Travel Tip Tuesday : 7 Things Not to Pack in Checked Luggage

Even the Carry-on Queen can admit that it’s not always possible to travel without checking a bag.  Circumstances will arise, TSA rules will change and at some point you are bound to want to bring home that one-of-a-kind souvenir that just won’t make it into the tiny luggage you came with.

For the next few weeks, we will talk about some things that affect travelers who can’t take advantage of carry-on only and therefore must check their luggage.  We’ll be covering lost, stolen or damaged luggage and/or belongings and even how to prevent some of these things from happening.

It is no secret that airlines often lose or misplace luggage.  It has been happening more frequently, especially with delays, which shorten connection time.

Today I would like to talk about some things not to pack in your checked luggage, in the event that you can’t possibly fit everything in a carry-on. Some of these may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised what I read, see and hear.  And sometimes we can all use a little refresher, right?

1.  Fragile items. Have you seen secret video of how airport baggage handlers treat your bags? Well, it ain’t pretty. Or dainty. Trust me, if you spend good money on an Italian Ceramic Biscotti Jar and expect to enjoy looking at it for years to come on the top of your fridge, do yourself a favor and ship that baby home. And something else fragile…eyeglasses. If you can’t wear them, but need to bring them along, slip them in your purse or personal item.

2.  Prescription medications. You should always carry your medicine with you. Especially if you have high blood pressure. The way the airline industry is these days, you’re surely going to need it! I’d say pack a few Advil on your person too, just in case you have a screaming child and develop a headache, mid-flight. It’s also a good idea to travel with your written perscriptions…just in case.

3.  Your itinerary and documents. Passports, other ID, hotel and car rental confirmations, e-tickets, your written itinerary- it all belongs on your person. Do you really want to be standing in the middle of the airport with no bag, no passport and no idea at all where you should go or what to do next?

4.  Cash. C’mon. This seems like a given, yet some people in their infinite wisdom decide that they don’t want to be mugged with large sums of money on their person, so they feel it might be better to stuff it in their luggage instead? Seriously? These are the same people who don’t sign the back of their credit cards, leaving it blank so when they lose it a crook can pick it up, sign the back and charge away, no questions asked. If you are worried – don’t carry that much cash at all! That is what ATM’s are for.

5.  Jewelry. Aunt Sally’s expensive heirloom diamond ring or emerald necklace have no business being in your checked bag where any thief could see the bling and help themselves. If you absolutely have to have it, wear it. Or, if it’s that important to you, it’s best left behind, tucked safely away in its cushy velveteen box.

6.  Electronics. Laptops, cell-phones, expensive camera and video equipment don’t belong in checked bags.  I’d much rather these items be in my line of sight when security personnel decide to perform random checks on them. If left to be screened behind the scenes, chances are greater that you’ll never see the items again or they’ll be returned in several pieces.

7.  All of your undies. Save at least one pair and tuck them in your carry-on or personal item. If you are stranded with lost  luggage, at least you can rotate the two pair you have, assuming you wore a pair on the plane, until your bag arrives.

Don’t want to worry about checking luggage? Click here to see how I can help you convert to carry-on travel.

Check out My Bella Vita for more travel tips!

Photo Credit : Flickr

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