Items to never place in your checked luggage

With the recent holiday meltdown at a major airline, folks were separated from their checked luggage for days or in some cases even weeks. But it’s not just a problem with this single incident; every time you check bags there is the unfortunate risk they won’t end up on your plane which can cause travel headaches to say the least. We always believe in assuming the best but preparing for the worst. This means when you do check a bag, having a carry on that contains items you couldn’t go without for several days is important. This week we lay out items you should always pack in your carry on and other various tips to keep a small mishap to turning into a stressful trip spoiler.

Identification/Travel Documents. All passports, driver licenses, visas, travel documents and other official documents should stay with you at all times. Otherwise, if you are separated from your bag, this means potential denial of entry into the country or if traveling domestically not being able to check into hotels or rent a car. Also consider which items in your wallet or purse can be left at home. Think library cards, gym memberships, rarely used debit cards, and others. What can you leave safely behind so you wouldn’t have to replace these items if separated from them whether you check bags or not?

Medication. Prescription medication in particular can be difficult to refill if your bags are lost. If traveling to another state or especially internationally, this likely will require a doctor’s visit and even then there is no guarantee that the medication is the same. This also includes contacts lenses and glasses. Being separated from important medication even for a few days isn’t worth the risk, especially considering how lightweight and easy it is to toss into your carry-on bag.

Electronics. Most don’t think twice about having their phone with them at all times, but what about laptops and chargers? Electronics are expensive and fragile items and should never be placed in checked luggage. Keep these with you on the plane and avoid one more worry if you’re separated from them.

Set of clothing. Think about what happens if your flight is delayed, cancelled, or diverted. What would you want at the airport or a last-minute hotel in this situation? If you can fit it into your carry-on, consider bringing a change of clothes, some toiletries, and something soft you can roll into a pillow. These are scenarios nobody wants to experience but a little prep work makes a miserable experience a little more tolerable.

Lower the risk factor. There are circumstances that can’t be avoided, like the unforeseen airline meltdown last month. You can, however, mitigate the risk of lost bags by following a few tips. First, make sure to check in early and according to your airline’s guidance. This makes sure there is adequate time for your bags to reach the plane. Book direct flights when possible to avoid snags at connecting airports, particularly if you end up with a tight connection. Finally, consider paying to board the plane in an earlier group. If you’re one of the last to board, it’s highly likely you’ll need to gate check your items. While that doesn’t cost anything, be sure you’ve packed a collapsible tote to store ALL the items you must keep with you before you hand over your bag. And no matter what, make sure both the outside of your bag and the inside have your address, phone number, and email written down to assist airline employees if your bag gets misplaced.

We always like to think on the positive side when traveling, but mishaps inevitably happen. Thinking ahead and preparing for the worst can go a long way in turning a major inconvenience into a minor one. What tips do you have? Leave us a comment!

About Denise

My goal is to simplify travel-planning through an equal exchange process where I acquire your ideas and expectations for your trip relieving you of the worry, hassle, stress and time that accompanies Do-It-Yourself planning.

Recent Posts

Why take a tour for your next getaway? Here are our top reasons

As tempting as setting out on your own adventure may be, we’re big fans of going with a tour group. Even for seasoned travelers, taking a tour relieves the stress of going-it-alone planning and provides peace of mind knowing all the details are being taken care of....

Alaska Yacht Vacation: Client Review

Thank you, Denise for your 3-year effort to realize our long-planned Scenic cruise. Even before our cruise set sail, your guidance was so helpful regarding COVID protocols, Canadian access forms and luggage options. You were always accessible and ready with required...

Best ways to stay healthy while traveling

Traveling is the ultimate way to escape from your ordinary routine. But it also comes with being exposed to many people from all over the world, including on your flight, at the hotel, restaurants, and during tours. The last thing you want is to be sick during your...

Do you think a private yacht vacation is out of reach? Think again…

Imagine being in charge of your next cruise experience, surrounded only by your closest family and friends where you get to choose the itinerary. Each day is a new adventure where you can fully appreciate the perfect mix of relaxation, freedom, and adventure all at...