It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare – losing your luggage whilst on holiday. Thankfully, it isn’t the end of the world. Here are some tips on what you should do once you realise your belongings have disappeared.

Recall when you last saw it

Toronto Airport Terminal Walkers
( Flickr: Dan Zen 2007)

The first thing to do is rationally consider when you last had it. Have you emerged from the airport only to realise you’ve misplaced it inside the terminal? Could it have been taken from you whilst you were occupied elsewhere? Think calmly about where you saw it last, and go from there.

The first – and perhaps the most important – thing to do is retrace your steps and head back to the spot you had it last. If you’re with friends, get them to aid you in your search, and stay vigilant for anyone who may unfortunately be trying to get away with your case.

Ask around

Depending on where you had your luggage last, it may be worth asking around to see if there have been any sightings. As previously mentioned, if you lost it in the airport, ask staff if any luggage has been reported – you may have had the luck of someone discovering the case and handing it in.

Ryanair has published a handy list of links to contact airports if you feel that your baggage disappeared in the terminal. Of course, this tactic may be harder when out in public once you have arrived, but consider asking the people around where you last had it to see if they saw anything – there’s nothing left to lose.

Make a claim if possible

Farewell to good old times 2
(Flickr: elitatt 2011)

In some cases, you’ll be able to claim for your missing luggage with travel insurance. TINZ goes into detail on the different circumstances surrounding lost luggage and how cover differs depending on how your things went missing.

For example, if you leave belongings in plain sight unattended and they’re taken, you likely won’t be able to make a claim due to negligence. Interestingly, if your luggage goes missing after being passed through baggage control at the airport, you also wouldn’t be covered as it is the airport’s responsibility – you would have to work it out with them. The Telegraph highlights how to go about this if necessary.

Report to the local authorities

Of course, if all else fails and you suspect theft or even if you simply cannot locate your luggage anywhere, you’ll want to report it as missing to the local authorities. In most cases they will be able to aid you in your search and maybe even track down your missing case.

This is especially important if you suspect that your belongings were stolen. Travel insurance may not cover you in this case, so you’ll want to report it as theft. With any luck, the authorities will actively aid you in your search for your belongings.

Don’t stress

(Flickr: James Baker 2017)

Perhaps the most important tip of all is to stay calm and have a positive outlook despite a glaring inconvenience. Although losing your luggage is definitely not ideal when travelling, attempt to make the most of a bad situation – perhaps take some time to plan what’s ahead once you have emerged from it.

Losing your luggage doesn’t mean your holiday should end right away. Of course, make sure you spend time trying to rectify the issue at hand, but also ensure you continue your trip with a positive outlook so that the experience isn’t tainted by this hiccup. So long as you follow the tips above, you’ll be back on track in no time.