What you should never pack in your checked bag…No. 1: Jewelry and valuables

This came into my email today and it contains a lot of good information. So I am going to share it with you with credit to the Airfare Watchdog blog.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) maintains a complex system of rules for transporting both carry-on items and checked bags on flights. Some objects are prohibited on planes at all times, while others may be checked and not carried, or vice versa. Confused? “When in doubt, leave it out,” says the TSA.

If only it were that simple. 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:

Jewelry and Valuables

Of course, it’s not probable that your checked bag will be lost by an airline. According to a report by SITA, a company that gathers statistics for airlines, .012 percent of passengers’ bags were reported damaged, lost, or delayed in 2010. But if you happen to fall in that .012 percent and your checked bag contains an antique watch, a family photo album, or your wedding ring, you’re in trouble.

Photo: Gnilenkov Aleksey via flickr/CC Attribution

Most carriers require passengers to submit claims forms when bags are lost. Your airline will then tally the depreciated value of the contents of your missing suitcase — if your claim is accepted, that is. Airlines will pay no more than $3,300 per passenger for bags lost on domestic flights. All in all, it’s unlikely that you’ll receive compensation equal to the full value of your lost possessions.

We recommend leaving jewelry and other valuables at home when traveling, but if you must bring these items on the road, be sure to store them safely in your carry-on bag.

Tomorrow: No. 2 Passports and other documents

This information was originally published by SmarterTravel in December 2012.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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