A traveler’s worst nightmare is to have his luggage lost and there are many ways to lose the baggage and the precious belongings that go with it. Whether it is a bulky luggage or a heavy backpack, keeping an eye on your bags should never waver the whole trip. Your bag could get mishandled or, worse, stolen.
The general rule of thumb is to avoid attraction. Travelers should not appear “rich” in the eyes of thieves and scammers. Here are tips that help travelers like you and me to keep your bags within your possession and no on else’s.
Stay with your bag, even if you do not see it – If your backpack has to be stored underneath the cargo hold of a bus, sit on the side where the bag is placed, preferably beside the window. Keep yourself awake throughout the trip so you can see no one is taking away your bag during the trip.
Put a leash on your bag – If you need to sleep inside airports, connect your bag to your wrist using a parachute cord or clothesline then place the pack underneath the seat or beside you.
Avoid identifying where you are from – Think twice before bringing a backpack with your country’s flag sewn or designed on it. Check out your country’s relation with the country of your destination first.
Carry a combination lock – Pick the one commonly used for bicycles and lock the top of your back with it. You could even attach it to support bars while stored on an overnight train or to the bed frame when in your hotel. Also add locks on outside pockets to avoid getting opened while you bring it outside.
Avoid putting valuable items inside bag – If you have to bring valuable articles like a laptop during your travel, try not putting it in your bag where it can easily be picked or slashed.
Travel light – The bigger your bag, the higher the risk of having it lost or stolen.
Avoid bags with obvious contents – Even you can tell that a laptop bag would contain a laptop. Avoid using bags that feature expensive brands like “Nikon” or “IBM.” Luxury baggage are also a no-no.
Source: Start Backpacking