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Are AirTags worth it? If you plan to travel this summer, we think so.

Are AirTags worth it? If you plan to travel this summer, we think so.

Nothing ruins a vacation quicker than realizing you've made it to your destination, but your luggage has decided to take a little detour of its own.

I had this experience recently on a international flight when my checked luggage did not arrive at my final destination. It was extremely frustrating — especially after an overnight flight and a series of delays and re-bookings that left me with not one but two layovers. But in that moment the only thing that brought me comfort was thinking about the tiny Apple AirTag my techy fiancé had the forethought to toss into the inner pocket of our suitcase before we departed.

It was a good thing, too. Having an AirTag in our missing luggage meant that as soon as we landed in at our final destination we were able to pull up the AirTag on our phones and see that our luggage had, as we suspected, been left behind on our second layover. It saved us from having to waste time at baggage claim looking for a suitcase that would never make an appearance.

Thankfully our luggage was sent over on the next day's flight, but being able to check its progress using the AirTag spared us a lot of stress and anxiety during its journey back to us.

In a year where more than 40 million flights are expected to depart carrying more than three billion passengers and their luggage, a set of Apple AirTags could be a smart investment for your peace of mind and to keep tabs on your checked bags.

Never loses your phone, keys, luggage or wallet again with a pack of Apple AirTags. Use them to keep tabs on all of your most prized possessions and make it easy to find them when they're misplaced. 

$99 at Adorama
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$100 at Verizon$100 at Amazon

If you aren't familiar with AirTags, they work by using the same technology as the "Find My" features on all Apple devices. Basically, they work by sending a Bluetooth signal to nearby Apple devices that then send the AirTag's location to Apple's servers. There's also separate technology within AirTags that lets you more closely locate items within a closer range like in a room or house.

All of this information is kept confident and encrypted, but it does mean that you're able to rely on Apple's vast network of devices around the world to help locate your AirTag when you need to.

Setting up AirTags is relatively straightforward if you know how to use the "Find My" feature on your iPhone. Hold the AirTag close to your iPhone and a pop up will appear asking you to name your AirTag so you can keep track of it. Open the "Find My" app on your phone to manage all of your AirTags and see their location in real time.

The AirTag also has a tiny built-in speaker, and from the app you can play a sound on it to help find your lost belongings. Put it into into Lost Mode to be automatically notified when your item has been detected in the "Find My" network or when it's been moved. Plus, they're splash, water and dust resistant.

AirTags run on their included CR2032 batteries, the same ones used in some watches and car key fobs. When the battery is running low — which shouldn't happen for about three or four years, or even more — the app will let you know when it's time to change them.

The unique Bluetooth technology means that AirTags are useful for more than just tracking lost luggage — though I'd argue that's probably one of the best use cases for them. Many reviewers place an AirTag on their keys so they don't lose them. There are AirTag pet collar holders that can be used to keep tabs on where your four-legged friend has wandered off to. Some parents have even been known to use AirTag wristbands and AirTag pinnable holders to keep tabs on their children or even aging, elderly relatives.

"I have one in my vehicle, on my bike, in my suitcase, on my keys, in my backpack and two randoms (camping, kayaking, beach bag etc)," wrote one reviewer. "They’re easy to set up and I am a fan."

"These things are a lifesaver," according to another reviewer. "I hid mine under my Ebike in a black waterproof case (to make it blend in). Vermont has a terrible bike theft problem and my bike was stolen (sawed from the rack). I was able to track it because of the air tag. It gave an exact address, which I gave the police (two towns away)."

"For the price, I didn’t know if these little tags would be worth it, but they have definitely been worth the price, said another enthusiastic reviewer. "I hid them on my kids’ e-bikes in case they got stolen. That also has come in handy for locating my kids when they forget to tell me where they went. Great for finding keys when you lose them. I even glued one to my daughter’s phone for another layer of tracking, after she lost her phone that had died on the airplane."

In my household we've used AirTags almost exclusively for travel and tracking luggage, but as reviewers have noted, there are so many clever ways to use these gadgets to keep track of your most precious belongings.

Plus, with a four-pack of AirTags on sale for 20% off right now, we think it's an excellent Father's Day gift that he'll be sure to use for many years to come.

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