Which lock should I buy for my suitcase? Should I put my laptop in my checked bag or carry on? What do I do with my medicine? These are all questions we’ve asked ourselves while preparing to fly away for a holiday. Travelers want to be smart about their luggage security, especially since traveling in our modern age entails bringing along expensive devices and wallets full of various cards and cash, sometimes in multiple currencies. With that in mind, we’ve prepared this list for you of luggage security tips you can use while traveling abroad.
Make Sure You Have the Right Locks for Your Bags
There are thousands of various luggage locks available in stores and online. So, how do you know which ones to buy? Most people go the recommended route of purchasing TSA approved locks. They’re easy to find, cheap, and allow airport security to quickly gain access to your bag contents if they need it. However, master keys are available to the public, so keep that in mind.
If you want to go with a high security lock (that’s not TSA approved) you will ensure that no one will break into your bag. However, if airport security does decide to open your bag, they’ll have to cut your lock off, leaving your luggage exposed to theft. If you wish not to use a lock at all, then it may be a good idea to use a fastener, such as a zip tie or tape tag on your bag that can alert you to tampering.
Keep Your Eyes On Your Bags at All Times
“Out of sight, out of mind” can easily be applied to your luggage security. If we’re not looking at something, we’re probably not thinking about it either, and can let it escape our attention. So if you’re sitting in your chair at the airport playing on your phone, you’re likely to not notice someone deftly tampering with or taking your bag. We recommend always keeping your bag within your line of vision, or somehow attaching a strap to your arm or clothes when you want to take a break from direct supervision. Also, do not ever ask someone to watch your bag while you visit the restroom or get up unless its a trusted travel partner.
Use Caution When it Comes to Lockers and Safes
If you’re lodging at a hostel or AirBnB that makes use of lockers or safes, remember to be careful about leaving your luggage there. Most of these places will have override keys, which can make your bags targets to anyone who finds that key or finds out the access protocol.
Buy Tamper Proof Luggage
Even if your suitcase has a lock on it, that may not stop a potential burglar from trying to break open your bag. There are ways they can enter your bag without even touching the lock. If you are high-security minded, we recommend investing in tamper proof suitcases. These can be anti-slash, have anti-puncture zippers, or use hasps in lieu of zippers.