There was a time when luggage tags were made of paper and plastic. They would be clipped to the handles of suitcases or backpacks, and would display your name, address and phone number. The idea being that if your luggage got lost or misplaced, then the person who found it could use the tags to easily return your luggage to you. Of course, this depended on a trust-based system.
Nowadays, you don’t have to rely on someone else to find and return your travel bags. Luggage tags have transformed into luggage trackers, which are digital and far more sophisticated. In a nutshell, luggage trackers can be used to accurately track your luggage and show you where it is in relation to you via an app. For many, they’re become a travel essential. No stress, no wondering how you’ll manage with nothing but the clothes on your back.
That’s why, in this post, we cover 6 of the best luggage trackers out there – so you can select the right one for you and head off on your adventures with confidence.
How do luggage trackers work?
Before we dive into the list, it’s good to know how luggage trackers work. Broadly speaking, they rely on tracking technology dependent on Bluetooth, GPS or GSM.
Bluetooth is good for tracking travel bags that are relatively close by, say within 400 feet. That makes them ideal for day trips or while backpacking and staying in hostels or hotels. They might not be the best choice if an airline misplaces your travel bags, though they’ll work well within airport terminals.
GPS is short for Global Positioning System. It uses signals from orbiting satellites to accurately track your luggage. And because it relies on satellites, it provides worldwide coverage. One thing to keep in mind is that atmospheric conditions like a thunderstorm or snow, and physical obstacles like metal or concrete rooftops, can interfere with accuracy. Still, GPS isn’t limited by distance or local services.
GSM, which is short for Global System for Mobile Communications, works by using signals from cell towers to pinpoint location. It too is highly accurate. Its major drawback is that some countries don’t support GSM technology. This means that if you travel to those countries, you’ll need to sign up for a roaming service with your tracking provider for GPS to accurately track your luggage.
Now you know how luggage trackers work – and maybe have a better sense of which technology would be most useful for you.
Dimensions: 1.26 (diameter) x 0.31 inches
The AirTag is small, elegant and affordable. It’s perfect for iPhone owners, but works with Android phones too. It comes with a feature called Precision Finding that displays the direction of your travel bag in relation to you, and how far away it is. There’s also a nifty ‘lost mode’ feature which can be activated via the app that results in other iOS users picking up the AirTag’s Bluetooth signal and alerting you to its location. This process is completely anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about someone else on the app grabbing your travel bags.
2. Tile Pro
Dimensions: 2.3 x 1.3 x 0.3 inches
Tile Pro trackers work with their free Tile app that can run on either Android or iOS devices. All you need to do is tap ‘Find’ in the app to locate your travel bags. The app also shows you the last time you had your travel bag before you misplaced it, so you can go back to that location and turn on Bluetooth tracking to find it. We recommend the Pro because it has the longest Bluetooth range of 400 feet, and can come with a 1-year subscription to Tile Premium, which has a whole bunch of benefits for you to enjoy.
3. LugLoc Luggage Tracker
Technology: Bluetooth and GSM
Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches
Price: $19.99 with flexible service plans starting at $4.99/month
The LugLoc Luggage Tracker combines Bluetooth and GSM tracking technology for added peace of mind. The GSM tracking service is free for the first month, but you’ll then need to sign up for a monthly or yearly plan to stay connected. The tracker is designed to be FAA, FCC and TSA compliant, and comes with rechargeable batteries that last 15 days on a single charge. And the app is fairly straightforward and intuitive to use.
4. Gego Universal Tracker
Technology: Bluetooth and GSM
Dimensions: 3.5 x 2.3 x 0.4 inches
Price: $39.95 with flexible service plans starting at $9.99/month
The Gego Universal Tracker is another GSM tracker with Bluetooth functionality that provides worldwide coverage. It’s slim and fits neatly inside travel bags, though it has a keyring hole and can easily be attached to a zipper or handle. GSM tracking provides an exact location of your belongings, and the Bluetooth proximity radar alerts you when you are close. The tracker is TSA, FAA and IATA compliant as well, with a rechargeable battery that lasts between 10 and 20 days.
5. Americaloc GL300
Dimensions: 2.7 x 1.5 x 0.9 inches
Price: $109.90 with a monthly service plan of $25
The Americaloc GPS luggage tracker comes with reliable and accurate real-time tracking, with updates available every 60, 30 or 10 seconds depending on the plan you choose. It works in the US, Canada and Mexico, and Americaloc says they can ship a SIM for any other country you might visit at no extra cost. The tracker comes with no activation fees, no cancellation fees, and free 2 months service. There’s no contract either, which means you have the choice to pay the monthly service plan of $25 only on those months when you plan to use the tracker. Their app is compatible with all iOS and Android devices.
5. LynQ Pack of Two
Dimensions: 4 x 2 x 1 inches
The LynQ is the most expensive tracker on this list, but there's a good reason for that. Its sophisticated GPS tracking system is built on the company’s proprietary radio protocols, and are so accurate that they are used by the US military and air force. Coming in a set of two, each LynQ is a one-button carabiner that doesn’t require a service subscription or phone app to show you the location of the other LynQ is. Each displays the distance and direction of the other. These trackers are ruggedly built, come with worldwide coverage, and have a digital compass to help you stay oriented. We’d say they’re a good fit for adventure sports enthusiasts travelling in groups, as they can help you keep track of your luggage while travelling, and then be used to keep track of others while hiking, kayaking or enjoying the great outdoors.
How to pick the right luggage tracker for you
So there you have it, our list of the 6 best luggage trackers. Before you make your purchase, we suggest you think about why you’re getting a luggage tracker in the first place. Is it because you plan on going hiking and are worried about losing it halfway up a mountain, or because you frequently travel by air and have been in a position where your check-in luggage has been left behind? Knowing the reason for your requirement will make your purchasing decision that much easier.
Just as you need a quality luggage tracker, you also need a quality travel bag. If you’re on the hunt for one, do check out Private Label’s collection. All our bags are TSA compliant, carry-on friendly, and come with removable dividers to help you stay organized and on top of your luggage.