How to Track Your Luggage During Travel

How to Track Your Luggage During Travel

Luggage tags can help return luggage if it goes missing when travelling, but tags have serious limitations. An airline luggage tag assumes whoever finds your bag has the integrity to return it. Airline tags can be torn or smudged to the point they become unreadable. Bluetooth bag tracking devices provide extra security, allowing you to locate bags if they’re mislaid, lost, or stolen. Here’s how to track luggage with bag trackers and which trackers Travelpro® staff recommend.

Choose A Tracking Device

Using wireless communication, bag tracking systems connect small BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or GPS tags to phones and other electronic devices. Bag tracking systems are available for use with Apple and Android devices, with the most popular tracking devices being the Tile and Apple Airtag.

A. Apple Airtag: Features, benefits, and limitations

The Apple AirTag is the gold standard of bag tracking devices. The tag uses ultra-wideband tracking to pinpoint the location of missing luggage to within a few feet. The Find My app lets you track the Airtag in real-time, while Lost Mode alerts you when missing bags are within range of the Find My network by pinging off other Apple devices.

AirTags can store your phone number and email so any Apple user who finds the device can contact you. The app can also alert you to unauthorized AirTags moving with you—an important added security measure.

The only disadvantage of AirTags is that they only work with the Apple ecosystem, so Android users are out of luck. If you are an Apple user, our article How to Use Apple AirTags to Keep Your Luggage Safe during Travel has more information on these helpful bag tracking devices.

Quick Stats:

  • Network Compatibility: Apple Bluetooth networks
  • Battery Type: 1 Year ReplaceableCR2032 Battery
  • Size: 3.27” x 0.47” x 4.09”
  • Subscription Service: None

B. Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker: Features, benefits, and limitations

Available in white or black, the Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker has a durable plastic shell. The tag is waterproof for up to 30 minutes in three feet of water, providing more than enough water resistance for most types of travel. A loud alert sound helps you locate the tracker if it’s within Bluetooth range. The Find Far Away option lets you locate bags further away by connecting to any nearby device also using the Tile app, as long as you have a current Tile subscription.

Concerning the Tile’s limitations, it is one of the more expensive bag tracking options, roughly comparable to the Apple AirTag, and lacks the AirTag’s ultra-wideband tracking feature.

Quick Stats:

  • Network Compatibility: Apple and Android Bluetooth networks
  • Battery Type: 1 Year Replaceable CR2032 Battery
  • Size: 2.32” x 0.3” x 1.32”
  • Subscription Service: Required

C. Other notable tracking devices in the market

While the most well-known tracking devices, the Tile Pro and Apple AirTag, are hardly your only choices. Other options include:

  • The Samsung Galaxy SmartTag tracks bags up to 390 feet using Bluetooth and uses the Galaxy Find Network to locate tags from further away. The ability to track where the tag has been is a helpful feature if you need to retrace your steps.
  • The LandAirSea GPS Tracker lets you track tags in real time on Google Maps. The tracker logs where the tag has been, including how long your personal belongings sat at each location. The monthly subscription fee is a little high, at $19.95.
  • The Trackit GPS Tracker includes an international SIM card for tracking over unlimited distances on Google Street View. The tag uses WiFi and GPS and, like the LandAirSea, requires a $19.95 monthly subscription fee.

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