Can You Zip Tie Your Checked Luggage?

Keeping your luggage secure during travels is one of the most important tasks one shouldn't forget. Alternatives such as zip ties are often suggested, but can you use them on your checked luggage? It's a question a lot of people have asked, and fortunately, we have the answers for you.

After your bags have gone through TSA checks, you can use zip ties to help secure your checked luggage. Alternatively, if you feel like you'd like to add extra security to your bags, you can also add a TSA-approved luggage lock to prevent your luggage from being tampered with.

Remembering to secure your luggage is always a must during travel because losing items can be a hassle. Keep reading because we're also going to share tips and tricks on how you can secure and recognize your checked luggage easily for a hassle-free vacation.

Xrays scanners at security check point on an airport, Can You Zip Tie Your Checked Luggage?

Can You Zip Tie Your Checked Luggage?

Keeping luggage secure during travels is a challenge all travelers have to deal with. Technically, it should be as easy as locking your suitcase with a lock right after you pack. But what if you're bringing something quite special or important? You'll want to thoroughly keep your luggage safe and intact.

Businessman walking through the city with luggage

For most checked luggage, you can use a luggage lock to secure the zippers shut. Some suitcases even include their own locking mechanism so you don't have to bring a lock with you. But what if you lose your luggage locks or the suitcase's locking mechanism breaks down during your trip?

A quick solution to this problem would be to use zip ties. These little fasteners hold cables and wires snugly together. They are hard to remove by hand because you need to snip the ties to completely sever them. This durability is what makes it a good alternative to luggage locks.

When to secure luggage with zip ties?

If you suddenly find yourself without a luggage lock, secure your luggage quickly by using a zip tie. However, we highly suggest that you put the zip tie on your luggage after you've gone through security because there is a possibility of them snipping it off for inspection.

You can also enhance the security of your luggage using zip ties with your luggage locks. If you see that the zip ties are broken when your luggage comes out of the baggage hold, ask security to immediately check and let them know that you suspect your luggage might have been tampered with.

Zip ties are easy to find, so make sure to get a pack from the hardware store just before your trip. Keep a bunch of them in your luggage so you have extras just in case you need them. You can also use these zip ties to secure not just your checked luggage, but your carry-on as well.

Get these zip ties on Amazon.

If you prefer to add a little color while securing your luggage, you may opt for colored zip ties. Not only do they look more cheerful, but you'll also be able to recognize your luggage immediately when you see them on the conveyor belt.

Check out these colored zip ties on Amazon.

How Do I Secure My Checked Luggage?

Safety locks luggage tag label on suitcase

The most common way to secure the zippers of your checked luggage is by using TSA-approved locks. These locks are small and they come either with keys or a combination, and both are easy to use. The locks can be opened by the TSA officers with a master key in case there is a need for further inspection.

If you prefer to have a physical key that you can use, then these keyed luggage locks are great. One of the benefits of these locks is that you don't have to remember the combination numbers. However, you should still be responsible to know where you kept the keys to prevent having to break them open.

See these keyed luggage locks on Amazon.

Another option would be to use combination luggage locks. With these, you'll only have to remember the combination code so that you can open them. Some combination locks have an indicator that lets you know if it was opened by a master key and you can ask TSA for further clarification if they did open it.

Check out these combination luggage locks on Amazon.

For luggage and bags with zippers that have small holes, you might want to consider getting luggage locks with flexible steel cables. These cables are small enough to be threaded in small zipper holes so that you can secure these bags as well.

Get these cable steel luggage locks on Amazon.

With these luggage locks and some zip ties, you'll have an additional layer of protection for your luggage. This will lessen the risk of you losing items from inside your bags or of opportunistic thieves to go rummage around your checked luggage. 

How Can I Easily Recognize My Checked Luggage?

Point of checking the luggage scanner

After long hours of travel, looking for your luggage in a sea of similar-looking suitcases can be a headache. When traveling, you'll want to recognize your luggage immediately as soon as it appears on the baggage carousel so you can get out of the airport to start your vacation.

There are a lot of ways to easily recognize your checked luggage. For starters, you can get yourselves luggage that are uniquely colored from the typical blacks and grays. Hardside cases do have an advantage over this because you can find them in a variety of colors.

Check out this luggage set on Amazon.

If you already have a set of luggage that still work perfectly well for your travels, you can use a different form of identification. Luggage handle wraps do this job really well and it doubles as a luggage tag because it has your contact information inside. Handle wraps come in different designs which makes finding your luggage easier.

Get these luggage handle wraps on Amazon.

For those who are looking for additional security for their luggage, you can also use luggage straps to keep them intact and as an identifier. Many luggage straps come in a variety of colors and designs that you can mix and match with your luggage so you can easily find them on the carousel.

Grab these luggage straps on Amazon.

Of course, you don't have to buy all these to identity your luggage whenever you travel. You can always make luggage identifiers with items that you already have at home. Tie a nice little bow on your luggage handle with some ribbon, or use an old scarf or handkerchief as a makeshift handle wrap.

Why Should My Luggage Always Be Secure?

Having a secure luggage means that all the things that you've packed for your trip comes with you safe and sound. However, this isn't the only reason why you want your luggage to be secure. There have been instances when luggage have been tampered with, causing issues for some travelers.

Businessman walking through the city with luggage

As much as possible, try to look for ways to minimize luggage tampering by using suitcases that are hard to open, such as zipperless suitcases. You should also have luggage locks and straps on hand to minimize the possibility of your bags being opened without your knowledge.

You can also add zip ties for added protection in securing your bag. If you still feel a little antsy about losing your luggage, you can also use a smart tag to track them using your mobile phone.

Check out this smart tag on Amazon.

Of course, the best way for you to travel without worrying too much is to avoid bringing valuable and expensive items in your luggage. Keep things simple and avoid attracting too much attention during your travels to prevent opportunistic thieves from targeting you.

In Conclusion

Make your travel life a lot easier by bringing a bunch of zip ties whenever you travel. In case you lose your locks while on vacation, zip ties will keep your bags closed and secure in a snap. These little zip ties may be simple, but they definitely do the job well and you'll be assured that your luggage is always intact.