I have worked in the Air Transportation industry for many years and know airlines take the PAWOB (Passengers without bags) statistic very seriously. Having flown over 1 million miles so far, my bags have been irrecoverably lost only once.
Every Time you are about to check in a bag, take a picture of the bag and then another one of the airline bag tag. In the event is is lost, you can show a picture of it to the airline attendant (instead of spending 10 minutes trying to describe what it looks like) and the picture of the bag tag is to show that the routing code was correct when you handed it off.
The smartphone makes this tip super easy to implement so get snapping.