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.

Brussels Airport Seeks to Reduce Wait Times With Passenger Tracking Sensors

June 23, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent article on the Future Travel Experience website discusses a new initiative at the Brussels Airport: tracking customers via their personal electronic devices in order to create estimates of how long it will take passengers to travel through the airport. They’re hoping this will help reduce queues at the airport: If officials know when to expect passengers at the gate, they can effectively staff for the influx.

According to the article, “the sensors, which are supplied by BLIP Systems, track passengers via their personal electronic devices. They collect the unique Media Access Control (MAC) addresses of phones, tablets and other devices searching for a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection.”

Brussels Airport Terminal A

Brussels Airport Terminal A

The sensors will record as passengers pass by them to help predict the length of the passengers’ travel time through the airport. This can also provide accurate times to airport and airline personnel about how quickly travelers will get through security and so on.

But many folks may not have their phone searching for a Wi-Fi connection or their Bluetooth activated, especially when traveling internationally. So this type of tracking may not work for everyone. (Of course, most Europeans traveling through Europe will already have their phones activated, so it will track with intra-continental travelers.)

We think this kind of tracking will continue to be on the rise. In the airport of the future, there may be a way to do this easily, and it will be more common as time goes on. Recording and predicting traffic patterns of travelers is something we think will become more widespread as time goes on.

However, it’s not clear whether this is a voluntary tracking system from the viewpoint of the traveler, although the system will only aggregate non-personally identifiable information. Is this something that travelers should be worried about? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

How Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers Travel

June 18, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

The differences between Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers are never more evident than when we travel. Where we go, how we get there, what we do, and how much we spend all vary depending on our demographic. We’re alike in some ways, we’re very different in others.

Shullman Research studied households with an annual income of more than $75,000 to see how each group preferred to travel, and created an infographic to show us just what those differences were.

English: Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship.

Dubrovnik old city and cruise ship. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are a few examples of what they found.

  • Millennials head to Hawaii more than Boomers and Gen Xers: 19% of Millennials travel to the 50th state, compared to 6% each of Boomers and Gen Xers. Meanwhile, 10% of Boomers prefer Nevada’s dry climate, while 18% of Gen X prefers Florida.
  • When it comes to international travel, 23% of Millennials visit Asia, Generation X heads to the Caribbean (22%) or Canada (21%), while we Boomers head to Europe (61%) or the Caribbean (my favorite; I’m part of the 48% who vacation there).
  • Flying is the preferred method of travel, with 28% of Millennials, 36% of Gen Xers, and 31% of Boomers taking to the air. But 39% of Gen X also prefers to travel by car, since they can turn this thing around if you don’t settle down back there.
  • When it comes to cruises, we were surprised to see Millennials actually prefer them more than their older counterparts — 16% versus 11% (Gen X) and 13% (Boomers).

For more insights and information, you can see the entire infographic at AdWeek.com, and get a better insight into how different demographic groups prefer to travel.

What are your travel preferences? Do you match up with your demographic group, or do you prefer going against conventional wisdom? Leave a comment and let us hear from you.

Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Flight Attendants

June 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If your image of flight attendants is one of “sky waitress,” think again. Even though many people unfortunately think of flight attendants as airborne waitstaff, the truth is that serving food and snacks is not the most important part of the job.

The most important aspect of a flight attendant’s job: your safety.

A recent article on Yahoo Travel gave us the lowdown on flight attendants. And while we thought we knew most of the “surprising things,” there were a few that even surprised us.

Singapore Airlines flight attendants

Singapore Airlines flight attendants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First of all, the government considers flight attendants to be first responders, just like fire fighters and paramedics. Many are trained in all kinds of ways to respond to emergencies including CPR training and helping people give birth. Some airlines even require their flight attendants to attend jungle survival skill training, and many require their flight attendants know how to swim.

We think it’s a tough, demanding job. Flight attendants have to deal with a lot of challenging situations, including the ones created by their own airlines. For example, as more airlines are charging for checked bags, this is creating a situation where there’s often not enough space in the overhead bins for all the carry-on bags.

Guess who gets to tell the last passengers they have to check their bags.

This brings us to another requirement of flight attendants: They also are often required to have a high tolerance for interacting with people behaving badly. Remember the last time you saw a passenger get irate with a flight attendant? That wasn’t the only time they had to deal with an angry passenger that day.

Finally, flight attendants need to enjoy flying. Not just tolerate it, enjoy it. That’s because some of them don’t live in the same city as their main hub airport. That means they have to fly into work just to do their job.

Do you have any good stories about flight attendants who made your trip a real treat? Let us hear from you. Leave us a comment here or over on our Facebook page.

Bring This, Not That: Phones versus Cameras

June 11, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

When packing for vacations, should you add in your camera or just rely on your phone to take your travel photos? Smartphone cameras have gotten sophisticated and professional enough, that many of us have no idea where our “real cameras” are now, or when we last charged them.

However, knowing our vacation is coming up can have us digging through our junk drawers, looking not just for the camera, but also for the charging cord and the instructions.

an APS compact camera by KYOCERA

an APS compact camera (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, should you take your camera with you, or just leave it at home (or give it to your kids as something they can use for their own pictures)?

We think that, unless you’re a decent photographer with a good SLR camera, you should skip the little point-and-shoots and just use your phone. The resolution is the same as the compact cameras, it’s one less thing to recharge, and you can upload your photos to your favorite storage site without worrying about downloading.

If you have a high-end camera, or are a skilled, serious photographer, take it along. Taking high quality photos may be part of the vacation experience for you.

Otherwise why bother lugging a compact camera around and adding it to the ever-growing pile of gadgets that need to be recharged? If you just want to take some photos to remember the trip and to upload to social media, the phone will serve you better in any case.

You have a lot of options for storing and sharing photos from a phone that are probably not available on your camera. And with the latest generation of phones, you can even edit photos and videos. You can’t do that on the point-and-shoots.

And if you’re in a pinch, don’t forget that your tablet can also take photos.

What do you think? Do you take your small cameras along, or do you leave them at home and just use your phones? Leave a comment below or over on our Facebook page.

4 Frequent Flier Mile Pro Tips

June 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

One thing that we think about fairly often is frequent flier miles and programs. Since the airlines are changing how their programs are working, we’re always looking for new ways to earn and use miles.

A recent article on Vox.com gives us a few more tips on how to use these programs wisely.

United Airlines

United Airlines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The first frequent flier programs was started in 1981 by American Airlines and was such a raging success that it immediately inspired other airlines to follow suit. And of course, these programs remain in place to this day.

(Which also means if one airline does something, it won’t be long before another one joins them. This includes changes to your frequent flier program.)

When you travel, figure out which program best suits your travel habits. Don’t just think about the airline you always fly; look at the one that best suits your needs based on how you travel versus how you spend money.

There are two basic types of rewards systems: mileage-based and spending-based. Mileage-based systems award you for the miles you travel; spending-based programs (i.e. credit cards) award points based on your spending. In many cases, airlines are now basing their awards on spending as well (cost of ticket).

If you frequently travel long distances, a mileage-based system may be your best bet, although the article says those types of programs are becoming a thing of the past.

Also, choose your airline program based on practical considerations, such as living near and flying out of a particular airport’s hub. If you live near Chicago O’Hare, United Airlines is your main airline, so it doesn’t make as much sense to join Delta’s program.

Another challenge is time and cost. When do you need to fly and what flights are available versus the cost of those flights? If you have the time, you can wait for cheaper flights. If you don’t have time, you may spend more money to fly when it fits your schedule, which may affect whether you can fly on your chosen airline.

If this happens frequently, this is where the spending-based program is your better option.

Finally, we also like the tip, “don’t’ sit on your miles, spend them.” Spend them when you get them. There’s no need to hoard miles. Use them for upgrades, or swap them out for merchandise, or even in a points-swapping program, like Points.com.

How do you manage your miles? Let us hear from you. Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

Travel Robots Are Taking Over Our Vacations

June 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

While we still don’t have jetpacks, or personal hovercraft to take us to work, we are seeing more robots that assist travelers with mundane, easily automated tasks.

After reading about them in a Yahoo Travel article, these robots sound like they will add a lot of comfort and convenience to the weary traveler.

English: Amsterdam Schiphol Airport entrance

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First up is the car parking valet robot, located in Germany’s Düsseldorf Airport. This handy robot allows travelers to drop their cars off and then actually transports them to be held in a secret parking location. When you return, the parking robot will already have your car waiting for you, and you don’t have to tip. That sounds pretty great.

Another exciting robot is located at the award-winning Indianapolis airport. This robot is located atop a Segway and gives travelers directions around the airport. It’s like the virtual presence device Sheldon created on Big Bang Theory when he met Steve Wozniak.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has included some robots on the payroll as well. These robots sort baggage and load it onto carts.

Royal Caribbean’s new ship, Quantum of the Seas has an even more exciting robot. It actually makes drinks! Travelers input drink orders into a tablet and the robot cranks them out for you.

And finally, Starwood’s Aloft hotel in Cupertino, California, has put a robot to work delivering room service. The main benefit here is that you don’t have to worry about looking respectable when your room service arrives. We’re not sure about the etiquette of robot tipping, however.

We do wonder how far away we are from fully automatic baggage checks. It seems like it would be a pretty great use of this type of technology and it sounds like some places are already halfway there.

We noticed that the bottom of the article contained a survey for readers to indicate how comfortable they are with the new robot technology that is beginning to surround us. Over half of those answering said they are excited about the technology with a much smaller percentage of people worried about robots taking jobs and/or destroying humanity.

How do you feel about robots in the travel business? Visit our Facebook page and leave a comment, or just leave one below. Let us hear from you.

Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage Debut the “2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide”

June 3, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Make the Day Memorable with a Travel Gift He Will Never Forget

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage, and Atlantic Luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands, are pleased to announce their “2015 Father’s Day Gift Guide.” Surprise that special man in your life with the gift of something spectacular from their comprehensive lines of innovative carry-on luggage, designed to perfectly fit the needs of both the business and leisure traveler.

“Our Gift Guide offers a variety of choices sure to make every man on your list remember this year’s Father’s Day,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro and Atlantic family of brands. “Our products are rugged and built to last, which is why they go through extensive performance testing and are backed by substantial warranties.”

Selected to delight your husband, dad, or other father figure in your life, the five pieces that comprise this Gift Guide are all memorable due to their quality, style and versatility. The Atlantic Ultra Lite 3 21″ Expandable Spinner is ideal for men on the go. Designed for those looking for lightweight luggage at an affordable price, this attractive option is made with water-repellent polyester fabric, high-mileage spinner wheels that roll effortlessly, convenient exterior pockets and comfortable carry handles. The “intelligent” interior ensures packing flexibility with two side mesh pockets, a full-size mesh lid and adjustable hold-down straps with Duraflex buckles. It is built to go the distance, features expansion capabilities for extra packing and is available in sleek black.

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Slim Briefcase

Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Slim Briefcase

Make a bold statement with the Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Checkpoint Friendly Slim Brief, which integrates fine leather accents and durable fabrics with Travelpro’s outstanding attention to detail. The confident style and functional efficiency are a reflection of Travelpro’s commitment to business travelers worldwide. The Checkpoint Friendly compartment features a padded and quilted corduroy pocket for laptops up to 15.6″, plus a separate padded tablet pocket. Its built-in business organizer and removable cord pouch provide efficient storage for business essentials and power cables, while an RFID-blocking pocket keeps credit cards and passports hidden to protect against loss and identity theft.

The Travelpro Maxlite 19″ Business Plus Hardside Spinner offers the ultimate in versatility and durability. This amazingly lightweight carry-on piece has a strong 100% polycarbonate hard shell for ultimate protection plus the patented Contour Grip to ensure effortless maneuverability. Featuring 2″ of expansion capacity, this model offers a dual wheel spinner system, integrated TSA lock for added security and an exterior pocket that opens for easy access to a fully-integrated business organizer for storing files, paperwork, a cell phone, pens, cables and more. With padded sleeves to conveniently hold both a laptop and tablet, this versatile carry-on spinner is a true breakthrough in durability, style and value — perfect for any business trip.

For the man seeking adventure, the T-Pro Bold 2.0 by Travelpro Computer Backpack is a welcome travel companion. The T-Pro Bold collection by Travelpro is ready to go anywhere, over rough terrain or city streets. Amazingly durable, lightweight and versatile, the Computer Backpack features both a padded computer and tablet sleeve which provides protection and fast access when you need it. The backpack is made of rugged, high-density polyester fabric with a water repellent coating for greater stain and abrasion resistance and even has an easy-to-reach water bottle holder.

Tpro Bold 2 DuffelMake travel a breeze with another piece from the T-Pro Bold 2.0 Collection by Travelpro — the 26″ Drop-Bottom Rolling Duffel — which is the perfect gift for the adventure traveler in your life. For packing flexibility, a zippered divider panel allows for two separate packing spaces or, if opened, one large main compartment. The drop-bottom compartment features a 2″ expansion for even more packing space and flexibility.

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.

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