HOW TO LOST LUGGAGE PROOF YOUR TRIP
Losing your luggage is immensely irritating. Even though worse things can happen, it carries a high PIA factor. It is still possible to have a good time. It’s not all doom and gloom. Airlines usually do manage to track down your luggage and reunite the two of you. Often, it’s usually more about surviving those first few days – and for that, there’s plenty you can do.
BEFORE YOU GO
1. Carry Essentials in Your Carry On
Essentials are not a toothbrush and a clean pair of pants. These are easy to replace, should the worst happen. Essentials are anything that would leave you feeling ill or supremely uncomfortable if you were without them for even twelve hours. They are also often difficult to replace: a. prescription medication including antimalarials b. contact lenses & glasses c. snacks if you have dietary restrictions d. prescriptions or letters that explain why you have to have these things with you!
2. Watch Out For a Change in Weather
If you’re heading to somewhere similar to where you came from, you can muddle on through in the same clothes you’re wearing for a day or two while you sort yourself out. However, if you’re heading somewhere much hotter or colder then life can quickly become miserable.
For hot weather: In your carry-on make sure you have: a. sunscreen b. sunglasses c. a hat d. flip flops or other lightweight shoes e. bug spray if there’s any hint of insect-borne disease
For cold weather: a. ski jacket with the pockets filled with b. gloves c. hat d. scarf/snood e. thermals f. wear snow shoes g. salopettes h. sunscreen and sunglasses
3. Blister protection – Wearing different shoes may result in blisters. Read “Complete Prevention &Treatment of Blisters”. ‘Thread’ the blister, use protection like moleskin doughnuts and Compeed.
4. A Scarf or Pashmina – Keeps you warm on the plane, covers hair on streets, shoulders in temples, and can double as a skirt for the day if your luggage disappears en route.
5. A Fold-Flat Bag – Handy to carry about town; on the aircraft, use to separate what you use and brought; use to shop. Flat so takes up no room.
6. Book Your First Night in a Good Hotel – If there’s an option, get a nice hotel fairly near the airport. Arrive where they will treat you well and make life easier if your luggage is lost. Hotels have a huge range of toiletries and kit available. Leave the concierge details on your lost luggage form. Airlines may only deliver to addresses where someone can accept your incoming luggage. Concierges often know the airlines and procedures well
7. Use Phone – Take a photo of your luggage and important travel documents before you travel – it’s so much easier to get the details from this to fill in those lost luggage forms. Email them to you or back them up. You can also download guidebooks, apps, books, magazines, films, TV shows, everything for while you wait in the airport.
8. Buy travel insurance for lost luggage claims.
ON THE ROAD
1. Accept Your Fate – If it’s gone, it’s gone. Do the paperwork at the airport, called your travel insurance company and activate your back up plan (called home for anything they can help with). Make the most of the trip you have anyway. So embrace it, and turn it into your lost luggage challenge. Challenge yourself to see just how good a time you can have despite all of this and take it from there.
2. Focus on the Essentials – Lower your standards – no make up, no hair dryer, no business suit? Frustrating, but definitely not life threatening. Borrow and buy what you can and explain away the rest. Wash clothes in the sink, wear clothes that don’t really match, embrace the way you’re not weighed down by your heavy camera and books. Replace any prescription medication as a priority.
Check out the small print for your airline and travel insurance. Get the claim started.