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To Lock or Not to Lock Luggage? Here’s Why You Should!

woman using a luggage lock
Written by Shannon Durso

This blog post was updated on July 12, 2021.

When traveling, odds are you’ll have to leave your luggage behind at some point. For example, when you print your airline tickets and check your luggage with your airline’s attendant or when you give your bags to the bellhop and leave your room for the day, you’re trusting those handling your bags with your personal items. Travelers are often care-free because after all…they’re on vacation! It’s important to keep a strong mind and to be careful who you trust when traveling. To prevent your baggage from being opened without your consent we recommend for you to use a luggage lock. Some suitcases already have a lock built into the luggage piece but if not, you can find a TSA approved (airport security agents can easily open) lock at luggage stores or online.

If you’re on the fence of whether to lock up or not, we’re here to help! From air travel to public transportation and your stay, there are a few safety factors to be aware of.

And, the most important factor of them all: to think twice if you’re bound to lose the key or forget the code! Read on to learn more!

Checking Your Bag

luggage on carousel

Some travelers prefer to use a lock to prevent their luggage from embarrassingly opening, while others use a luggage lock to prevent theft. Just because you’re using a luggage lock doesn’t mean it won’t be opened. All locks should be TSA approved, and if you are using a lock that is not TSA approved, that doesn’t mean your bag will stay locked. TSA agents are permitted to clip off any luggage lock if they need to physically inspect a bag.

The decision is ultimately up to you. It is strongly recommended by TSA to carry your valuables such as jewelry, money, identification and electronics in a carry-on bag. If you’re not packing any valuable items in your checked bag, a lock isn’t necessarily needed for air travel. All bags will go through security screening, and you’ll know if your bag has been physically opened if you find a notice inside your bag or if your luggage lock that was not TSA approved is missing.

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Storing Luggage on Public Transportation

luggage under coach bus

When traveling abroad, you may find yourself taking public transportation depending on where you’re headed. If you plan to hop on a bus or train, odds are you’ll have to store your baggage in an overhead bin or somewhere away from your seat. To prevent your belongings from being stolen or misplaced, we suggest for you to lock your luggage. It’s important to protect your bags when traveling and to always keep an eye on them, especially if there is no lock on your luggage.

Staying in a Shared Room

hostel with young people sitting on beds

Many travelers choose to stay in a shared room such as a hostel or a rented room in someones home. This option is typically more affordable compared to a private room in a hotel. Reserving a shared room isn’t always a guaranteed safe stay as it’s staying in a room with strangers. Keeping your eye on your belongings at all times surely is not possible, especially when you’re on your third dream. If you’re thinking about or planning to bunk up in a shared room, don’t think twice about protecting your luggage with a lock, especially if you’re carrying valuable belongings.

You may also like: 6 Packing Hacks for Traveling Families

Hotel Stay: Luxurious or Standard

luggage in a hotel room

From giving your baggage to the bellhop to leaving your room for housekeeping to clean, your bags won’t always be with you in plain sight. Most travelers don’t think they need a lock on their luggage when staying at a luxurious resort. To be cautious, it’s better to be safe than sorry and never trust anyone. A hotel room is never fully secure (even if there’s a safe to lock your valuables). It is possible that the safe you plan to use in your room has a master key that hotel employees can gain access to. But, what no one has access to is the key to your luggage.

Convinced, yet?

Do you lock your bags when traveling? Tell us what you think in the comments below!


About the author

Shannon Durso

If she’s not searching for the world's coolest destinations she has yet to explore, you can find her writing content at Fareportal or maybe even drooling over a foodies latest post. Shannon’s a Brooklyn native who enjoys good company, new adventures, and a great laugh!

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