Mini Nav

Family Luggage – How to Make Suitcases Easy to Spot

luggageAirport carousels, train or shuttle bag shelves, and hotel luggage storage closets can be a jumble of suitcases. If you’re like me, and find family travel makes you a bit nervous because of all the things that can go wrong, you’ll find it’s reassuring to know that you’ll be able to easily identify your luggage. Here are many ways to personalize your suitcases, including using ribbons, tags, tape, or markers.

A hint: When reading one of the articles linked at the bottom of this post about identifying your luggage, be sure to read through the comments. There, people have posted their own fabulous ideas and you might find the perfect one to work best for you and your family!

Our Luggage is Marked with Bright Fabric Knots:

The photo above includes three of our family’s suitcases. A decade ago, I read something that advised using bias tape from a fabric store, since it comes in many colors and is very inexpensive. I selected a bright yellow and tied knots on the handles and some zipper pulls. It has lasted a really long time, doesn’t get in the way of using the handle or zippers, and makes our luggage easy to spot. Plus, it’s easily replaceable when it does start to get worn. 

What is Bias Tape?

If you are not into sewing and don’t know what ‘bias tape’ is, I’ll describe it here: it’s basically a narrow strip of fabric often used for decorating the edges of other items you make from fabric. The word ‘bias’ refers how the fabric strip is cut from the larger piece of fabric it came from, resulting in a bit of stretch. The word ‘tape’ refers to the long, narrow length; there is no stickiness at all. But the only thing that matters for luggage marking is the color! Bias tape comes in all colors and even patterns.  

Get Some Bias Tape

A package of bias tape is generally between $1 to $6, and I needed just one package to mark our 5 pieces of luggage. Another idea is to select a color or pattern for each member of your family. Click here to see bias tape and all the available colors on or


Find Special Luggage Tags:

You might prefer an actual luggage tag. They come in all shapes and sizes, with patterns, themes, images. The choices are incredible. Here are links on and for starting your search for any color or style of luggage tag:

Luggage Tags on   Luggage Tags on


Online Resource Links to Help with Luggage:

Wikihow – Includes many free or low cost suggestions, such as making your own laminated tag, using zip ties or ribbons, and more.

Fodor’s – From the Fodor’s Air Travel Forums, read the ideas from the many comments on how others identify their luggage.

She Knows – This article has 10 tips, with great photos about making your luggage stand out.

Peter Greenberg – Travel expert advice with 10 ways to personalize luggage.


Expert Video On Luggage Management:

Here’s a short video, about one minute and 20 seconds long, from consumer advocate site, Elliott and USA Today Travel. It describes how to keep your bag from getting lost, which includes tips about using tags, taking photos, and inserting an itinerary.

Happy Travels,
Sandy Nielsen


, ,

Be the first to comment!

Leave a Comment

We love to hear from Sleeps5 visitors! Tell us about your hotel and family travel experiences. Ask a question, or give some advice for others traveling with children.