ICYMI, it hasn't been a great year for air travel. Frequent flight delays and cancellations have stranded travelers around the country, while lost baggage (due to a shortage in airline staff) have left those lucky enough to make it to their destinations high and dry. It's not just domestic flights—in July, The Guardian reported that mishandled baggage rates around the globe were up 24 percent from last year, with 8.7 suitcases per every 1,000 travelers arriving late.
The answer? A pack of Apple AirTags ($99), which you've probably seen by now on TikTok or in another corner of the internet. I’m here to confirm: They’re a godsend. For $99, you can buy a pack of four AirTags on Amazon, but the price of peace of mind is priceless.
I could break into hives just thinking about it, but not too long ago my luggage—which I intended to carry on to my flights—was taken from me at the last second to be checked. I was traveling from Minneapolis to Chicago to Zurich to Palermo for a month-long stint in Europe, and somewhere during the O’Hare layover, the airline’s app stopped updating the tracking of my beloved bag. My phone and computer chargers were in there. Every pair of underwear that I packed was in there. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well on that overnight flight.
I could have cried when I eventually saw my beautiful bag come down the conveyor belt in Sicily. That was a nerve-wracking day of traveling though, and I made the decision right then and there to invest in my own Apple AirTags. With one little tag, you can track your bags in real-time, assuring you they arrive where they need to be. (Or, in the worst case scenario, can be found when they get lost.)
Here’s how they work: Simply attach one to your luggage (or keys, wallet, or dog’s collar—whatever tends to go missing in your life) and use the one-step setup to connect it to your iPhone or iPad using the "Find My" app. It couldn’t be easier, and it couldn’t be more helpful for when your bags disappear into the ether. If your suitcase gets left behind at LAX when it’s supposed to be at JFK, you can track your it yourself, so you can work with the airline to get it (and all the underwear inside) back in your hands ASAP.
For smaller items like keys—which are probably hiding in the couch cushions—you can play a sound on the AirTag’s built-in speaker to help you find it. Go to the "Find My" app or simply say, “Hey Siri, find my keys.” If they’re nearby, just follow the sound. Or, employ the Precision Finding capabilities on your iPhone, which will lead you straight to your keys (or whatever else you’re looking for) by showing you exactly which direction to head in. Think of it like a compass mixed with a game of “Hot or Cold.” Easy peasy.
And only you can see where your AirTag is, so you can feel good about your information remaining private. All the location data and history are never stored on the AirTag itself—The whole process is anonymous and encrypted. Not even Apple knows the location of your AirTag. And Apple knows…a lot.
Currently, Apple AirTags are sold individually for $29 or in packs of four for $99. I recommend buying the 4-pack and doubling-down on keeping track of your personal items, especially when on the road. You've got enough to worry about whenever you book a flight, be it to California or Croatia. Add these AirTags to your Amazon cart and revel in the relief that comes with knowing exactly where your luggage, keys, wallet—you name it—are at all times.
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