If you have ever had the misfortune of having your bag stolen, or an item removed from your bag, you will know how horrible this is, and how much it can ruin a holiday very quickly. Whether it involved something really drastic such as the loss of your passport, your credit cards, keys or money, or whether it was easily replaceable, doesn’t always matter. The sense of personal intrusion can make you feel miserable for a long while afterwards.
There are ways in which it is possible to increase the level of security of your possessions, although it is always best to use a wide range of methods rather than relying simply on one alone.
Of course, the most effective method of making sure your possessions stay safe is to keep them with you at all times. If you are travelling by plane, this is not always possible because of your luggage being handed over to the baggage handlers. However, as many people have discovered, it is very possible, with enough planning and honest effort, to reduce your luggage requirements to a single carryon. If you can achieve this, then your luggage is far safer, and you will also be able to move through the airport much faster.
A word of warning about locks and locking mechanisms for cases. If your case has a lock on it, and you are sending this via the luggage handlers, you need to make sure it is unlocked. This seems strange, but most airlines these days require your bags to be unlocked. If they have reason to check your bag, and they find it locked, then they will force it open. This could mean damage to an otherwise good and possibly expensive bag, for which the airline will not compensate you, or the damage to your bag could mean it won’t close effectively. This is another reason to consider reducing your needs down to a single carryon.
Of course, even carryon bags that are with you at all times can prove subject to theft or tampering. There are travel bags with a number of security measures built in to them, and you would be wise to consider purchasing one of these. For the extra money, you are buying the reassurance that you should be safe, and enjoy the holiday you deserve.
Security devices include slash proof material and straps, meaning that would be thieves can’t just use a knife to slice open the bottom of your bag and remove the contents without you even knowing, or cut the strap over your shoulder and make off with it.
Additionally, some bags even have a metal mesh built into the lining, meaning that it s quite impossible to cut through at all. Zips are a very weak area on most bags, and can easily be forced open even if locked. A ball point pen pushed into one end of a zip and a good pull is all that is needed to open it. Again, manufacturers have developed zips which are more secure, and cannot be forced open – even going as far as locking shut or activating a clasp to hold the zip closed.
Ultimately, the security of your bag is down to you. Reducing your luggage to the minimum, buying strong, durable and safe baggage, and being sensible about packing secure items deep within the bag are all helpful. But keeping an eye on your bag, not leaving it lying around and being aware of the risk will stand you in good stead just as much.