You’ve planned your vacation for months or longer and you’re ready to get on the plane and get things started. But exactly how safe is your luggage? I was reading a post in the Sims Family Tours and Travel Blog today and it really made me think about a somewhat overlooked part of the vacation experience: Your luggage.
Some people pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on new luggage. Some people do it to be fashionable and others purchase expense luggage as a status symbol. Others purchase luggage and see it as a long term investment and yet, there are others who purchase the cheapest luggage possible because they just want to get from point A to point B in the cheapest way possible. Which type of traveler are you?
Now I definitely have an opinion on what type of luggage works best. I won’t opt for the cheapest luggage out there although I do admit that I have done that in the past. The more I travel, the less I want to keep picking up new suitcases or carry on bags. However, I refuse to buy expensive designer luggage for a couple of reasons. Besides the fact that I think it’s a waste of money, have you seen how the airport baggage handlers toss the bags around? You can keep on telling yourself that they’ll take good care of your Louis Vuitton bag and that they’ll gently place it on the belt and softly into the belly of the plane, but c’mon — you and I both know that’s not the truth. Maybe you can bring your designer luggage as a carry on bag, but buy a sturdy, dependable, and affordable bag for luggage that you will check in.
Before you even get to the airport, be sure you have a luggage tag on your bag. If you don’t like writing your name, address, and telephone number on your tag, don’t worry. Use your business card or write it on a piece of paper and then put the card or paper in backwards with the information facing in. This way your information is there, but everyone standing near you at the airport won’t know exactly where you live. Creepy, I know! The other thing I like to do is to include a business card or another sheet of paper with my name and cell phone number inside my suitcase just in case the luggage tag comes off somewhere along the way. Should they have to open my bag, my information will be right there. When it comes to luggage tags, I have the same approach to buying them that I do my suitcase. If it looks too expensive, I feel like I won’t have it long. As I type this I realize it sounds like I might be calling anyone who comes in contact with my bag a thief, but I’m not. I’m only being realistic in the sense that I’m not going to flash something fancy while I’m traveling no matter where I go. I also like to use a luggage strap and they make great ones that have locks on them so they serve two purposes: They lock your bag in safely and help you identify them amongst a sea of similar looking bags.
Speaking of locks, do you use a lock on your bag? Make sure it’s a TSA approved lock or you might never see it again. I like the combination lock style because I’m destined to lose the key if I have one that requires one. Now my husband might disagree with me after a recent situation we encountered as we were leaving for the airport. He prefers the luggage locks with keys and had his bag already to go way before I had mine ready (surprise!) and brought his bag downstairs to put in the car. Only then did I realize that something was wrong when I heard muttering. He had locked the key to the luggage lock inside the suitcase. His manly instincts took over and he was about to look in the basement for some kind of manly tool to take the TSA lock off the bag. However, since I was not about to watch this happen minutes before we are about to leave, I suggested that he get to the airport and go through security and ask someone there to help him with the lock. As it turned out, I was the one to ask for help and although they looked somewhat skeptical at first, they obliged and the suitcase was opened with the key right on top. Hence the reason why I like the combination style locks!
Before you travel on your next vacation, take a few minutes to prepare yourself with the right bag, luggage tags and locks, and identification to have the peace of mind to start your vacation stress free.