With over ten million luggage’s getting lost every year, keeping it safe can be a major concern for travelers. There are several tips you could follow to avoid lost luggage, and one of them is having a GPS Luggage tracker.
Using a GPS luggage tracker helps you keep your luggage safe and also you can know its location instantly. With a smart tracker attached to your luggage you do not have to worry about misplacing it at the airport or hotel.
To know more on different types of luggage trackers and how to find the best one for your luggage, continue reading this article.
Types of Luggage Tracking Devices
As with any product, a luggage tracker device is also available in different variants using different technologies like Bluetooth, Radio frequency, and GPS/Mobile. Let’s see in brief about each with its pros and cons.
Bluetooth luggage tracker: This type of tracker devices is small and can be fixed to your luggage easily. However, they have relatively small range hence you can only track your luggage when you are in the Bluetooth range of about 30 meters. Therefore, these kinds of trackers are better useful in locating smaller items like keys, wallets, etc.
RF luggage tracker device: The RF Tracker device has much larger range compared to the Bluetooth luggage trackers. It lets you locate and recover your lost luggage with high accuracy and can be even used in places where there are no cellular networks/GPS. However, RF tracker’s major drawback is that it cannot be used to track luggage’s that are stranded over large distances.
GPS/Mobile luggage tracker: GPS tracker is the most preferred luggage tracker device among travelers because of its long range and accuracy. It uses cellular technology to transmit the location to the user’s smartphone thus can be tracked from anywhere in the world, plus it provides real-time tracking as well. Only drawback of GPS luggage tracker is that you need to pay subscription charges to enjoy certain features.
What is a microchip luggage tag? Is it better than GPS tracker?
You must have come across this newer technology that lets you find your lost bags easily. A microchip tag is embedded with the owner’s details in it and when the airport identifies your bag you’ll be updated by email and SMS.
Just like pet microchips these luggage tags do not work like GPS trackers, so no real-time tracking possible and you are purely at the mercy of the finder/airline!
Smart Luggage vs GPS tracker
Another question I get from my friends is “Are smart luggage’s worth buying?”. My answer is Yes! Only if you want to use it while you are travelling by train or road because most of the airlines have banned smart luggage’s with lithium batteries. Hence you need to check with your airlines before flying with one, or go-ahead and buy a smart luggage that is TSA-Approved; Still I wouldn’t prefer it.
Smart luggage’s are built-in with features like Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, USB chargers, remote locking etc. It definitely is cool and trendy to carry one. But with the new airline guidelines in place, traveling with one is not advisable. Therefore, using a dedicated GPS tracker works better for many.
A GPS tracker can also be easily reused with other luggage’s/suitcases without hassle, unlike smart luggage where you are tied down only to it.
How to buy the best GPS luggage tracker?
Since there are lot of luggage tracker’s available in the market today, finding one is simple. But, which one GPS luggage tracker is the best? Is a question that concerns many. Without naming any specific luggage tracker, I’ve listed some of the features that you want to check out for in a luggage tracker device regardless of its manufacturer.
- Size: You definitely do not want to add an extra weight to an already heavy luggage, so always go for a smart tracker that is lightweight and compact, and one that fits in any sized luggage.
- Luggage Alert: A luggage tracker with this feature rings every time a user presses the alert button on the app. This feature lets you trace the direction of your luggage with ease.
- Flight Mode: Since the luggage is going to travel with you on the same aircraft along with the tracker in it. You need to find a tracker device that has Auto flight mode feature in it, which turns off the device during flights, and turns on back when it has landed. This feature also saves battery.
- Arrival Notification: A feature which sends a message to your phone to notify you that your luggage has arrived safely.
- Multiple tracking: If possible find a luggage tracker that is featured with both GPS and Bluetooth technology for better tracking ability. Bluetooth technology will be helpful in finding your luggage in places where GPS/mobile networks are blocked.
- Accuracy: Look out for a luggage tracker device that lets you track with great accuracy to avoid any panic in the last minute. Therefore, a tracker embedded with high quality GPS chip is recommended.
- Battery Life: A luggage tracker should have at-least 48 hours of battery life, which is essential for a long-haul flight. You can find trackers that operates on rechargeable batteries as well as on AA batteries, so choose one that suits your needs.
How much does a GPS Luggage tracker cost?
GPS luggage tracker pricing ranges anywhere from $50 to $100 for the device alone and additional $20 to $30 per year as subscription charges for the service. You can also find trackers that are cheap with lower service rates, but make sure they are reliable before buying one.
If you are a frequent traveler or someone who takes occasional trips, luggage safety can be a major concern. Therefore, having a GPS luggage tracker is highly recommended and a perfect alternative to using traditional luggage tags.