Learn to Pack Like the Marines

August 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The Marines are known for their dedication, skill, and bravery. What you might not know is how well they can pack. A Marine is only given one sea bag, a military duffel bag, to fit all his or her belongings. Packing efficiently is a must.

They have developed a packing technique called the skivvy roll or grunt roll. It combines a t-shirt, shorts or underwear, and a pair of socks into a single small roll that’s easy to count and manage. If you have a complete roll, you have a complete under-outfit.

  • Place t-shirt flat and unfolded. Stretch and smooth it to remove wrinkles.
  • Fold underwear in half length-wise, and place on top of shirt below shirt collar.
  • Fold the sides of shirt length-wise over the underwear.
  • Lay socks flat over shirt sleeves in a crisscross pattern. Leave the leg of the sock hanging outside of the shirt. Ankle socks will not work. It will look sort of like a letter ‘T.’
  • Roll items from collar down. Leave sock legs outside of roll.
  • Fold one loose sock leg over rolled items.
  • Repeat with other loose sock leg. You will have a completed skivvy roll.

There are many sites with step-by-step instructions and pictures demonstrating each step (we like the one on Huckberry.com). This technique may have Marine origins but that does not mean we civilians can’t use it for our everyday travel needs.

The skivvy roll is great for going on camping trips or traveling when space is very limited. You don’t want to lug three bags through the airport because of inefficient packing. It also ensures you have plenty of socks and underwear for each day you will be gone, since one roll equals one shirt, one pair of underwear, and one pair of socks. One day, one roll. Five days, five rolls.

What are some packing techniques you use? Leave a comment and let us know.

Seth Godin on Stress-Free Travel for People Who Stress Easily

August 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Some people love to travel and find it very relaxing. It’s another adventure they can’t wait to take. Other people get very stressed, and they’re less interested in the journey than the destination. What if I forget something? Which gate has my flight? Did it change? Where do I get my ticket? What about security?

On of our favorite marketing authors, Seth Godin, came up with a witty list of anecdotes called “Self Assurance Checklist for the Anxious Traveler.”

Author Seth Godin at PDF 2007

Author Seth Godin at PDF 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We wondered if some of his points may be a little far-fetched — ship your favorite pillow to your destination ahead of time — but we all know people for whom this would be a very reassuring and important detail. They want to be sure of a good night’s sleep, and they don’t want a crick in their neck from sleeping on an under-stuffed and overused hotel pillow.

Godin makes points about planning, parking, and packing. Research the area around the takeoff airport, the landing airport, and the hotel in case you forgot to pack something or need to kill time. He also recommends taking a photo of where you parked and emailing it to a friend, in case you forget where you left your car.

The last suggestion may seem to be a bit much since you could just as easily look at the photo once you return to the parking lot, but it doesn’t hurt for that extra step of preparation in case you lost your phone or it died.

When it comes to packing, lay out the clothes you want to take a few days before the flight, and see if they’ll all fit into your luggage. If it doesn’t, eliminate what you can until it does. This way you know everything fits and that it’s all packed and ready to go.

Traveling does not have to be stressful, even for the most anxious of travelers. If you know you’re going to be nervous about your trip, and want to make sure you have all the bases covered, read Seth Godin’s list a few times, and take flight.

Share any tips that you use to reduce stress when traveling.

Travelpro Introduces National Geographic Explorer Cape Town and Leather Brief Collections

August 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

When Business or Adventure Calls, the Tough and Stylish National Geographic Explorer Cape Town Collection is Up for the Job

Travelpro, the inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a market leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, is proud to partner with National Geographic, one of the world’s largest scientific and educational nonprofit organizations, to introduce the new National Geographic Explorer Cape Town and Leather Brief Collections.

“Around the world or around the block, the National Geographic Explorer Cape Town Collection brings together vintage styling with intelligent storage and a durable canvas fabric that’s perfect for today’s active traveler,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “Additionally, National Geographic’s net proceeds support vital exploration, conservation, research and education programs.”

National Geographic Cape Town Duffel

National Geographic Cape Town Duffel

The National Geographic Explorer Cape Town Collection features a single and double gusset briefcase, available in khaki and navy colors. Both briefcases feature comfortably-padded, adjustable shoulder straps, made of sturdy cotton webbing that will stand up to the rigors of world travel. A removable, padded sleeve holds laptops up to 15.6″ while the spacious main compartment is ideal for storage of a tablet, file folders and power cords. The front pocket business organizer holds pens, business cards, a phone and other small items.

For adventure or leisure travel, the Cape Town Collection’s 21″ duffel bag is the perfect carry-on bag. The cavernous main compartment with a rear zippered pocket is ideal for storing clothing, toiletries, electronics and the amenities travelers need. Available in khaki and navy, the 21″ Carry- On Duffel Bag’s padded shoulder strap and cushioned carry handle offer maximum comfort on long trips. Moreover, the interesting heat-embossed map lining captures the spirit of National Geographic.

When adventure calls, the collection’s versatile daypack makes travel a breeze. The main compartment and multiple exterior pockets provide ample storage space and organization for tablets, business cards, a smart phone, file folders, power cables and more. The Explorer Cape Town Collection also features a messenger bag that includes storage for up to a 15.6″ laptop and other business and travel essentials. The attractive flap-over design with antique buckle closures keeps contents secure. Both items are also available in khaki and navy colors.

National Geographic Leather Briefcase

National Geographic Leather Briefcase

Made of full grain, genuine leather, the National Geographic Explorer Leather Briefcase is a business workhorse. The rugged good looks of distressed leather make an impression in the boardroom or at the corner cafe. A removable, padded sleeve holds laptops up to a 15.6″ laptop or a tablet. Available in espresso and mocha leather colors, the brief blends good looks with ultimate functionality.

For additional information on the National Geographic Explorer Cape Town and Leather Brief Collections or any other of National Geographic or Travelpro’s expansive lines of luggage, please contact howard@gohrmc.com or call 305-573-0882.

About National Geographic

With a mission to inspire people to care about the planet, the 126-year-old National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Working to inspire, illuminate and teach, the member-supported Society reaches over 600 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

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 worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. Travelpro was honored to receive the New Product Innovation Award from the Travel Goods Association (TGA) in March 2013 for the revolutionary Platinum Magna luggage collection.

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.

Bring This, Not That: Portable Battery Chargers

August 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

In light of the TSA’s new “no dead electronics” policy, not having any charge is more inconvenient than just not being able to check email or play Flappy Bird. If you can’t charge your phone at a TSA checkpoint, you can either have your phone sent to your home or they’ll keep it for you until you return to the airport.

And while people are asking that the TSA bring power outlets to those checkpoints, it may be a good idea to have a portable battery charger in your bag. Even if you’re not traveling on a plane, a batter charger may make your life easier.

Cell phone and battery charger

Cell phone and battery charger

For frequent travelers, a dead phone, laptop, or tablet can be a serious problem. People need more and longer power to be able to work and entertain themselves while on their journey. I have gone on long trips, and even though I power down before takeoff, my phone can still be at 10 or 15 percent when I get to my destination. If I’m not going to be near a wall socket for a few hours, that’s a problem.

Luckily, portable batteries are becoming more prevalent and more affordable for the everyday person. Until they figure out how to reconfigure batteries to last longer, portable batteries are a great option. We’ve found five of the “juiciest portable battery options”, according to an article on Digital Trends.

  • RAVPower Xtreme Portable External Battery Charger
  • Lumsing Harmonica Style Portable Power Bank
  • Anker 2nd Gen Astro3 Portable External Battery
  • Jackery Bar Portable Charger
  • EasyAcc Slim Power Bank Charger

These range from $20 to $100. They also vary in power capacity, how many devices you can hook up and the weight. The EasyAcc only weighs about a quarter pound, which is great for travelers who are limited by weight of baggage. A friend recently bought one from Amazon for $23, and he’s able to charge his Android phone 5 times.

Another option is the Pocket Socket Portable Hand Generator available on ThinkGeek.com. It requires a lot of hand cranking, but it’s very useful if you happen to be in the car, or are stuck in a zombie apocalypse, and far away from a power source.

For as light and inexpensive as these batteries are getting, they may end up being a great alternative to trying to find an outlet in the airport or at a restaurant to extend your battery life.

Bring This, Not That: Charging Cables and Extension Cords

August 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you seen the new cell phone commercials that show travelers and their phones hugging the walls while they try to power up their battery hogging devices? Have you ever been one of those wall huggers? It may get worse, thanks to the TSA’s new rules that require devices to be able to power up at checkpoints.

This is going to be a bigger problem, as most airports seem to have only one outlet for the entire terminal, although some airlines, like Delta, are adding more power outlets to their gates. Even so, there are still a limited number of outlets to use. And half the people using them are watching Netflix on their iPads, when you’ve got important work to get finished.

Pivot Power GeniusThis is where a charging cable and extension cord may come in handy. We’re not referring to those bulky beige utility-style surge protector extension cords. There are smaller more compact and flexible options out there, like the Pivot Power Genius available at ThinkGeek.com or other electronics stores.

Imagine pulling one of these out of your bag and asking someone nearby to plug it in. What cranky flight-delayed person would say no? They may not be any happier, but you may brighten a couple other people’s days.

The Pivot Power is just one option out there. There are hand crank generators, portable hydrogen fuel cell generators (no, seriously), and even Tony Stark’s Iron Man Mark V Armor Suitcase Mobile Fuel Cell. And of course, even a 3-in-1 splitter and 1 foot extension cord would let you share a plug with two new friends.

An extension cord is not only convenient in airports but also for hotels. Most hotels have made it so outlets are easily accessible and plentiful. However, if you happen to book a hotel that hasn’t been updated in the last 20 years, the extension cord can save a lot of hassle. You may also run into problems if a hotel’s desk lamp plug doesn’t accommodate your bulky charger block.

Now that we depend on all these electronic devices, it’s just as important to be able to power them up conveniently and quickly. Now that the TSA’s rules are changing, and we’re dependent on our phones and tablets, don’t leave yourself without an option to power up.

TSA’s New Smartphone Rules May Cause Bigger Problems

August 14, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Thanks to new proposed rules regarding dead mobile phones and tablets, many travelers are worried about what could happen if their portable electronics die before they get through airport security.

The new rules require that all electronic devices must be able to be powered up at security, after it was revealed that Al Qaeda has figured out how to disguise bombs in electronic devices without detection. Currently, the only flights affected are those going into the United States, but not out of the country, or within it.

The Controversy

Cell phone and battery charger

Cell phone and battery charger

What happens when someone cannot power up his or her devices? According to an article by Conde Nast, the dead devices would be held at the airport or could be shipped to the owner’s house. If the devices are held at the airport, where would they be stored and what kind of security would oversee this storage? Many people have expressed concern at possibly being without their phones because of a dead battery, especially when their power cable is in their luggage.

The Costs

If the devices are to be shipped to the owner’s house, this method could be quite costly, especially for travelers returning to the US. Depending on how the policy is enacted and enforced, there could be a lot of confiscated devices to process.

One suggestion we’ve seen lately is to install electrical outlets and chargers at security stations. This means airports would have to relocate power supplies and install plugs. Then they would have to allow time for devices to charge enough to power up. However, this would solve the problem for travelers whose mobile device died in the airport. Another possibility would be charging stations outside security, where people can charge for several minutes before entering the line.

Will This Create Backups?

On the other hand, what kind of problems could be created as people fumble with dead phones, trying to charge them at the new stations, or even arranging them to have sent back home. And, what if you miss your flight? Though the new rules are for safety and security, the implementation process could cause quite a dilemma for many travelers if it’s not planned and implemented well.

Word to the wise: regardless of where you’re traveling, charge all your devices before heading out to catch your flight.

Gatwick Airport Tests Hi-Tech Security and Passenger Technology

August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Remember how impressed you were the first time you saw an airport faucet that turned on automatically when you waved your hand in front of them? (Don’t pretend you weren’t!)

It’s almost shocking how far airports have come technologically since then. Case in point: Gatwick Airport’s chief information officer, Michael Ibbitson, recently told FutureTravelExperience.com about the new technology that’s not just wowing passengers, but also streamlining the passenger experience and making travel safer for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the technological advances Gatwick has made.

Speeding Up Bag Check

English: Gatwick South Terminal Zone K check-i...

Gatwick South Terminal Zone K check-in concourse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Automated bag check and check-in are technologies well on their way to mass adoption at this point, but Gatwick is aiming to make them more efficient than ever.

EasyJet has been testing a bag drop system fueled by Phase 5 Technology at its Gatwick hub. According to Ibbitson, the average passenger took 76 seconds to process — the goal is to get passengers through in 45 — so they’re tweaking the system, working toward maximum efficiency.

Automated Security

One of the major headaches of air travel, no matter how far you’re traveling, is getting through security. Gatwick is attempting to make security checkpoints smoother by automating them — the systems installed in 2012 have cut wait time to an average of a mere 107 seconds — and installing Security Max lanes that will enable even more passengers to prepare for the checkpoint at once.

Iris Scanning Technology

The wildest technology we read about: Biometrics as a single passenger token. The gist is that when you check in at the airport and drop your bag off, a machine also scans your iris — an identity marker that’s almost impossible to forfeit — and all your passenger information, from baggage tracking to your passport and boarding pass, is encoded into the scan.

A single scan of your iris is all it takes to move you through the rest of the travel process throughout the airport — and even at your destination.

According to the Future Travel Experience post, this technology is well within reach — it’s the widespread implementation of the technology at airports worldwide that will take some time.

What technology would you most like to see implemented in your favorite airport? The sky’s the limit, so they say — leave a comment with your loftiest technology dreams.

How In-Flight Cell Phone Use May Affect Passenger Experience

August 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

On board and ready to go home

(Photo credit: Lee Bennett)

In recent months, at least one part of flight attendants’ pre-flight script has changed noticeably: Now, instead of powering down mobile devices, passengers are asked to put them in Airplane Mode. Even during taxiing and take-off, the devices can remain on, but they must stay in Airplane Mode.

The move may be one small step toward full-blown mobile usage in flight. Data usage is still forbidden — unless through onboard wifi — but even that may change sometime soon. FutureTravelExperience.com has written on their blog about the changes at length from a passenger experience perspective.

The real sticky wicket of in-flight mobile device usage, though, revolves not around data, but voice calling. Passengers have long been requesting to use their smart phones and other devices for data, but how do they feel about in-flight voice calls?

We know how several members of Congress feel about it: In mid-February 2014, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted through an act that would bar airline passengers from talking on their cell phones while in the air.

Supporting the Prohibiting In-Flight Voice Communications on Mobile Wireless Devices Act, Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster told D.C. blog The Hill, “This bill is simple. When it comes to cell phones on planes, tap, don’t talk. … Airplane cabins are by nature noisy, crowded, and confined.”

The legislation hasn’t gone anywhere since then, so it remains to be seen how the government will regulate the use of cell phones while in flight.

Airlines’ reactions have been mixed on whether passengers will be allowed to make in-air calls even if they are legally permitted to do so by government regulation. Southwest and Delta Airlines have said they will ban in-flight voice calls, according to the Future Travel Experience blog, while JetBlue says it will look to its customers for a consensus before deciding.

But we want to hear what you think. Would passengers’ ability to make voice calls make travel more stressful for you? Would in-air voice capability make a difference in how you do business while traveling? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

Travelpro’s State-of-the-Art Luggage Testing Facility Ensures Highest Quality

August 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a market leader in innovative luggage design has created a state-of-the-art testing facility at their Boca Raton, Florida, headquarters to ensure the highest quality luggage for flight crews and frequent travelers.

Travelpro’s in-house testing team conducts a full range of qualification protocols across all their luggage brands. It is designed to support all the performance testing needs of their rigorous Product Design and Development process.

Crew 10 Computer Bag (Details)

Crew 10 Computer Tote

“Our testing facility further ensures our continued commitment to providing the finest, most durable luggage worldwide,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “When we offer a comprehensive warranty on our bags, it means we’ve thoroughly and rigorously tested each product to our demanding testing standards. If a bag fails even a single test, it is sent back to the factory for improvements and then tested again, until all tests are passed.”

This commitment to quality through product testing has spanned over two decades, since the days when Northwest Airlines pilot, Robert Plath, invented the original Rollaboard luggage in 1987 and founded Travelpro. Today, Travelpro has continued to grow its reputation of innovation, style and durability by ensuring that its products meet or exceed testing standards throughout the product life cycle.

Multiple, professionally designed industry leading tests are applied to Travelpro products to guarantee state-of-the-art workmanship and quality of materials. The Wheel Tester thoroughly tests luggage wheels to provide a smooth and effortless roll with long-term reliability. Extension Handle Testing subjects the retractable handles to 10,000 up and down movements to verify its reliability during repeated use. The Zipper Test activates outer and interior zippers thousands of times to replicate ‘real-world’ usage over the life of the bag.

Fabrics are tested for seam strength, resistance to wear and tear, color consistency under different lighting conditions and color stability under wet and dry conditions. Each test is monitored and recorded by quality verification testers.

The process doesn’t stop there. Throughout the life of a product line, Travelpro will randomly select bags for testing to ensure they continue to maintain the same level of quality over time. Thanks to this focus on quality through constant testing, Travelpro luggage lasts longer, maintaining customer loyalty.

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 worldwide. Travelpro is dedicated to building a lifelong relationship with its customers by consistently understanding and exceeding their needs. Travelpro was honored to receive the New Product Innovation Award from the Travel Goods Association (TGA) in March 2013 for the revolutionary Platinum Magna luggage collection.

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.

How to Cope With The Worst Travel Scenarios

August 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Not to diminish any travel woes you’ve experienced — trust me, we’ve all been through enough horrible delays and cancellations to know how frustrating they are — but after reading a recent Budget Travel blog post, I’m grateful for the low drama factor of my travel mishaps.

If you thought having your flight canceled and being stuck overnight is the worst it can get, think again. Here are a couple of the worst-case scenarios I hope you’ll never have to face.

Getting Arrested in a Foreign Country

English: Chancery of the Manila American Embas...

Chancery of the Manila American Embassy. Official photo from THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S REGISTER OF CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT PROPERTY. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve all heard horror stories about winding up in a Thai prison…well, for some it’s a reality.

Cultural differences can sometimes translate into legal differences, too — or maybe you’ve just behaved very badly — but your first step in the right direction if you’ve gotten into legal trouble is to call the embassy. They may not be able to get you off the hook right away, but the embassy will at least help ensure that you have legal counsel.

It would also behoove you to check out the State Department’s website for insight into the customs and laws of the area you’re traveling to.

Finding Yourself in the Middle of a Natural Disaster

This actually happened to me back in the ’90s: During a sales meeting in Key West, Fla., a hurricane rolled through during the night. There was a lot of wind and rain and the power went out, but we were otherwise unaffected.

If you find yourself in a more severe situation, the best thing to do is listen to local authorities. Also be sure to contact family and loved ones as soon as possible to ensure they know you’re all right.

If you have access to the Internet, your local embassy’s website is a great resource for emergency personnel, hospitals and the like — but the Budget Travel article recommends finding a major hotel if you can’t get online and need to know what to do beyond following the authorities’ instructions.

Our favorite tip: Register your travel abroad with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program — we’d never heard of it until we read the Budget Travel blog post, but it’s a great idea and sounds easy to implement.

Have you experienced one of these nightmare travel scenarios? How did you react, and how did the situation turn out? Leave a comment and tell your story.

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