Can I Wrap My Luggage At Home? Yes Here’s How!

By James Smith
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Maybe you’d like to try wrapping on your own and save some extra money?

If so, the first question you might ask is, “can I wrap my luggage at home?”

The answer is simply, yes.

These days people are choosing the DIY approach to luggage wrapping. You can save some money while saving your valuables. Sounds like a great combo. So now that you’re “on board” – what’s the best way to wrap at home?
First off, you need to buy enough plastic wrap to get the job done. Going to the grocery store won’t cut it. Plastic wrap for food is not as strong and you’ll spend a fortune trying to get enough to wrap your luggage. You’ll need commercial cling wrap that is specially made for packaging supply and moving companies, like this one from Amazon. A commercial wrap is much stronger and comes with longer rolls ideal for luggage. You can find larger size shrink wrap available on Amazon in an affordable price range depending on how much you need. 
It’s a tedious chore wrapping luggage, so make sure you do it right the first time. Start in the middle of the bag and wrap tightly. Wrap around the sides next. After that, wrap around the bottom and the top and then finally secure your wrap with tape. Now cut holes for the wheels and the handles and you’re all done.

Remember, the TSA may decide to do a security check on your bag, so don’t be alarmed if you find all your work has been done in vain. Another thing to remember, pack your wrap with you in case you want to wrap your luggage for the trip home. Also, don’t forget to recycle your leftover wrapping when the trip is over. Planet Earth will thank you.

What luggage plastic wrap is used for

You may have noticed while waiting in the baggage claim area lately, some travelers are picking up their suitcases completely encased in plastic wrap.

Why? There are probably many reasons.

Protect their bags from damage, discourage smugglers, and maybe even protect their luggage from accidentally opening. However, the main reason travelers decide to use luggage wrap is to discourage thieves or dishonest baggage handlers.

With the recent news of police busting up a baggage theft ring at Los Angeles Airport, travelers are taking extra precautions to secure their belongings. That extra level of security is called “luggage wrapping” and it’s becoming more popular as travelers face the real possibilities of having stolen or pilfered bags. If you look on Youtube, there are dozens of videos showing people wrapping their luggage in plastic shrink wrap.

Not only does it protect your contents from thieves, but it can also help protect your bag from being damaged or tampered with. If luggage wrapping is something you think you might want for your upcoming travel plans, there are a few ways to go about it.

If you do a local google search, there are plenty of services that provide luggage wrapping all across the country. There are many wrapping services located in the airport, so double check online and see if this service is available in your state. There are even large scale professional packaging companies that can help you with larger expeditions.

Determine what level of service you need for your trip and then go from there. Most companies will give you an upfront estimate and then you can decide what’s the best option for you.

Is luggage wrap something you need to do?

So now that you know what luggage wrapping is, decide if that’s something you want to do? Some travelers think it brings extra attention to their bag. Some believe it looks tacky. Others feel it’s a strong deterrent. Whether you choose “to wrap or not to wrap” one thing we can all agree on is airports are not the safest place to leave your valuables. At some point during your trip, checked luggage will have a whole host of opportunities for would-be thieves to search through your belongings. Luggage wrapping might be one way to avoid that awful fate while giving you the peace of mind you need.

In 2016, the AQR rating for lost, damaged or pilfered bags was 2.46 per 1000 passengers. That rate is slightly down from 2016’s 2.70, but that’s not exactly reassuring for travelers who don’t want to take that chance. Having a generic TSA approved baggage lock where anyone can have the key is simply not enough. Travelers want extra protection and companies are starting to respond to the increased demand for the luggage wrapping service.

International airports have been providing lugging wrapping services for years. The practice is now starting to become more popular here in the states. Last year alone, Miami, Houston and New York airports wrapped almost 1.6 million pieces of luggage and the trend is only growing larger. While United States airports are generally considered safer than international airports, that isn’t convincing some to not take this extra precaution.

There are many different ways you can go about wrapping your luggage. If you chose to use a service, that will set you back roughly $20 per bag. Secure Wrap is a popular service that will even rewrap your luggage for free if the TSA decides to search your bag. They also provide barcodes to seal on your luggage to help trace your bag should it happen to become lost or misplaced. They also have the “Secure Wrap Guarantee” – which offers supplementary compensation that matches the airline up to $5000 USD and $2000 USD for any damage. Sounds like a pretty good deal if you are on the go and need that extra level of protection.

For a big family trip or a large traveling group, that could be a costly add-on.

Another option in the world of luggage wrapping is using reusable fabric wraps. There are also companies that offer customers durable spandex covers to protect their luggage for about a decent price, like these ones. It comes with two adjustable buckle fasteners and some you can design your own cover on both sides with any picture you provide them. The hard part will be deciding what picture to use. At least you’ll never confuse your luggage with someone else’s.

Whether you chose to use a service or do it at home, luggage wrapping might be a good idea for certain trips you can’t avoid packing valuables. Just remember, wrapping it up doesn’t guarantee it won’t be unwrapped. Security still needs to do their job, and without using a service, it might arrive unwrapped. Which route you chose is ultimately up to you, just make sure you know all the pros and cons.

So that’s how to wrap luggage at home, good luck and happy travels.

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Hi, I'm James Smith, I love traveling and always looking to optimize the traveling life to make it as comfortable and stress-free as possible. I especially love to nerd out about choosing the right luggage.

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