When it comes to expensive luggage we sometimes forget that it’s about more than just the bag. Take a good look at your contents and you might be surprised by what the value really is.
From family furs to business suits, clothing can be expensive to replace. Even if you lose your day-to-day wardrobe the costs can add up. It’s not just lost or stolen luggage that can cause a wardrobe malfunction. It might sound like a good idea to wrap that bottle of liquor with a soft and protecting item of clothing, but if you want to avoid a nasty surprise when you unpack, make sure you separate liquids and cosmetics from clothing whenever possible. And if you really must pack liquids in your luggage make sure they are in a sealed plastic bag.
Take a look in your toilet bag; you might find perfume, eye shadow, lipsticks, blusher and foundation - and they’re not cheap to replace. Fragile items such as perfume and aftershave are particularly expensive, so you don’t want to pack them where they could get broken and potentially damage other items in the process. Instead, if you have a small bottle, you could try keeping it in your carry-on luggage, but don't forget that there are limitations to how much liquid you can take on board. Or, try packing it in a plastic zip lock bag and store inside your toiletry bag. Better yet, if you can do without, then consider leaving it at home.
Sporting equipment can often be very valuable, so you might need to specify these items for greater coverage when you buy your travel insurance. There are a number of issues with sporting equipment clearing quarantine, so make sure it’s clean before you travel. Something as simple as a bit of dirt on your golf clubs could see you encounter significant delays and possibly even confiscation. Items that are often overlooked by travellers are hiking gear, ski and snowboarding equipment, bikes, fishing gear and camping equipment. Remember to safeguard your gear against theft and whatever you do, don’t leave it in a car overnight unattended.
Jewellery and watches
If it has sentimental value, don’t take it – no matter what the actual cost, it can’t be replaced. Instead, try brightening up your outfits with costume jewellery. If you can’t be without your engagement ring, think about buying a cheaper substitute to wear when you travel - if it doesn't look expensive you will be less of a target to thieves so you can spend time enjoying your holiday instead of worrying about your valuables. As with all personal property, it’s not a good idea to leave it lying around the hotel or in a hat on the beach. If you want to be covered, you need to look after it and not leave it unattended in public places.
There is a limit that applies to jewellery under the TravelCare policy, so if you do decide to take it with you, get it valued by a jeweller and pay an additional premium for greater coverage under the policy.
Have you stopped reading books and moved to a Kobo or Kindle? Don’t want to take your laptop but need your iPad or tablet? Who can leave home without their smart phone, or the kids’ hand-held gaming consoles to keep everyone sane? Don’t forget your camera for taking those amazing photos to make everyone at home jealous. Your gadgets alone can cost a small fortune and it all adds up if they become lost or stolen.
Keep your gadgets in your hand luggage, that way they are with you at all times and in the event your check-in baggage goes missing, you won’t be without them. Be aware that laptops, personal computers, tablets, phones and cameras packed in checked in luggage won’t be covered under the TravelCare policy should they go missing.
If you are taking prescribed medication, and it’s lost or stolen, TravelCare can provide $500 per person, per journey under the ‘Special Medication Benefit’ section. But it’s the health implications of losing your medication that out-weighs any inconvenience. Treat your medications as you would other high value items and keep them in a safe place at all times. Remember, when you fly you may be required to have a doctor’s letter to confirm the medication you’re required to take. If you are unsure what medication you can take overseas, check with your airline before you depart.
Keep your receipts
Make it a habit to keep your receipts for proof of purchase. You never know when you will need to make a claim and having the original receipt helps to speed up your claim process. It’s important to know that travel insurance is very different to home and contents insurance – if your claim is accepted, your lost or stolen items will have depreciation applied so it’s worth considering only taking essential items with you when you travel.
In a nutshell we recommend you:
- Leave anything unnecessary at home, especially if it is expensive or has sentimental value
- Keep your property close to you to keep an eye on it
- Keep your valuables in your carry-on bag when using transport providers or use the hotel safe if you’re out
- Specify items if you need to
- Keep valuables out of sight