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All the news about stolen pilfered luggage at airports makes one wary traveler worry more. If passenger rage, lost bags, delayed flights, expensive airfare and uptight airport staff aren’t enough, theft is the last thing we’d all want to experience.

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While this news makes some passengers think of just bringing hand-carry luggage, others rely on an old friend: the plastic wrapper.

Amidst all fears about luggage pilferage showing on social media — for instance, how easy it is to open the bag’s zipper with a piece of pen — nervous passengers are forced to rethink travel plans as authorities are prompted to revise luggage regulations such as advising travelers not place highly valuable items such as jewelry and electronic gadgets in check-in luggage.

Wrapping your luggage in plastic offers a number of advantages

  1. It helps preserve life of luggage, especially expensive ones, as plastic wrapper saves them from potential scratches and dirt.
  2. It is easier to pinpoint where theft has taken place as damage will become easier to spot.
  3. Opening a plastic-wrapped luggage will require more effort so they could become less attractive option for thieves.
  4. It prevents luggage from accidental opening (especially those aging ones that are more prone to breakage during handling and transit).
  5. It helps preserve luggage from damage such as weather (snow, rain, etc) on airports that handle luggage under the elements.
  6. It helps luggage from getting tampered such as placement or insertion of prohibited items such as drugs without the knowledge of travelers.

The last item is particularly dangerous as unsuspecting travelers don’t fear something might be taken from their luggage but something might be placed on it. If it were drugs, travelers associated with the bags could be in big trouble. This is particularly true in China, Vietnam, Singapore or countries in the Middle East, where death sentence for drug possession is enforced.

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Cost of wrapping luggage in plastic don’t cost much (between $5 and $15) in exchange of relative peace of mind while the luggage is out of passenger’s sight.