Packing the wrong thing in your checked bag has the potential to ruin your trip—especially if that bag gets lost, broken, or roughed up by baggage handlers. A simple rule of thumb: Pack anything of value or importance in your carry-on bag, in case your luggage gets lost by the airline. But there’s more to keep in mind. Here, in no particular order, are 10 things that you should always leave out of your checked bag:
No. 3 Cash and Credit Cards
All checked bags are screened electronically, but select checked bags are opened by TSA agents and screened by hand. When packing a checked bag, be aware that a security agent—a stranger, essentially—may be rummaging through your things at some point.
There have been reports of TSA workers stealing electronics, money, and other valuables from passengers’ bags; as expected, such occurrences are rare. But as a precaution, your cash, checkbook, and credit cards should be kept with you in your carry-on bag.
There’s always a chance that your suitcase could get damaged en route, too. If a busted zipper befalls your bag, any packed cash will be easy pickins for thieves.
Tomorrow No. 4: Laptops and electronics
This article first appeared in Smarter Travel in December 2012