Bye Bye Bags? Tips to Salvage Your Dream Vacation When You Arrive But Your Luggage Does Not

Nothing can send your dream vacation skidding toward nightmare status as quickly as discovering that the airline has lost or mishandled your luggage. This problem is even more disheartening if your vacation destination is an exotic one, such as the beautiful country of Brazil. Although most airlines have made progress in improving their baggage handling procedures, in 2013 there were still more than 21 million pieces of luggage mishandled, amounting to approximately 7 incidents per 1000 air travelers. Although this figure is less than half the rate reported back in 2007, it provides little comfort if your family's bags are some of the ones that are lost or mishandled. If, on your next vacation, you find that you arrived at your destination, but some or all of your bags did not, use these tips to help you salvage both the trip and the fun.

Take Inventory & Check Your Options

In most cases, at least some of your luggage will likely arrive safely or with only a short delay. The airline can often provide information about the actual location and timeline for luggage that was not loaded onto your flight, and is arriving on a different flight, instead.

If you find that you are dealing with one or more pieces of lost luggage, take a moment to examine and inventory the contents of the bags that did arrive. This information will help you negotiate the value of your lost items with the airline. In addition to a list you provide of what was in the bags, the airline may require proof and verifiable information regarding the value of the item or items. On top of the amount the airline agrees to pay for your lost luggage, you may also have some coverage through your homeowner's insurance policy, a travel insurance policy or through credit card companies or travel agencies.

Replacing Currency and Non-Covered Items

If your lost luggage contained currency, jewelry or some other types of valuables, most airlines will not reimburse you for their loss. In addition, even though most travelers will be reimbursed for clothing and personal items by the airline, purchasing replacements for these items in a foreign country can be difficult and costly.

If you find yourself cash-strapped after dealing with a lost luggage incident, or for any other reason while vacationing in a country like Brazil, you may be able to arrange to transfer money to Brazil online from a United States account to your vacation destination. In most cases, this transfer can be deposited in a local bank near your hotel or you can arrange to pick it up at one of several locations, providing your identification.