The Best Luggage Trackers (So You Never Lose a Suitcase Again)August 15, 2023
All it takes is one plane ride from hell to swear you off traveling to Europe (or wherever all of your luggage got lost) forever. You started out thinking you’d be embarking on a relaxing vacation, but there is nothing worse than having to be in your airplane clothes for three days or being forced to spend money on a whole new vacation wardrobe at tourist shops in an expensive foreign city (shout out to that Daddy’s Little Meatball shirt).
It’s only human nature, but the only time you ever really think about buying luggage trackers is when your luggage is already lost. By the time that happens, it’s already too late. Don’t worry—we’ve been there, and, after being humiliated by day after day spent trying to track down our roller bags, we wised up and started tracking our most irreplaceable belongings. It’s 2023, and this is what technology is for, baby.
Fair warning: When it comes to buying a tracker, the experience is kind of like Pringles: Once you pop (aka buy one), the fun don't stop; you’ll want to put a tracker on everything, and that’s OK. Bad at remembering where you parked? Tile in the glove compartment. Moved to a house, and now your indoor cat is an outdoor cat? Strap an AirTag on that bad boy. The opportunities are endless, and you’ll never again get indigestion because you just barely made your connecting flight and your bag could be on a flight to Fiji when you’re headed to Sicily. These are the best luggage trackers, in terms of ease of use, size, range, and accuracy.
If you’re an OG Mac user and everything you own has an Apple logo on it, AirTags will integrate into your network of things seamlessly, and you probably already know how to set them up intuitively (unless you’re a boomer—then you should enlist the help of someone who grew up with the internet). The best thing about AirTags is that the “Find My” network (an integrated app that you can already use to track down your lost iPhone or keep tabs on those you’ve shared locations with) uses hundreds of millions of Mac devices around the world to track down your lost AirTag. Apple’s Precision Finding tech can lead you straight to your missing item by showing you how far it is, and which direction to head.
If there is a downside to AirTags, it’s that it's just a little button, and if you need to attach it to something (versus just tossing it in a suitcase), you need to purchase extra accessories. Also, if you’re on a trip with friends, it might notify them that an AirTag is following them, and unless you tell them they might think someone is stalking your group (*cough* not like we would know that from experience or anything *cough*).
If you’re an Android user, Tile is a great option. Heck, even if you’re an Apple user, Tile is a great option. One of the original brands to get into Bluetooth tracking, Tile has expanded its line of products to include a solution for almost everything you could possibly lose. The Mate is Tile’s signature product—a small square with a hole that’s great for hooking onto keys, bags, and pets, the Slim is perfect for wallets or passports, and the Sticker is ideal for everything else from remotes to cameras to bikes, and all are compatible with Tile’s free app and smart home devices like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.
If you do a lot of traveling internationally and want to up your coverage, Tile Pro has a replaceable battery and a Bluetooth range of 400 feet. Plus you can purchase Premium Protect from Tile for $99.99 a year, which includes item reimbursement of up to $1,000 if Tile can’t find your things.
We’re also stoked on Tile’s newest release—the “so simple, why hasn’t anyone else thought of it” Lost & Found labels with scannable QR codes. Great for sticking on your devices, Stanley quenchers, bike helmets—you name it.
Talk about peace of mind—Tracki has unlimited distance tracking abilities in the U.S. and worldwide, while allowing you to track your devices in real-time—just like the delivery guy on DoorDash. A monthly fee is required, but that’s because Tracki uses 4G LTE GPS tracking, so you always know where your suitcase containing your grandfather’s ashes, best friend’s wedding dress, or priceless heirloom is. Consider it the Carmen Sandiego of luggage trackers (which also happens to be currently on sale for less than $15).
If you want to be inconspicuous (people will go ahead and just steal your AirTag these days), the Dynotag tracker looks like a regular-degular luggage tag and stores all your information—making it easier to return—without the use of fancy apps and Bluetooth. This lo-fi tracker will notify you when and where it was scanned, so you have an idea of its most recent location, without worrying about dead batteries or being out of range.
Not all luggage that wanders is lost, OK?
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story. Want more reviews, recommendations, and red-hot deals? Sign up for our newsletter.