Be Smart About Your Luggage

Here’s some basic best practices to preempt any possible headaches or disasters.


  • Use luggage in good condition

    You may like your grandfather’s worn suitcase or want a brand new Louis Vuitton but whatever you decide to bring, be sure the handles, zippers and clasps all work.  Your suitcase is your traveling closet and it’s gotta hold up.  I have even bought inexpensive light-weight suitcases so I don’t near the 50 lb weight limit with the intent of using it for just one trip.  In a nutshell, be sure your suitcase is in good condition.

  • Luggage Tags

    Be sure your bags have your contact info on them ..preferably with your full name and cell phone number.  I’ve even written a hotel name on the tag.  If your bag gets lost, you want them to be able to find you right away.

  • Luggage tags from Check-in

    Keep those little stickers.  Some airports are more stringent about matching numbers with bags.  Also, if your bag is misplaced, you’ll be happy you have the tag.

  • Keep your bags with you!

    Airports in Europe don’t mess around with bags without owners.  It can be construed as a possible terrorist explosive device.  I saw Police blow up an unattended bag in the baggage claim area in Frankfurt once.  Shredded clothes were thrown everywhere.  Don’t let that happen to you!  Also, don’t watch anyone else’s bags.  Better to be safe and responsible.

  • Make your bag stand out!

    Add stickers, ribbons, colorful tags, luggage straps … anything you can do to make your bag unique.  Most thieves walk out with plain, black bags with wheels.  You know exactly what I mean!  They will not pick your bag if it stands out.  And, it’s easier for you to spot it too!

  • Your carry-on should prevent disaster!

    If your larger suitcase gets lost or delayed, what do you absolutely need with you for your first day?  Always pack in your carry-on any medications, glasses, important documents, jewelry, expensive electronics and cameras, your quart-size baggie with make-up and toiletries, and a spare shirt and one spare underwear.  Have with you the things you can’t replace easily.  Don’t forget to keep your money and keys with you!

  • Lithium batteries are illegal in cargo (checked bags)

    You must carry on any lithium batteries from laptops, cell phones or professional camera/video equipment.  You may have them as extended life spare rechargeable batteries.  They have a risk of  bursting into flames.  Easier to put out a fire in the plane cabin than in the luggage cargo hold. Good to put them in a plastic freezer bag if you can.