Should You Distribute Clothing When Flying To Minimise Lost Luggage Risk?

Lost luggage can ruin the start of a holiday. If you're travelling in a group, distributing clothes so that everyone has at least one complete change of clothes in each case can help avoid the risk, but the approach has downsides.

Photo by Kristen Taylor.

Redditor whedonmoffatparadigm explains the idea:

At the very least, make sure each case contains at least one complete outfit for each person. That way, if one of the cases is lost, no one will be completely without a change of clothes. If you're travelling alone and are checking a bag, take a change of clothes in your carry on, for the same reason. At the very least, take a change of underwear in your carry on.

In a sense, this means packing your bags in the style of a RAID array.

There's something to be said for this approach, but there are potentially better alternatives. I'd lean towards everyone having just one change of clothes (which needn't be more than a new shirt and underwear) in their hand luggage. That gives you options even if all the cases in a group go to the wrong location (which isn't unheard of). If you follow our advice on travelling with just hand luggage, you won't be worried about misplaced bags at all.

Also, if you're flying with a decent airline and a bag goes missing, you'll be able to hit them up for money to purchase emergency clothing and toiletries. So I wouldn't use this idea all the time, but it's a possibility, especially for families with younger kids where parents do all the packing anyway.

When flying with your family, spread everyone's clothes out among several suitcases [Reddit


    Could be just me, but I thought people put extra clothes in their carry on for this purpose? What on earth do people carry on with 7kgs of carry on luggage? I put spare clothes, tablet, phones, cameras and accessories in my carry on so that if my bags do go missing I have clothes to change into. Mixing 2 bags might reduce you chances slightly, but chances are if one doesn't make it, neither will the other?

      There is nothing more annoying than people with huge / heavy / bulky / generally not needed carry on. Here's a radical movement - the No Carry On Guys! Just what's in yer pockets!

      If you can't afford to buy a spare shirt and undies at your destination then the spruce moose isn't fer you gov.

    There is nothing worse than finding out after a long day of travel that your bags didn't make it. Last year in Rome I found out that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure certainly applies when it comes to getting your misplaced luggage returned. Okoban tracker tags are equal to way more than a pound of cure in my book. They allow the airline or anyone else who finds your bags to immediately contact you by email or text (without revealing your personal information) with a pickup location. I got mine at It worked like a charm for me and I ended up getting my lost bag back in less than 2 hours.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now