Photo © Laura Martone.

Photo © Laura Martone.

Despite the rising cost of air fares, “Airlines for America expects nearly 24 million travelers to fly from Friday, November 16, through Tuesday, November 27,” according to the Associated Press. “Travelers can expect airports to be busier and planes to be fuller than ever this Thanksgiving.”

Of course, not everyone travels during Thanksgiving week. Still, it’s highly possible that you’re planning to venture somewhere before the year’s end. If so, be sure to heed the following five tips – courtesy of FinderCodes – while traveling this holiday season.

Leave earlier than you think you need to.

With the extra people in the airport and on the roads, everything will take longer than usual. Plus, since we’re entering the time of year when weather can be unpredictable, it’s always a good idea to plan extra time, so you won’t feel you need to rush around on dangerous roads.

Pack as lightly as you can.

The airlines are getting more and more strict about luggage weight. The last thing you’ll want to do while you’re checking in is unpack your luggage. It’s no fun to see what you leave behind in order to make the weight limit.

Take precaution to avoid getting sick.

Airports are notoriously germy places, and being sick when you’re visiting friends and family is awful. To avoid getting sick while traveling, make sure you drink plenty of water, get a flu shot, and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer frequently.

Get up and stretch your legs.

It may sound silly, but the elderly aren’t the only people who can suffer from blood clots. Children are susceptible to them, too. While flying, try leg lifts and rotate your ankles while you’re in your seat.

Tag your luggage.

Losing your luggage can be very stressful. The last thing you want to do on your holiday vacation is to spend time and money buying the necessities that you lost in your baggage. To make sure your luggage is returned to you as quickly and hassle-free as possible, use the FinderCodes Travel Lost & Found Kit. You won’t even need to put your address on your tag, which means no fellow traveler will be able to get your personal information.

While you could argue that that last tip is a bit of unabashed self-promotion, I have to admit that the FinderCodes Travel Lost & Found Kit ($24.99) – which I recently had the chance to review – is a pretty handy tool for travelers of all types, from students and outdoor enthusiasts to day-trippers and frequent flyers. Using a combination of QR codes, smartphones, mobile apps, and, if necessary, your computer, this electronic lost-and-found system gives you a better chance of recovering valuable items, such as cameras, e-readers, laptops, backpacks, suitcases, garment bags, skis, and the like – all of which can go missing while in transit and might cost you a lot of time and money to replace.

Besides the helpful kit for travelers – which contains seven separate tags – FinderCodes offers specially designed kits for electronics, household items, school stuff, kids’ belongings, baby things, and pet owners. Depending on the kit, you’ll find a combination of stickers, iron-on labels, or durable tags – each of which has a unique QR code – that can be affixed or attached to virtually any surface, from luggage handles to kitty collars.

After creating and logging into your account (via your computer or the free mobile app), you simply have to register your tags and labels by scanning the codes with your smartphone or entering the ID codes (located beneath the QR codes) on the FinderCodes website. Each ID tag has a unique code, which can be linked to the item that you intend to safeguard, so after entering the name, description, and optional reward for each tagged item, you merely attach the tags to their linked items and get ready for your next trip. If you unfortunately do lose one of these tagged items along the way, the finder can just scan or enter the code, which will prompt FinderCodes to alert you, the owner, that the item has been located – and thereby enable a quick, secure return of your lost valuables.

Of course, this system only works if an honest individual discovers your lost items; nevertheless, it can certainly improve your chance of recovering your missing valuables. After all, every little bit helps – and besides, even if you don’t rely on the FinderCodes system, you’ll now know what to do if you ever spot an unattended item bearing one of those little orange-black-and-white tags or labels.

For more information about FinderCodes, please check out the website – as well as the following video.

So, have you ever used FinderCodes or a similar lost-and-found system while traveling? If so, were you able to recover your missing items?