Keep Your Expensive Items Safe While Traveling With This Clever Duct Tape Hack

Traveling can come with a lot of worries like making your flight and connection on time, forgetting your passport, delays, and whether you and your bags will arrive at the same time and place. Another major worry is what could happen to the things you've packed in your checked baggage while you're away from it, especially if you've packed expensive items like camera equipment, headphones, laptops, and jewelry. Will they make it to your destination intact? Will there be damage? What if you lose your carry-on bag? The really big one is what happens if your expensive items get stolen right out of your bag. 

When it comes to theft, prevention is often the best solution. In a recent story on BuzzFeed, social media users gave their best tips for traveling, and one of them is a great and really unexpected way to keep some of your pricier items safer than they might have been otherwise. Simply use duct tape to make your valuable items less appealing to thieves. 

How the hack works

In the BuzzFeed article, Reddit user u/p0mmesbude says, "For photo equipment or all kind of expensive stuff: put some duct tape on it. If it looks broken, nobody wants to steal it." It's short, sweet, and really helpful! The likelihood of someone stealing broken headphones or a laptop that looks like it's been through the wringer is low. There isn't going to be much resale value for a potential thief if something looks damaged already, or at least well-worn. Since duct tape is used to repair everything from broken equipment to a bumper falling off a car, it's easy to look at something with the tape on it and assume it's hanging on by a thread (we suggest putting the tape on areas known to break more frequently than other spots, like laptop hinges or camera lens connections).

Another tip comes from user u/dawhoo, who recommends packing electronics in a diaper bag because "nobody steals a diaper bag." Whether or not that's true, your item is probably less likely to be stolen if you not only put on the tape but hide the item in another less-appealing bag.

Other things to keep in mind while traveling with expensive items

That's great for larger items, but what can you do for smaller ones like jewelry? On something like, say, earphones (which can cost a pretty penny), the duct tape may work well. But for things like a necklace or earrings, you can put them in a contact lens case, or inside a sock that is rolled up with its mate. 

Nothing is going to prevent all thieves from nabbing your things, but they're likely to go for the more obvious items. Things that look broken or that aren't visible to a person quickly doing a check aren't going to attract the same attention they would in an obvious jewelry case or a shiny new camera. 

In fact, if you can keep your valuables on your person or in your carry-on bag (which is where things like jewelry and medication should be anyway), so much the better. You can actually request a private screening from the TSA so your items aren't out on display in front of other passengers. If you do end up with a stolen item, your renter's or homeowner's insurance may cover some of it, and your credit cards or travel insurance might as well. It's always best to check before you go.