Do Apple AirTags Work Internationally? Full Guide in 2024

January 24, 2024

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Apple AirTags have become a popular way to keep track of your belongings, especially your luggage when traveling. But do AirTags work internationally or only in your home country? Let’s take a look at how AirTags leverage Apple’s global Find My network to help you track items across the world.

AirTags use Bluetooth and Apple’s Find My network to help you locate lost items anywhere in the world. As long as your lost AirTag comes within range of an Apple device that is connected to the Find My network, its location can be detected and you will get notified on your iPhone. This makes AirTags an excellent solution for keeping track of your checked bags or other belongings when traveling abroad.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about using AirTags internationally.

How Do AirTags Work to Track Items Globally?

How Do Airtags Work To Track Items Globally

AirTags use a few key technologies to help you keep track of your stuff anywhere in the world:

  • Bluetooth connectivity – AirTags use Bluetooth to connect to nearby Apple devices like iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. This allows AirTags to leverage these devices to share their location.
  • Find My network – When an AirTag comes within range of an Apple device, it can connect via Bluetooth and then update its location on Apple’s Find My network. This global network allows tracking across distances.
  • Precision Finding – When you are within Bluetooth range, Precision Finding uses visual, haptic, and audible feedback to guide you precisely to the AirTag’s location. Helpful for finding a lost item in a room.
  • Lost Mode – If your AirTag is far away from you, you can put it into Lost Mode to get notified when another Apple user comes near it. This allows global crowd-sourced tracking.

As long as your AirTag can connect periodically to Apple devices owned by people across the world, its location can be updated to the Find My network. You’ll then get notifications on your iPhone when your AirTag is detected far from you, allowing international tracking.

Setting Up AirTags to Work Internationally

To take full advantage of AirTag tracking globally, there are a few key steps for getting set up:

  • Update iOS – Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 14.5 or later, which enables Precision Finding. Updating also ensures optimal Find My network performance.
  • Set up Find My – In your Apple ID account settings, ensure Find My is enabled to join the global network.
  • Pair to your iPhone – Open the Find My app and pair each AirTag to your iPhone and Apple ID. This allows you to monitor them.
  • Attach to items – Place each AirTag securely into luggage, bags, pockets, keychains, etc. Consider getting an AirTag holder or passport holder for attaching them firmly.
  • Test tracking – Check that your iPhone can track the AirTag from various distances around your home before traveling with them.

As long as your iPhone remains logged into your Apple ID, you’ll be able to track paired AirTags from anywhere in the world as long as they connect periodically with the Find My network through other Apple devices.

Where In The World Can You Use AirTags?

Where In The World Can You Use Airtags

AirTags are designed to work in over 140 countries and regions globally. Anywhere there is an active Find My network, your AirTag has the potential to be tracked and located.

Some key things that enable global AirTag usage:

  • Huge Apple ecosystem – With over 1 billion active iPhones and other Apple devices worldwide, the Find My network has global coverage. If an AirTag comes within Bluetooth range of any Apple device, its location can be updated.
  • Airplane mode – AirTags work even if the tracking iPhone is offline or in airplane mode, as long as the AirTag connects periodically to other devices on the Find My network.
  • No cellular required – AirTags connect via Bluetooth and offline peer-to-peer networking. No cellular plan or data connection needed. The Find My network data transfers are delayed until a connection is available.
  • No GPS required – AirTags are tracked based on proximity to networked Apple devices, not GPS. This allows indoor and urban tracking where GPS may fail.
  • Travel friendly size – AirTags are small and easy to pack in any bag or luggage item, enabling hands-free global tracking.

Some example destinations where AirTags can help track your items include:

  • Europe – France, Spain, Italy, Germany, etc.
  • Asia – Japan, Singapore, India, Thailand, etc.
  • Middle East – UAE, Israel, Saudi Arabia, etc.
  • Africa – South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, etc.
  • Australia and Oceania
  • North America – USA, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean
  • Central and South America

As long as you are traveling to destinations with an Apple presence, AirTags make it easy to keep track of your belongings around the world.

Limitations and Regulations on AirTag Usage Abroad

While AirTags are designed to work globally, there are some limitations and regulations to be aware of when traveling internationally with them:

  • Airplane mode restrictions – Some airlines may require devices like AirTags to be in airplane mode during flights, limiting updates. Make sure to monitor your AirTags after landing.
  • Luggage tracking regulations – A small number of countries like Australia prohibit electronic tracking devices in checked luggage. Be sure to check regulations.
  • Disabled tracking alerts – In Lost Mode, Apple can alert users if an unknown AirTag is traveling with them. But this safety feature is disabled in China and other countries.
  • Reduced Find My network – In regions with smaller Apple device usage, there is less crowd-sourced tracking data available. AirTag tracking may be slower or more limited.
  • Charging required – The AirTag battery lasts for over a year but will need occasional charging. Bring a charging cable for longer trips.
  • Cellular data not available – Remote real-time location updates require the tracking iPhone to have cellular data or WiFi. If your iPhone is offline, location updates will be delayed until it comes back online.

While designed for worldwide tracking, be sure to research any region-specific regulations that could impact AirTag usage. And understand tracking may be slower in areas with less Find My network coverage.

Tips for Using AirTags Effectively When Traveling

Here are some useful tips to help you travel with and track AirTags more effectively across the globe:

  • Clearly label each AirTag with your contact information in case it gets lost from your luggage.
  • Attach AirTags securely inside luggage pockets, pouches, keychains, etc using holders, straps, or adhesives. Don’t simply drop them loose into a bag.
  • Place multiple AirTags in checked bags in case one gets dislodged. Also use AirTags in carry-ons.
  • Know the alarm delay before lost AirTags play a sound to alert others – this gives you time to find them before it alarms.
  • Monitor your iPhone frequently for separation alerts and update notifications on your bags’ whereabouts.
  • When arriving at your destination, check that your AirTags are still securely attached and paired with your phone.
  • If your bags don’t arrive at your destination, put any attached AirTags into Lost Mode so you’ll get notified when they are detected again.
  • When traveling for extended periods, occasionally charge your AirTags to ensure their battery lasts the entire trip.
  • Understand AirTag tracking limitations in regions where Find My network presence may be lower. Have backup luggage tracking methods.

With smart preparation using these tips, AirTags can give useful visibility into your bags’ locations as you travel around the world. Monitor them closely and be ready to adjust to any unexpected tracking issues.

Frequently Asked Questions About International AirTag Usage

Can AirTags work in every country?

AirTags are designed to work globally in over 140 countries and regions. However, performance depends on the presence of Apple devices in each area for crowdsourced, peer-to-peer tracking via the Find My network. Tracking will be more limited in regions with a smaller Apple ecosystem.

Do AirTags rely on cellular service to work internationally?

No. AirTags create a private Bluetooth peer-to-peer network with nearby Apple devices to transmit location data. No cellular service required. However, receiving remote real-time updates does require an internet connection on the tracking iPhone.

Can AirTags track items on airplanes?

AirTags will be in Bluetooth/airplane mode during flights, unable to update location. However, after landing they can reconnect to the Find My network and update their tracking information. Note that some airlines prohibit checked luggage tracking.

Do AirTags work with Android phones?

No. AirTags are designed solely for use with Apple devices and iOS. They leverage proprietary Apple features like Precision Finding and the global Find My network. Android devices cannot track or interact with AirTags.

Are AirTags water resistant?

AirTags have an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. They can withstand splashes, rain, and dust. However, they should not be submerged underwater or placed in extreme heat. An AirTag won’t work well inside a checked bag in very hot cargo holds.

What happens if an AirTag’s battery dies while traveling?

The replaceable battery lasts over one year. But if it dies, the AirTag will no longer update its location or make sounds. It’s wise to periodically check battery level and pack a spare CR2032 battery when traveling for extended periods.

Get Tracking with AirTags on Your Next International Trip

AirTags provide a simple and effective tracking solution to monitor your luggage, bags, keys, and more when traveling far and wide. By taking advantage of Apple’s global Find My network and iPhone ecosystem, AirTags can help provide peace of mind that your belongings can be located in over 140 countries and regions.

With smart preparation before your trip and vigilant monitoring during travel, AirTags can give you useful insights into your bags’ whereabouts as you journey across the world. Safe travels!