggi straight to my booth, unpack all the materials, and zip it back to a portable size. There was no unnecessary suitcase lying around in the corner of the booth.
biaggizipsak

On the way back, I had gotten rid of all the materials so my Biaggi was empty. I stored it inside my suitcase and saved money on an extra check-in.

I thought about how all Go Eat Give travelers carry with them a bag full of donations to the destinations and can use this product. Biaggi makes practical sense for people going on a cruise, renting a cabin or small rooms, sharing spaces, and camping as well. The Biaggi ZipSak is the perfect second piece of luggage you can pack in your suitcase for those extra souvenirs. It comes in 3 sizes – Carry-on Spinner $59, Foldable Spinner $79 and Large Duffel  $99. Color options include blue, red, purple and many others.

Stephen Hersh, the founder of Biaggi appeared on Shark Tank Season 6 pitching Biaggi’s lines of foldable luggage and ZipSak duffles. In December 2014, he made a deal with investor Lori Greiner for half a million dollars. He shares his experience of being in the Shark Tank on his blog.

Shark Tank Get 30% your entire purchase of Biaggi online. Use discount code “GoEatGive30” at checkout. Offer valid until April 17, 2015.