Get Backpack / Luggage Locks, Seriously
This is another travel tip and something I do at all times, lock my backpack and you should lock your luggage. I’m rather fanatical about it to the point that more laissez-faire people would say I’m paranoid. If I’m not with my gear, it’s locked. Many of you will buy all sorts of fancy backpacks that have zippers here, compartments here, blah blah blah. If you’re idea of “backpacking” is in an urban sense, all those will do is open you up to theft, let me tell you a little something about keeping your gear safe…
For starters, your pack should have 1 massive zipper that goes all the way around. This makes it insanely easy to access anything, anytime. It’s also insanely secure. Why? With one solid zipper, you can place a lock on your pack and unless someone really wants it, it will keep all opportunist thieves out. As mentioned above, avoid those with a million pockets etc…
Considering you’ll also have a day pack, you have this be the one with all sorts of compartments. As a general rule of thumb the “small pack” is always with me OR locked away OR behind a desk at some hotel / hostel. When leaving the small pack in a locker OR at some front desk, always lock the main zipper and consequently, keep all the expensive valuables in main area.
The other bag which personally keep locked at all times is free to lay around near your bed, in some random compartment under a night bus or on some train. As long as it only has 1 zipper, doesn’t have Gucci or Chanel print all over it and is locked, should be fine everywhere.
Locks are cheap and they keep most thieves away. Having traveled extensively I firmly believe that the vast majority of all thieving related crimes across the world are very petty and opportunistic of nature. If you do a few simple things to make your bag a hassle or not worth it, goes a long way. There will always be people who have less secure packs or just leave stuff laying around.
Protect your stuff, if you don’t, who will?
P.S: Locking your packs on flights is also something I do, that said if they want to see what’s in, they will. Again though, it does limit potential theft by opportunists with loose morals handling the luggage.