Bring This, Not That: Smaller Bags versus Larger Luggage

July 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When packing for a flight, travelers don’t always want to haul around one large bag, so they opt for carrying a few smaller bags instead. For example, we’ve known women who carry their cosmetics in a separate bag, as well as a small rollaboard or spinner, and a briefcase or purse.

This is fine for car travel, but what about plane travel? Is it better to consolidate all your luggage into one larger bag or carry some of the items you might ordinarily pack on the plane with you. Should you carry the cosmetics bag, which is about the size of a small tote, or figure out how to pack it with your clothes in a large suitcase?

Tpro Bold 2 Duffel - Open

The new Tpro Bold 2 Rolling Duffel — you can fit a lot more in here than a couple small bags can hold.

Let’s assume our female passenger doesn’t have room in her 20″ carry-on bag, so she’ll have to carry her cosmetics bag. Remember, airlines allow one carry-on and one personal bag, which includes a purse or briefcase. If she’s already got a personal bag, she either needs to make room in the carry-on bag, or get a larger piece of luggage and consider checking her bag.

So which is her better choice?

We should first look at the economics. If you take a larger suitcase, most airlines will charge for a checked bag fee. That’s one decision that has to be made up front. The whole reason we recommend carry-on bags is to avoid those fees.

Next, consider security, trust, and convenience. If our passenger has her medications, she absolutely won’t want to be separated from her bag. It’s also nice to have access to your toothbrush and something to wash your face and freshen up in flight, or to use the minute you get off the plane.

She’ll also need to think about how much she’s packing, and how long her trip is going to be. This is where packing fewer pieces that are more versatile, in order to create more outfits, pays off. Or rolling clothes instead of folding them.

Some people also like smaller bags they can put underneath the seat so they can access certain items during the flight. If you split your luggage between two carry-on items, you don’t have to worry about waiting to pick up your bag after the flight, and you can get important items during the flight.

However, juggling multiple items can definitely be inconvenient. It can be nice to have the airline take care of everything, which can be great especially when you have a layover during which you would have to keep all your luggage together.

Ultimately, this is a personal choice. Are you happy with a bigger bag that may require baggage fees? Or do you want to avoid fees, so you travel light, roll your clothes, and make sure everything is as efficient as possible to keep it all in your two carry-on items? Pick the method that suits you and your travel preferences.

What do you do? Leave us a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Bring This, Not That: Huggies Wipes Versus Purse Tissues or TP

July 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

How do we put this delicately? There are times when you need. . . personal hygiene items. Maybe you have babies and toddlers who need to be cleaned up during a diaper change. Or maybe you’re going to be out in the wilderness for several days. Or you’re one of those moms who’s über-prepared for everything, and your purse holds so much stuff, it should have been in a Harry Potter movie.

So the question becomes what should you carry? A small packet of tissues, moist baby wipes like Huggies wipes, or even a small roll of toilet paper?

There’s really only one choice: baby wipes.

English: Wet wipe (2 Thai models)

Wet wipe (2 Thai models) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every young parent knows about the importance of baby wipes. Not only are they great for wiping up baby, but they’re really useful everywhere else. Most parents we know swear by Huggies brand, but there are plenty of other great brands out there too.

My wife and I have a daughter, and we always have some wipes on hand, which we use for a lot of things. We can wipe down tables and chairs when we go to a restaurant, and I’ve used them to wipe up spills on our clothing.

I know someone who used to go to Canada on week-long fishing trips, and he said they would pack a box of Huggies wipes, rather than a lot of TP and paper towels. They could clean anything, especially food stains on shirts, plus anything else they might need them for.

Even if you don’t have kids or if your kids are older, the wipes are still worth carrying, because they can be used for so many different purposes while traveling. Anyone whose gotten used to having wipes available knows their usefulness goes way beyond cleaning up a dirty child.

When space and weight are an issue, wipes are a good choice. They’re more compact, they’re already moistened and they can clean a lot of things. And if you need regular tissues, a small pack in your purse or briefcase make a great backup.

What do you carry for personal cleaning? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

20 Things You Should Never Pack in Your Checked Luggage

July 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Did you know that there is a list of items that airlines ask you not to pack? Not the TSA. We all know about their list of forbidden and allowed items and the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule. The airlines themselves have their own list.

The airlines’ list comprises items specifically barred from reimbursement if they’re lost either due to theft or your entire bag being lost. The airline will not reimburse you for these items, regardless of how and why they were lost, even if it’s completely their fault.

The Stuffed Head of Moose

That’ll never fit in one of our bags! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A recent article in The Huffington Post shared the 20 items that should never be packed in your checked bag, including items such as jewelry, expensive electronics, cash, and even antlers and pelts.

Some of these things, such as medications and eyeglasses, are items that many people would not hesitate to pack so it’s good to know airlines have their own list. It boils down to common sense when you think about it: don’t put anything irreplaceable or valuable into a checked back.

That’s because it’s just a bad idea to pack something extremely valuable into a piece of luggage that is going to be tossed around and handled by multiple people, many of whom have access to the interior of the bag even if you put a lock on it.

Instead of packing items such as iPads or cash, take them on the plane with you in a carry on bag. Some things, such as jewelry or smart phones can easily be kept on your person instead of packed. If you are traveling for vacation, bringing expensive jewelry is just not a good idea period. It makes you a magnet for petty thieves and pickpockets.

Other items on the list include things that are completely irreplaceable such as heirlooms, collectible items, antlers, or rare books. These items should instead be shipped to wherever you’re going. Especially the antlers.

Basically anything that you are unwilling to part with should not be packed into your checked baggage because there is just too much opportunity for it to be lost or stolen while you’re traveling. And while loss and theft is not commonplace, you don’t want it to happen to you.

Do you have any helpful suggestions about moving valuable items from one destination to the other? Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment, or leave one below.

The Atlantic Ultra LITE Hardside Collection Makes Travel a Breeze

July 22, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The Perfect Combination of Lightweight Durability and Exceptional Value

Ideal for family travel at a price that won’t break the budget, the Atlantic Ultra LITE Hardside Collection of Spinners meets all your needs with lightweight luggage that is not only high quality but stylish as well. Made with a scratch resistant hard shell case and high-mileage wheels like the company’s more expensive luggage, this attractive trio of Spinners is feather light and amazingly durable.

Atlantic UltraLite Hardside 2 pc“The Atlantic Ultra LITE Hardside Collection will please even the most discerning traveler,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands which includes Atlantic luggage. “The unique combination of light weight, coupled with a durable textured hard shell, makes Ultra Lite the ideal family luggage.”

Available in three distinctive colors — black, turquoise and purple – and in three sizes – 20″, 25″ and 29″ – these pieces include 360 degree spinner wheels which roll effortlessly in any direction, retractable aluminum-grade extension handles with multiple stops for users of different heights, and protective wheel housings for crash protection.

The Collection features expansion capabilities for extra packing, high-mileage dual Spinner wheels and the strength of a protective hard shell. A stylishly textured finish resists abrasion over the long haul. You can buy with confidence knowing that each piece comes with a 5-year warranty.

About Atlantic Luggage

Since 1919, the Atlantic brand has been synonymous with affordable, value-added and lightweight luggage. As a market leader in the lightweight luggage segment, from cleverly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic-branded luggage comprises superior quality and durability. Whether for business or recreation, travel is more pleasurable with Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro family of products. Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

About Travelpro

For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself on design innovation and durability in crafting the highest quality luggage for travelers worldwide. Since transforming the ease of modern day travel with The Original Rollaboard wheeled luggage, Travelpro has been the brand of choice for flight crews and frequent travelers on every continent. The company is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently meeting and exceeding their expectations. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.

Please visit the Travelpro website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations. You can also like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at @Travelprointl.

Virgin America Contemplates Charging For Carry-On Bags

July 21, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Yes, you read that right, Virgin American is considering charging customers for carry-on bags. A May 19 article in Global Traveler reports on remarks made by Virgin American CEO David Cush on the topic. He said he thought charging for customers to put luggage in the belly of the craft and giving them prime space within the cabin for free was rather backwards. He also noted that charging the same amount of money for baggage on short and long flights is a bit nonsensical as well.

This would make Virgin one of the bigger airlines to take this step. Spirit and Allegiant already charge for carry-on baggage in excess of one personal item such as a backpack or purse. Could this start a reverse migration to checked bags? Would more people check bags instead of carrying them on?

English: Luggage compartments of an Airbus 340...

Luggage compartments of an Airbus 340-600 aircraft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a concern on the side of the airlines because there’s so much activity with carry-ons: it takes longer to board and deplane because of all the bags people bring on flights with them. That means the potential is there to not arrive at the destination on time. On time arrivals is a metric that all airlines track. From the travelers standpoint, they’re doing it to avoid checked baggage fees. In other words, the airlines have created a problem for themselves that they’re now looking to solve.

It will be interesting to see if Virgin America really goes forward with this idea. It will create another layer of add-on pricing, which could make Virgin less competitive. Allegiant and Spirit are known for having low base ticket prices and then charging add-ons to customers for almost everything. We wonder if Virgin America would need to lower the base price of its tickets if it decides to start charging for carry-on luggage. Otherwise, they could be undercut by bigger airlines.

On the other hand, if Virgin went forward with this plan, other major carriers may also jump onto the bandwagon, and we could all start paying for our checked bags.

What would you do if Virgin and other airlines started charging for carry-on bags? Let us hear from you here or on our Facebook page.

Bring This, Not That: Refillable Water Bottles versus Buying Water

July 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Ever since the TSA has not allowed more than 3.4 liquid ounces to pass an airport security checkpoint, travelers have dealt with the high prices that are charged for beverages, like bottled water and soda in the convenience and magazine stores at the airport.

But if you’re a water drinker, you can always pack an empty bottle with you to fill. It’s a good way to save money, but it also brings with it the possibility of picking up some germs from the drinking fountain. We tend to recommend against filling your bottle at the drinking fountain, but it’s definitely a personal decision based on how much of a germaphobe you are.

Drinking water fountain

Drinking water fountain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

However, more airports have begun installing water bottle filling stations, which can be presumed to be cleaner as they’re set up in a way so germy mouths can’t come into contact with them. And if you’re concerned about the environment, packing a refillable bottle can be a great way to make a difference as water bottles do create a lot of waste.

Of course, you may want to consider whether you want to carry a large, bulky refillable water bottle with you. If you’re traveling light, try to stick with disposable bottles, so you don’t have to buy a bottle only to lose it on the second day of the trip.

Finally, consider how long you have to wait for your plane. Most flights still offer beverage service, which means you can get relief in a fairly short time. So if your airport stay is going to be short, you may not need to buy a drink at all. Just wait until you’re up in the air and guzzle down some complimentary water.

What are your hydration habits at the airport? Do you buy your own water or soda, drink at a fountain, or just fill up on the plane? Leave us a comment or head over on our Facebook page and let us hear from you.

How Millennials Are Transforming the Travel Industry

July 14, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A week or so ago, we talked about how Baby Boomers are traveling more and more, changing the face of leisure travel. But as the largest demographic group in the US, Millennials are making their own voices heard as millennial travelers.

Road Warrior Voices recently published an recent article by Jessica Festa, who self-identifies as a millennial traveler. She notes the image people have of Millennials as young folks is starting to age out, along with Millennials themselves.

Right now, Millennials fall between ages 16 – 27. Older people on this spectrum are getting both families and fancy jobs. Millennials are growing up and earning money to spend on travel.

English: beach () Русский: Пицунда, пляж ()

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As it turns out, Millennials are also a bit more frugal than other groups. A November 2014 survey by Resonance indicated that Millennials spend considerably less per trip than the average U.S. traveler: about $888 per trip versus the average traveler’s $1,347.

This can be seen as part of the millennial mindset that seeks out happiness rather than focusing just on money. Millennials tend to seek meaningful connections when they travel, which is forcing some companies to offer more meaningful experiences, but for less money, which is increasing the popularity of volunteer vacations and ecotours.

The same survey found that Millennials travel more than other age groups and have a greater tendency to take group vacations.

Although there’s another stereotype that says Millennials use social media to the point where they don’t even enjoy being in the moment, the fact is they often use social media to form closer connections to the places they traveling to. (Which should be a hint to travel destinations to be on social media themselves, in order to grow those relationships and encourage return visitors.)

They also use social media to plan their trips and find deals while they’re out on the open road. They’re also not averse to staying with complete strangers as proven by the couch surfing and AirBNB trend. They’re certainly not the only folks using these technologies, of course.

How about it, Millennials? What kinds of things do you do when you travel? Leave us a comment, or visit our Facebook page on your mobile phone and let us hear from you.

Delta Promises 20 Minute Baggage Reclaim To Domestic Passengers

July 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One of the worst things about airline travel — other than having the person in front of you lean their seat back on your knees — is waiting for your bag to arrive on the baggage carousel. While we normally encourage people to take carry-on bags, that’s not always an option.

So when Delta Airlines said they would deliver domestic passengers’ bags to the luggage carousel within 20 minutes, we took notice.

Their new policy went into effect in February, and although it was originally just a trial run, they’ve since made it a permanent policy.

Plane of Delta Air Lines, Inc.

Plane of Delta Air Lines, Inc. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The feedback from travelers was positive, and it has been a great way for Delta to differentiate itself among the pack. The established airlines tend to be fairly similar, so this has been a good way for Delta to stand out and get some positive buzz.

Knowing your bags will be delivered within a short, 20 minute window makes the baggage retrieval process a lot more bearable and may encourage more people to check bags, something the airline would prefer as they get more fees and fewer headaches than dealing with the carry-on luggage nightmares.

Plus, it’s a good way to encourage travelers to join Delta’s frequent flier program, because members will get a 2, 500 point bonus if their wait for luggage exceeds the 20 minutes.

It’s an interesting promise, and we definitely like it. We wonder how many bonus miles they’ll hand out, especially in the beginning. It offers security and comfort to passengers who may feel that airlines are mainly out to gouge money out of them through new fees.

Will you take advantage of Delta’s new 20 minute policy? Leave us a comment or head over on our Facebook page and discuss it over there.

Travel Goes Boom in 2015 as Retirees Stay Active

July 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s the dream of many retirees to travel more once they finally leave the workforce, and it looks like it’s happening.

A recent article in the Huffington Post discusses the “booming” market as an aging population with expendable income is on the move.

They’re going by themselves, they’re going to warmer climates, they’re going more frequently than they have in the past, and they’re planning on traveling a lot in 2015. According to an AARP study, a decent number of boomers plan to take four or five vacations in 2015. And nearly half the people they surveyed plan to travel more this year than in previous years.

Free Travel-Shirt @ Berlin-Tegel Airport

Berlin-Tegel Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Further, many of those boomers who are still employed plan to work while traveling and not even take vacation time while they’re on the move. The upsurge in the ability to work remotely has been a great boon to those who plan to travel more during their working careers. And it’s something the younger Boomers and older Generation Xers are comfortable with.

Another number expected to rise is the number of people taking solo trips. An AARP survey from last year indicated that 37 percent of adults 45 and older took solo trips in the preceding two years and 80 percent of those surveyed planned to travel on their own in 2015.

Solo travel is more popular with people whose spouses have passed or who are divorced. And there are travel companies seeking the singles market, looking to help those who want to travel alone get out and about, something that has not always been the case in the past.

Despite the upsurge in travel, most of the folks responding to these surveys said that cost is a high priority when traveling so older travelers are looking to save money while on the move, just as are their younger counterparts.

What about you? For those of you who are retired, or nearing retirement age, are you going to travel more? Let us hear from you and leave a comment here or over on our Facebook page.

The Ultimate Easy Trip Guide for the Disorganized Traveler

June 30, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent article on Yahoo Travel doles out some life changing tips for the traveler who has a hard time keeping things together in order to make a plan. We all know those folks — they’re the artists, the right-brainers, the free spirits.

The disorganized.

How do they get any work done?

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Working at traveling may seem like too much for them. They’re more of the throw-some-clothes-in-a-bag-and-go type. But you can still have a successful trip if you just follow a few simple tips, especially if you’re not a frequent traveler.

We really believe in using travel apps to help you plan your trip and to take screenshots of good ideas. Pick a couple apps you really like and start using them around your home town. Use them to pick some places you’d like to visit on your trip.

Also, pack your clothes with a color scheme in mind, so you can mix and match more easily, which means you don’t have to pack as much. There are also some tips on what to pack in order to make your outfit look different very easily. You really don’t need a different outfit for every day of the trip. Instead plan on doing laundry or reusing certain items. And just mix and match different items for different looks. Over packing is easy to do if you’re not careful.

It’s not a bad idea to wear shoes that are easy to take off, and don’t take any more than three pair for the entire trip. Wear the heaviest pair on the plane so you have more room in your suitcase for your smaller shoes.

One item we didn’t see in the list, but we think it’s important: if you’re flying, prep before you get to the front of the security line. Make sure you have the items you’ll need to remove from your luggage in an easily accessible part of your luggage. Make sure your ticket and ID are also easy to find. The last thing you want to do when you get to the front of the line is fumble around for your identification.

What about our frequent travelers? Any advice you would offer new travelers, especially those who are a little more. . . ah, carefree about their organization? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Next Page »