Traveling Hacks: How to Protect Backpack When Checked as Luggage
Even though it’s always advised that you have a carry on with you while you travel, not every airplane guest will be interested in stowing their bag in the cabin of the plane.
This typically leads to your bag being stowed under the plane, so you need to know what steps to take to learn how to protect backpack when checked as luggage.
Some of the Best Tricks
No matter if you’re worried about people stealing your personal items or if you’re concerned about the wear and tear of your bag, use these tricks to have the peace of mind you need while in the air.
1. Use TSA-Approved Locks
For anti-theft purposes, the vast majority of backpacks are equipped with zippers that can be used with TSA-approved locks. These locks are specifically designed wherein TSA agents can open your bag if they have reason to believe there is something that needs further inspection inside of your bag, but regular airport staff (such as baggage handlers) do not have access to those keys.
Even though locking your bag doesn’t give you a 100% guarantee that someone won’t gain entry into your bag, you’re narrowing the pool of potential thefts exponentially, which is ideal when your bags are being transported from one country to another.
2. Remove or Hide Backpack Straps
Another essential part to learning how to protect backpack when checked as luggage is to figure out what parts of the bag are most likely to be affected by improper and indelicate handling, such as the backpack straps. Many airplane-approved bags give you a secret compartment where you can easily stow any extra pieces that might be dangling off the bag, so there’s less of a chance for damage.
3. Ask for a Rain Protector
If you’ve ever gone up to the check-in counter at an airport before, you’ve undoubtedly noticed a stack of plastic bags. These plastic bags, also known as rain protectors, can easily become your best friend when you want to protect your bag from damage. Even though they’re not made of the thickest material in the world, the thin sheet of plastic will surely repel any moisture and can keep the straps of your backpack protected.
In most situations, the baggage handler will put the plastic bag on your backpack for you, or you can choose to put it on and secure it on your own. Either way, it’s a great (and free) way to add a little bit of extra protection.
4. Check Airline Weight Regulations
You would be surprised to know that most people traveling on planes barely get away with the weight of their bags, as all airlines have a limit to how heavy your checked bags can be. Not only will they prevent you from loading bags of excessive weight, but they may also charge you an additional fee depending on how heavy the bag could be. Depending on your airline, overweight backpacks can cost an extra $100 on top of the $25 you most likely already paid to check your bag.
This is another important way to know how to protect backpack when checked as luggage as the last thing you’d want is to have to take items out of your bag in the middle of the airport and have nowhere to put them. You also won’t want to be forced to buy an extra suitcase in the airport, which will be twice as expensive than in a regular store, and then pay an additional checked bag fee.
The majority of airlines have weight information on their websites, and it’s important to stay up to date with the regulations, as they tend to change over time.
5. Mailing Your Belongings
Even though it’s very unlikely that your back is going to experience irreversible damage as a result of being checked, there is also an alternative approach that you can take to protecting your bag. Instead of bringing your backpack with you on your travels, you can mail your belongings to your destination via general delivery and pick them up upon arrival. This may also be a preferable option depending on the checked baggage fees associated with your airline of choice.
It’s easier to control the amount of damage your belongings will experience if you were to mail your bag because it will be sufficiently packaged and sealed in heavy duty plastic that is relatively impenetrable.
It’s often that people will notice small nicks and scrapes on their backpack as they travel, and most people just say that it’s the risk you take when you get on an airplane. If you’re truly concerned about your backpack falling apart or being inappropriately accessed by airport staff, it’s best for you to use these five tricks to your advantage. Additionally, it’s recommended that you invest in a hefty travel backpack with tear- or water-resistant materials designed for durability and resilience.