While we prefer to avoid checking luggage whenever possible, if you have to put yours into the hands of the airline else you should take a picture of it first. That way, if your suitcase is lost (or temporarily missing) you can file a claim easily.
Redditor jeannaimard suggests this tip. Before you leave for the airport, take a photo. That will be useful if the unexpected happens and your bag goes missing. It's just one more clever use for your smartphone camera.