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This morning, I was on KTLA, a popular Los Angeles TV station, talking about how to prevent airlines from losing your luggage with tech reporter Rich DeMuro (follow him at I gathered my tips from a post I had already written on the same subject. You can watch the segment below:

As I’m sure you’ve read by now, airports and airlines are experiencing unprecedented flight delays and cancellations and it’s resulting in record numbers of lost bags. To avoid getting caught up in the madness, one of my tips was to not check a black bag, especially a hard-sided one, as they are the most common (known as 22HW, not 22BW as I previously stated.)

You can custom-design your own bag using ROAM Luggage, which offers customers up to one million possible color combinations, meaning your bag is going to be extremely unique and easy to spot in a sea of black bags if it does indeed get lost. Read our ROAM Luggage review here and use this link to get $50 off your ROAM Luggage purchase.

But if you want to keep the black suitcases you already have, you can make them unique and distinguishable from others by using an inexpensive colorful luggage strap like the one pictured above. Below are some choices and you can check out some more luggage strap options here.

What’s great about these is not only will they help you identify your luggage but they can also help prevent your bags from breaking open — especially if you use two (one vertically and one horizontally). I experienced this firsthand a couple of weeks ago while checking in a borrowed bag from my mother-in-law at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport (YYZ). My wife overstuffed the bag and the zipper broke open while lifting it onto the luggage scale. Here’s that trip report and more importantly, here are my tips for beating the madness at YYZ.

TIP: Use an Apple AirTag (or Samsung SmartTag if you’re on an Android device) to easily keep track of your bags. Read more about that here.

Another tip, suggested by reader Joanne M is:

“I keep hearing it from you and others – and now the country of Germany – that black bags are a no-no. It makes me think people are going to be ditching their bags and buying new colorful bags so they aren’t threatened with losing their bags. I love my black bag – perfect size for my needs. Many years ago I took care of making my plain black bag easily identifiable in any situation. I painted designs on it, my initials on smaller sides and larger paintings on the sides. I have had no problem ever picking my bag out of a lineup of black bags. I am no artist as you can see from the photo (below), but this works and I hope if you can tell others they will be able to salvage their favorite bags. I used fabric puff paint that you can buy just about anywhere, and it has lasted through many travels in rain and snow and at sea.
I love the idea of painting your bags but I think it should be a little bit larger and on all sides because if this bag is stuck in a sea of other black bags, like we’ve seen at airports around the world, these modifications still won’t be easy to spot. But love the idea and thanks for sharing it, Joanne!

3 Comments On "This Inexpensive Luggage Accessory Will Make Your Bag Stand Out if it Gets Lost"
  1. Dayna|

    I have stickers from where my luggage has been so it definitely stands out from all the black luggage! From the Kennedy Space Center in FL to Monterey, CA to Talk Story bookstore in Kauai. I love my Away bigger carry on too!

  2. Anonymous|

    An easy way to identify your bag is to buy Duct tape (the original, not copies) and place a 6 inch piece of tape on all sides and the bottom.

  3. Ray O.|

    Better yet – go to the 99cent store and buy a Duct tape roll (short roll) of various color or characters printed on the Duct tape, place short strips on all sides of your luggage approx. cost below $1.50..

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