Thefts of checked luggage are skyrocketing. Both ordinary thieves and airline employees with inside access are making it foolhardy to leave anything you really care about in your checked luggage. When it's time to pack, it helps to make three lists.
Things I don't mind losing
Includes most clothing, for example, and other things, like extra deodorant sticks. All of these things can go into your checked luggage.
Things I simply can't manage without
Includes crucial items, such as eyeglasses or contacts for a person with very poor sight, your passport or other significant documents, personal medication for someone who is ill, traveler's checks. Pack these items on your person, so they simply cannot be separated from you, period.
Items that are valuable and likely to be stolen
Includes anything that's expensive or would be easily turned into money by a thief, but losing it would not rock your world. Pack these items in your carry-on, then keep that bag very close to you when traveling.