5 Ways to Protect Your Luggage from Airport Thieves!

BY: - 30 Sep '14 | Lifestyle

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The holidays are quickly approaching and it’s everyone’s favorite time of the year.  We get to enjoy fabulous family meals, catch up with old friends and celebrate the season.  It’s also the busiest travel season of the year and with busy travel seasons comes theft.

Airports recently reported that there’s been an increase resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of checked luggage stolen each year.  Airports have installed cameras around luggage carousels and in cargo areas to deter thefts. TSA has also fired 500+ agents who were caught stealing from customers checked luggage.  To further cut costs though, airlines have eliminated key positions that were responsible for checking luggage with boarding passes at baggage claim exits. Not good for travelers because less security at baggage claim means more theft.

Here are a few ways you can protect your checked luggage from theft during the holiday travel season and whenever you travel:

  • Buy unique luggage.  Invest in a luggage set that is a different color or a fabulous bright and bold pattern. The luggage carousel is a sea of black bags, make yours standout. You will notice your bag quicker on the luggage carousel and if someone tries to leave the baggage claim area with your bag.
  • Lock your bag. Buy a TSA approved lock, something that is durable but easy to unlock.  Be warned that if a TSA agent can’t ‘find their master key’ or if they have trouble with the combinations, the lock will be cut off.
  • Retrieve your luggage ASAP. Don’t waste time, arrive at your baggage claim area before the luggage starts coming off the plane. This will ensure that you’ll get your bags and be on your way with your items safely intact.
  • Leave the Louis Vuitton at home! Don’t check your expensive luggage.  Expensive luggage tempts thieves; they think pricey bags contain pricey items.
  • Use a carry-on bag. The best way to protect your belongings is to use a carry-on bag.  Something that you can pack everything  you need in but small enough to take with you everywhere in the gate area (restrooms, shops, etc.). Carry-ons also save you money! No checked bag fees applied.

Remember theft of checked bags is a big business. So don’t pack any valuables or expensive clothing/shoes/accessories in your checked bag. Also, keep your belongings with you or your travel partner at all times. If you see something/someone acting strange or suspiciously, report it to the nearest airport security/staff member.

Happy & safe travels.

BMWK: Do you usually have a carry on or checked bags when you travel?

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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7 Reasons I Will Never Regret Going to College

BY: - 30 Sep '14 | inspiration

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TNMNeverRegretCollege

My husband I are full time entrepreneurs. Yes… it’s true I don’t need a degree in order to hire myself. And, I am not “technically” using my Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering or my BS in Mathematics. But if my kids were to ask me today, was getting my college degree worth it. I would have to say whole-heartedly: Yes. Getting my college degree established a strong foundation for everything that I am doing today and it opened up so many opportunities for me.

So here are 7 reasons I will never regret going to college and why I would recommend it for my kids or anyone else that was considering it:

  1. I took time to find myself. College gave me a few more years to learn about myself. I was 17 when I graduated high school…I was still a child and had a lot of learning and living to do. College gave me a few more years to live my life before getting locked into a whole bunch of grown up responsibilities. There was plenty of time for that later…trust me.
  2. I could follow my own path. Unlike grade school, where everyone was expected to follow the same path to graduation in the same number of years, my college journey was more about my life choices. It was a time for me to focus on my goals and dreams and not worry about what other people were doing. The pressure of competing and keeping up with everyone was finally gone.
  3. It opened up so many opportunities for me. I have a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering…but I’ve never worked as an engineer. However, there were so many jobs that I was qualified to do because I was able to demonstrate that I could handle challenging problems and situations just by virtue of the fact that I was able to graduate with my degree. Sometimes, that’s all an employer is looking for…can you handle this job. And your college degree will tell them that.
  4. I commanded a higher salary. Keeping my grades up in college and getting my Master’s Degree gave me the leverage to command a higher salary. Back in the day when I was getting out of college, the corporations were bringing on many new hires at one time. And when we all got to talking after work hours one day, I discovered that I was making at least $15K more than the rest of the new hires because of my degrees and my grades. I even got a $10K sign-on bonus that none of them received.
  5. I made friends that will last a lifetime. To this day, my best friends were my college roommates and classmates. During college, I built unbreakable bonds with people as we faced the challenges of difficult classes and of becoming adults together.
  6. I avoided student loans. One reason a lot of people are regretting their decision to attend college is their student loans. Even when I was young, I knew that student loans were not free money and that I would have to pay the piper at some point. I avoided them by keeping my grades up, getting scholarships, and working.
  7. My career financed my dreams. As stated above, my college degree gave me access to more career opportunities and a higher salary. Although I am not technically using my Electrical Engineering degree, I was able to get a well-paying job that definitely paid the bills while I was able to pursue my dreams. And even in my business today, I regularly rely on the analytical, problem solving, and teambuilding skills that I gained while in college.

For those of you considering starting or returning to college to meet your goals and to expand your career opportunities, there are so many options available to you, now-a-days, that were not available to me when I was in school. Especially with the availability of on-line education. For instance, Western Governors University (WGU) is an on-line university that specifically caters to people that are looking to advance or enter a new phase of their career, especially if you are strapped for time and/or money. Here are a few facts about WGU that may appeal to you:

  • WGU is a non-profit university that offers both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs.
  • It was started in 1997, by a group of Governors that wanted to make it possible for busy adults to get their education.
  • WGU is very affordable and they are half the cost of other online schools.
  • This means you could graduate with far less debt or none at all.
  • They are very flexible and allow you to learn at any place and any time convenient for you.
  • WGU has the same accreditation as state universities and private colleges.
  • WGU has provided a special discount code for our BMWK readers. Using the code WithKids you can save $65 on your application fee. See the banner below.

WGU App Fee Waiver Code

How about you, did you attend college? And if so, how did it benefit you?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Western Governors University. The opinions and text are all mine.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 513 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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