Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tip of the Day: Important Luggage Tips, Theft, "Jet-Lag," Insurance, Laptops, etc.

Unfortunately, most international travelers don't spend a great deal of time considering the type of checked and carry-on luggage to consider. They should as few pieces of luggage, checked or carry-on, are applicable for ALL destinations.

1. "Jet-lag" on any flight greater than 4 hours can have an adverse impact on your attention to detail, your memory and your alertness;

2. NEVER, EVER place a laptop, tablet, iPad, camera, MP3,4 player, DVD player, etc. in CHECKED luggage;

3. If you are transporting any of the above abroad consider insuring such products through http://www.safeware.com;

4. Do NOT purchase TSA-approved locks for a trip abroad, as such locks can only be accessed by the Transportation Security Administration, which means that security screeners in other nations will be forced to cut such locks if they encounter them on luggage owned by US travelers;

5. One of the reasons I strongly urge foreign travelers from placing any valuables in checked luggage is due to the fact that worldwide all checked luggage must remain UNLOCKED. If locked, locking devices will be cut by security screeners;

6. Prior to the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001, pilferage from luggage could be circumvented by using lockable, "hard-case" luggage, yet the terrorist attacks eliminated travelers' being able to lock their pilferage-resistant luggage;

7. Be advised that pilferage and theft from unlocked luggage worldwide by security screeners is a frequent problem. Many screeners who have always been dishonest have used employment as security screeners to steal. Fortunately, their numbers are in the minority, but placing anything of value in checked luggage is asking for trouble; 

8. On "soft" luggage constructed primarily of fabric with a multitude of external zippered compartments two tips apply:

a. Never place valuables; expensive or expensive-looking jewelry; pricey clothing (e.g., leather jackets, cashmere, etc.); unopened beauty products; alcoholic beverages; etc. in exterior zippered compartments; and

b. I strongly urge that anyone using "soft" luggage use plastic seals to secure exterior compartments of their luggage. Such seals can be obtained from most automobile associations;

9. Please, NEVER, EVER use a classic computer bag to transport a laptop abroad! Such cases are a magnet for thieves and criminals. Instead, use a sturdy backpack with a padded insert to transport your laptop. If you're concerned about weight, choose a 13-inch screen that will serve you well on any business trip without being heavy;

10. Please, NEVER, EVER carry a laptop or tablet in an OPEN tote-bag, or worse under your arm, as you're attempting to juggle all of your carry-on luggage;

11. NEVER, EVER place your laptop in the pocket in front of you. First of all, it is against airline regulations and secondly, you may forget your laptop being in the pocket when you deplane;

12. Never place the backpack containing your laptop in the overhead compartment. Passengers getting aboard after you do may very well damage your laptop or worse, steal it! Yes, theft DOES OCCUR aboard commercial airliners;

13. Place your backpack containing your laptop underneath the seat in front of you so you can keep an eye on it all all times. If you leave your seat to stretch your legs or go to the restroom, take your laptop with you;

14. Drinking alcoholic beverages to the excess coupled with the adverse impact of "jet-lag" is asking for trouble! Drink moderately; and
 
15. If you are older than 50, please read the below link to the risk of deep-vein thrombosis, particularly while traveling on long-haul flights:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/deep-vein-thrombosis/DS01005