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.

Never Compromise: Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Collection Goes Above and Beyond

June 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro once again redefines premium travel products with the Platinum Magna 2 handsomely crafted luggage collection featuring superior fabrics and genuine leather accents. This ultra-durable 13-model series is the pinnacle of fashion, intelligent functionality and design innovation. The result is a truly luxurious offering for travelers who want the finest in quality and performance.

Platiinum Magna 2 Collection

Platiinum Magna 2 Collection

Backed by Travelpro’s Worry-Free Warranty, Platinum Magna 2 ensures a lifetime of satisfaction with Spinners, Rollaboards, Garment Bags, a Business Case and a Backpack included in the collection. This full line features 9 carry-on bags, providing many different options for today’s savvy traveler.

“As the originator of Rollaboard luggage, Travelpro has always been a leader in the travel industry,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “The Platinum Magna 2 Collection is a step beyond other luggage collections, making it the best of the best.”

Designed for the “Perfect Roll,” the Dual Spinner Wheels include Travelpro’s patented MagnaTrac wheel technology, a leap forward in Spinner luggage. When Platinum Magna 2 is pushed, magnets instantly align the wheels to roll straight in any direction. Most spinner luggage drifts or pulls to one side or the other, putting strain on your shoulder, arm, wrist and hand. Platinum Magna 2 tracks effortlessly wherever you want to go.

The patented Contour Grip on Spinner models provides superior ergonomic control, relieving fatigue on the shoulder, arm, hand and wrist. In combination with the patented PowerScope Extension Handle that minimizes wobble, these two features provide the traveler with the ultimate in comfort, functionality and strength.

Platiinum Magna 2 Backpack and Briefcase

Platiinum Magna 2 Backpack and Briefcase

Rugged, fashionably textured nylon fabric with DuraGuard coating features stain and abrasion resistance for greater durability, while the H2O Guard coating protects the interior lining from stains. The Platinum Magna 2 collection is available in attractive black fabric with black leather accents and olive fabric with brown leather accents.

The Carry-on Rolling Garment Bag helps keep clothes wrinkle free. The convenient split-design construction offers amazing packing capacity and multiple pockets to store clothing, cables, socks, and so much more.

The Business Brief and Backpack are fully compatible with the luggage in the collection. They include padded laptop and tablet pockets along with a business organizer for intelligent storage of quick access essentials.

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.

Hotel Safety Tips for Wifi

June 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Should you use the free wifi at your hotel? That depends on how sensitive the information is that you’re accessing online or you have on your computer. Even if you feel comfortable and safe and have good security measures in place, you still want to exercise caution when using it; avoid extremely sensitive tasks such as online banking or accessing sensitive business information.

Norton, a well-known antivirus provider, has several suggestions about Internet security within hotel rooms.

Chicago Hilton hotel room

Chicago Hilton hotel room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One thing you should do when checking into a hotel is to make sure that you choose the proper wifi network. Hackers are known to trick users looking for free wifi by creating a network that will trick them into using it. Don’t jump on something called “Free Wifi” for instance. Before you ever log on, call the front desk and ask for the name of the network.

Another solution Norton discusses is using a VPN or virtual private network, if you’re traveling for work. If your company has a VPN, logging onto it will give you the same security you enjoy while working from your office behind the security firewall.

Next, change your passwords frequently. You’ve probably heard this a million times; we all have. But it keeps being repeated because it’s great advice. Set up a system to remind yourself to change passwords every three months. Don’t use single words or names of family members or pets. Use a password management system like 1Password to generate long passwords with random letters, numbers, and special characters.

Also, avoid network sharing. Norton says to avoid situations where other computers are communicating directly with yours while you’re in a fairly unsecure location, such as a hotel.

These are also good tips for working in the local coffee shop, your hotel room, or anytime you’re on a public network. What are some other computer security tips you follow on the road? Share them with us in the comments.

Next Page »