When you are abroad in a new country, the worst thing that could possibly happen, second to losing your passport, is to lose your luggage or have it stolen. Figures have shown that 23.1 million bags were lost in 2015, and when you crunch the numbers, that boils down to around two bags per flight. This number only includes bags lost at the airport and doesn’t even take into account lost or stolen bags which occurred outside this environment.

When travelling, safety should be your number one concern and given how important your luggage is, you should be doing all you can to properly look after it. Here are six ways you can keep your luggage safer whilst travelling.

#1: Personalize Your Suitcase

This is one of the simplest, easiest and most fun solutions – if you are a creative individual – to keep your luggage safe. If you want to keep your luggage safe, especially in an environment where there are a lot of bags such as an airport, making your luggage stand out and look unique is a great way to do this.

There’s nothing to stop you from decorating your suitcase and other pieces of luggage by drawing, painting or applying stickers to it. There are a lot of ways you can make your standard suitcase look different and make it easier for you to pick it out from a crowd or get it off the baggage carousel. It also reduces the likelihood of someone taking your bag thinking it’s theirs.

#2: Put Luggage in Storage

If you arrive at your destination before it’s time to check into your hotel and want to do some exploring of the city without the burden and risks associated with lugging around your suitcases, why not put your luggage into safe and secure locked storage?

Dragging around a suitcase isn’t just a safety risk, it’s a pain too. If you want to enjoy yourself and keep your luggage safe at the same time, using luggage storage is the way to go. This is available in almost every destination, for example you can find Paris luggage storage on this site and see if the service offered is something you’d be interested in.

#3: Lock Your Suitcase

In terms of theft, criminals only tend to target people who will make their jobs easy and carry little risk. By padlocking your suitcase between the zips or having a bag which has an extra layer of security such as a combination lock, criminals are less likely to bother with you.

At the end of the day, thieves usually only bother with suitcases and other pieces of luggage that are easy to get into. They don’t want to have to bother with cutting off padlocks or breaking suitcases open to get at the contents, so a lock on your suitcase is always going to be a great deterrent. It also prevents the possibility of “pickpocketing” too.

#4: Be as Discreet as Possible

The last thing you want to do when travelling is make yourself a target by flashing the latest wares and high tech gadgets. Try to keep things as low key as possible and if you’re going to use anything in public, make sure you show off your most battered, unattractive and old items first. You could even consider investing in a burner phone and a cheaper laptop before you leave if you’re going to a destination that is known for theft.

#5 Prevent Bag Slashing

While some thieves will try to leave with your luggage in the most discreet way possible, less imaginative ones won’t hesitate to slash your bags and yank out whatever they can get. However, there are some ways that you can prevent that from happening and keep your valuables safe. You can find wire mesh on the market that was made especially to prevent slashings if you want an extra layer of protection. Another trick is to make sure that your least valuable items, like your everyday clothes for instance, are packed at the outer edges of the bag, making it harder for thieves to get to the good stuff.

#6 Always Keep your Bags Within your Line of Sight

Prevention is the best protection and the best thing you can do to prevent your luggage from being stolen is to keep an eye on it at all times. Just one moment of inattention, even while talking with a seemingly inoffensive fellow traveller, could be your undoing. If at any time you have to leave your luggage unattended, always make sure to never take your eyes from it. In the unlikely event that someone decides to make a run for it, you’ll at least be able to yell for help and get assistance.

When you are travelling, looking after your luggage can be stressful, especially when you’ve got to keep looking over your shoulder to make sure nobody’s got at your suitcase. By following a few simple steps, you can easily stop people from trying to steal it.