BEFORE you head to the airport, there is one thing you should be doing or you risk being left thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Having your suitcase damaged – or even lost – can ruin your holiday before it even starts.

Experts have warned that holidaymakers who take a photograph of their suitcase not only have a higher chance of getting it back, but also getting compensation if it is damaged.

Passenger rights website AirHelp states: "If your bag gets damaged as it travels from A to B, a picture taken just before you handed it over to the airline will prove that you’re not trying to claim for previous damage.

" Because you took a photo of your luggage before handing it over, you have visual proof to back up your claim that your bag was returned in worse condition."

Frequent flyer, Sarvakhgyan Santhaunam backed this up on Quora, explaining: "Before every flight journey, just take a photo of your baggage from four different angles on your phone.

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"Almost every passenger knows what it contains, but fails to give a clear description of what the baggage looks like.

"For example, if a passenger says he has lost his black case, then airport authorities can never trace it as there are thousands of black cases in the airport.

"A photo gives a very clear description of the baggage and helps airport authorities narrow down their scope of searching.

"Chances of getting your luggage are usually higher if you have a photo."

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It's not just the outside you should be taking a picture of, but all of the contents too.

Traveller Ryan Smith wrote on The Point's Guy: "Let’s say your bag is lost and you want to file a claim for reimbursement. One of the first steps in this process will be proving what was in your suitcase and its worth.

"Can you name exactly what was in your suitcase the last time you checked a bag, and prove how much each item is worth? I know I wouldn’t be able to off the top of my head.

"That’s why I plan to take pictures and videos of the contents of my checked bags any time something valuable is inside."

Travel insurance provider Allianz confirmed that this is a "handy tool" as it is a "time-stamped record" to prove your suitcase contents.

One traveller who had no proof of their suitcase contents' worth – which was around $2,200 (£1,914) – was only given $900 (£783) compensation when it went missing.

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If you want to reduce the chances of your suitcase going missing, you should avoid a black bag.

Here are the tourist attractions where you are actually banned from taking photographs.

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