It’s been a long year and a half, but with the vaccine rollout well underway, things are finally starting to open back up.

It feels like those far away destinations are once again calling our names and we’re gearing up to go out and experience everything we so desperately missed.

We’re excited for the weddings, the birthday parties, and the luxurious beach getaways, not only because we miss socializing, but because now we have a reason to bring out those bags that we’ve reserved for special occasions.

By now, I think we all know what safety measures to take to keep ourselves safe while traveling abroad; however, I’ve learned that flying with high-end bags in tow still presents challenges for those who have never done so before.

Now that I’ve arrived at my own summer vacay destination, I decided to write down a few quick tips that I wish someone would’ve told me about keeping my bags safe while flying abroad.

Tip #1: Keep Them Close

First things first: Your handbags should go inside your carry-on and not into your checked luggage.

Anyone who has ever experienced having their luggage lost, stolen, or delayed in another city can attest to this point. It’s terrible enough knowing that all of your clothes and toiletries took a detour so I wouldn’t recommend adding to that anxiety by packing such high-end items into the suitcase entrusted to others. Also, TSA won’t reimburse you for anything damaged inside a checked suitcase but they will for anything they damaged while sorting through your carry-on.

Tip #2: Don’t Disregard the Dustbags.

Please utilize the dustbags for both the handbag you are carrying and for those that you are packing.

Dustbags come with designer purses for a reason: to protect the bag! And not only from your cobweb-covered closet but also from dirt, scratches, stains, and the grubby hands of airport agents who insist on aggressively rummaging through your things in the name of national security. (Ok, I understand the need for security but why do they have to be so rough about it?!)

The need for a dustbag on your packed purse is probably a no-brainer for most, but please don’t forget that whichever bag you are carrying on your arm will also need to go through a scanner – yes, the same scanner that also processed everyone else’s shoes, diaper bags, food containers, and God knows what else.

“But Alejandra, that’s what the plastic bins are for…”

That’s true, but tell me: have you ever seen one of those bins not covered in scratches?

I didn’t think so. Use your dustbag.

Tip #3: Pack Like a Pro

As someone who has visited more than a dozen countries, I’m no stranger to the struggle of packing a bag correctly. It can sometimes feel like a game of Tetris so there are a few main things that I advise you to do before even leaving the house:

  • Pack the handbag last and facing upright. This means that the purse should be on top of your other belongings with the handles pointing in the same direction as the handles of your rolling carry-on luggage. If you use a duffle bag, then the packed handbag should be laying on its back with the handles pointing towards wherever the zipper opening is. Why? Because whenever you (or the security agent) want to remove the purse from your luggage, it gives easy access to the bag handles and prevents clumsy mishandling.
  • Keep the handbag away from the edges of your suitcase. The edges of your suitcase are the danger zones. Whether you use a soft or hard-shelled suitcase, the interior and exterior edges take the most impact when the luggage (and anything inside it) shifts around. Pack your handbag as close to the center of the suitcase as possible, or at least 3 inches away from the edges.
  • Soften the blow. Unfortunately, rough handling is impossible to completely avoid. Your handbags are your babies so make a cozy cradle for them inside the suitcase. It’s best to line the interior edges of your luggage with rolled clothes to create a soft barrier. This will ensure that the packed bag is protected from blunt force. To test the level of protection, you should be able to jiggle your suitcase without hearing your items knocking into each other.
  • Don’t overpack. Don’t go overboard with my last point, because over-packing increases the likelihood that items will make bulges in soft luggage or get pushed to the edges of hard-shell cases. That will yet again make them more susceptible to impact.

(Optional) Tip #4: Review Travel Insurance Plans

Review your travel insurance options if you frequently travel with various high-end pieces. This insurance can come from your credit card company, your status with certain airlines, or be purchased from travel-specific insurance companies. I know reviewing insurance plans sounds totally boring and lame, but it’s really better to be safe than sorry.

Overall, I’ve found that it only takes a bit of extra planning to get all of your handbags safely to your destination. But let me know down in the comments if you have any of your own tips that you think should be added to the list and check out our pre-loved travel picks below. Bon Voyage!

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