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There are many reasons to travel with only carry-on luggage. It's cheaper, a total timesaver, and, most importantly, less likely to get lost. Unfortunately, as an over-packer who can't stand the thought of traveling without at least three ~just-in-case~ outfits and a stuffed travel makeup bag, I'm incapable of going on a trip without checked luggage, which is why I have luggage trackers. Luggage trackers, not to be confused with luggage tags (another travel necessity), are exactly what you think they are: tracking devices for your checked bags. You just connect the tracker to your smartphone, drop it into your suitcase, and boom, tracking is underway! (These can also be used with other frequently misplaced or lost items—keys, your favorite purse, pet collars, etc.)
Of course, not all luggage trackers are created equal, so I did my research and read the reviews to find the best luggage trackers around. The TL;DR? The best luggage tracker for you will depend on two things: your phone and your anxiety level. If you need moment-to-moment GPS tracking, you're going to want to get a different tracker than, say, if you just want something that'll help you find a lost bag if it doesn't make it to baggage claim. But no matter your preference, I found the 5 best luggage trackers on the market right now for every travel need.
Keep scrolling to find the best luggage tracker for your jet-setting lifestyle.
Apple's AirTag is the most consistently beloved luggage tracker on the internet. It's small, but not so small that you'll lose it on first use, and has the sleek design you expect from an Apple product. But the real selling point of this tracker is that it connects directly to the Find My App, which is exclusive to iPhones and iOS. This allows the device to (securely) connect to users around the world, providing you with real-time updates on its location. As long as the Find My network continues to grow, the AirTag should be able to track your luggage pretty much anywhere.
Battery: 1-year replaceable coin battery
Compatibility: iOS via Find My App
Max bluetooth range: 30 ft
THE REVIEW: "Due to the busy holiday season and the number of people traveling, I have had several checked bags 'lost' by airlines. I bought this to hide in my luggage to ensure I knew where it was at all times," one tester writes. "It worked perfectly."
Finally, a rare tracker that actually works with both Androids and iPhones, all you need is to download the Tile App. Granted, the Tile App network is not as expansive as Find My, which means that exact, real-time location tracking can be a bit trickier. That said, the app will be able to tell you the tracker's last known location, and the tracker is equipped with a unique QR code, allowing scanners to connect with you.
Battery: 1-year replaceable battery
Compatibility: iOS, Android, Alexa, Google
Dimensions: 1.32" x 2.32" x 0.3"
Max bluetooth range: 400 ft
THE REVIEW: "While traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Brisbane via Singapore, I had first hand experience when my checked-in luggage was left behind at KL International Airport 2 days ago." one reviewer writes. "I was able to provide the airport ground team info on exactly where my luggage was because I had placed a Tile tracker in the bag."
Not to be outdone by Apple, Samsung has its own tracker, the Galaxy SmartTag2, designed to work exclusively with Android devices. As an Apple girlie, I envy the design of this tracker, which can directly attach to a keyring, unlike the AirTag, which requires users to purchase special keychains if they want to attach it to anything. This makes it especially great accessory for backpacks and/or keys and will help you avoid losing it in your packed suitcase.
Battery: 500+ day battery life
Dimensions: 1.13" x 2.06" x 0.31"
Max bluetooth range: 393.7 ft for a nearby search
THE REVIEW: "I was traveling and I wanted one for my luggage and my mom wanted one to keep track of me for safety purposes, and they worked on the other side of the world," writes a tester. "Knowing where my luggage was while traveling to 5 different countries was extremely comforting!"
The eufy SmartTrack Link is perfect for luggage tracker newbies because it's affordable and dependable. The iOS-compatible tracker connects to the Find My App and a separate eufy Security App, which allows you to send your tracker's location to friends and family, so they can track your items too. (Pro tip: many reviewers also love using this tracker on house keys because the tracking noise is actually loud enough to be heard from another room.)
Battery: 1-year replaceable battery
Compatibility: Apple via Find My
Dimensions: 1.46" x 1.46" x 0.26"
Max bluetooth range: 260 ft
THE REVIEW: "This month I had to check a bag and was so worried I'd lose it that I decided to buy a bag tag. The best thing I could have done," one tester writes. "I had to make three connections on my never-ending flight and could see that my bag was actually following me and I could see exactly where it was."
Live GPS tracking is hard to find in a luggage tracker. Sure, the trackers above do their best, but they all depend on networks of other users. The Tracki GPS tracker is unique in that it uses cellular data networks to transmit its location, so as long as the tracker is on and has battery life, you should be able to know its exact location. There is a price for such precise tracking, though: The battery will need to be recharged often if in constant use, and GPS tracking is only available via a subscription service, which costs at least $9.95 per month.
Battery: Rechargeable battery
Compatibility: iOS, Android, most 4G LTE, 3G, and 2G cellular data networks
Dimensions: 1.75" x 1.5" x 0.55"
Max bluetooth range: N/A as long as the battery has charge
THE REVIEW: "I have had two of these trackers for about 10 months now," writes a reviewer. "The app is easy to use and learn. The batteries last up to a week plus, even in freezing temps...The 'start moving' alarm/setting is extremely sensitive which is AWESOME. Overall, VERY pleased with these."
If a luggage tracker feels too intense for you, but you also want something more high-tech than a regular luggage tag to increase your chances of finding a lost bag, a SuperTag ID is a good place to start. This luggage tag has a spot for your info card and a QR code anyone can scan if they find your belongings. This luggage tag comes with lifetime service, meaning you can update the personal info associated with your QR code anytime. Plus, you'll get an email every time someone scans your tag. (NOTE: Anyone who scans this QR code can see what personal information you've connected to the tag, so be smart!)
Compatibility: iOS, Android, any smart phone
Dimensions: 2.26" x 4"
THE REVIEW: "Got it set up in minutes. It's so easy," one tester writes. "It's better than a paper ID tag, especially for travel."
How to find the best luggage tracker for you
Luggage trackers are as much for peace of mind as they are for actually tracking luggage. Flying is stressful enough without the added anxiety that your luggage might not reach your final destination. If that sounds like you, or if you actually need to track your luggage for any reason, here are some things to consider before buying.
Make sure the luggage tracker is compatible with your phone
You need a smartphone or portable tablet to use most luggage trackers effectively and on the go, so finding a luggage tracker that's compatible with your device is key. Only a few luggage trackers work for Android and iOS, so read the fine print and pick one that will work with your device!
Determine if you want live updates
Live updates on luggage trackers are not always dependable. Some luggage tracking apps become less effective the farther away they are from the actual tracker, which can make live updates unreliable. That said, once you've established that your bag is on the plane with you, you probably won't need to check it throughout your flight, so minute-to-minute tracking isn't necessary.
Why trust Cosmo?
As you probably know, Cosmo's lifestyle team spends all day, every day scouring the internet, testing products, and reading reviews so we can bring you the type of high-quality content we'd want for ourselves (and our standards are preeeetty darn high, TBH).
It's also really important to us that each of our shopping articles adheres to the 15 Percent Pledge, and we try to make sure the products we feature are good for both you and our planet. If we wouldn't buy something for ourselves, we sure as heck won't recommend it to you—and we're always gonna keep it really, really real. Pinky swear.
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