There are a lot of little activities that happen while you’re traveling, and unless you just bought your luggage yesterday (which, if you did – congrats!), you’re probably not constantly thinking about how to protect your luggage from damage.
While you’re traveling, you have to queue and get checked in – sending your luggage into the abyss. You can grab some coffee, enjoy a movie, or take a quick nap before getting on the plane. Just imagine what your luggage goes through during all of that. The luggage may be damaged in the entire process if you (or others) are not careful with it.
Let’s discuss the only tips you’ll need to help keep your luggage looking like new, and most importantly, reducing the chance of your luggage and everything inside getting damaged.
The Eleven Tips on How to Protect Your Luggage from Damage
Here are 11 tips you’ll find in this guide!
- Request a fragile sticker
- Duct tape is your friend
- Zip up your toiletries
- Luggage: generic and simple
- Decorate your bag
- Wrap up your luggage in a plastic
- Choose a protective bag
- Minimalism in travel
- Send things separately
- Buy bag protectors
- Take a photo of your luggage
Request a fragile sticker
If you have fragile commodities in your luggage – or things you think shouldn’t be thrown around – you need to ask for a fragile sticker when checking your bags.
Having a fragile sticker doesn’t guarantee that the team handling the luggage will adhere to it (unfortunately), but it does increase the chances they will pay special attention to your luggage.
Why might they not pay attention to it? Because they are always under pressure to make sure that the airplane is turned around in an incredibly short time: they’re always working fast.
Obviously, this means that the luggage may be mishandled at some point. Having a fragile sticker on your luggage will increase the probability of it being handled carefully, and therefore keeping your luggage damage-free as well!
Duct tape is your friend
Duct tape plays a vital role in protecting your luggage from damage. This is why a ton of seasoned travelers carry duct tape on them when they travel. They understand how important it can be and the help it offers in preventing luggage damages.
It doesn’t matter if there is a hole or the zipper of the bag has failed: you will use duct tape to seal it up and your luggage will get to your destination safely. Although it’s a short-term fix, using duct tape can save you from headaches and further damage to your bag.
Buy this max strength duct tape and have it handy for whenever you might need it.
Zip up your toiletries
There are people who organize everything and there are people who just… wing it. Then, there are just people who forget to zip things up: it’s something many people tend to overlook.
For permanent and less disposable items, we recommend these bags:
This white-and-blue striped bag stands out, while this grey, polyurethane leather bag has a more subdued look to it.
Imagine the kind of damage a leaking perfume or shampoo bottle would do to your luggage. To avoid that kind of risk, just buy more zip-up bags than you think you’ll need and play it safe. You will keep all your toiletries in it and, once you’ve zipped it up, the rest of your luggage is safe. Any spill will be limited to the zip-up bag and the rest of your items will be good.
Luggage: generic and simple
You may be tempted to buy a fancy-looking piece of luggage that captures everyone’s eye. It is not a wise decision. Normally, expensive luggage attracts thieves and fancy-looking luggage will be at high risk. A piece of fancy-looking luggage is not only vulnerable when being checked in but is also vulnerable at baggage reclaim.
The good thing with a simple and generic-looking suitcase (like this bag here) is that it doesn’t attract attention regardless of the valuables it is carrying inside. Losing luggage can be a huge loss considering people carry valuables that are worth a lot of money. You should try and purchase a suitcase that looks generic and simple that will not attract attention and will not be a target for thieves.
Decorate your bag
Decorating your baggage makes it unique and can also protect it from damage. A good example is wrapping it up with a scarf. Doing that has many advantages. It individualizes your luggage making it less likely to be picked up by another person by mistake at the luggage carousel. It also reduces the risk of it being stolen by thieves who like targeting generic-looking luggage so that when they are caught, they can pretend that they thought it was theirs. Having a scarf tied up well on your baggage will reduce that kind of risk.
Wrap it up with plastic
Wrapping up your luggage with plastic is an ideal way of protecting it against damage. Most airports provide this service freely and it helps protect your luggage from scrapes and dirt. The best thing about it is that it binds your luggage together should the worst-case scenario happen.
Since your luggage will be handled by multiple workers in the airport, having it wrapped up will protect it from evil workers who may want to open your luggage and steal some items. If your luggage is wrapped up with plastic, the likelihood of items being stolen from your baggage will be minimized.
Buy the same luggage
In case you are traveling with your partner together, you should try and buy the same luggage. This luggage is likely to be kept together and, it would be better if they look alike. That will reduce the chance of damage or loss.
Choose the right bag
To protect your luggage against potential damages, you need to choose the right bag. Some bags may look stylish but they can’t protect the items you are carrying. Note that a bag with a hard shell has minimal flexibility. If heavy luggage is placed on it, it will most probably crack under pressure. Hard baggage will also crack in cold weather and can also slide off the stacks that are placed on it.
Soft cases on the other hand are suited to handle impacts in a better way and will most likely come out unscathed, especially those with wheels. They also handle other items placed on them in a better way. However, they will not handle the items in them well. In a nutshell, soft cases are more durable and better to travel with.
Minimalism in travel
While traveling, try and minimize your luggage. Take the minimal number of items and that will minimize the chance of damage occurring. Carrying less luggage also has the advantage of reducing the stress of traveling and also reduces the chance of damages.
Workers in the airport handle heavy bags with less care. They get tossed a lot and that can damage the items being carried. Try and travel with less luggage so that your suitcase may not be too heavy to move around with.
Send things separately
This is a common trend these days especially if you have family or friends waiting to receive the luggage on the other end. Many people nowadays are preferring to ship their luggage through delivery companies. This method has its advantages. One of them is that you can secure the luggage with boxes thus offering it more protection.
Buy bag protectors
To safeguard your luggage against damages, you can buy bag protectors. Bag protectors are made from PVC and they fit well in suitcases and also have cutouts in inappropriate places. To enhance safety, they are secured with Velcro.
They will help in keeping your luggage clean and protected against extreme weather conditions. They are affordable and durable and will solve some of the basic issues we face with our luggage while traveling.
Take a photo of your luggage
Taking a photo of your luggage before sending it into the check-in abyss can be a simple thing to do… but can prove to be extremely helpful, especially when your luggage goes missing.
Having a photo could help staff in the search process as it will help them in identifying it. While this may not protect your luggage from damage per se, it could help you not lose the entire thing. It would be better to find your suitcase with a few scratches rather than lose it altogether.
How to Protect Your Luggage from Damage: Conclusion
Protecting your luggage from damage takes just a few easy tips that should prolong your baggage and everything inside it for much longer. Whether you’re trying to preserve it for its value, to protect what’s inside, for the earth and to reduce waste, or just for the sake of not having to open your wallet up again – follow the steps above and your luggage should live a longer, “healthier” life.