Tips For Packing Luggage

The following tips for packing luggage for African hunters, will keep your contents as safe as possible from theft and damage.

The Luggage Itself

  • Check your actual luggage bags/containers before packing to make sure they are in good condition with no broken parts. Replace or repair anything that looks suspect.
  • If you are buying new luggage, buy good quality bags. Make sure you can carry or move the luggage fairly easily as there will be times when there may be no porters or trolleys.
  • Look for useful features such as good compartments, shape and balance for carrying and comfortable shoulder straps and handles. If it is a zipped bag, check the zips are super-sturdy and not likely to break open.
  • Don't buy 'showy' luggage as it is more of a temptation to a thief.
  • Opt for soft-sided baggage for a hunting safari as it is easier to stow in a charter aircraft.
  • Make your luggage visually distinctive for easy identification on the carousel - for yourself and for preventing other people mistakenly taking your baggage.
  • Label with your name, cellphone number and flight number(s). Don't put your address on an external label as it advertises that you are away and your home may be targeted for burglary.
  • Make sure your baggage complies with your airline weight and size restrictions.
  • Make use of the airport plastic wrapping services for check-in baggage. They are available at most large airports for a small cost but is well worth it as it certainly deters thieves.

Tips For Packing Luggage To Be Checked In

Make sure your hard-sided gun case and ammunition packing comply with international travel and airline regulations.

  • Make a packing list and stick to it.
  • Anticipate airport security searches and pack to make this easier and quicker with clear containers and ziploc plastic bags.
  • In case of luggage loss or delay, don't pack anything in your checked luggage that you cannot do without for a few days. Any essential medications or documents should always be in your carry-on luggage.
  • Rolling up clothes minimises creasing.
  • Packing an empty smaller lightweight bag can be useful for shopping, as an extra piece of luggage on the return trip.
  • If you are travelling with a family member, divide your clothing between your pieces of luggage so if one person's bag gets lost, the other can survive until re-united with his bag.
  • Take photographs of expensive items to help make a claim if they are lost or broken.
  • Pack small things in your shoes.

Tips For Packing Hand Luggage

Keep small and light - don't expect airlines to stow extra large packages in the cabin. If you buy a large and/or fragile African souvenir (those wooden giraffe spring to mind) it may have to go in the aircraft hold.

Essential Hand Luggage Contents

  • Small toiletry bag (if you don't want to rely on the free airline kit).
  • Essential medication.
  • Valuable and fragile items - money, jewellery, cameras etc.
  • Travel documentation with copies in case of loss.
  • Change of underwear.
  • Reading material.
  • Telephone/address book.
  • Spectacles.

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