A baggage/luggage handler recently shared tips for packing like a genius on Reddit. Some of them may sound obvious, but others, such as why it pays to tote ugly bags, stand out. We’ve picked out a few highlights from his Life Pro Tip thread and are reprinting them here:
Couples should use the same colour bags. “If you’re lucky they will stay together and come off the truck together,” said the handler, “not only because the handlers will place them together but because they look the same.”
Always remove old tags. “If you have a bag tag from two years ago, as well as a load of other ones, it takes us infinitely longer to find the right date for where it’s supposed to be going,” the handler said. “This almost always happens because the tags are confusing and we only have an hour to sort 800 bags going to three places.”
Heavy packers beware. “If your bag is over 55 pounds, it’s gonna have a bad time,” said the handler. “You know how annoyed you get lifting your own bag into the back of a car? Imagine having to do that 200 times … Sometimes we just throw them with very little care because they’re too heavy.”
But pack a full bag when possible. If you don’t want your clothes being shuffled around, stuff your bag with newspaper, bubble wrap or something to keep them in place. “This will decrease creasing in shirts and dresses as well!” the handler noted.
Never leave stuff hanging off backpacks. There’s no way to stack items in transit, so if something gets caught and rips off, you might lose it. If you’re bringing a hoodie, blanket or pillow, make sure it’s secured to the bag.
Put fragile belongings in the middle. This way it will have “a soft pillow of compressible clothes on either side,” noted the handler. A hard case is also good since it’ll protect things inside by withstanding any impact. “The less movement the better,” said the handler.
To find a black bag … Put a strip of blue plastic painters’ tape on either side. Or consider buying something more unique (or just plain ugly) that is sure to stand out and not be stolen.