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Friday, March 21, 2014

Review: Trakdot Luggage Tracker

Review: Trakdot Luggage Tracker
Almost everyone’s had that experience where they get to their destination and head to the carousel, only to wait and wait and never see their bag show up. If they’re lucky, their luggage has just been diverted and will arrive shortly, but if they’re not, it can be lost forever. Where do those bags go? Probably the same place where one-off socks go when they don’t come out of the dryer again. 

There are many things that can go wrong at the airport where your bag may not leave, may be routed to the wrong place, may be delayed or whatever else and you hear, “We’ll contact you if it shows up.” That isn’t really all that reassuring, especially if you just arrived at your destination and most of your stuff is in that missing bag. This is exactly why Trakdot was invented. Track your own bag and know if the bag made it to your destination, stayed in your previous one or went somewhere totally different.

I picked up a Trakdot at the Travel Goods Show to review and was able to use it on my trip back home and didn’t turn it off right away, so it tracked the bag even after I was home. Pretty cool, right? While it won’t tell you exactly where it is – like that it was in my driveway in my trunk – it will tell you the general vicinity. In fact, it will let you know when you are within 30 feet of your bag!

The Trakdot is super easy to use. You register your unit online, put two AA batteries in it, turn it on and watch it show up on your account. You can name it whatever you want – I called mine my name – and then add your mobile number and/or email address to your account, so it knows who to notify. Want more people to know your bag arrived? Add multiple email addresses or phone numbers to one Trakdot device.

The unit itself is small, and fits anywhere in your bag. It fits in the palm of your hand and isn’t much bigger than a cell phone. I put it in the front pocket of my roller bag, but you can slip it in any free space you have: inside a shoe, wrapped in your clothes, in a corner crevice. It’s really convenient and won’t waste valuable space you need.

Wherever you have cell service, the Trakdot works. The only places it won’t work are in South Korea and Japan. Turn the device on before slipping it into your bag and checking it. The battery lasts for 250 hours, so even if you have a transcontinental flight or several days of travel, it won’t run down. Each time you turn the device on it gives you a battery status, so you know if you need to replace them or not.

When you get to your destination(s) and turn your phone back on, you’ll immediately receive a text (or email if you chose that method) letting you know where your bag is. Above is a picture of the my original text when I registered my Trakdot and the second when I arrived back in Portland. Luckily, my bag showed up where I did. The president of Trakdot arrived in Phoenix and two of his bags didn’t. He was able to see that his bags were still in L.A. and he could rest easy knowing that they would probably arrive the next day. Of course, he would know when they made it to Phoenix, too.

The Trakdot is one of those items that is invaluable if you find yourself checking bags when you travel. The purchase price includes one year of service and then you pay just $12.99 annually, which is not that much for your peace of mind and is a lot cheaper than having to replace your necessities (at the very least) when you arrive without your belongings. Why wouldn’t you buy one if that sounds like you? I sometimes check a bag on my way home, because of my purchases, and this is perfect for that, too. It would suck to get home and lose all my souvenirs, because the airline “misplaced” my bag.

More information:
How big is it? Really small! 3” x 2.25” x .75”
Where can you buy it? Trakdot website or Amazon 
How much is it? $89.99 (includes first year of service) + $12.99 annual service fee.

Like the coolness of Trakdot? Follow them on Facebook | Twitter

Disclosure: I was provided with a Trakdot Luggage Tracker for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

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