July 30, 2018

The ideal emergency kit if your luggage gets lost

Packing your carry-on baggage is an art – and sometimes a real headache. Follow our tips to assemble an emergency kit you can count on when travelling.

Carry-on baggage, more than a matter of well-being

Besides ensuring your comfort on the plane and in airports, your carry-on can actually save your bacon (well, in a roundabout way) if checked luggage does not arrive at your destination at the same time you do.

There are three key factors to take into account while getting ready to pack: what you will need during the flight, what you will need in the short-term if your checked luggage gets lost and what is allowed or not allowed to bring in your carry-on.

Lost suitcases: the struggle is real

Tens of thousands of bags are misplaced every day in airports around the world. With that in mind, it is common sense for every traveller to have a Plan B in place.

This is where the idea of an emergency kit comes into play. Here are the most essential items it should contain:

  • Your important documents. You already carry your passport, visa and plane ticket with you. Also consider keeping other documents on hand, such as hotel reservations, train or bus tickets, and other travel documents you will need during your trip.
  • Sufficient foreign currency. You will appreciate having enough cash to take a taxi or grab something to eat and drink upon arriving at your destination. It is sometimes challenging to find an ATM to withdraw cash.
  • Your valuables. You should keep your electronics, camera, jewellery and any other items of value (sentimental or material) with you at all times.
  • Change of clothes. Avoid having to wear your winter boots to the beach. Pack some basic items, undergarments and shoes that are suited to the climate of the country you are visiting. And bring a sweater to wear on the plane.
  • Toiletries kit. Pack your essential toiletries, keeping in mind that liquids or gels must be in containers of 100 mL or less, and separated in a clear, resealable Ziploc-type bag. Other toiletry items, such as nail clippers, are prohibited in carry-on baggage. Refer to our list at the end of this article.
  • Your medications. It goes without saying for any prescription: keep readily available if needed. It is also important to know that certain medication such as codeine, may be illegal in some countries. Inquire beforehand to avoid an unpleasant situation… and a visit to the local police station.

Baggage insurance: a must-have

Your zest for travel is matched only by your penchant for planning. Leave nothing to chance and make sure to get baggage insurance (lien vers la page Assurance bagages). Usually included as part of your travel insurance, it can also be added à la carte.

So, in the event of loss, theft or delay of your checked baggage, you could be reimbursed for the purchase of essential items. Luggage must be delayed for at least 12 hours before you can be reimbursed.

Some insurers also agree to cover costs incurred to renew lost or stolen documents, such as a passport, visa or driver’s licence.

Brief list of prohibited items

Clear customs with complete peace of mind by leaving the following items out of your carry-on baggage.

  • Liquid or gel in a container that exceeds 100 ml (note: sunscreen is also considered to be a liquid)
  • Nail clippers, razors, razor blades and scissors
  • Some sporting equipment (baseball bat, golf club, martial arts equipment, tennis racquet, etc.)
  • Certain food products
  • Dangerous objects (knives, firearms, etc.)
  • Chemical or flammable products, such as aerosols

You can consult a complete list of permited and prohibited items ( on the Government of Canada website.

Have a nice trip!