How to Keep Thieves Out of Your Luggage

Written by lena freund
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How to Keep Thieves Out of Your Luggage
Use bright-coloured luggage so it stands out. (luggage in hotel room image by Albert Lozano from

There are several ways to keep your luggage from being stolen or broken into while travelling. The security methods that you use must conform to airline security procedures while flying, but once in your hotel room, you may choose how to keep your luggage safe. Always keep valuable items with you in order to ensure that even if your luggage is broken into, you cannot lose anything valuable.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Colourful luggage
  • Permanent marker
  • Locks

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  1. 1

    Do not check your luggage unless you must. The best way to keep your luggage safe in airports or on aeroplanes is to keep it with you at all times. However, if you cannot carry on all of your luggage, keep anything valuable in your carry-on bag. This way, if your suitcase does get broken into or gets lost, you won't lose anything valuable.

  2. 2

    Choose luggage that is bright or unusual in colour. Luggage is unlikely to get mixed up or accidentally taken if the suitcase is bright blue or pink. Most people buy suitcases in dark colours such as brown or black.

    Use a permanent marker such as a Sharpie to write your name and address in large print directly onto your suitcase, as a tag can be easily removed. Use a silver or gold sharpie to make your information more visible.

  3. 3

    Use more secure methods once you have retrieved your luggage after landing. After you are out of the airport, you can then lock your luggage. A small combination lock will do well for this, as well as a lock-and-key set.

    You can also purchase a combination lock that comes with a thick cord. This cord can be looped around something that is impossible to move, such as a bed frame, and then locked to the suitcase's zippers so the suitcase cannot be opened or stolen.

  4. 4

    Be suspicious of anyone who offers help or taxi services without some sort of official authorisation. In many places, these tactics are lures that thieves use to get close to you.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure that the combinations you choose for your locks are not easy to guess. A combination such as 1234 is too easy. Use something specific in your life that a stranger would not know.
  • Do not lock your suitcase while flying, as some airlines open suitcases after they are checked. If the airline or security cannot open your suitcase after check in, they will break your suitcase open.

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