The Very Exciting World of Luggage Locks!!

a blue combination lock with numbersLast night, after I FINALLY made it to my aunt and uncle’s house for the last thirty minutes of my grandmother’s birthday dinner (see tweets on the sidebar for the details of my day), we got into a travel discussion. Makes sense, really, considering that I travel constantly, had just arrived from the airport after a bunch of plane delays, and one of my cousins lives in Portland with his son and my other cousin is moving to New York with his daughter so my aunt and uncle are about to start traveling a LOT. We started talking about vintage suitcases (I love them and collect them, have for years) and somehow ended up talking about luggage locks.

Apparently my aunt was traveling somewhere (years ago) in South America, didn’t lock her suitcase, and someone stole all of her jewelry. This led to the following statement: “That’s why it freaks me out so much now that you can’t lock your luggage because of TSA.”  Wait, you can lock your luggage! Road Warriorette to the rescue!!

There are actually several locks you can purchase to lock up your suitcase. They just have to be TSA approved. According to the TSA website, “TSA has worked with several companies to develop locks that can be opened by security officers using universal “master” keys so that the locks may not have to be cut.” You can actually buy these locks in many places, including airports, online, Target, some grocery stores, etc.

So don’t worry, friends (and Aunt S)! You can lock your suitcase and protect your valuables from would-be thieves. (In fact, I highly recommend it, especially if you are traveling internationally.) Just pick a TSA approved lock and you are good to go.


  1. Though, to be honest, the lock isn’t going to stop anyone. The TSA approved ones are VERY simple to open and the lock’s keys aren’t very secure.

    Heck, I think locked suitcases would have a higher chance of being rummaged through because they are locked and instinct says they contain something that someone wants to protect.

  2. We use zip-ties. We slip it through the place where a lock would go. We tape a spare one to the inside of the lid so TSA employees can replace it. We’ve had really good success with this so far and we travel with a lot of luggage containing valuable items for the orphanage we run in Africa.
    Like any lock it isn’t absolutely secure but does slow a thief down.

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