You know those signs at the airport near baggage claim..something to the effect that "a Lot of bags are similar or look alike" Yeah, those signs. Lately when we travel, we take 4 large bags. Each one is the largest bag from whatever "sets" of luggage we have had. So they are all different colors, and pretty recognizable. A couple of them are pretty beat up. But I shudder to think of buying new ones again. The last one I bought got ruined by the airlines the very first time I used it. I say ruined, it was stained with oil and grease, but still usable. So instead of buying another new one I just keep using it. Well anyhow, I have made custom tags for all our bags, so they are very recognizable coming off the turnstyle. We have never had a mix-up so far. A couple of times Hubby has seen his black bag grabbed by someone else, but always caught it. This time, we got our 4 bags and trudged down to where the airport shuttle picks folks up. When we got on the shuttle there was one other person who got on with us. The driver dropped us off first. It was dark and we were tired. Some times we just open up the one that has our toiletries in it and wait to unpack the next morning. Well, Hubby decided to haul them all upstairs anyhow. He was groaning about how heavy the black one felt, he did not recall it being so before. Well, pretty soon he hollered down the stairs for me to come up. He had opened the bag and it most def. was not ours. He ran downstairs and called the shuttle company, and they got in touch with the driver, who came back to exchange the bags. He had gotten about 20 miles away, but had not delivered the other passenger yet. That was really close. The driver apologized about getting them mixed up. I told Hubby, before we use that black bag again I am going to spray paint a design on it so it REALLY stands out.
Speaking of luggage, I bought 3 pieces of matching Chaps, the black and brown with stirrup design, last year because I thought I might like some "matching" for a change. The very first trip, the large one came off the turnstyle with one roller wheel completely broken off. The rest of it looked fine, but it was totally unusable with only 3 wheels. Sometimes I feel like packing my clothes in a cardboard box with a rope tied around it!
Yes, I have probably spent enough over the past ten years on luggage to have bought a set of industrial aluminum. However, the sets I have bought have always been good brands, and "on sale", but never really cheap. I guess I should start using the really old hardside Samsonite one that went with my Mom's set. But I don't think it ever went on an airplane, so consequently, still looks like new.