What’s the recommended information to have (and not to put) on one’s luggage tag?
It’s definitely time for travelers to rethink the luggage tag. We’ve all heard the bromide about not putting one’s home address on the tag because crooks will dash right over and break into your house. OK, could happen.
But the bigger issue is that you expose information about yourself to prying eyes, said Kevin Coffey, president of Corporate Travel Safety.
So use a minimum of contact info – a first initial, your last name, your cell phone number (or the phone at your destination or where someone will answer and tell the caller where you are) and perhaps an e-mail address.
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Use a secure tag (a metal ring is better than leather, which can stretch and snap), and put it on before you leave home “so you don’t expose the information at the airport ...or wind up using less secure tags,” said Chris Grniet, vice president with Kroll Security Group, the security services arm of global risk consulting company Kroll Inc.
Because baggage handles can snap off – conveyor belts can be killers – put your name and contact info on a slip of paper inside the bag too.
But luggage tags aren’t just for checked baggage. You should have one on your carry-on bag and every other separate article you carry.
Check your passports, folks
Kyle Lenz, an Indiana University student learned the hard way that you shouldn’t assume your passport is valid just because it hasn’t expired.
Lenz was on his way to Quito, Ecuador, for his best friend’s wedding. He arrived at the airport with his paperwork in order. Or so he thought. When he scanned his passport at the airport kiosk, it registered as invalid — even though it doesn’t expire until August.
The problem: Ecuador requires a passport to be valid for at least six months from the date of your visit. “I was unaware of this,” a bummed Lenz said.
So, one more time: Look into the entry requirements of the country you’re traveling to. Before your departure, call the country’s embassy, check its Web site or look it up on the State Department travel site, travel.state.gov.
The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times