Should You Use A Luggage Lock?

Is it worth having a lock on your luggage?  Some say don’t bother, luggage locks are cheap and easily cut off.  But I say Yes, put a lock on your suitcase.  My favorite is the luggage lock from WordLock.   It is a TSA approved padlock that uses a four letter word you select as the combination and the TSA have a key to open it if needed.

WordLock on my zipper luggage.

But if you suitcase has a zipper don’t even think that it is secure from an experienced thief.  Just watch the video below:


How do you get around the zipper issue?  Use a hard shell suitcase that can be secured with a TSA approved padlock when you are flying, and using a sturdy padlock when on the ground.  Pelican or Zero Halliburton make high quality cases that use TSA locks built-in or are designed to take padlocks.  When buying a suit case that doesn’t use a zipper make sure they take a real padlock. 

Pelican cases are heavy duty plastic cases that are designed more for transporting equipment than clothing.  Zero Halliburton cases are more expensive and might make the suitcase a target for thieves that think that an expensive suitcase has valuable contents.  A new supplier is Nanuk, I haven't seen them in person.

Some zippered suitcases allow you to lock the zippers handles to a stationary location on the case.  This defeats the ability to repair/close the zipper after a bad guy has forced the zipper open with a sharp object as seen in the video. 

Cruise ship luggage sits in the rain.
I also like hard cases over fabric cases because they help protect your valuables from rain or liquids that may break in another suitcase on a flight.   Picking up your suitcase and noticing it smells like wine, made me a believer in hard cases. 

It happened to me at the end of a trip, if it had happened at the start it would have been a disaster.   I still use some old soft cases, but put everything in a plastic bags.  I’ve also found that if you frequently travel in the tropics fabric luggage can degrade and fall apart quickly. TB

Travel warning: Violence spreading in Mexico - CNN

Mexican Police with automatic weapons.
-- Americans should avoid all but essential travel to all or parts of 14 Mexican states, the U.S. State Department warns as violence has spread.

Shootouts, kidnappings and carjackings have climbed, as have cartels, also known as transnational criminal organizations (TCO), the State Department said this week in a broadened travel warning.

While millions of U.S. citizens safely visit Mexico every year, the country's ongoing violence and security concerns pose risks for U.S. citizens, and travelers should take precautions, the State Department advises.

"The TCOs themselves are engaged in a violent struggle to control drug trafficking routes and other criminal activity. As a result, crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere. U.S. citizens have fallen victim to TCO activity, including homicide, gun battles, kidnapping, carjacking and highway robbery," its alert says.


(Direct Link to the U.S. Department Of State Mexico Travel Warning. TB)

U.S. expands travel warning for Mexico

More violence over a wider area in Mexico has caused the U.S. State Department to expand a warning against travel to the country.

The new warning includes the Gulf of California resort area known as Rocky Point and the area in Mexico around the border crossing nearest Tucson. It also warns of continued problems with violence and crime in popular tourist cities such as Monterrey and Acapulco.


TSA Pats Down A Six Year Old … It’s A Non-Story | Flying With Fish

TSA Airport Security Inspection 
Every few days a non-story seems to make its way into the headlines and go viral through the internet, generally ignoring major facts and factors. This week’s non-story that has become a major story once again involves the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), there are many valid stories that can be reported on regarding the TSA, but the majority of them don’t make for great sound bites, allow for attention grabbing headlines or play on human emotion.

Last month as the Drexel Family passed through the TSA screening checkpoint at New Orleans’s Louis Armstrong International Airport, Anna, a six-year-old girl, ‘alarmed’ while passing through the Millimeter Wave Advanced Imaging Technology scanner.


Airport body-scan radiation under scrutiny - CNN

They're arriving at airports across the country. Some complain they are invasive and an assault on our privacy. But are body scanners at security checkpoints dangerous?

Some scientists and two major airline pilots unions contend not enough is known about the effects of the small doses of X-ray radiation emitted by one of the two types of airport scanning machines.


Mexico Violence: Seven Safer Places for Tourists to Visit - ABC News


"Safer"?? So are they saying they are "safe"?  No... just "safer". YIKES! TB

With drug wars escalating and daily reports of murders in Mexican border towns, many American tourists have been wary to visit the warm beaches to the south.

While there are some dangers to traveling to Mexico -- the State Department has issued a travel warning -- most resort areas have remained immune from the drug violence and make for an easy, and often affordable, vacation.


The Best & Most Practical Thing To Do If You Are Ever Arrested Abroad - Travel Blog Exchange


Whether your arrest is caused by deliberate wrongdoing, a case of mistaken identity or a stupid prank gone awry, you will be treated like any other crime suspect taken into police custody for interrogation.

In the unfortunate event that this happens abroad, how you deal with the situation will have considerable influence on how your case will turn out later. It is crucial that you handle your arrest appropriately. Any mistake committed at this time will not be easy to rectify afterward.


European Union project will monitor airline passenger conversations | True/Slant


People traveling throughout the European Union might want to be careful about what they’re saying as someone is probably going to be listening. The EU is funding a security program which will be monitoring “suspicious” behavior on airplanes in Europe.

The program would be implemented through a variety of mediums, including cameras, explosive detectors and microphones. Yet, predictably, not everyone is happy about it.