Welcome to Day 26 of 30 Days to Packing a Better Bag.
Packing better is not just about carrying less, it’s about packing smarter. And, you can’t pack smarter if you don’t consider the safety of your belongings at the same time. Today’s post covers the ways you can secure your belongings, whether that’s your passport or your laptop.
How to Secure Your Travel Belongings
When checking a suitcase or backpack with zippers, lock them up with a TSA-friendly lock. We recommend the cable locks as they stretch and wrap around zippers and hooks with ease. Even if your luggage doesn’t have lockable zips, having a lock on you will do wonders when you need to lock your backpack in a hostel locker. Sure, many hostels offer locks for rent, but why spend extra money when you can bring one yourself?
Tip: Always lock up belongings in the hostel. Even if your dorm mates seem like nice people, you really can’t know until something goes missing. Don’t take that chance!
Special Purses and Daypacks:
Protecting belongings is often as simple as removing the chance for a quick pickpocketing. Several travel bags these days come with extra zipper clips to make it hard for opportune thieves to get at your belongings. Check out the Travelon bag, or the Pacsafe Slingsafe for examples. The Slingsafe 300 GII also comes with a strap that detaches and can be locked around a chair or other stationary object when you aren’t wearing it.
Tip: Never leave a bag or purse hanging off the back of a chair. This is the perfect place for pickpockets to have their way.
Money belts and bra stashes are worn under the clothing and are used to hide cash, passports and credit cards from thieving hands. They may not be the coolest, or the most comfortable, but those who didn’t have them in a bad moment often wish they did.
Tip: Never take your money belt out in public. Don’t let someone know you are using this as a hiding spot!
Protect your suitcase from a luggage explosion with the addition of luggage straps. If you ever overpack a suitcase, or use a suitcase with extra wear and tear, the chance for an explosion somewhere along the baggage handling process is much higher. Keep your bag in tact by tightening an extra strap around the outside. Not only does this take the pressure off the zips, it also helps to keep the luggage closed should a zipper come undone. If you purchase a brightly colored strap, it can help you spot the bag on the luggage carousel.
Tip: Keeping your gear compartmentalized in your luggage also means that if your suitcase or backpack should explode, your single pairs of underwear won’t be just strewn about on their own.
A sure-fire way to keep your belongings secure when you have to check them is to get it wrapped in plastic. We only recommend this if you get to the airport and are really concerned about your luggage last-minute.
Tip: Double check that you don’t need anything from your luggage before wrapping!
>> We highly recommend you re-read the post, Packing and Protecting Electonics.
Take Action: Secure Your Belongings
Take a minute to think about your trip and the situations in which you might find yourself. Will you be doing tons of shopping and taking home a stuffed suitcase? If so, invest in a luggage strap. Will you be traveling through busy areas, such as packed trains and undergrounds? If so, invest in a good money belt (to hide your money) or a good daypack (that has protective straps and locks). No matter what the trip, we definitely recommend that a good lock should be on your packing list regardless.
Let us know how you protect your belongings in the comments below!