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WIN: A Samsonite Spin Trunk

One of the most hilarious things I have ever witnessed was in Chicago at O’Hare international airport. I can’t explain how it happened but an entire suitcase colony got caught in a pocket of the luggage carousel, building pressure and causing a giant explosion of belongings. It literally rained clothes. This was akin to a cartoon luggage tragedy and I loved every second.

This was only funny because it didn’t happen to me, but I have had my fair share of luggage disaster in my day and this is how to avoid some of the most common ones.

Leaking liquids: To avoid tragic shampoo explosions put all toiletries inside a plastic grocery bag and then inside a second plastic grocery bag. If the top pops off a bottle or a lotion leaks it will stay inside the bag and your clothes will be spared from a gooey demise.

Broken bottles: Don’t pretend like you don’t put bottles of liquor inside your checked luggage so you can sneakily buy more in duty free, we all do it. Wrap bottles in news paper and place it inside two plastic bags. If the bottle does break the paper will absorb most of the liquid and the bags will stop it from spreading through your contents. This way you wont have to explain to your holiday friends why your 12 year old smells like Tia Maria.

Items being stolen from or slipped into your bag: Nothing screams inexperienced traveler like a glad wrapped bag. If I saw someone removing glad wrap from a bag at an airport I wouldn’t question it, it really isn’t stopping anyone. Protect your belongings by putting a TSA approved lock on EVERY compartment of your luggage. This will keep sticky fingers out and gives easy access to customs officials needing to perform routine bag inspections.

Luggage going missing: It happens. The bag could be labeled incorrectly, it could be picked up by the wrong person or get left on the planes luggage compartment. Airlines do their best to get your bags back to you promptly so give them a helping hand by labelling your bag clearly. I always put two luggage tags with my details on different sections of the bag. This is a great back up in the event that one of the tags breaks off.