As if organising any trip isn’t in itself taxing enough on your mental resources, travelling abroad poses a fresh set of its own challenges, particularly with regards to your luggage. Unfortunately there are just a lot of dynamics surrounding internationally-bound luggage that could go wrong in any number of different ways, which is some stress you definitely don’t need added to the existing stresses of international travel. There are however some packing tips which international travellers can use in order to minimise the risk of something going wrong, as far is possible of course. More experienced travellers who have notched up a bit of mileage eventually to figure out how to better pack, but this is definitely one of those cases where experience isn’t the very best teacher. You’d much rather learn from someone else than learning the hard way, trust me on that.
Wrap it all up tightly
Yes, one of the biggest threats to your internationally-bound luggage is indeed the risk of somebody gaining access to your luggage and helping themselves to some of your valuables. Some airports around the world have their luggage-handling departments operated by staff members who are drawn into the dark side, forming part of what can be a very organised petty-theft syndicate. It can be very easy for an airport member of staff to quickly dig into passengers’ luggage and slip away with valuables such as mobile phones, cash, wallets, etc. If they’re particularly organised and have security personnel in on their nefarious little operations, some bigger items of value can also go missing, such as your laptop, etc. Airport staff (even some of the thieving ones) have a nose for fashionable clothing items as well, so those exclusive Jones Bootmakers you may have packed in just in case there’s an event which will call for you to look smashing at your destination, can also go missing. So what you need to do is pack everything in very tightly, with your most valuable goods located as far as away from the entry points of your luggage as possible. So maybe something like your laptop wrapped tightly with clothes around it, so that it’s not the first thing prying hands come into contact with if your bag gets compromised.
Lock up your luggage if possible, and try to pack in such a way that someone would have to pull a lot of things out to get to anything of value and in so doing prolong the period during which they risk getting caught in the act. Finish it all off by wrapping bags in transparent plastic, creating “seals” of sorts with some sticky tape so that upon collection, you can immediately alert the appropriate authorities of any compromises in your luggage.
Illicit substances trafficking is a major concern of security airport officials, so in order to avoid having to undo all the work you put in wrapping your luggage up, try to pack in a manner which doesn’t raise suspicious flags. For example: five tubs of baby powder will probably come through the luggage scanner as a possible case for concealing organic matter, such as drugs. That said however, keep spare wrapping material in your hand luggage, just in case your main luggage does get flagged down for searching and you have to re-wrap it for the original purpose of protecting it from tampering.