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How to better protect your valuables from TSA and airport employees

Traveling is exciting and adventurous. Anticipation to the date when you will be flying out, thinking about what your going to bring with you. Packing your nice clothes, personal care items and gadgets.

We have flown to Hawaii and internationally several time. Second time flying internationally we had few missing items from our luggage. We did not have any locks on our luggage and put a “I love baggage handlers” on our luggage. Purchased some colored duct tape and used a permanent marker to write on the luggage. Some say do not put “I love baggage handlers or fragile” on your suitcases, some airport employees may actually be more careless with your luggage more.

Read to the bottom to watch a great video of someone who became very popular after publishing a video about airport employees that broke his guitar.

Purchasing a lock

Purchasing a lock that is TSA approved is highly recommended with the Travel Sentry or Safe Skies logo. You can use a standard lock without the the TSA approved logo on it, however you do so at your own risk. If the contents of your luggage needs to be inspected, the agents may use cutters to remove the lock damaging the lock and zipper. A cheap solution would be to use a zip tie. You can put a note in the luggage with an additional zip tie asking the agent to put the new zip tie on the luggage. There is no guarantee that they will put the zip tie on, in the realm of cheap, its an option.

Listed below are a few TSA approved locks:



TSA-accepted Master Lock (color choices available)


TSA-approved Brinks lock (pack of four)

Checked Bags Packing Tips

Thinking like a TSA agent can help you pack also. Bags are run through a X-Ray machine. If the agent can’t identify the contents or something looks questionable they will open the luggage. Putting all questionable items on the top can speed things up without the agent messing up your whole suitcase. Also putting your hygiene and beauty product in a clear zip lock bag on top can keep the agents from fumbling through your stuff and touching it directly.

Tag It

Putting a tag on your luggage also can help. Having your information (name, phone and email) and putting a little label with the destination can help keep your bags with you. I question whether you put your address on the luggage, just because I am a little skeptical about someone getting their hands on your address and robbing your place while you are gone on your Bahama family vacation. Generally your bags go with you when you are flying internationally. Getting a unique travel tag can help you identify your luggage when it comes through the carrousel.


Travelon Travel Tag (color options available)


Travelon Designer Tags


Travel Smart Large Leather Luggage Tags

Baggage Insurance

Some credit cards provide baggage insurance. If you have items that are valuable check if your credit card provides baggage insurance. Also if you purchase your tickets through popular booking sites or agents they may offer or check to see if they have baggage insurance. If you really valuable items put them in your personal bag and keep it with you or in your carryon bag.


Here is that video:

Be Adventurous!