5 Ways to Avoid Luggage Theft
One of the best ways to keep your baggage safe in transit is to reconsider what you pack. Remember where you’re headed and your mission once you get there. Will you really need your laptop? Is it worth the risk to pack your new DSLR camera?
Although the Volunteer Card policies have protection for baggage and personal effects loss, we’re sure you’d rather not deal with the hassle of replacing your personal property.
To lower the risk of luggage theft at the airport, here’s 5 preventative measures to take:
1. Pack light.
Try eliminating excess clothes, mobile technology, and other valuables from your packing list. Only take the necessities. By leaving any flashy extras at home, you’ll have fewer contents to worry about and more packing space for essential items.
Need tips on packing everything you need in a carry-on? Check out this article!
2. Keep valuables close.
Always keep your irreplaceable items tucked away in your carry-on. Or, better yet, keep them zipped away in your coat pockets for safekeeping and easy access. At a TSA checkpoint, you won’t want to rummage through your bags and expose your belongings to find your passport and boarding ticket. Keeping valuables close to your body will also lower the risk of theft.
3. Secure your luggage.
One way to prevent thieves from breaking into your suitcase is to secure it with a lock. Because TSA might need to check the inside of your bag, it’s best to invest in a TSA approved lock. This means airport security can use a master key to open your luggage, if necessary, and securely lock it after inspection. Otherwise, security would need to break your lock and you would need to purchase a new one.
Here’s a list of TSA approved locks from 2017, featuring prices and pros and cons of each.
4. Make your luggage stand out.
If you have a black or other popular colored suitcase, it’s a good idea to make your bag stand out by tying on a colorful piece of fabric or attaching a noticeable luggage tag. This way, other passengers with a similar bag will notice it’s not theirs and hopefully leave it for you. However, in the event your bag is lost, describing a unique trait on your luggage could help airport security locate it faster.
5. Tag your carry-on.
Although carry-ons are meant to follow you to your cabin, it doesn’t always work out that way, especially if the plane is at max capacity. To prepare for this potential delay, make sure you tag your carry-ons so you can find them at baggage claim if they are checked last second.
Pro tip: Board your plane as soon as possible to ensure your plane has overhead storage space for your bag. Then last-minute checking shouldn’t be a problem!
When traveling for a volunteer trip, you shouldn’t have to worry about you luggage getting lost or stolen. Take these tips from us so you can ease your mind and travel safely.
Editors Note: This post was originally published in October of 2014. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.