I was trying to find the best way to shorten this weeks Tuesday Travel Tip into a short phrase or funny paragraph, but sadly the best way to help travelers this week is to tell the story of a friend of mine who had a very unfortunate thing happen to him when he was traveling:
My friend will remain anonymous for the story and I simply refer to him as My Friend, Him, or The Friend upon his request.
My friend is a modern day frequent flyer to say the least, we went to the same college and he came from half way across the country for a major that is specific to our university. A very smart guy, he was used to traveling both Domestic and Internationally and never left his items unattended or unaccounted for. His preparation at the end of the semester was some of the most thorough I had seen. Checklists, packing cubes, plastic bags for wet items, my friend was hovering on obsessive, but it worked, he never lost a single item in transit and everything always arrived unbroken and accounted for. After one fall semester he was preparing his carry-on with his expensive possessions (like he was taught to do) and was flying with a little more money in the bag then usual. He had a good year at his campus job and was taking home money so he could do his holiday shopping at his local shops with his friends. Traveling with around $500 as well as his school laptop, other wrist watch, and other items of personal importance he was sure to always keep his carry-on within his sight line. His trip began smooth as usual, but when he was connecting from the bigger hub he encountered a problem. Chosen at random by TSA for extensive screening, this minor inconvenience spent a large amount of time and caused him to be one of the last people to board his flight leaving his overhead bin overstuffed to capacity. A flight attendant informed my friend the bag was too large to fit under the seat and she would need to take the bag and put it in the cabin closet, and unfortunately that was the last time he said he ever saw his bag. Claiming that someone else claimed “A Black Samsonite Carry On”, the bag was never recovered and my friend was left to fill out the appropriate lost luggage forms and left awaiting a word on his claim and if they will even honor it. This Weeks Tuesday Travel Tip is to always have your Important Must-Have/Can’t Live Without items in a clear 1 lb Ziploc bag inside your Carry-On. You never know what life may throw your way, this one experience was very unfortunate for my friend but he never made the same mistake again. If you have passports, ID’s, Tickets, Money, Credit Cards, Personal Heirlooms, or anything else you would be devastated you lost inside your Carry-On, Then make sure you have it in a clear 1 LB ZipLoc so that you can keep it on your lap, in your purse, and always stays within your eye-line if you need to surrender your luggage.