What to Do When You Go Abroad, but Your Luggage Doesn’t


It’s day 22 of my study abroad and I have yet to receive my luggage. The airline had one job: deliver my luggage to Florence safe and sound. The best part is the airline has NO IDEA where it is (or so they say). Either way, when this happened to people I know I thought, “man that sucks.” It is an entirely different story when it’s your luggage that’s missing. I  learned a lot through this struggle about how to live off only what’s available in Florence, which is the silver lining to a troubling situation. I was forced to live more like a local than I would have if my suitcase arrived in Italy when I did. Here are a few ways to survive if this happens to you.

Take Advantage of your Roommates’ Hospitality

I feel bad borrowing clothes from my roommates every single day, but they have been amazing! You can’t be afraid to let people help you,unless you want to wear the same clothes every day or spend a fortune on a new wardrobe, you have to rely on your roommates and friends more than you may want to. Remember: no one wants to see you suffer, so let people help you! Just don’t abuse the hospitality and make sure you say please and thank you!

Ask For Help

You can ask anyone for help whether it’s a local or a coordinator. I told my sob story to a shop owner and she gave me a free gift for all of my struggles! Locals are beyond helpful for recommending stores that have stuff you need, so don’t be afraid to ask! Your coordinators are there to help you too; it is their job to make things easier when situations like these arise.

Be Persistent With the Airline

The only way the airline will care enough to find your luggage is if you keep bothering them. It is their fault they lost your bag so show them no mercy! Also, make sure they reimburse you for as many of the items you’re forced to buy. You shouldn’t have to feel crunched for money when they are the ones that made the mistake. Stay on their case and let them know you’re not going anywhere until you get what you deserve.

Enjoy Spending the Airline’s Money

You get to shop for clothes in a foreign country! Your cool new wardrobe will feature pieces that are very different from the American Eagle clothes you lost with your luggage. Look for the coolest shops and even hit up the H&M if you’re truly having a hard time.

Most importantly, try not to stress so much that it deters you from having the time of your life. If you ever feel overwhelmed with the task of calling the airport 12 times a day and shopping for hours on end, head over to one of your favorite spots in your city, take a deep breath and look around. Losing your luggage has nothing on the amazing sights and feelings that you’ll feel while you study abroad. Never lose sight of the beauty and I promise, you will survive without your luggage.

Jennica Lurie is a junior strategic communication major currently interning at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.


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