5 Things You Should Never Put in Your Checked Bag

Being a travel agent, I have learned, through speaking with numerous clients, about their travels, that I take for granted that many people know.  For examples travel terms and rules.  I thought everyone knew the difference between carry-on and checked luggage.  However, I have come to realize that there are people, that don’t travel often and are not familiar with those terms—knowledge some of us take for granted.

Now there are rules to what you can put in your carry-on bag versus your checked bag.  The most common rule is the rule of 3, when it comes to liquids.  If you have 3 oz or less, it can go in your carry-on bag but if it is over 3 oz, it needs to go in your checked bag.  However, there are just some items, regardless if they are liquid or not, that should never go in your checked bag.

Here are 5 items that you should never pack in your checked bag, that goes under the plane.

  1. Medicine and Prescriptions:  Never put your medicine/prescriptions in your checked luggage.  Your medicine and prescriptions should always stay with you, at all times.  I had a client that put his medication in his checked bag.  On his way back from Jamaica to Nashville, Nashville had a horrible snow and ice storm and the airport was shut down.  This caused my client to be stranded at his layover airport without access to his luggage.  Causing him to be unable to take his medication at the scheduled time.
  2. Electronics, Money, Valuable and Expensive Jewelry:  iPads, Tablets, laptops, and bling are expensive, you don’t want to leave the protection of your items in the hands of people that you don’t know.  TSA are here to protect us and keep us safe while traveling through the airport, however, they are still human beings and human beings just can’t help themselves, sometimes.  The ugly truth is, not everyone cannot be trusted.  Therefore, do what you can do to protect your valuables.
  3. Passport and Identification.  Passport and identification should always be on your person.  Funny story about my uncle—–he put his passport in his suitcase—-when we tried to check in for our Alaska cruise, he had no passport.  We looked everywhere for his passport and then he realized that it was in his suitcase that he had already checked in with the cruise line.  The cruise line had to track down his luggage, bring it to him to get his passport.  It wasn’t until a few minutes prior to boarding that he was able to check in.  It took hours for the cruise line to track down his luggage.  Can you imagine trying to find your luggage at an airport?   It was a nightmare!  Therefore, I tell everyone, never put your passport and/or identification in your checked luggage.
  4. Travel documents and itineraries.  First, everyone will hear me talk about the importance of creating a travel folder and keeping it with you.  If you do follow my advice and create a travel folder, please do not pack it in your checked luggage.  Always keep it with you.  If your luggage gets lost or your flight is delayed, and you need to contact your hotel, transportation company, etc. you need the contact information and confirmation numbers with you to make adjustments.  If you put your travel documents in your checked luggage, then you will not be equipped with the right information to handle your business And being a smart traveler is all about being able to handle your business.
  5. Car and House Keys.  I never put my car keys and house keys in my checked luggage.  What if you left your car at the airport and on your return, your luggage did not return with you.  This recently happened to my niece.  She returned from New Orleans, but her luggage did not.  Two days had passed before her luggage was returned to her.  Think about this scenario in another way.  What if you lived alone and left your car at the airport.  If you packed your car and house keys in your luggage that was lost, you would not be able to retrieve your car from the airport parking lot, nor would you have the means to enter your home.  Keeping your car and house keys with you will reduce the amount of stress from lost luggage.

I love to walk through the airport carrying as little as possible however, there are some things that you must always carry on you.  Traveling can be stressful, anyway that you can reduce the amount of stress added to travel, put an effort into becoming a smart traveler.  It will make arriving at your destination and returning home a lot more pleasant.

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