Flights, hotels, rental car, attraction tickets, packing lists: there's a lot to think about when you're planning a trip. No wonder your luggage tags don't make the top of the list. Many people forget about them altogether and opt for the paper tags at the airline check-in, hastily scribbling down their addresses and phone numbers before going through security. But this humble tag can make or break the most meticulously planned trip. While most people rarely think about luggage tags, they can tell others more than you want them to know.


Don't list your home address on luggage tags. Play it safe by using electronic luggage tags, or by listing only your basic contact information on a luggage tag.

Avoid Luggage Tag Mistakes

Virtually everyone within an airport can see the information written on your suitcase tag, so limiting the personal information while providing enough for the airline to return lost luggage is key. Most experts agree that if you can avoid listing your home address, you will be less likely to be targeted for a robbery while you are away. List the address of your destination, use a work address or skip the address altogether.

What to Include on Tags

Do list your cell phone number. Although it's theoretically possible for a thief to track down information about you from this number, it's more important to make sure that the airline can reach you if necessary. Include an email address as a backup contact method. To avoid using a primary email address, create a free account just for use on luggage tags. Although it is tempting not to put your full name on the tag for reasons of privacy, the airline can identify and contact you much faster if they can match the name on the tag to the ticket. Some travelers make the effort to get personalized bag tags, which not only hold all your relevant info but also make your bag easy to spot on the carousel.

Preparing for International Travel

Traveling internationally can be completely safe, but using extreme caution is always best when you're far from home. Keep in mind that it's possible you'll come in contact with people who have anti-American feelings while traveling, especially while abroad. Avoid using an American flag luggage tag and don't put anything on the luggage tag that identifies you as a U.S. citizen. Use tags with a flap that covers the information or turning the card around if you can't avoid identifying information.

Consider Modern Options

If it's been a few years since you last compared luggage tags, expect to see lots of new features on current models. A variety of electronic tags are available in stores. Some feature barcodes that allow airport workers to scan the tag and see the traveler's itinerary, while others pair with an app on your phone so you can track your bag's location in real time.