When you leave home to explore unknown frontiers, your backpack comprises your entire world. That’s why losing your luggage or your belongings leaves you feeling bereft and homeless far away from home. Follow these 20 tips and you don’t ever need to experience that agony.
Ensure Your Backpack’s Security
1. Get a Sturdy Backpack
Make sure your backpack is hefty and sturdy, with sufficient capacity and a solid zipper that won’t rip open. Selecting a backpack according to your torso length is really important so that it can comfortably fit to your body frame.
2. Fix a Good Lock
A good, sturdy lock, preferably one that opens with its own key is a must. Invest in a good-quality lock, something that a random thief won’t be able to pick in a hurry. It’s worth the investment.
3. Study Baggage Lock Requirements
The US has specific baggage lock requirements; if any lock does not comply with these, they cut the locks to view baggage contents. Study your destination’s baggage lock rules before buying a lock.
4. Secure Your Bag With Chain
A length of solid metal chain is a great way to secure your bag when you leave it for a few minutes. Shackle the chain to your wrist with a handcuff that opens with a key. Try the PacSafe 120 complete bag security package.
Keep Your Luggage Safe While Flying
The US Department of Tourism records indicate that more than 5 million people lose their baggage every year on an average. If this does not make you paranoid about losing your baggage, nothing else will.
5. Be Early For Your Flight
Allowing the airline plenty of time to load your baggage will prevent operator errors, wrong checkins and missed baggage entries. Plus, you can make sure your bag gets loaded on the plane by being one of the first in line.
6. Allow Sufficient Time Between Flight Transfers
Make sure there are at least a couple of hours between each flight transfer in your itinerary, to ensure your baggage is transferred. It also helps to use the same carrier for all your transfer flights.
7. Check Destination Tags
Check that the agent puts the right destination tags and ask for your claim check. Check if the flight number, departure time and the three-letter destination airport codes are correctly mentioned on the tag.
8. Remove Old Destination Tags
Frequent travelers have many colorful, multiple destination tags all over their luggage, creating confusion. Remove all old tags and keep only the most recent one.
9. Do Something To Identify Your Bag
Add a distinctive ribbon, tattoo, sticker or some additional identifying element on to your bag. This will help you easily identify your bag on the belt. Plus, another traveler will not make off with your bag by mistake.
10. Paste Your Address
Be sure to type out your name and contact information (business address) in block letters and paste it on your luggage on all sides.
11. Take Out Travel Insurance
Take out travel insurance so that you are reimbursed for lost baggage, delayed baggage, loss of travel visas and other important documents.
12. Pack Your Own Bag
Don’t allow anyone else to pack your bag for you, especially if you are crossing borders and clearing customs. You should be able to answer each of its contents if questioned.
13. Don’t Carry Anything For Others
No matter how wonderful someone seems or how much they beg you, don’t carry stuff for them. Travelers find themselves compromised more often than not because of such favors.
14. Don’t Carry Non-Allowed Stuff
Before you pack your luggage, check your destination’s customs website for a list of quarantined items. Some countries have harsh penalties for those who flout this rule.
15. Carry Fewer Things
Carry only what you really need and buy the rest locally when you get there. It’s much easier to keep an eye on just one bag.
16. Always Stay Close To Your Bag
The lock, chain, net covering and so on will keep your bag secure for small periods but as a rule, don’t leave your bag alone.
17. Take Advantage Of Hotel Safes
Read hotel reviews and if their safe is safe, put your valuables in it. The hotel becomes responsible for the items and if they’re lost, you’ve got some way of redeeming their value.
18. Make It Tough For Thieves
Use zip ties to tie up your luggage’s zip holes to deter opportunistic thieves. If possible, get a lock for each zipper in your baggage. Make it tough for them to get in.
19. Secure Your Bag Against Something
If there’s a chair next to you, loop your bag’s carry handle around its leg. If there’s a table, secure your bag’s chain to a leg using a handcuff or zip ties.
20. Wear Your Bag Across Your Body
Wear your carryon bag or hand bag across your body to deter snap and run thieves. For larger bags, get an additional long strap and loop it around your shoulders or waist while you’re standing around.
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