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Protecting your valuables when traveling will make your trip more enjoyable. (AP Photo)

Packing smart to protect valuables

If you're worried about items being stolen from your luggage, listen up. There are ways to avoid being a victim.

The first thing to remember is that smart luggage thieves don't steal your bags. Instead, they take individual valuable items from your bags and hope you won't notice until it's too late.

Take a moment to open your bag and take inventory before you leave the airport, or it will be that much harder to file a claim with the airport and the TSA.

It's fine to use a luggage lock, but remember it has to be TSA-approved, which means it can easily be opened with a master key. Instead, pack your valuable in your carry-on.

The airlines have a mile-long list of items they won't cover in case of theft or damage—everything from cameras to jewelry to glasses. If you absolutely can't bring valuables on board, consider using a shipping service so you can insure and track the package.

Avoid luggage that looks expensive, but do choose bags that are distinctive. That will lower the chance of someone else walking off without it, either intentionally or by accident.

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Peter Greenberg Staff, Travel Today
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