When traveling, your luggage is your lifeline. Not only does it contain your clothes and other personal items, but the bag itself may have cost you a pretty penny. At the rate of lost and mishandled luggage by airlines in the United States, it would be wise to take a few precautions to protect your bag before travel. Here are a few ways to protect not only your possessions, but also your vacation from being ruined.
Pack wisely. Keep valuables in your carry-on. This includes medication, electronics, chargers, passports, credit cards and other important documents. You also may want to pack a spare change of clothes in case you have to wait a day for lost luggage to be delivered.
Use a TSA-approved lock. Whether it’s a bag that already comes with a lock or you add your own approved lock to the exterior, locking your contents isn’t necessarily a bad idea. Some may argue it invites thieves as they may see it as an indicator something valuable is inside, but it comes in handy in case TSA agents have to pull it aside to check the contents, which happens to about 10 percent of all checked bags.
Buy a brighter bag. A bag of a brighter color like pink or teal is less likely to be accidentally taken by another passenger because it won’t blend in with the other black and blue bags that dominate the luggage carousel. If you already have a dark-colored bag, consider adding a statement item like a ribbon or brightly colored bag tag.
Write down what you packed. Keeping a list of what you packed will help you value your belongings on an insurance claim form in case your bag goes missing.
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