Top tips for traveling with AirTags

Traveling is a lot easier if you can keep track of your luggage with AirTags. It’s been in the news lately: Airlines have lost flyers’ bags and people have recovered them because they had the foresight to put an AirTag in the luggage. You can make sure it’s with you all the way along your journey and quickly find it among the baggage claim at your final destination.

Read on for my tips on traveling with AirTags.

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How to travel with AirTags

AirTags cost just $29 for one or $99 for a pack of four. Pick one up and slip it into your bag (or get a four-pack if the whole family is going) and take this advice to heart:

Don’t leave it somewhere visible

You might be tempted by some of the keychain accessories that perfectly show off the shiny white and silver medallion, but I don’t recommend it. If a disgruntled airline employee can see that your luggage has an AirTag, there’s a chance they’ll take it off.

Luggage with an AirTag on the outside might as well not have an AirTag at all.

Putting an AirTag into the outer pocket of a bag
Just drop it in the outer pocket of your luggage and you’re good.
Photo: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

Keep your AirTag hidden inside. Not so deep that it might have trouble finding a connection — preferably, if you have an outside, surface-level pocket, stick it in there.

Or, use one of the AirTag disguise cases you can find in the Cult of Mac Store.

Locate your luggage in baggage claim

You don’t have to wait for some calamity to get your money’s worth. You can track your checked bag along your voyage to get peace of mind.

My wife and I once had a connecting flight wherein we had to run half a mile through Dulles International Airport in mere minutes. (I make my living writing about computers; I am not built for running.) We made it, but we were worried our luggage hadn’t. When we landed in Germany, it calmed our nerves knowing our bags were still with us.

Tracking luggage in the Find My app.
Finding your luggage in a big airport is easy in the Find My app.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

And when you get to the last leg of your journey, you might not have to wait forever to find your bag in baggage claim. Just open the Find My app, tap on your bag in the Items tab, and tap Find to see precisely where it is in the inevitable sea of similar-looking suitcases. You can take a step back from the crowd, knowing exactly when your bag is coming.

Add a Home Screen widget

If you’re on a long, multi-leg journey (and you’re the nervous type), you might find yourself opening the Find My app a lot. There’s a faster way — add a Find My widget to your phone.

Adding a Find My widget to the Home Screen for your bags.
Add a widget to your Home Screen so you can quickly keep an eye on your stuff.
Screenshot: D. Griffin Jones/Cult of Mac

To do so, first tap and hold to edit your Home Screen (or swipe over to the left if you don’t have any room). Tap the + icon in the top left and scroll down to add a Find My widget. Scroll over to add an Items widget and tap Add Widget.

If you have multiple AirTags, you want to make sure you’re tracking the right one. Tap on the widget while you’re still in editing mode (or tap and hold and select Edit Widget) and select the item you want to track.

Get a case from the Cult of Mac Store

That's a tasty little AirTag case.
This case, in a bunch of fun colors, completely hides your AirTag.
Photo: Laut

The Cult of Mac Store offers plenty of cases that will disguise your AirTags as fun little accessories for your keychain or bag, like this one that looks like an SNES controller or this one that looks like a leather pouch. After all, the best way to recover your bag is if they don’t know it’s being tracked.

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