If you travel more than once every few years, even once a year, you’ll want to get luggage you can return to again and again. If you’re a frequent traveler, visiting the airport or train station more than four times a year, you need luggage that’s going to be with you for the long haul.
So how do you choose the luggage that’s going to give you what you need? The first step is to assess the kind of traveling you’re going to do the most frequently.
Choose luggage based on the size and durability based on your total usage, not just your next trip. Disposable luggage can end up being more expensive than a single piece of high-quality luggage due to the fact that you might have to continually replace it.
You should also check out the warranty information of the piece you’re considering. That will give you an idea of whether the company stands behind their work, and how much protection you have if your bag starts shredding after just a couple months.
It’s also not a bad idea to stay with a well-known brand when buying your luggage. Luggage takes a beating, as travel is never easy, especially if you check your bags at the airport. Look at the value of your chosen bag, not just the price. Don’t compare the cheapest, flimsiest piece of luggage from one line to the best-in-show piece from another line. It’s like comparing apples to sports cars.Assess the various features the luggage has. Check that the moving parts are high quality and durable. Look at the handles, wheels, and zippers, to see if they look durable or flimsy. Also check out the interior of the suitcase and make sure it looks like it will serve your needs as you travel. A good luggage manufacturer will have tested these things already, to determine whether they meet their high standards.
Finally, visit a specialized travel goods store, which will allow you to test the luggage extensively. The staff are very knowledgeable about travel and luggage, unlike some department stores. The travel goods stores also get feedback from frequent travelers, so they know what actually works.
If you’re not sure of what bag to get, it could be worth paying the travel goods store a visit, because they’ll understand what you need and can help you figure out which bag you should get.
How do you assess your own luggage purchases? Do you look for anything in particular, or visit a particular kind of store? Leave a comment below or post something on our Facebook page, and let us hear from you.
A new airport is being built in Istanbul, Turkey over the next five years, with Turkish Airlines slated to be the “flagship tenant.” In this new space, Turkish Airlines plans to use cutting edge technology and personal hospitality to create a better passenger experience for their customers.
Turkish Airlines already takes great pride in offering comfortable spaces for travelers to relax in, so this should be interesting for those people who like to travel in comfort. The airline focuses on showing passengers a great degree of civility and hospitality, especially in their pay-to-enter lounges.
In the paying lounges, they’ve rolled out push notifications alerting passengers to gate changes, flight changes, and even nearby sales. This is already being tried out in airports in Istanbul and has apparently been a hit because Turkish Airlines announced last spring that they intend to make this a permanent feature.
Another great program that Turkish Airlines is rolling out is free tours of Istanbul to travelers on a layover of six hours or more. That way, travelers don’t have to waste a huge chunk of their time sitting around the airport, but can also feel more secure that they’ll get back to the airport on time since the tours are sponsored by an airline.
These types of pampering are about improving the travelers’ experiences and making things a little more convenient, even as travel seems to be more hectic and uncomfortable in this day and age.
Perks like this may eventually make their way to the U.S. If you’re in any major city in America, say New York or Miami, wouldn’t you be interested in a brief tour of that city during a long layover? We’re also interested in seeing push notifications for travelers, as well as a few other creature comforts at our airports.
We’ll look forward to seeing some of these improvements arrive here in the U.S. too.
Travelpro Announces “Win a Trip to Las Vegas” Sweepstakes in Celebration of Sony Pictures’ Upcoming Motion Picture Comedy, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2″
Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, is proud to announce its “Win A Trip to Las Vegas Sweepstakes” in celebration of the upcoming Sony Pictures’ motion picture comedy “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” in theaters April 17, 2015.
The Sweepstakes winner and a guest will fly roundtrip and stay at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Wynn Las Vegas resort. In addition, the winner will experience Le Rêve –The Dream, the aquatic and aerial theatrical production named Best Show in Las Vegas for four consecutive years, presented exclusively at Wynn Las Vegas. Additionally, the winner will receive two pieces of Travelpro luggage. Look for Travelpro luggage in the movie and at retailers nationwide and online.
One trip for two (2) to Las Vegas includes:
- Roundtrip airfare for two (2) to Las Vegas, Nevada
- Three (3) night stay in a Wynn Deluxe Resort room
- 2 premium tickets to Le Rêve –The Dream
- 2 carry-on size Travelpro luggage
- $200 spending cash
The sweepstakes runs from March 20 through May 1. To enter, simply register at www.travelpro.com/mallcop-sweepstakes. Visit this same site to view the complete sweepstakes official rules. No purchase is required to enter the sweepstakes. Void where prohibited.
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 worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. Travelpro was honored to once again be voted as the “World’s Best Luggage” by Premier Traveler Magazine in 2014.
About “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2″
After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers. Directed by Andy Fickman. Produced by Todd Garner, Kevin James, Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo. Written by Kevin James & Nick Bakay.
About Sony Pictures
Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to www.sonypictures.com.
About Wynn Las Vegas
Wynn and Encore Las Vegas are two luxury hotel and casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The iconic travel destinations are operated by international resort developer Wynn Resorts, recipient of more Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Awards than any other independent hotel company in the world. Wynn Las Vegas opened on April 28, 2005 and has been recognized as the best resort in Nevada on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” for six consecutive years. The resort features 2,714 lavish guest rooms and suites, more than 111,000 square feet of state-of-the-art casino space, 14 casual and fine dining restaurants, a spa and salon and an on-site Ferrari and Maserati dealership and 18-hole golf course. Wynn Las Vegas is home to Le Rêve – The Dream, the aquatic and aerial theatrical experience named Best Show in Las Vegas for four consecutive years, and Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers, a production with 35 singers and dancers and a full 31-piece on-stage orchestra composed of quintessential numbers from some of the most celebrated composers and lyricists to ever grace American theater stages. Encore, an expansion of Wynn Las Vegas, opened on Dec. 22, 2008. Featuring an additional 2,034 all-suite accommodations, a 72,000-square-foot casino, five restaurants and a spa and salon, Encore is located adjacent to Wynn Las Vegas. Combined, the two resorts boast four distinct nightlife and day club experiences, approximately 283,000 square feet of meeting space and 98,000 square feet of retail space. For more information on Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, visit www.wynnpressroom.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @WynnLasVegas and www.facebook.com/wynnlasvegas.
A CNN article in March discussed some of the challenges associated with traveling with young children and how to determine when your child is old enough to travel.
We were intrigued by the idea but it also made us think about the benefits of traveling with young children. Some families travel with their kids to give them a new experience. Even young children, around three or four years old, are traveling with their families to Brazil or China. Those kids are experiencing different cultures in a way that many of us never will.
We’re not sure exactly what the right age is for kids to really learn something from travel. If they’re too young they may not get much out of it. But what’s that age limit? On the one hand, they may pick up some appreciation for different cultures and foods. On the other, they may learn patience just from sitting still in a car or plane for several hours.
My daughter is three, and I’m not sure she’d learn a lot from international travel, but I think it would be fun and good for her to expose her to different cultures. It just depends on how she would handle it. On the other hand, a colleague says she wouldn’t take her sons to restaurants at three.
It really depends on the temperament of the child and the patience of the parents. You have to make the call yourself on what is the right age for your child.
It’s a great idea if you have the means and the time to do it, but we don’t think there’s a magic age when it all happens because it’s so subjective and depends so much on each child.
Another important factor the article mentions is that you can make travel easier by choosing to drive or to schedule flights at times that are best for your child. We know someone who would drive from Indiana to Disney World by leaving at 10:00 pm, when his kids were asleep, so they would sleep through most of the drive. Of course, he was wiped out by the time he got there, but it was much better than dealing with unhappy kids during the daylight hours.
What age did you (or would you) start traveling with your children? Leave a comment below or post something on our Facebook page.
We’ve all heard that we should be careful when traveling alone, and we sometimes worry that this keeps people from traveling at all.
The whole “you need to be comfortable with yourself” philosophy aside for the moment, we think it’s possible, and even enjoyable, to travel by yourself.
We recently read an article in Women’s Health about traveling alone. Although the article is aimed at women, men could benefit from some of the tips as well, such as dressing more conservatively than you would at home, especially if you’re going to visit a country where the culture is very different from your own.
Also, avoid dressing like you’re going to Home Depot on a Saturday morning. Try to fit in more with the local fashion, if only to avoid being identified as a tourist. Keep your gadgets, if you have them with you, hidden away in public places in order to avoid scrutiny and increased security.
If you want to meet people while traveling, go on a group trip as an individual. This way, you can meet people without having to make too much effort as it’s a lot easier to make new friends within such a group. Going somewhere as a volunteer is another great way to meet new people because in most cases, you will work together with others as a team to accomplish something meaningful.
We also liked the advice “be unapologetically selfish.” When you travel alone, you get to see only the things you want to see, so you can skip the collection telegraph pole photographs just because someone else wanted to see them. And you don’t have to visit the museum everyone else says you “have to” see.
One of our employees is a woman who has traveled extensively for business. She said these tips apply for business travelers too, because she tries to make some time to see the sights. She strongly recommends having a game plan in mind for what you want to see. This is especially important if you’re traveling on business, because your free time will be fairly limited.
She says she has a hard time taking the “Be unapologetically selfish” advice in the article to heart, but was intrigued by the idea. She thinks that both women and men should make an effort to have some down time just for themselves while traveling.
What special things do you do for yourself, or special precautions do you take, when you’re traveling alone? Do they work more for personal travel or business travel? Leave a comment below or post something on our Facebook page.
- Travelzoo reveals the most popular destinations for female solo travellers (dailymail.co.uk)
- In Transit Blog: A Break for Those Who Cruise Alone (rss.nytimes.com)
- Why I Love Solo Travel and My Best Moments With It (creativehearttravel.com)
- Solo Travel: Refreshing and Restorative (huffingtonpost.com)
A recent article in Yahoo travel about the mistakes that travelers tend to make got us thinking about our own advice for travelers.
One tip we make over and over is not having cash in hand before we set out on our travels. Although we mostly recommend that travelers use their cards when traveling and to have a limited amount of cash before you set out is extremely helpful because some places in the area you’re visiting might not take cards (for example, the toll booths on the Florida turnpike don’t take plastic).
One of our employees has upcoming travel plans that include Spain and he plans to get Euros at his bank before he heads out. He says that using ATMs overseas can be dicey in that you may have your card flagged. We also feel that the exchange places at and near the airports can be overpriced.
We also believe not researching your destination is a huge mistake. Know what you want to visit before you go. Otherwise, you may end up in a beautiful area and not know what’s so great about it. Smartphones can help in this case, but they may not know important tourist destinations could be booked or you could arrive on the wrong day to hit a hot spot. Know before you go.
Our same globe-trotting employee took a list of destinations on a recent trip to Italy. Once he got there, he and his family cut back on the list and talked to locals about what was really worth their time. They ended up having the best possible trip because they were able to create a big list and cull from it, rather than try to decide where to go each morning, and miss better sights and venues.
The article says that relying heavily on public transport is a mistake. However, we tend to think that renting a car is the bigger mistake relating to getting around while traveling in a foreign land. That’s because it’s hard to really understand the traffic patterns and it’s certainly difficult to navigate when you can’t read the road signs.
It’s probably better to rent a car only if you plan on staying somewhere for an extended period of time. Stick with the public transportation whenever possible; in many of these countries, especially Western Europe, they excel at public transportation, and many locals don’t even own cars because the transportation is so good.
What are some of the travel mistakes you’ve made? What have you seen other people do? Leave us a blog comment or post something on our Facebook page.
Music is an integral part of travel for many of us. And the advent of mobile devices, whether mp3 players or mobile phones, has made traveling with music easier than ever. Sitting in your seat with ear buds or perhaps a set of Beats by Dr Dre embracing your head can be a great way to avoid talkative seat mates, if you’re the sort of person who prefers not to chat in transit.
But which is the best option? Should you take your phone and use up precious battery life and even more precious data? Or do you take an extra mp3 player, like an iPod Classic, and have one more device to keep track of?
As usual, it depends on your own needs and preferences: what are you doing, and what do you need the device for?
If space and weight is an absolute concern, just take your phone. Any smartphone on the market today can store music and stream music from one of the streaming services such as Pandora, iHeartRadio, Spotify, or even Stitcher for podcast fans.
But an mp3 player can be a great option if you have space or data concerns or if you want to work out while you’re traveling and prefer not to use your phone while exercising. It’s also a great option to avoid wearing down the battery on your phone while you’re in transit.
A small iPod shuffle can be extremely convenient when you’re traveling. You can easily stick the device in your pocket or clip it to a clothing item so you don’t lose it. And since it was specifically marketed for those that work out, it’s a great option if you want to work out on the road.
Another choice to make is whether you should store music on your device or use a streaming service such as Pandora iHeartRadio, Spotify, or Stitcher. Storing music on your phone takes up storage space, while using a streaming service uses data and your service may cut out while you’re in transit, unless you want to pay for wifi on the plane.
But no matter whether you bring your smartphone or your mp3 player and no matter how you store it, take a moment to remember that people used to make mix tapes or CDs.
How do you listen to music when you travel? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.
- Smartphone Music Apps To Pay Attention To In 2015 (hypebot.com)
- Best MP3 Player Deals are Right Now (dailytwocents.com)
- WHO recommends just one hour of music everyday to avoid hearing loss (techienews.co.uk)
It’s never a surprise to hear that Amazon is planning to do something new, but this may be a little unusual: the online bookseller company has now decided to venture into the hotel booking business.
We recently read a Skift.com article about details about the contract, which discusses how they’re compensating the hotels and what type of commissions Amazon will receive for the service.
We actually didn’t even know Amazon was getting into the travel business, but it makes sense that an online mega-player such as Amazon would jump into the lucrative hotel marketplace. The company has already dipped its toes into the hotel booking pool by offering severely discounted, last minute deals via Amazon Local, which is a service similar to Groupon, but less well known.
The new scheme will expand that market significantly and allow hotels to list full price rooms.
It’s hard to say how their prices will shake out in comparison to discount travel sites at this point and it will be fascinating to see how this foray will work out for them. We’re especially interested to see how they stack up against Expedia, which we consider to be the main powerhouse in the travel website space.
Since Expedia has just gobbled up Travelocity, Orbitz, and other travel websites, we’ve seen a trend toward consolidation. It will be interesting to see how Amazon’s entrance affects all of that. Although the older companies have a big head start, Amazon is known for introducing change into the marketplace just by being one of the biggest.
According to the Skift article, Amazon Local first began discussing the plan with hotels last September and is already testing out the scheme in limited marketplaces.
What do you think about Amazon’s entrance into the travel space? Would you book a hotel room through them? And have you ever heard of Amazon Local before? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page, and let us know if you’ll use Amazon for future travel.
- After Travelocity, Expedia Also Snaps Up Orbitz (pcmag.com)
- Why you should check prices on hotel websites before ordering from a mega site (geektime.com)
- Expedia to buy Orbitz for $1.6 billion (computerworld.co.nz)
- What the recent travel tech deals mean for the hotel industry (tnooz.com)
Do your kids drag their art supplies everywhere they go? Do you head over to Grandma’s house with backpacks overflowing with pencils, pens, markers, scissors, and different types of paper?
If so, you’re probably excited that they’re excited and that they’re doing something other than playing video games or looking at a screen. However, you may be less excited at the thought of dragging a mountain of art supplies with you on your next vacation.
Think about how much downtime your kids will actually have while on the vacation. If you’re flying to Disney World, their schedules are probably going to be jam packed. If you’re driving to Oklahoma, though, you may want to pack more extensively.
Think about how much storage space the supplies are going to take up and how much you actually have. Again, if you’re flying, space will be more limited as opposed to driving, where you and your kid may be able to spread out and bring everything but the kitchen sink.
In either case, keep in mind the fact that if you pack too much stuff, your kids are more apt to lose something. If you’re changing hotels or locations, things may get forgotten, so focusing on just a small amount of art supplies can be helpful. Keep an inventory of what they have so you can make sure that certain items don’t get left behind as you travel.
It’s also not a bad idea to invest in a “travel only” set of art supplies to use while in transit. And then have a few more things packed away in the luggage to use while at your destination.
When you’re on vacation, we at TravelPro always think it’s best to get the most bang for your buck as far as packing space goes. The best option may be to limit your kids to just a pad of paper and one set of pencils. Talk to your kids about nomadic art and the fact that some professional artists carry only a small notebook and a pencil to make sketches on the go.
What do you do when your budding artists want to take their entire studio with them? Do you have any go-to supplies or favorite items you have to take? Any tips for parents of new artists? Leave them in our comments or on our Facebook page.
- Watercolor car kit travels small but paints big (mockingbirdsatmidnight.com)
Reversing the direction of what we’ve seen recently in frequent flyer programs, Business Insider says that airlines are now finding value in their frequent flyer programs.
The recent trend has been for airlines to find ways to deny privileges to customers involved in frequent flyer programs (such as putting a stop to mileage runs). That trend probably isn’t going to change, but airlines are finding ways to monetize these programs in a way that, so far, doesn’t seem to be of much benefit to travelers themselves.
Getting on board the Big Data bandwagon, airlines have started harvesting and selling the data they’ve gathered about their frequent flyers. They’re selling this data to a variety of sources; Business Insider lists credit card providers, rental car companies, and hotels.
This data is so valuable, Air Berlin recently sold a stake in its frequent flyer program for more than what the entire Air Berlin corporation was valued at.
“It’s extremely powerful data, especially as it tends to be slanted towards the premium segment,” said Marc Allsop, senior vice president and head of global business development at Aimia.
In other words, frequent flyers tend to be very desirable customers. Anyone who travels enough to rack up that many miles tends to have money to spare, even when the person’s travel is on the company’s dime.
Plus, the information being harvested isn’t just related to facts about the person. It can potentially include details about recent trips a particular person has taken.
How do you feel about your frequent flyer information being harvested and sold to a third party? Leave us a comment to let us know if that sounds just fine to you or if you’d prefer to go back to the days when your data was just between you and your airline.
- Travel rewards becoming a bigger concern (lexingtonlaw.com)
- Credit companies increasing rewards offers (lexingtonlaw.com)
- Best way to redeem travel points: Why hoarding points is a bad investment (getrichslowly.org)