Secure Your Suitcase With these Helpful Tips
Your possessions are never at greater risk than when you’re traveling. No hate to airport workers or your packing checklist abilities, but anything can happen in transit from one bucket-list location to another: suitcases fall open when sliding into luggage claim, zippers break from frequent use,, or — in the worst case scenario — a lack of visible security can luer ne’er-do-wells into breaking open your bags and stealing your property. Though we tend to think about personal security in terms of online password protection or home surveillance, portable property like suitcases deserve the utmost protection as well. Here, we’ll go over the best ways to secure the bag.
Does suitcase security matter?
When traveling, your suitcase is your life on wheels, and it’s a hub for sensitive materials — everything from your passport to your treasured plush toy. With all of these belongings in one place, and being dragged from one location to another, the risk of losing something valuable increases greatly. Thieves are aware of this fact too, and tend to target travelers whose attentions are divided while checking into hotels or gazing at maps of unknown cities. For these reasons, it’s important to seek out luggage with built-in security help, or to trick-out your current case with locks or tamper-proof devices.
Tamper-proof suitcase tips
- TSA Compliant Locks:
Attaching a small combination lock to one or more of your zippers is one of the most common luggage security fixes. However, it’s important to note that you cannot padlocks or any old combination lock to your suitcase, no matter the heightened security these might provide. If you’re flying to or from airports within the United States or Canada, only TSA-friendly locks are permitted to fly. As mentioned above, these locks are small combination locks that can be opened through a universal key in case screening staff need to inspect your luggage.
- Numbered cable ties:
Another, more cost-efficient luggage securement method is numbered cable ties. While common cable ties are another effective method for binding your zippers together — simply thread the pointed end of the zip-tie through the open hole where the zippers meet, and pull through – numbered or “serialized” cable ties offer unique advantages, as they can’t be replicated.
That being said, this is merely a method to tamper-proof your bag; since most zipper suitcases can be opened using a ballpoint pen, zip ties or any other zipper locking mechanism cannot guarantee the safety of the bag’s contents. However, cable ties work as great deterrents, while numbered cable ties can help serve as proof of tampering should your luggage arrive opened or with a common zip-tie replacement.
When in doubt, turn to luggage security experts. Tamperlock is a luggage security service that ships tamper-proof seals directly to you. You then only need to follow three steps to seal your bags: first, loop the supplied zip tie through the hole in your zipper, and then through the Tamperlock tag. From here, palace your zipper in line with the bag’s handle, then loop the tag around the handle. Finally, secure the numbered tag in place.
- HomingPIN tags:
Though there are several high-end luggage tracking options on the market, if you’re looking for a low-cost way to monitor your bags, HomingPIN is the service for you.
After registering your contact details on the site, plus noting basic information about the size, type and color of your bags, you travel as normal. The tags are integrated with lost-luggage services at every airport, meaning if your suitcase disappears in transit, carriers and ground handlers have all the information they need to track you down and get your bag back to you.
- Luggage wrapping services:
If you’re worried about people cutting the fabric, forcing the zipper or tampering with the lock to get stuff out of (or put things into) your bag, consider a luggage wrapping service. Vendors offer this option in many major US and international airports, typically using a machine to encase backpacks and suitcases in many layers of transparent plastic film. There’s also some limited protection that comes with all that plastic – your gear will still get damaged when the baggage handler drops or crushes it, but minor scratches, spills, and rain will only affect the wrapping, not the valuable contents.