Before going away on a trip, it is absolutely vital bags are checked properly. There could be undesirable stowaways: wetas secreted in the lining, or spiders with dead flies on the handle, even the odd foraging mouse.
Before we went to Samoa two years ago, we employed the services of a professional bag checker. They’re not particularly expensive – the charge is just a biscuit or two – and they check bags thoroughly using special prongs to scrape at any awkward corners, and, of course, highly sensitive sniffing equipment.
They sent around the same checker as last time – a rather haughty ginger-haired individual, who said nothing to us, then went straight to the correct bag. Fortunately nothing untoward was found, yet it is still reassuring to know your bag is one hundred percent safe.
Please don’t try bag checking yourself. It is hard work – and in fact, our checker was so exhausted after completing the job, they went to sleep inside the bag afterwards.