At a conference in New York., a group of hackers released files that allows anyone with a 3D printer to produce the eighth and last TSA master key (TSA approved luggage locks allow TSA and other luggage security personnel to unlock and inspect your bags using master keys).
In 2014, the Washington Post inadvertently published an article which included a high resolution photo of all seven Travel Sentry TSA master keys from which someone was able to digitally recreate the keys, and then share the files.
The hackers have said that the purpose of the project was not to scare people but to highlight the dangers of "government key escrow", a data security measure in which a third party is trusted with a cryptographic key that they may only use with the authorization of the entrusting agency. Nevertheless, the net result of their move was that anyone with a 3D printed key could have access to your luggage,
What to Do?
Security experts have long touted that, even before the breech, TSA locks do not fully protect your belongings. Matt Blaze (University of PA computer science professor) told Wired that he sometimes picks his own TSA locks as it's faster than locating his keys.
security consultant Chris McGoey told the Intercept that “TSA locks on luggage [are] only one step above having no lock at all -- especially on soft-sided luggage”
So we recommend you continue using TSA-locks, but put high-valued items in your carry-on or arrange to have them shipped via an insured carrier (e,g, FedEx, UPS).
What Are TSA Locks?
In the United States the TSA requires access to luggage without the passenger being present; to allow travelers to secure their luggage they have accepted certain locks which the TSA can open and relock. to avoid a forced (lock-breaking) action.
Locks with the Travel Sentry identifying mark (red diamond) are TSA-accepted.
Some TSA accepted locks feature an indicator which will appear red if opened by a master key, so the owner will know that their bag has been accessed.
Even if your phone is not unlocked, your carrier can usually help you with unlocking it, but start this process at least a week prior to leaving.
3. If your phone isn't compatible or can't be unlocked,
you might consider buying an inexpensive, unlocked phone just for traveling.
4. Take advantage of Wi-Fi:
If your smartphone can access local WIFI, then by using Skype, FaceTime, Viber, or Google Hangouts, you may be able to handle all your communication needs, rendering all the SIM, hardware, and carrier compatibility issue irrelevant.
For more tips, visit onecallinternational
If you could benefit from a locally-purchased SIM cards, here's a primer on how to replace SIM cards (be sure to keep track of the original SIM card)
SIMM Card: iPhone
No matter which method you use to pack, there is still making sure you know what to pack. Brian Teeter, in his book, Healthy Trekking Guides (Irvine CA), presents us with advise on what to bring and what NOT to bring:
Be ruthless. Aim to fit everything inside a carry-on bag. You’ll cut down on excess luggage fees, eliminate the possibility of lost luggage and simplify your life.
Finally, from onebag.com comes this enlightened promise:
If you persevere [with minimizing what you pack], you will at some point reach a transcendent moment, in which your (one) bag will be small and light enough to carry without consequence -- no longer of any meaningful concern. And from that instant, your travel experiences will be forever changed with an unfettered freedom that is beyond the comprehension of those who remain bound to their baggage.
Here you'll find a mix of tips, tricks, and articles from our staff, group leaders, group travelers, and other expert sources.