January 11, 2016 2 min read
Luggage theft can happen anywhere: at the baggage claim, when the bags are being checked or even during that brief moment when you look the other way. Keeping your bags safe requires paying attention, being a bit savvy and using a few tricks
Use a tracker to keep tabs on your bags.
Technically, a luggage tracker is not going to prevent your luggage from being stolen. But if it happens, you’ll know exactly where it’s going.
The key point here, however, is that placing a tracker will allow you to track where your bags are at all times. The trackers (which come in a variety of forms and sizes) emit a signal that can be read by your cell phone. Some trackers even send you a text message when your flight landed to let you know your luggage is in the same place you are.
Note: Some trackers (such as LugLoc) require a yearly or usage fee, while others (including Trakdot) are more basic electronic gadgets that cost nothing (after the initial purchase). Make sure you compare the options out there to see what works best for your needs.
Don’t buy fancy-looking, expensive-brand luggage.
Expensive luggage sends the message you can imagine: that you have money. To potential thieves, it might also make them think: if the bag is expensive, maybe what’s inside will be too. A bag with large “LV” letters will surely attract attention—both the positive and the negative kind.
Go with colorful bags instead.
The thing about bright, bold, colorful luggage is that it’s easy to spot from far away. Why is this important? Because thieves are more likely to go for black, plain bags that will blend in with the crowd rather than choosing something that stands out and makes them easy to spot.
If the idea of bright luggage is not too appealing, go with a large bright tag or an elastic cord wrapped around the suitcase. Your goal is to make your bag easily identifiable from far away so the thieves will think twice about going for it.
Get a suitcase with a TSA-approved lock.
TSA-approved locks are special locks that can be opened by security personnel at the airport. This means that if your bag is selected for inspection, the inspectors will be able to open and then relock the bag using special tools. If you use a standard, non-approved lock, they might need to break it to get into the bag, leaving your bag exposed afterwards.
Always watch your bags.
Chances are you’re already being careful when waiting in line, but you should also keep an eye on your bags while they’re passing through the scanner and while you’re being searched or waiting to go through.
Try to get to the luggage carrousel as soon as possible after landing. You don’t want to leave your bags unattended, doing endless circles on their own and attracting attention.
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