Almost everyone who’s runaway to Europe for a summer has had their bags lost by an airline at least once. Thanks to all those connecting flights and stopovers, it seems that airports sure do struggle to keep track of our belongings. But if you have a luggage tracker, you can keep an eye on your suitcase every step of the way.
Instead of standing at the baggage claim, scratching your head as the same suitcases do their third lap around the conveyer belt, the right tracker will give you the peace of mind you’re craving after a long flight.
Most of you have probably heard great things about the Apple AirTag, one of the most popular luggage tracking tags available. While an AirTag is good and all, there is one caveat – you’ll need to be an iPhone owner to use one.
Thankfully, the AirTag isn’t your only option. In fact, before we get into the nitty gritty of the best luggage trackers you can buy, you need to learn about the three different types of tags available.
Best Bluetooth luggage tags
The first type of luggage tracker uses Bluetooth, which is how the Apple AirTag works. Bluetooth-operated trackers work by emitting a secure signal that can only be detected by other devices within that tracker’s ecosystem.
If your luggage goes missing, you simply need to set your tracker to Lost Mode, which will allow nearby devices to detect where your missing suitcase has disappeared to. However, using a Bluetooth tracker does come with a few restrictions.
Using the Apple AirTag as an example, this means that your luggage is “lost” if there’s no iPhones nearby to trigger the “found” alerts. Granted, this is pretty unlikely to happen considering that the iPhone is one of the most popular smartphones in the world. But it may be an issue if you use a different Bluetooth tracker, such as Tile.
On the plus side, another iPhone only needs to be between 15 to 30 feet away to detect your AirTag, which applies to most other luggage trackers such as the Samsung SmartTag.
Pros: Uses the Find My network to provide real-time tracking, battery can last up to one year, trackable up to 800ft, waterproof, can track pets, can input contact information, has a built-in speaker to help you find missing objects.
Cons: Compatible with iPhone 11 or newer, holder sold separately, needs to be replaced with new battery once dead.
Samsung Galaxy SmartTag
Pros: Uses Galaxy Find network to track missing belongings, can track pets, like the AirTag it uses a built-in speaker that will make a sound so you can find your lost items, waterproof, dust-proof, can also control smart gadgets at home.
Cons: Compatible with Samsung Galaxy smartphones with Android 8.0 or higher, requires annual battery replacement (or sooner).
Pros: Show real-time location once located, trackable up to 250ft, water-resistant, can ring your phone even when it’s on silent mode, comes with QR code you can add your contact info to, a lost Tile will send a notification once its found, compatible with both iOS, Android, Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant and Xfinity, three year battery life.
Cons: Non-replaceable battery, depends on the Tile network (which is not as popular as iPhone or Samsung), easily damaged.
Pros: Compatible with Google Assistant, approx one year battery life but replaceable, durable, water-resistant, trackable up to 400ft, subscription does offer free battery replacement.
Cons: Expensive, requires subscription for some features (starts at $4.99/month), tracking limited by Tile network.
Best GPS trackers for luggage
The second type of luggage tag you want to know about is a GPS tracker. These are the most reliable types of trackers since they utilise satellite navigation to keep track of your belongings.
On the other hands, they are typically more expensive in the long run since many rely on a monthly or annual subscription in addition to its outright cost.
LandSeaAir 54 GPS Luggage Tracker
Pros: GPS tracking available worldwide, waterproof, sends real-time and detailed tracking reports via text/email, set and change GeoFence zones, receive travel speed alerts, user-friendly interface, rechargeable, comes with SIM.
Cons: Requires subscription.
Where to buy: Amazon ($40)
Tracki GPS Luggage Tracker
Pros: Lightweight and small, ends live tracking, low battery and geo boundary crossing alerts in-app, unlimited distances, automatically connects to Wi-Fi indoors or GPS satellites outdoors, can use Google Street View, international SIM included, accessories included.
Cons: Requires minimum six month subscription, five day battery life while using real-time tracking.
Best QR code luggage tracker tags
The final one is a QR code luggage tag. It’s super easy to use but really relies on your faith in people to work. Those who are unfamiliar with QR codes know that any time you scan one on your phone, it will turn into a website link or let you download an app.
With QR luggage trackers, you can have your contact information assigned to your barcode so that when a good Samaritan scans it, you’ll either be alerted to your suitcase’s location or the scanner can use your info to contact you.
Zazzle QR Tag
Pros: Unique QR code so you can input your personal contact information, location can be delivered via text/email/voice message, weather-proof, cheap both short-term and long-term, no batteries necessary, no subscription required.
Cons: Relies on luggage handlers or good Samaritans to go into Found Mode.
Where to buy: Zazzle ($18.12)
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