Remove Old Luggage Stickers

Unless you want to lose your checked luggage!

History

Forty years ago, and more it wasn’t unusual to see suitcases like this.

I suppose that people regarded it as a harmless status symbol; to show how well travelled they were.

As everything was handled manually at a much slower pace there was less chance of luggage getting redirected.

Now

When you check in a bar code sticker could be placed on your checked in bag.

Sometime there may even be a integrated circuit  chip inside the sticker.

These stickers allow the airports and airlines to run high speed baggage conveyors and sorting systems to get you luggage to its destination.

If you have got an old sticker on your bag then you could find your bag has been sent to your previous destination.

Often a check in agent will ask you to remove stickers, however they may not notice a sticker, or you might use self check in.

Travel Hacks

Before you leave for the Airport:

  • Check your luggage carefully and remove all stickers.
  • Put you own tag on the handle with your name, email address and destination airport. ( add a phone number if you know which phone number you will be using at your destination)
  • Add a sheet of paper to the inside with the above information.

My ‘Go To’ Checked Bag

Although I always have a carry on, which will keep me going for a couple of weeks, I still take a checked bag for long trips.

This enables me to take a few more shirts, and possibly some formal wear if required.

The bag is a Samsonite S’Cure cabin sized spinner case.

It’s only cabin sized so its easy to lift, and a bigger bag just encourages you to take more stuff that’s not really needed

I chose blue, rather than black, so it looks a bit different on the airport carousel.

OK for Long Trips

With this bag and a carry on I recently did 5 weeks around Europe quite easily

That included buying a few shirts and bringing back equipment from a Rotary Conference.

With two smallish bags it was easy to use public transport

I even walked a km from the station to my apartment with the bags.

Overall it saved me a fair bit of money in avoiding taxis or hire cars.

Why Samsonite S’cure

30 years ago I bought 3 Samsonite Oyster cases that have been round the world many times.

Over that time a couple of handles and a wheel have broken but each time Samsonite have provided free replacement parts.

The S’Cure cases are basically an update of the Oyster but spinner cases rather than trolley cases.

There are no zips, just strong latches that won’t spring loose and a waterproof seal between the two halves.

No 2 Carry On

Although the S’cure is carry on size the empty bag at 2.9kg is more than 2kg heavier than my Go To Carry On.

That means to stay within the 7kg weight limit for cabin baggage I can only take around 4kg rather than 6.5kg of contents.

OK for a weekend away but not really enough for a week or more as carry on.

Disclaimer

I haven’t been paid or received any other benefit from this post.

Walking Hazards

I’m currently touring around Europe which has reminded me of a couple of the hazards walking around another country.

Bikes

Bicycles are a much more common form of transport in Europe than most places.

Many places have differentiated areas where the bikes have priority such as this paved area in Hamburg . . . so make sure you don’t wander onto it.

The problem is that the cyclists don’t always stick to their area, especially when they are passing another cyclist.

In Amsterdam where the streets are narrow and the footpaths tiny it can make you very nervous.

Cobbles

Not just in streets but on the footpath.

If you have a spinner suitcase cobbles can be a real issue.

Particularly a pavement with bands of cobbles like this.

As well as the extra wear, and the noise, the case is constantly twisting in your hands.

With my normal carry on I will often walk up to a km from the station to my hotel.

If I’m travelling with a spinner case I will be getting a taxi for anything over a couple of hundred metres.

Making Room For Shopping

My friends know I can’t resist buying loud shirts when I am travelling. . . . . but wonder how I find room in my luggage to bring them back.

Well I work on the principle of throwing things away as I travel.

When I notice a pair of socks gets a small hole in them; like this example they go in my travel box.

They can get the last wear the next time I am away and then its in the bin.

The same applies to worn underpants and stained, or slightly torn T shirts.

On a typical holiday i would probably throw away 4-5 old and worn items of clothes, . . . which means there is room in my bags for a couple of shirts.

Lost Luggage

I hear that Airlines performance with checked luggage is getting better.

According to a SITA Baggage Report for 2017 about one bag for every 170 passengers fails to arrive at the carousel.

Only a small proportion of those cases are permanently lost, around 1 case per 2,500 customers.

Reason for loss

Almost half of all cases of lost checked in luggage is due to the case going missing when changing planes, particularly when there is a tight connection.

I would say my experience tends to back up the figures in the last ten years and a couple of hundred flights my checked in bags have got missing 3 times.

Twice with transfer times of much less than an hour.

The other time it got held up in immigration at Los Angeles even though the transfer time was 6 hours.

Every time the bags have turned up within 24 hours.

My Travel Hacks

After 3 occurrences I now rarely check in luggage, even if I am travelling for a couple of weeks.

Even when I check in luggage I still have my carry-on with 4-5 days of clothes.

Flying to the US I aim to stay at least one night at the place where I go through immigration.

My ‘Go To’ Carry On

This High Sierra duffel has been my ‘Go To’ carry on bag for the last couple of years . . . . . . so why do I like it?

Lightweight (but No Wheels)

The whole bag weighs just under 500grams, even though it uses a heavy duty nylon fabric and heavy duty zips.

That weight saving compared with the typical wheeled carry on means I can take an extra 1.5kg of clothes compared to the standard carry on trolley bag.

Carry-on Size, Even for Smaller Aircraft

It has a volume of 30 litres, so about maximum size.

When you fly on many commuter flights the overhead bins are quite small and people with hard sided bags find they are parted from their bag.

Soft sized duffels can normally be pushed into the restricted space easily.

Single Pocket

I hate lots of pockets as they add complexity, weight, and extra zips that can break.

I just want one pocket for my liquids so they are easy to access at security scanning.

Carrying Options

The bag has two adjustable carrying handles and adjustable shoulder strap.

It means I can carry it conventionally, over the shoulder, or even as a backpack.

I can also adjust the carrying handles to hold my coat to the top of the bag.

Disclaimer

I haven’t been paid or received any benefit from this post. I have seen several bags similar to this for around $30-$50.