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How to set a combination for luggage locks

Updated March 23, 2017

It is simple to set your own combination for luggage locks and it's also a smart idea. Most people travel occasionally and go through long periods of time between uses of their luggage locks. It is easy to forget the preset combination on the luggage locks from the factory. Many travellers resort to buying new luggage locks for every trip since they can't remember the combination on their old ones. Setting your own luggage lock combination can solve this problem.

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  1. Think of a combination that is unique but easy for you to remember. Avoid obvious combinations like 1-2-3-4 or 1-1-1-1. Also, avoid using your birthday or any other number that is printed on your identification or travel documents. But, do not choose a random number that you might forget. Whatever you choose, you should use the same combination for all your luggage locks. This prevents forgetting which combination goes with which lock. If you are using both three-digit and four-digit combinations, choose a four-digit combination and remove the last digit for the three-digit locks. This way you won't forget either combination.

  2. Open all your luggage locks. They must be open to set a new combination. If your luggage locks are locked shut, try the standard preset factory combinations of 1-1-1-1 or 1-2-3-4. If neither one opens the luggage locks, then a new combination was previously set. The only way to open them now is to go through all the digits until it opens. This will take a while but beats buying a new lock.

  3. Trigger your luggage locks to accept a new combination. If your luggage locks have a hooked hinge, turn it so that it is pointing 180 degrees from its closed position. Press the hinge down as if you were locking it. You should hear it click. If your luggage locks are on your suitcase, pull the latch as if you were opening the lock. Hold it all the way in the open position. Do not let it go.

  4. Set a combination for your luggage locks. Enter the digits while the combination trigger is engaged. Be sure that the numbers you choose are lined up with the line or window on the lock.

  5. Release the luggage lock trigger. For luggage locks with hooked hinges, pull the hinge back up and swing it back to a closed position. For luggage locks on suitcases, just release the latch. Your luggage locks now have new combinations. Don't forget them!

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About the Author

Kent Ninomiya is a veteran journalist with over 23 years experience as a television news anchor, reporter and managing editor. He traveled to more than 100 countries on all seven continents, including Antarctica. Ninomiya holds a Bachelor of Arts in social sciences with emphasis in history, political science and mass communications from the University of California at Berkeley.

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