I almost always fly in a day ahead of time. There is just too much that can go wrong, beyond my control and no ship is going to wait for me.
I am known however, for scheduling the return flight earlier than recommended. It's a beat the clock and odds game with me. I have a back-up plan and a cell phone, just in case. If I continue to do this, it's only a matter of time before I miss a return flight home. Maybe this is what it will take to cure me of this silliness.
I go out of my way to avoid connections which is where I believe most luggage goes astray, especially on an international basis. I'll book 2 independent segments instead of a connection rather than risk lost luggage.