Traveling with checked-in luggage can be complicated enough as it is.
Maybe you’ve previously had trouble with identifying your luggage or even had it taken by someone else in good faith (I’ve tried this once).
Or you just want to avoid ending up in a situation like the British Olympic team did with their 900’ish identical bags back when they returned to England from Rio in 2016:
Mine’s the red one!! pic.twitter.com/Z68nxrDyJ6— Nick Dempsey (@nickdempsey1) August 23, 2016
Some of us just want our luggage from A to B not caring about the appearance. While others don’t mind putting a bit of effort to make it shine.
I’ve created the list with both needs in mind, when it comes to getting your luggage to stand out. This includes everything from free and easy things to use that you might already have at home. To paid methods which require a bit of shopping first.
But let’s not waste time and get started.
📖 Table of Contents
13 Ways to Make Your Luggage Stand Out (Sorted by Complexity)
The “complexity” is based on a combination of factors. Such as if a needed item is available in many homes, the price of it, and how easy it is to apply to your luggage.
And the more bright, shiny, and noticeable the better depending on your preferences. Though even transparent tape would do the job (in the right amount).
Though be aware that getting the tape off again can leave stains of adhesive which can be hard to take off again, depending on the type used.
And don’t limit yourself to duct tape – medical tape, etc. can also do the job.
This applies to permanent markers, spray paint, wall paint, etc. and if you feel like taking it a notch up, consider buying some drawings or lettering aids with it to make it look more professional.
If you prefer keeping your luggage close to the original design, don’t worry, we’ll go through other tips more suitable for that in a second.
3. Lines, Ribbons, or Yarns
Most kinds of lines, ribbons, or yarns can do the job. And for practical reasons, you don’t necessarily have to wrap it up like a present (though it would make it stand out even more).
Tightening it around one of the handles is probably your best option if you decide to go with this option.
And also don’t necessarily limit yourself to the above-mentioned three things – most things you can tie a knot with can potentially do the trick, as long as it stays tight.
Though this advice probably doesn’t apply to 99% of the stickers out there, it’s still worth keeping in mind:
If you’re flying internationally be thoughtful of not using any NFSW stickers which is sexually explicit or considered disrespectful of the country of your destination.
5. Clothes and Accessories
While you might not want to put your favorite clothing or accessory on the outside of your luggage, finding something that you’re not using or are soon to throw out might be an option.
You can also cut the clothing in lines making it easier to wrap it in your luggage with a knot. Most preferably one of the handlebars.
Other accessories such as keychains, jewelry, etc. may also be used.
6. Zip Ties
The good thing about zip ties is that you don’t have to worry about them falling off. And you can always remove them once you arrive at your destination.
They don’t take up a lot of space or weigh much either, making it easy to bring a handful of them so you have enough to attach some again for your return flight.
You don’t need to be a professional climber to own a carabiner or two. Many travel and outdoor accessories come with a carabiner or are sold separately. I even bought a power bank once that surprisingly came with one.
Though if the colors aren’t necessarily shining, your luggage might not stand out as much compared to the other options on the list.
Though it’s might not the most effective way of making your luggage stand out on the list, it provides other features.
If you’re sometimes forgetful (skilled at being mindful), this option is might the best for you.
It gives quick access to your contact information for anyone in case you lose it.
And if you have some durable present tags laying around, they might do the trick as well.
9. Luggage Belts
This might be the best option for you if your luggage is from an older date, or you’re usually ambitious with packing to its limits in terms of content and weight.
So besides helping your luggage stand out, it also adds an extra layer of safety preventing your luggage to open if your zips malfunction.
I wouldn’t want my underwear to be on display on the conveyer belt in some random airport – just saying.
10. Handle Grips
I didn’t know this was a thing until researching this article. Made me laugh a bit – I think we can agree that most handles are comfortable as it is.
But one thing doesn’t exclude the other, so nothing stands in your way of making your luggage comfier to carry and stand out.
11. Luggage Covers
If you’re keen on a new design chances are is this the best option for you. With the endless amount of designs, chances are you won’t meet anyone else with an identical one on the same flight.
It’s also a perfect option if you want to protect your luggage against damage or rain.
12. “Wall” Stickers
Though most wall stickers are made of foil, it’s also often less durable than stickers due to their flexibility. Especially if it’s of lower quality. But I guess that’s the price you have to pay if you fall in love with a design.
If you don’t want to buy a wall sticker, alternatively you can also buy a small roll of folie and attach it to it.
In that case, I suggest using a hairdryer to help with the application. Just be sure to keep a gap between the hairdryer and the foil luggage to avoid melting it.
13. Sewing Patches
This is a popular one among backpackers. Though if you own a piece of hard-case luggage, you’d have to be very dedicated to make it work.
But if you’re already a savvy tailor with a compatible suitcase, this might very well just be your next creative project.
Last Words of Advice
Be aware that the fewer loose ends you apply to your luggage the better. This is to decrease the risk of whatever you’ve chosen falling off or getting stuck somewhere during transportation, such as a conveyer belt.
Also no matter the option you choose to go with, don’t close your luggage in such a way that it interferes with inspection by airport security personnel.
In that case, the only option they have would be to cut or break whatever you attached and throw it out if it was to be chosen for inspection.