I am looking for answers to how people have recovered from having their luggage stolen/lost when arriving at their destination. And further to this, how they have ended up packing in the future to lessen the blow.

How did you progress having your travel insurance pay out? What are any pitfalls you may have had when dealing with travel insurance companies?

I always get travel insurance when going on an overseas trip but have never had to actually instigate the policy and am worried about having to deal with the travel insurance company, especially when overseas i.e. at the start of your trip.

3 Answers 3


I've had my luggage lost on a number of flights before and a couple times at hotels (I have no idea how this happened). My suggestion for flights is to always pack the essentials in a carry-on. Make sure you have your toiletries, soem underwear, clothing, bathing suit (if going to a warm place) packed with you so it doesn't matter if it gets lost.

At least that way when you arrive you can have a few days of clothing and don't immediately need to buy new.

Travel Insurance is generally a slow process (only dealt with it once). Luckily my bag showed up before going too far into the process.


From personal experience I can recommend Travel Insurance connected to organisations which primarily deal with helping stranded people. I don't know if such organizations exist in all countries. I know that they exist in Germany (ADAC), the Netherlands (ANWB), Belgium (VAB). They have complete teams whose primary task is to assist in solving the problems.


For short term survival post bag-loss I'd worry less about toiletries and more about clothes.

Most hotels will supply you with a (crappy but serviceable) toothbrush, razor and other basic toiletries on request and if not (ie. you're in a hostel) you can probably replace the basics for a few bucks if needed. Plus, the complication of having to take anything sharp (scissors, tweezers, nail clippers) and large liquid containers (shampoo, sunscreen, moisturise, etc) out of your toiletries bag every time you catch a plane is a major hassle.

Far better to just carry some versatile, destination-appropriate clothes and underwear.

Also, in terms of general preparedness:

  • Carry your important document, like a copy of your insurance details (!), important contact numbers, a copy of your itinerary, etc. in both your carry on, check in luggage and online (Dropbox or email them to yourself).
  • Before you pack, lay all your clothing, electronics and anything else your taking out at home and take some photos. This will help hugely with insurance if you need to show or remember what you packed and to estimate value.
  • Also, take a photo of your luggage itself on your phone or something. The first thing the airport staff will ask you is "what does your bag look like" and Being able to give an accurate description or photo can help them locate and identify your stuff.
  • If you lose anything report the lost to your insurer straight away. They might have important instructions, requirement or limits on what you can spend to replace your stuff/deal with its delay. For example, if your bags are delayed there may be a daily allowance you can spend of replacement clothes.
  • Obviously, keep receipts for anything you need to buy as a result.
  • You can't replace photos. If you're on a long trip, periodically drop in at an internet cafe, burn them to a DVD and mail it home. It'll only cost a few bucks and provides security the best insurance policy in the world can't.
  • 1
    An important exception to my "don't worry about toiletries" comments above is any medications you might be taking. The last thing you want to do is be separated from, for example, your blood pressure or asthma meds. Just make sure you have the appropriate documentation and are aware of their legality in any countries you're passing though.
    – Molomby
    Sep 27, 2012 at 1:54

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