Sunday, April 15, 2012

France and England on $98 a Day - Suitcase Security

I love taking the train in Europe. I don't lie awake the night before wondering whether the diet I imposed on my suitcase did the trick or if it will be declared overweight. There's no panic about my luggage ending up in Peru when I'm in Paris. And I'm pretty sure no one will rifle through my underwear during a layover in Lisbon since no one else will touch my luggage except me--and David if he's feeling chivalrous.  

In fact, the only aspect of rail travel I do worry about is the getting-off-the-train part. That's when I think it might be easy for someone in a hurry to accidentally grab my suitcase instead of his and be on his way before I even know what's happened. This occurs because the luggage compartment above the seats is narrow so most people store their bags in the area at either end of the train car. There are so many suitcases clustered together it would be easy to mistake one anonymous black bag for another. Mistakes are made. Then, too, of course, a thief would have no problem grabbing a bag and hopping off the train before David or I even got down the aisle.

So, we have decided to ensure worry-free train travel. We've got a handy-dandy cheap solution to the Mistaken Bag Problem, and it's guaranteed to foil thieves, too. We're going to wrap this luggage strap through the handles of our suitcases after we shove them into the train car luggage area and thread it through the luggage rack slat one time before locking it.

It may take five minutes to undo the whole contraption at the end of the trip and make us the last stragglers off the train, but it will be worth it to know that we'll be leaving with the same suitcases we started with.

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