Don’t Put This Stuff In Checked Bags.
Charlie Leocha is a well-known and accomplished travel writer, but he’s also the founder of Travelers United, an organization that is an advocate for travelers. If you are already a dues-paying member of NARP, you’re automatically an Advocate Member of Travelers United. Click on this link for the details.
In the latest on-line edition of the Travelers United newsletter, there is an invaluable list of items you should never pack in your checked luggage. You can click here for the entire article, but I’ve hit the highlights below.
* Don’t pack and check any valuables or breakables or anything that would be essential to have during the first 24 hours after your arrival.
( I once put a laptop in a checked bag. I put it in the middle of all my clothing in order to protect it. Of course, the TSA people spotted it when the bag was X-rayed. They opened the bag, checked the laptop, and put it back on top of all the clothes. Of course, the screen was cracked when I opened my bag after I arrived at my hotel.)
* Don’t pack any prescription drugs in a checked bag, especially if you’re traveling internationally. It may not be possible to replace a specific medication in a foreign country.
* Don’t pack and check any of your travel documents; i.e: train and plane tickets, hotel confirmations, and, of course your passport if your traveling abroad. (My passport is on my person at all times, with one color copy of the information page in my carry-on bag, the other in my suitcase, whether it’s checked or not.)
*Don’t pack all your clothes in your checked bag. If they’ll fit, keep one change of clothes (no shoes) in your carry-on bag. That way you’ll have a t least a 24-hour cushion if your bag is lost.
The fact is, the liability limit set by law is just $3,300 per passenger on flights within the U.S, and less that half that on international flights. That’s the most you could ever hope to collect, no matter how valuable the items, no matter how egregious the circumstances.
After reading the entire article, especially the parts about how often items in checked bags accepted by the airlines are almost routinely lost or stolen or simply smashed to smithereens at some point in their journey, I am further resolved to continue traveling light and thus, if at all possible, to avoid checking any bag, regardless of content.