What You Should — and Should Not — Put on Your Luggage Tag in 2023

Here’s everything to know about properly tagging your luggage — for safety and security.

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What You Should and Should Not Put on Your Luggage Tag

Travel & Leisure / David Hattan

On a two-week backpacking trip with a group of college classmates, I landed in Germany, made my way to baggage claim, and waited — and waited — for my suitcase to arrive. It didn’t show up for another three days, well into our vacation, and with my one outfit feeling particularly disgusting. 

Today, more and more travelers opt for carry-on luggage due to increasingly frequent baggage delays and loss. Many people would rather pack lightly than risk having their vacation spoiled by the headache that comes with relocating lost items. However, checking a bag can sometimes still be a smart, if not inevitable, move, especially for long or international trips. 

In 2021, the number of delayed, damaged, lost, or stolen bags increased 24 percent, according to a study by aviation technology company SITA, but flyers can help get bags suitcases quickly by attaching a luggage tag with their name, email address, and phone number (in addition to the airline’s luggage sticker). 

International travelers should also consider writing the address of their hotel or residence, so they can be quickly contacted and lost luggage can be redirected without delay. For those using a written luggage tag, you can add a temporary address by simply slipping your hotel’s information into the tag on a separate card atop your permanent one. It’s also a good idea to take a photo of your secure luggage and luggage tags before checking in. That way you have proof of what your bags look like to help you get compensation if the items don’t arrive, or arrive damaged.

For safety reasons, you should not include your home address on your luggage tag. For the most part, this information is unnecessary since the airline will contact you via phone or email to reunite you with any lost bags. Also, adding your address to luggage tags could open you up to robbery while you’re away as many people could view this information once you’ve headed out on your travels. 

The best luggage tags feature a security flap, so your personal information can’t be easily seen, or are smart tags where your data is stored electronically and only accessible by authorized users. You can even help out airport staff, and calm your own fears, by tracking your bags yourself using smart tags or luggage trackers. Not only do many smart tags let you monitor your own items, but they allow airport workers to scan your bags for private information in case your bags are lost. As an added bonus, you can also easily edit your data and even include hotel and flight information to help reunite you with lost items as quickly as possible so we’re never again stuck on vacation wearing the same outfit for days on end.

Best With Privacy Flap

Travelambo Luggage Tag Faux Leather for Suitcase

Leather Luggage Tags

Travelambo

Why We Love It: This functional tag comes in 25 colors and patterns. 

What to Consider: The privacy flap may loosen up the more it’s used.

This simple, yet practical, luggage tag is the perfect addition to help you spot any bag from across the room. The adjustable strap features a buckle closure for added durability and the information card is double sided, so you can make adjustments if your contact information changes. The tag also comes with a one-year limited warranty for added confidence as you travel. 

Price at time of publish: $7

Best With QR Code

Dynotag Brushed Stainless Steel Smart Tag

dynotag-brushed-stainless-steel-smart-tag

Amazon

Why We Love It: The tag comes with a lifetime subscription, so you can easily change your information an unlimited number of times.

What to Consider: A smartphone is needed to change and access information.

For tech-savvy travelers who want to not only track their luggage, but store private information like flight itineraries and hotel information, this smart tag is a great option. Your private details are only available by scanning the code and the user automatically receives an email when the QR code is scanned, so you have full privacy wherever you go. You can also set up a common ID for several tagged bags to make family travel, or traveling with multiple bags, even easier. 

Price at time of publish: $23

Best Smart Tag

Tile Pro Powerful Bluetooth Tracker

4.8
Tile Pro (2022) Key Tracker.

Amazon

Why We Love It: It can be used to track a variety of items, from keys to backpacks, in addition to luggage.

What to Consider: Because of its size, this tag may be best for storing inside your luggage. 

Tile Pro’s smart tag provides an accurate, real-time way to track your luggage — which is particularly convenient when you’re in a hurry or in the case of lost bags. This tag is also compatible with both iOS and Android as well as smart home devices like Amazon Alexa. To use, simply download the Tile App and get traveling. For backup security, the Tile Pro smart tag also features a QR code that stores your contact information if your tag and luggage gets lost or separated.    

Price at time of publish: $35

Best Metal

Talonport Indestructible Metal Luggage Tag

Talonport Indestructible Luggage Tag

Amazon

Why We Love It: It comes with a PDF file to create extra inserts to change your information.  

What to Consider: The included glossy inserts can be difficult to write on. 

This stainless steel luggage tag is made to be indestructible and outlast even the most durable luggage. They also come with a lifetime guarantee, so if your tag is lost or stolen, you’ll receive a free replacement. These tags are especially convenient for those who move frequently since they come with nine card inserts in various colors so you can not only make information updates, but you can also choose your favorite color to help spot your luggage as it makes its way around the carousel.   

Price at time of publish: $27 for 2

Best Customizable

Mark & Graham Fillmore Vegan Leather Luggage Tag

Mark & Graham Fillmore Vegan Leather Luggage Tag and Passport Case

Mark & Graham

Why We Love It: The tag features a privacy flap for added protection. 

What to Consider: They’re a bit on the pricey side, so you may want to reinforce the attachment to your bag.

The easiest way to find your luggage among a sea of travelers is to have a bag — and bag tag — that stands out in the crowd. This vegan leather option will add an extra layer of unique flare to your travel gear by flaunting your monogram in fully customizable colors and fonts. You can even coordinate your luggage tag to your passport cover and other travel accessories to further showcase your personal style. 

Price at time of publish: $39

Tips for Buying Luggage Tags

Prioritize durability

A luggage tag is a small but important part of your travel experience. While many people prefer carry-on bags, luggage tags are an important part of your checked baggage as they help identify suitcases (especially in the case of loss or delays). Always make sure your luggage tag is durable enough that it won’t come off throughout your many journeys. 

Make sure it's easy to update your information

If you’re opting for a smart tag, it should be easy to update your personal information using the smartphone application compatible with your tag. When it comes to hand-written luggage tags, you still want to make sure it’s easy enough to update your information should you move or change phone numbers. Some tags come with multiple inserts so you can update info as needed, while others may require you to cut out your own new insert. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Where should I attach a luggage tag?

    Your luggage tag should be attached to the handle or strap of your bag where it will be easy to spot. For a tag with adjustable straps, you should make sure it is pulled tight to minimize the risk of it getting snagged off.  

  • What are the benefits of a smart luggage tag?

    Smart luggage tags are really convenient for anxious travelers who want to track bags at all times. They can also be helpful in the case of lost luggage or luggage that’s slow to make it to the baggage carousel — especially when you’re in a hurry. In addition to tracking suitcases, many smart luggage tags have the ability to store your personal information and even flight itineraries, and can be scanned by airport personnel in the event that your bags are lost or sent to the wrong destination. 

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Taylor Fox is a writer at Travel + Leisure, where she writes about and reviews travel products. She is also an avid traveler and uses research and her personal experience to select the best items for travelers.

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