Should you lock your suitcase on international flights?

Font Size:

Andrew isn’t sure that locking his suitcase is still worth the hassle.


Q. Andrew
I usually put locks on my luggage when I travel overseas, but a friend recently told me that I was wasting my time as these locks are easily picked and often cut off by airport security? If this is the case, what is the best way to protect my belongings?

A. Your friend is right, luggage locks are not very secure. Watch the below video to see how easily some luggage locks are picked:

Also, your luggage locks can be cut open by airport security or often they will have a master key that allows them access.

The best advice I can give, and this is also the information that the airlines suggest, is to keep all your electronic equipment and valuables in your carry-on luggage. This is the best way to protect your belongings.

However, if you are unable to do this, your luggage locks are not entirely useless. A potential thief may see other luggage unlocked and the very presence of your lock increases the effort required, which means other bags may be targeted.

Also, your travel insurance may require a lock on your luggage for you to be able to make a claim.

If you are really worried about your belongings, you can also use a plastic wrapping service for your luggage as these are available at most airports now for a small fee.

While these are obviously terrible for the environment, they do offer better protection than traditional locks. However, I feel like the presence of the wrapping acts a signal to thieves that there is something valuable in your luggage, so it becomes a double-edged sword.

If you have been locking your luggage in the past and it has worked for you, I wouldn’t want to be the one to tell you not to bother. That said, if you are able to move your valuables into your carry-on luggage, that is what you should do in future.

Do you lock your luggage when you travel overseas?

If you enjoy our content, don’t keep it to yourself. Share our free eNews with your friends and encourage them to sign up.


These rules around carry-on luggage will shock you

The most surprising rules around carry-on luggage in Australia.

Never use airport charging hubs (without this)

The dangers of using airport charging outlets that most travellers never consider.

Google to reimburse flights that drop in price after booking

‘Price guarantee is only available for flights for which we're confident that the price won't

Written by Ben


Sign-up to the YourLifeChoices Enewsletter

continue reading


Woo an Icelander in an Italian restaurant if you want a long marriage

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Remember that phrase? Given the battering the truth has...


How one aged care provider beat Australia's slow vaccine rollout

Australia's progress in vaccinating some of its highest-priority citizens has been slower than anyone wanted, but one Melbourne aged care...


'Super plants' could help reduce air pollution in your home and garden

We all know about poor air quality in towns and cities, what with traffic, lack of green spaces and gardens...

Food and Recipes

Flatbread Pizzas with an Asian Twist

Invented by Nepalese chef Rachana from Eat Offbeat, the New York catering company that employs refugee cooks, these mini flatbread...


Wellness technique actually makes us selfish, say researchers

Mindfulness has been the new black for much of the past decade. It's a buzzword bandied about to promote self-awareness,...

Health Insurance

Ageing baby boomers are missing out on health cover savings

Most older Australians see their health insurance premiums rise every year but don’t realise these high costs can be for...

Travel News

Vaccination no guarantee of open borders, says health minister

Australia's international border could remain closed even after the vaccination rollout is complete, according to health minister Greg Hunt. As...

Travel & Motoring

Are 'smart' cars creating dumb drivers?

The prevalence of driver aids is increasing all the time, even into lower priced cars. Cameras and sensors can alert...