Preparing Luggage for Your Trip
Luggage is a vital part of any trip, everything you need will be inside. Check your luggage prior to your trip and make sure all parts are in order and it has no rips or tears. The last thing you need is a zipper that comes apart at the airport while the handlers are moving your luggage. When buying luggage choose quality bags that are built well and will last. But avoid the fancy luggage as this can be a target for thiefs. Fancy gold latches, big brand names and classy leather finishes can all be triggers for a thief.
Stick with the classic look over the showy styles that will attract a thief. Tagging your suitcase with a bright and distinctive marker will make the bag easier to spot on the carousel and prevents another traveler from mistakenly taking your bag. This will also make it easier for baggage handlers to find you bag should it become lost or needs to be removed from the plane. Thieves are also less likely to take a bag as they can be spotted much easier. When packing your suitcase make sure you know the weight allowances allowed by the airline and weigh your bags before leaving.
If your bag is overweight consider using two smaller bags, this is more of a hassle, but will save you on surcharges for the overweight bag. Check with your airline to determine the weight allowances that apply to you. You also have the option of using services that will pick up and deliver your baggage to your destination. Keep proper identification in your luggage in case they become lost, this way you can be found. Placing a copy of your itinerary in each piece of luggage will assist the airline in finding you if your luggage is in fact lost. Use caution on how much personal information is left in the bags, to much information exposes you to identity theft. Being prepared for security will make your screening process with the TSA much more pleasant. Check the TSA website for banned and limited items such as liquids and gels. They also have rules in place on how such items should be packed. Always use clear plastic bags inside your luggage as the screener can easily see inside.
Locking your bags is also highly recommended and you should consider TSA approved locks. If your checked baggage is picked for screening the TSA will cut your lock unless you are using an approved lock, in which case they have a special tool to unlock it and re-lock it when finished. Take a carry on with any essentials you will need in case your main luggage is lost or delayed. This is especially important if you will be travelling with children. Again check with the TSA website for carry on bags. The rules are a little different, some things are allowed to be checked but are not allowed in your carry on baggage. Planning ahead will make your travel experience much more pleasant and enjoyable.