The #1 Thing NOT to do when travelling...

January 29, 2014 3 min read

Don’ts for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.
I committed a major travel sin this past week.

I checked a bag.

Fed up with the cold weather we've been experiencing lately, I snuck off to the Dominican Republic to attend a surf camp.

Surfing is an intense sport but super fun. It also presents the opportunity to get TOO much sun.

In anticipation, I bought a ton of waterproof sunscreen as you often need to reapply, and the plan was to surf twice a day... so about 4+ hours in the water daily.

So much so, that I had to check my bag as it was over the 1L limit. I wasn't even bringing that many clothes... it was the dang sunscreen!

Fast forward to my trip..

Due to the inclement weather Toronto was experiencing my day of departure... my flight was delayed, and I was already teetering on a a tight connection. I landed at Newark at 9am, and my other United flight took off at 9:10am.

Let's just say, I had to do an amazing race-type dash to the gate, but surprisingly made it.

However, my luggage did not.


Navigating Lost Luggage

If you haven't ever lost your luggage, this is a must read. Especially in a tropical country. 

The first step is to file a lost luggage report... wait in a line.
As Dominican only has one United flight a day, I was stuck waiting until the day after for my luggage. Next day rolls around.... no luggage. It arrived but they couldn't locate it, however they said they would deliver it.

After several calls to United's lost baggage department in the US as well as to the airport baggage counter (where no one picks up the phone), they admitted they had no idea where the luggage was. I kept following up - I even tweeted them. 

How it turned out

Thankfully, I had packed a substantial carry-on so had about 1.5 days worth of clothes and toiletries... but I did have to buy a few items. My travel insurance will cover my purchases and hopefully I will receive some compensation from United for the delay.

My luggage arrived exactly 48 hours late ... and I am thankful it did show up eventually.


Some Tips if you MUST check a bag
  • Always pack a carry-on with at least a day or day and a half of essentials and clothes
  • If the airline has lost your bag, follow up consistently with the air carrier so that they know you are on top of it.. as proven, they were not, and don't be afraid to ask for compensation if they lose your bag
  • Buy travel insurance (mine came with my credit card) with protection for delayed baggage
  • Never pack valuables
  • Have a mental list of what's in your suitcase (or a physical one), and take a photo of your bag as the lost baggage report requires a detail description
  • Avoid checking baggage on tight connections completely... it will NOT arrive, that's a guarantee

So, feeling a bit embarrassed about checking baggage, as I advocate traveling light... but a good lesson learned.

Have you ever lost your baggage? Comment below!

With wanderlust,

Don’t for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.

Chief Fashionpreneur, encircled

Don’t for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.Don’t for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.Don’t for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.Don’t for the Everyday Traveler. Ethically made in Canada with sustainable and eco friendly materials.

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