Travel: Staying safe when travelling – which locks should I take?

whitehaven beach
Ever since I returned from Australia trip almost two years ago (wow- where does the time go?), I have realised I spend the majority of my life doing one major thing. During the UK’s Winter time, I go into Australia envy mode, seething at the Sydney Summer time, angrily scrolling through all the Aussie Instagram accounts I follow. When it starts to go into UK Summer time, I then feel a sense of relief that my Australian pals are finally experiencing their Winter season, and saying goodbye to the heat I’m so jealous of. It’s like I can’t settle, comparing life in the UK to that of down under.

It’s coming to that time of year again where a lot of people I know are planning to pack up and head off travelling. Whether they opt for the beach life of Bondi, or the tourist attractions of Thailand, it’s a given that they are about to experience the best time of their lives. However – and I truly hate to put a downer on it – safety is becoming more and more crucial.

So to fit in with the time lots of people are planning to jet off, I’ve rounded up some pointers on how to keep your luggage safe at all times, with a few tips on keeping your items securely locks, and generally keeping yourself safe.

whitehaven beach
whitehaven beach
1. Consider your luggage

When I packed up and left for Australia, I knew I would only be dedicating a couple of weeks to travelling, and the rest would be spent working and living the ‘normal’ life of Sydney-siders. That in mind, I invested in a large rucksack, and a medium sized suitcase. Always look for a hard shell suitcase, as the material ones are prone to being torn open, sliced or ripped due to man handling at airports. Especially if you have a changeover at an airport. Your suitcase will usually  hold your most valuable assets, so make sure you lock this up properly. Purchase a padlock which is weather tough, such as the Master M115 Excell Series Weather Tough Open Shackle Padlock, from Lock Shop Direct. It costs just £11.90 and will give complete piece of mind. The 6 pin lock has the ability to maintain it’s duty through any type of weather.

2. Invest in sturdy bags

If you are planning of doing any Island hoping, coach tours, boat trips or river cruises, you’ll be at a lot more ease knowing your travel bag is sturdy. Ensure your rucksack is waterproof, and is strong enough so that it’s not easily tampered with. It goes without saying- keep it securely locked. If you are travelling to the United States, make sure your luggage lock is in accordance with their specific baggage lock requirements – these can be opened by security officers using universal “master” keys so that your locks may not have to be cut.

whitehaven beach
whitehaven beach
whitehaven beach
3. Be careful with water!

During my travels up the East Coast of Australia, I spent the best part of a week on a boat, sailing the seas. Every now and again we would dock, to explore the sandy white beaches. It goes without saying that Whitehaven Beach was one of the most beautiful scenes I have ever saw. The adventure itself saw me lugging my rucksack on and off mini boats, clambering on larger ships, and dragging my bag onto many different beaches.

This type of travelling means you are stuck in a lot of small places with many other travellers, in which your rucksack needs to be secured locked. For this type of travel, invest in a Marine Weatherproof Lock. They are designed to withstand the worst conditions brought on my ‘sea life’. Built with stainless steel shackles, rust resistant bodies and internal mechanisms, they don’t get attacked my the sea salt, and resist through all weathers.

whitehaven beach
4. Be wary with valuables

The best way to enjoy travelling – from my own personal experience – is to pack light. It sure is an art form, but the best advice is not to pack anything which you couldn’t bear to part with, especially sentimental and valuable stuff. Everyone knows someone who has lost their luggage before right? It happens. And when it does, it sucks.  Sometimes with lost luggage, it’s even the bag itself that you miss most, especially if it’s been on the whole adventure with you so far. Try to purchase the most standard, fancy-free bag, with minimum valuables.

5. Never leave your bags unattended

But…what happens when you’ve got no choice? What happens when the roof of the traveler bus is the only place big enough for that whopping backpack you’ve brought? In this situation, as tempting as it may be, remember to never leave valuables unattended. Take out anything and everything valuable and stuff it into your day-pack. Then, use locks such as combination locks to secure your main bag as best as you can, so you don’t need to worry about keys when packing and unpacking.

Lock Shop Direct retail a large, extensive selection of combination locks and padlocks at affordable prices, so make sure you have had a good research beforehand. It may sound horrendous, but try to sit with your overfull backpack exploding onto your lap for the next 15 hours and don’t complain. Because after all, you should never leave your valuables unattended. And then maybe think about how you’re going to really travel light on that next trip…

australia travels
sunset in australia

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