Today’s traveler has to deal with a number of security issues. Whether it’s the security of their home while they are away, or the security of parking their car at the airport parking lot. Most people think of “travel security” as the ritual one does of partial undressing before being allowed into the airport terminal. Notice I didn’t say anything about the “full body scanners”…. ooops – I just did. Then of course, there is the second tier of security those few privileged get to endure at their departure gate. Be honest, when a person who was plucked out of the boarding line to be given a full body pat down and have their carry-on item opened and dissected, sits down next to you, don’t you feel like moving to the farthest available seat?
While these security measures are the most noticeable, there is another type of security we at TravelPlex Travel & Cruises would like you to be aware of. That is Suitcase Security. Many of us pack our luggage with the thought that, a) no one will look in it, and, b) the bag will arrive on time and unharmed. Many of us know that is not always the case. To make sure you protect your luggage, we would like to suggest TravelPlex’s Top Ten List for your suitcase security:
1. Make sure you remove all your previous luggage tags from your suitcase. While many people like to keep these as mementos, or battle scars of previous trips, they can cause other problems. Most common is that they are misread by the airline scanners. They can also standout to anyone who might be on the lookout for someone who travels a lot. Business people usually pack nice clothes and jewelry. These bags are an easy target.
2. On that same note, avoid expensive looking luggage. Designer or leather luggage is checked by airport personnel five-times more than a plain looking black vinyl bag.
3.Remove straps and lock wheels that may cause your suitcase to be stuck on a conveyor belt.
4. Never pack anything of value in your checked luggage – ever. Take anything of value with you in a separate bag. Medication, jewelry, cameras, important documents, and especially electronics or laptops. While a carry-on bag might be inconvenient, you will have peace of mind knowing you have your valuables with you. Besides, replacing these items is usually difficult and airlines will always deny any accountability (Tip: Pack a few extra days of medicine.)
5. Put the address of your DESTINATION – not your home – on the outside of your luggage. By putting your home address on your luggage, you are telling everyone that your home may be empty and a prime target for a burglar.
6. Place a printed copy of your TravelPlex Travel & Cruises itinerary in your suitcase, along with contact phone numbers.
7. When your suitcase is ready to be closed, take a picture of its contents so you’ll know exactly how it was when you finished packing. Also, as you pack, keep an itemized list of everything you packed. Don’t pack this.
8. Consider purchasing a TSA approved luggage lock. These are available at any luggage store and can be found in most airport gift shops (Tip: purchase one prior to checking your bag). Realize it offers limited protection as it can be removed.
9. Many airports offer a luggage wrapping service. This Saran Wrap-like protection saves your luggage from dings and dirt, and should the TSA open your bag, they must rewrap your bag for free. The cost of this service is between $5 to $15 per bag, depending on luggage size.
10. If possible, open your luggage shortly after you land to make sure your suitcase is intact. If something has been taken or damaged, make a claim with the airline as soon as possible.