Anytime you travel by air, there is always the fear of the airline losing your luggage. I once flew to Canada to speak at a conference, and I arrived at my destination only to find they had lost my luggage. I was at the conference for four days and didn't get my luggage back until the night before I flew home. That experience taught me two things—you need to prepare for that possibility and you can survive the experience. Here are some tips that will help you avoid that situation.
- Be sure your luggage is well constructed and not in danger of being torn or crushed. Some travelers prefer the newer metal suitcases.
- Don't depend on the little name tags that the airlines provide—which can be easily ripped off. Each bag needs to have a rugged name tag. Always include identification inside each bag as well.
- Never put your speaking notes, handouts, or any important documents in your checked luggage. Carry them with you.
- Women: Carry what you need for make-up with you on the plane. Men: Carry what you need for shaving. Plus a change of underwear and a toothbrush and paste.
- Travel light for short trips. A hang-up bag could be carried on board. Most hotels now have ironing boards and irons in the room, if needed. Women, when possible, plan to wear the same pants or skirt and just bring different tops. Wear the same shoes and purse.
- Always count how many items you are carrying by hand. If you started out with four, be sure you have four at each stop along the way, and when you're heading home.