Protecting Luggage

Old Mar 15th, 2006, 01:52 PM
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Protecting Luggage

I am traveling overseas twice this summer and am becoming paranoid about losing my luggage/ having it damaged. It is not that I will be taking anything really valuable; I just can't afford to lose any clothes since I will be leaving for college (which is in the middle of nowhere) immediately after my return! Does anyone have advice to share on protecting one's luggage? It would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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Unless you are traveling for more than two weeks, you should be able to fit all your traveling clothes into a carry on bag.

If you can't or are unwilling to do that, there is no guarantee that the airline will not lose or damage your luggage -- although a hardsided suitcase rarely gets damaged.

As for anybody stealing your luggage, where are you going? I've never heard of anyone getting their luggage stolen in Europe.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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PS: You can probably buy insurance for your luggage and its contents. Check out some travel insurance sites. You should have travel insurance anyway, in case something happens and you need medical attention.

Insurance was invented for paranoids. I buy it all the time.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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For my second trip, my friends and I will travel around France , so we will pack a lot to account for the length of stay and different types of weather. We will also be traveling by train; I don't know if that is a good or bad thing...
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:12 PM
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Not saying not to take precautions, but if all you're worried about is losing clothes, you are probably not much of a target; unless they're really expensive clothes, I can't imagine a thief making off with clothes when much more compact, valuable things are to be found amongst most other people. As for losing luggage, it's quite rare for airlines to permanently lose it (not that rare for it to be waylaid for a week or so, be sent to the wrong place [Luxor, Egypt, instead of Luxemburg was the one that happened to me], and generally be a hassle, but it usually eventually turns up). As far as damage goes, what are you packing your clothes in that you're so worried about them being damaged? As long as it's more protection than a garbage bag, I wouldn't worry too much; the bag itself might get scuffed up, maybe a small rip or so, but pretty unlikely any more.

Where are you going to college that there aren't any clothing stores nearby?
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:25 PM
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...and a young friend of mine travelling through Europe even added and amended her wardrobe by buying in resale shops. Funny, but she had Daddy's credit card and didn't use it!
Nice kid, huh?
Just use a good bag that YOU can carry all by yourself if you're training a great deal...
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:38 PM
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And don't put suntan lotion in with your clothes.



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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Packing more because of weather differences is one thing, although layering should really take care of this. Packing more because you're traveling longer makes no sense. Take clothes that can be hand-washed and drip dried. If you're traveling by train, you're limited to what you can carry yourself anyway, as Suzie says - think one backpack and one daypack.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:47 PM
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Traveling by train is a reason to pack even less - not more. You have to schlep everything on/off the trains and store the bag in the overhead rack or down at the end of the car out of sight. So a carry on sized bag is even more important for train travel than it is for air travel.

Also, the length of trip shouldn't mean taking more stuff. Don't pack for a 4 week trip - pack for a 5 or 6 day trip and do laundry once in a while. Light things like underwear and tops can be washed in the bathroom sink.

You don't need heavy, bulky clothes in the summer (nor even really in the winter) as long as you have things you can layer.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 02:51 PM
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Or, rather than wasting time washing clothes, and depending how presentable you need to be and how well you know the friends you're travelling with, you can just not wash clothes and simply rewear them. You'd be surprised how long a pair of jeans lasts before they look dirty, and underwear, undershirts, and socks have two sides for a reason: use them!
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 03:21 PM
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As above, you can just keep wearing the same clothes when traveling, no need to be washing them all the time. That said, pack for 1 week and plan to do laundry. For changing climantes, layers is the key (a fleece vest is a wonderful item).

If you can travel carry-on only on a plane, then your possessions will never be out of your sight. If its any comfort, as above, I have never heard of anyone having their suitcase or clothing stolen in Europe.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 04:10 PM
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If you're worried about cold weather, take silk undies...a t-shirt and shorties. Very warm, easy to wash and dry, etc...etc...

As for luggage safety on trains, I read a tip (probably here) about taking a lock of some kind to secure your bags in the luggage area in your train car since you may be sitting away from said area.

We used a Zelco Lumilock which has a retractable cable. It allowed us to "attach" all our bags to a rail and then take a worry free snooze (many rows away) on the Eurostar.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 04:40 PM
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In Paris we had our luggage wrapped in plastic. It keeps it dry and clean and hopefully safe from tampering.
Over the years, the worst thing that has happened to our luggage was just this past year, a corner got bent/dented but it still works!
Don't worry, there are some things that you cannot focus on because they are really so out of your control. I have never lost clothes on a trip..
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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Terrific. I will shop around for a big roomy backpack and lock and will try to limit what I take (oh dear; this isn't going to be easy for me). Thanks everyone! This is great advice.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 05:52 PM
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Mels, can you ship/mail more stuff to yourself after you get settled?
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:08 PM
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That's a great idea! Unfortunately, I don't think I will ever "get settled." My friends and I haven't figured out the logistics of our trip yet (we will soon) but I don't think we will stay in one place for longer than a week. Although...I suppose I could send things to myself before I actually board my flight. That way I would have some extra clothes or whatever else I would like to have waiting for me by the time I arrived at my destination. Go, Scarlett!
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 06:10 PM
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Mels - no, no, shop for a SMALL backpack and a cable lock! Aim for under 25 lbs of stuff in the main pack. BTW, when will you be in France? If it's summer time there shouldn't be that much difference in the temps.
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 07:37 PM
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I second the motion for carry on only if you are at all worried about your luggage. Just don't take the risk. You can get by, especially in the summer when heavy sweaters and such are not needed, with just carryon. On the other hand, I NEVER put anything in a checked bag that cannot be replaced. I've only had bags disappear 3 times, in literally thousands of flights, and all three times the bags showed up within 24 hours. I don't check bags often, though.
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Old Mar 16th, 2006, 05:17 AM
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Actually losing luggage is rare. Delayed luggage is another story.

Be sure that you have contact information inside your suitcases in case the tag on the outside gets torn off.
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