A luggage strap is a good way to identify your bag when it comes through baggage claim, as well as a good way to ensure it stays closed. These are typically very inexpensive, and are sometimes even given out by travel companies for free when an individual books a trip. The best luggage straps are made of durable materials such as nylon, with a sturdy clasp. Choosing a luggage strap in a bright, easily identifiable color is a good idea as well, to make it easier to spot. Of course, it is also important that the strap is adjustable to fit around different sizes of suitcases.
Airline regulations generally forbid locking luggage, so it is important that the luggage strap is removable without a key if necessary. It is important to select a strap that has a sturdy clasp, however, that cannot be easily pulled apart to ensure it does not break when it is handled. Luggage is often handled pretty roughly, particularly when it is taken on and off a plane, so be sure to choose a luggage strap that is also made of durable materials. Nylon materials, similar to those used on soft suitcases, are some of the best choices because they are easy to wrap around a bag, but will not snap in half if stretched.
The color of the luggage strap is an important choice as well. Muted colors may be more stylish and may match the luggage better, but bright neon colors can make your bag much more distinguishable from all the other ones coming through the baggage claim area. In addition to color, you may be able to get a personalized or monogrammed luggage strap for an extra fee. This too can make it more noticeable and less likely that someone will pick up your bag by mistake. Regardless, it is still important to attach identifying information to your bag in case it becomes lost.
Unless luggage straps come specifically with your suitcases, you will want to be sure to purchase adjustable luggage straps. These allow you to place them on any bag, including oddly shaped bags such as duffel bags, and simply lengthen or shorten them as needed. Some adjustable luggage straps may also be used as a carrying handle, which can make the strap even more beneficial, particularly if the bag is a large or awkward size. Finally, keep in mind that if a travel company provides a free adjustable luggage strap as part of a group trip, they may have a specific purpose in doing so, such as recognizing trip participants, so be sure to use it.