Luggage safety on the bus
Travelling by bus is in most cases quite enjoyable, but depending on the country you are travelling to, bringing luggage might require a bit more precaution than you are used to in your home country.
The first and most important thing is to make sure that you bring all valuables and documents onto the bus and keep them close to you during the whole trip. Most buses will allow you to bring hand luggage onto the bus, but due to the limited space, you might not be able to bring the same size of suitcase as you are used to when you travel by plane, so make sure to have a smaller bag for your valuables.
NOTE: If a driver claims your hand luggage is too big to bring on the bus, please remember, the first and outmost concern and obligation of the driver is always the passengers’ safety, which can be a reason why a driver would not let you bring a certain size of suitcase / bag onto the bus.
Luggage for the compartment / hold of the bus:
Leaving the luggage at the hold of a bus is normally not a problem, but to avoid experiencing one of the seldom times when luggage gets lost (stolen), the following precautions are advisable.
- Put a clear visible name tag on your suitcase.
- When you hand over your luggage to the driver make sure that he attaches a strip to the suitcase and hands you a receipt.
- Make sure to actually see that your suitcase is loaded onto the hold, and remember where it was placed.
- If possible sit above the compartment where your suitcase is.
- If the bus has stops on the way, pay attention to the people getting off the bus at those stops, if they looks suspicious, keep an eye on the compartment which has your suitcase.
- Make sure to buy a travel insurance when going abroad as this is the best way to recoup your losses.
Are suitcase thefts a general problem on the buses?
Luckily, suitcase thefts, in majority of the countries, are not something to be worried about, but people with less good intentions can be found everywhere, so keeping your ears and eyes open is never a bad idea!
Usually, a theft / loss of a suitcase can be divided into 3 groups
- The first one is actually not a theft, or at least not an intentional one, as when travelling by plane it happens that people have suitcases which look alike, and as most people do not open them on the spot, it occurs that passengers grab the wrong suitcase. Obviously it is annoying but the suitcase is always returned.
- The second scenario is when you are travelling on a route with stops in between, here it happens that people getting off intentionally take a “wrong” suitcase.
- A theft by loading and offloading is also a situation where people with bad intention can take advantage of the situation.
If it should happen that your luggage is stolen, make sure to report the stolen goods to the police as soon as possible; when doing so request a copy of the police report, so that you have a documentation for reporting the incident to the bus company and potentially later also to the insurance company.
Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any additional advice in relation to avoiding a theft of luggage when travelling by bus!