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In most travel scenarios, security is uppermost in our minds. Such is the world we live in that we cannot even rely on airport staff to safely load our luggage rather than filch from it. It only takes one TV programme to raise the issue and the 99% of honest baggage handlers are forever tainted with being petty thieves.
However, with the increasing portability of expensive technology upon which we have all come to rely, we are rightly concerned with seeking to safeguard what we have got, especially when on the move.
It's my job when we go on holiday to look after all the paperwork and to hold all keys etc and I was getting fed up with those teeny tiny little padlocks often supplied free with bags - the ones where the keys are so tiny and frail that they easily snap - that's if you can pick them up if you have sausage fingers like lots of blokes. There's enough stress in travelling without having to respond to requests from Mrs Bellroyd to be able to access something that she thinks is in that bag, but might be in the other bag ......and come on hurry up, I haven't got all day. Aaaaaaargh!
It almost got to the stage when I was going to pass on responsibility for keys to her. However, given how long it takes her to find quite large things from her voluminous handbags, I feared this wouldn't help.
The eureka moment was when I spotted a twin pack of these sturdy little mini combination padlocks which meant that we didn't have to worry about breaking or losing keys. Instead we could set an easily memorised 3 digit combination and each be able to get at the bag's contents with relative ease.
The arrangement has worked well and although in security terms it doesn't add much, given that folk can still pick up your bag and steal the whole thing, in terms of pure convenience these are a much better option. We subsequently bought two further sets and all the useless key operated tiny padlocks have been binned.
I would recommend these to any traveller who recognises some of the issues raised earlier in this review.
These little locks can be very valuable to the backpacker especially when going through dodgy airports. They can also be used when you get to the hostel (or hotel if your feeling flush) to secure room doors and lockers. However it must be noted that locks on bags can bring more trouble. Many a petty thief will look at your lock and think you must have something worth locking away. Whats more if they can't break your lock they will simply slash your bag open and have a good rumage around until they find something. This usually means that when you go to collect your luggage it is simply in a heap somewhere. The best thing to do with locks is to get a small indescrete one. This way the little scamps might not see it and think you have nothing of value and the determind thief, who doesn't care how he gets in, can simply break the lock instead of trashing your bag in the process. Even a small lock is usually enough to put off the petty thief, but you have to acept the fact that the pro full timers won't be put of by a lock of any size. So save your money for a better hostel.