Getting ready for travel and heading out on adventures reminds me to let go of the unimportant, like my attachment to specific items in my suitcase.
Years ago, on a trip to Peru, I took care of all my Christmas shopping early in the trinket markets, gathered all film that would need developing, crammed it into my backpack and checked it under the plane. It was luxurious to fly home with a lightweight carry-on. In Houston, I took my bag through customs and re-checked it for the final hop home.
That was the last time I ever saw that backpack. I lost all my casual clothing. I lost all the gifts. I lost a pretty darn cool internal frame, convertible pack. Worst of all, I lost all pictures that my friend and I had taken in Peru.
Don't think because you put your name on the bag, both inside and out, that it will be found when Continental Airlines or another airline loses it. Don't expect to receive the full value of your loss financially if they do.
Better, is to only check things in your bag that you are willing to lose: like clothing, makeup, and so forth. Photos and sentimental items are better carried on if you must bring them with you.