When you check your luggage on board, you use luggage tags that identify your stateroom so that your checked luggage will arrive at your room. These are similar to the tags you put on airline checked baggage. As well, when you exit the ship, you are typically given a different looking luggage tag so that when your luggage is off-loaded, you will be able to find it among the other 10,000 bags that are offloaded.
Unfortunately sometimes your luggage tag can be ripped off during the handling of your luggage as it is brought on board or taken off. It is really hard to fault the crew as they sometimes have 10,000 pieces of luggage to move in a 2~3 hour window. So the next best thing is to come up with an indestructable luggage tag - or more accurately, a luggage tag keeper.
Construction of the keeper is pretty straightforward and an easy project for the novice sewing level. However, a commercial machine would be useful as a standard home machine may have difficulty in stitching through the plastic. I have a commercial machine (Sailrite LZ-1) that I use to keep the canvas on my boat in good repair, so we were able to use it for this project.
Although I used Ising Glass, any clear plastic would do if it is heavy enough. Ising Glass is used on boat enclosures for the clear plastic window areas. I used standard nylon webbing; 2" wide for the body of the tag keeper, and 1" for the center tab. The center tab is optional I suppose, but I added it to help keep the luggage tag from slipping out of the keeper. You can purchase webbing in small quantities on eBay, and most likely will be able to find small quantities of Ising Glass.
A couple of notes: The Ising Glass corners can be a bit sharp, so to keep from scratching baggage handlers, I rounded the corners. To keep this project simple, I did not add any binding, as that would have made the project more expensive and time consuming. When you cut the nylon webbing, use a match or lighter to melt the cut edges so they will not unravel.
Since our original luggage tag project, we had occasion to cruise on Holland America. As it turns out, they use a different size tag, and it's just a piece of paper that you print out, that is stapled together around the luggage handle. I don't know how many pieces of luggage get lost on a typical cruise, but it just seems to me that it can be improved upon.
So, Luggage Tags Part Deux...
This drawing shows how I made these luggage tags. I used the same kinds of materials as for the other tags, but they are a bit of a different design. Feel free to improve on my efforts as you see fit.