Clothing Tips for Smart Adventure Travelers

March 6, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Are you staring back-and-forth from your closet to your suitcase wondering what to pack for your next adventure travel? Our favorite travel writer and photographer (and contributor to the Travelpro blog), Mark Eveleigh, has some tips to think about when planning your outfits.

1. Pants and Shorts

Jeans are not recommended for adventure travel, because once they get wet, it’s game over. Instead of heavy denim that never dries, cargo pants are the way to go. They are light, dry quickly, and have pockets for storage.

If you’re traveling someplace warmer, tough bush-shorts are an excellent option. They have large pockets and are durable. You may even find cargo pants that unzip at the knee are ideal for places with temperature changes.

2. Shirts

Mark Eveleigh sporting his TPro Rolling Duffel in Chiapas

If there’s anyone who knows adventure travel, it’s this guy.

Any shirt is good as long as it’s durable and lightweight. You’ll want to stay with neutral colors, especially on safari, so you blend in with the brush. Shirts should be versatile enough to be worn outside during adventure excursions and to be worn when having drinks in the evening.

3. Bags

Eveleigh carries a kitbag, also called a duffle bag, where he stores most of his supplies. One of our colleagues also stated that a backpack could be just as useful, although Eveleigh has said he favors kitbags over backpacks. We wouldn’t recommend a vest with pockets because once they’re full, it’s heavy. And heavy isn’t good in heat.

4. Footwear

Cross country running shoes are ideal during adventure travel. Lightweight and compact, these shoes are perfect for an average trip. Also packing a pair of sandals or trekking shoes is a good idea for something to wear to dinner.

There are a lot more adventure travel packing tips at the Kitbaggers website. As long as you’re packing smart and taking only the things you need, you’ll have a good time.

Frequent Flier Miles Being Devalued

March 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’ve been thinking about signing up for an airline’s loyalty program, you may want to think again. Some airlines are devaluing their frequent flier mile programs, making free airline seats harder to earn.

Several years ago, airlines said they would never be so bold as to change their loyalty programs. They were afraid that if they changed the program, passengers would go elsewhere. You could earn large blocks of miles and obtain a free ticket fairly easily.

English: Different customer loyality cards (ai...

Different customer loyality cards (airlines, car rental companies, hotels etc.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently, airlines have been consolidating, making less competition for booking airfare. Therefore, they have more flexibility in changing their loyalty programs, adding more blackout dates, increasing the cost of rewards, and decreasing the point value of flights.

Peter Greenberg said on his blog that not only are frequent flier miles becoming harder to redeem, but also that the points to every dollar ratio are decreasing. This means that depending on the airline, your points can be up to 25% less in value.

Why is this happening? Why are airlines making it harder to be loyal to them?

It’s because airlines are already flying at close to full capacity, and there are fewer seats available on the market, which means the airlines don’t need to work quite as hard to earn your patronage. And since people are already paying for seats, why give one away? Ultimately, this is one of their methods to stay profitable. And one of the things that is suffering is the frequent flier programs.

Maybe it’s time to rethink how to earn points without being confined to a loyalty program that could be changed in a few years. You could always earn points on a credit card, something that I do on a regular basis. The value of the points you earn on credit cards can exceed the airline benefits and you are not confined to one air carrier when you book your air travel.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Bring This, Not That: Backpacks Versus Duffel Bags

February 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We were recently reminded of why we like being a luggage company after reading Mark Eveleigh’s post on his blog, Kitbaggers.com, extolling the virtue of kitbags (duffel bags) over backpacks.

The decision whether to carry that weight on my back for the next few months or to simply haul it on a kitbag with wheels is a no-brainer.
. . .
Before you head for the airport next time, at least spare a thought for which sort of bag is suited to your trip. On a relatively long adventure travel jaunt, there will be relatively few incidences when a backpack is preferable. There will be countless times, however, when you’ll whisper up a prayer of thanks for the foresight that turned you into a kitbagger. From the airport to the bus, to the hostel, to the bus, to the beach, to another hostel, to another bus, to a national park a tough, well-made kitbag on heavy-duty wheels is the easiest way to transport your kit across all but the roughest of dirt tracks.

Tpro Bold Duffel, open side

Tpro Bold kitbag, er duffel bag, can open from the side or top. It lets you sort items into compartments, and gives you easy access. Plus it rolls, so you don’t have to carry it.

Kitbag is a British word for a duffel bag, and there are several styles of kitbag — er, duffel bags — that have wheels on them. They’re easy to pick up and carry when necessary, and even easier to pull along behind you, just like a regular piece of Rollaboard® luggage. Travelpro offers a wide variety of rolling duffel bag styles in the T-Pro Bold, Platinum Magna and National Geographic luggage collections.

If you’ve ever hauled a 60-pound backpack for miles through Europe, South America, or Africa, you know how hot and sweaty you can get by toting around three month’s worth of belongings on your back. But pulling your bag behind you lets you not only carry more, but you can transport said bag more easily.

Bottom Line

Backpacks are great. They’re a lot of fun, they’re great for hiking and camping, and they have a secret gypsy vagabond appeal for many of us. We even make backpacks for people to haul their laptops, tablets and paperwork. It may not be trekking the rainforest of Chiapas or the streets of Paris, but you can still feel like you’re there, even when you’re just walking to your car after work.

But when it comes down to it, if you need something rugged, tough, and built to last, a rolling duffel bag kitbag is your best bet. They’re soft, so you can overstuff them. They have plenty of compartments, so you can keep items separated by function. And they open at the top so you can easily dig out an extra shirt or your book for the plane.

Mark wrote several posts for us in 2010 after hauling some of our T-Pro Bold rolling duffel bags (kitbags) through Chiapas, Mexico and down the Amazon River. We figured if anyone knows about proper adventure travel gear, it’s bound to be Mark.

So when he said kitbags, not backpacks, we wanted to pass on his thoughts to adventure traveler within us all.

Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage to Introduce Newest Luggage Innovations at the Travel Goods Association Show, March 11- 13

February 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and the winner of the 2013 Travel Goods Association’s (TGA) New Product Innovation Award, is proud to debut its latest luggage innovations at the 2014 Travel Goods Association Show, from March 11 – 13 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Travelpro will introduce three new luggage collections under the Travelpro brand, including Crew 10, Maxlite 3 and Marquis. Three collections will also be launched under the Atlantic brand, Atlantic Solstice, Debut and Lumina.

The new Crew 10 collection, the next generation of the legendary Crew product line, which has long been the choice of flight crews and frequent travelers around the world, will be unveiled at the TGA Show. It is a leap forward in innovation, lightweight durability, style and effortless mobility. One of the new features is its sliding compression strap system that allows the hold down straps to be moved from side to side the entire length of the bag to effectively secure different amounts of packed items during travel. Its patent-pending MagnaTrac system with built-in magnets instantly aligns wheels to roll straight for effortless mobility. The patented PowerScope aluminum extension handle minimizes wobble and has multiple stops at 38” and 42.5”. Specifically engineered for spinner model use, the patented Contour Grip adds control and comfort when pushing the luggage, relieving tension on shoulders, arms, wrists and hands.

Maxlite 3 Group PhotoTravelpro’s Maxlite 3 brings amazing innovation to its ultra-lightweight collection of stylish 4-wheel Spinners and 2-wheel Rollaboard luggage. This handsome 12-piece collection comes with the patented Contour Grip, plus a full-bottom tray that aligns and stabilizes the wheels for durability and effortless mobility. This collection’s “intelligent” interior is ideal for packing flexibility. The full-size lid compartment zips open to keep pressed shirts and pants wrinkle free. Maxlite 3 has the look and feel of top-of-the-line luggage, without the hefty price tag. And it’s lighter than ever!

Travelpro is proud to introduce the Marquis collection, the amazingly lightweight and innovative luggage. Marquis combines lightweight design with the best of Travelpro’s ‘smart’ technologies in one innovative collection for business and leisure travelers. Straight-rolling MagnaTrac wheels, the Contour Grip and the PowerScope Extension Handle all maximize comfort and control on a trio of Spinner styles. This stylish 9-piece collection also features 2-wheel Rollaboard luggage and matching Totes. With a large selection of seven carry-on models all under seven pounds and several sizes for international travel, Marquis is the smart way to roll.

Under its Atlantic Luggage brand, Travelpro is introducing three fashionable and practical collections: Atlantic Solstice, Atlantic Debut and Atlantic Lumina.

The Atlantic Solstice collection includes a trio of hardside Dual Wheel Spinner models that roll smoother, perform better and offer more features for a great price. Available in bright, vibrant colors, the durable hard shell is stylishly textured and resistant to scratching. Solstice comes in three sizes, including a 20” expandable Carry-on and 24″ and 28” expandable Spinners, each outfitted with multiple pockets to help organize your things and make travel fun!

Atlantic Debut spinning luggage

Atlantic Luggage’s Debut line of spinning luggage

With incredible style, great value and bright colors, the new Atlantic Debut is a unique 4-piece collection that combines the very best of today’s fashion, lightweight design and protection for your possessions. Debut’s stylish case resists abrasion and is built to absorb shock during every day travel. The two-compartment design allows for greater packing flexibility and travel ease. Combine this with eye-catching color options and a 10-year limited warranty, you get the best of all worlds. Perfect for international travel, Debut features a 20” Carry-On, 25” and 28” Uprights, and a handy Rolling Tote. Available in hot pink and cool turquoise, your luggage will turn heads every time it appears on the carousel!

Also being introduced is the Atlantic Lumina collection. It not only looks different; it feels different. The Lumina collection introduces a contemporary satin look and feel to hardside luggage. Featuring a unique polyurethane finish on a sculpted hard shell, you have to touch Lumina to appreciate its rich, satin texture. Complete with a dual-wheel spinner system and expandable packing compartment, Lumina combines superior strength, looks and maneuverability with great value.

Lastly, a wide array of other cutting edge products will also be on display in the Travelpro booth. Exciting, contemporary-looking Travelpro business cases, adventure luggage and hardside models will be featured for the first time. Under the Atlantic brand, the Compass Unite collection with the patent-pending Link2Go system will be prominent. With Link2Go, you can connect luggage back to back with Velcro straps and roll two pieces with one hand, or comfortably roll four pieces at once.

For the adventure-minded traveler, there will be a complete line of attractive National Geographic Explorer business bags that are not only fashionable, but highly durable. They include various models in leather, canvas, and a unique weatherproof material. A full line of National Geographic Explorer children’s luggage, backpacks and insulated lunch totes with animal prints will also be featured.

About Atlantic Brand 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, including neatly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic branded luggage is of superior quality and durability. Whether for business or pleasure, travel is easier with Atlantic luggage, now part of the Travelpro family of brands. Please visit Atlantic Luggage at www.atlanticluggage.com for a list of the latest products available for purchase and the nearest 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 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.

Travelpro Voted World’s Best Luggage by Premier Traveler Magazine (PRESS RELEASE)

February 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Premier Traveler Readers Voted Travelpro Platinum Magna Collection the “World’s Best Luggage” Award

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a market leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, was honored to receive the World’s Best Luggage Award for its Platinum Magna luggage collection from Premier Traveler Magazine’s reader-selected “Best of 2013 list”. Travelpro CEO, Rob Rankin, was on hand to receive the award at Premier Traveler Magazine’s festive gala event, celebrating the upper echelon of the global travel industry, held at the Sofitel Los Angeles Hotel.

Platinum Mangna 21 inch spinner

Platinum Mangna 21 inch spinner

Over 14,000 Premier Traveler subscribers were invited to vote for the Best of 2013 Awards in a survey posted on premiertravelusa.com from June 1st through September 20th, 2013. The survey consisted of open-ended questions only, with no company names given or choices provided. As a result, the luggage Premier Traveler readers favored most was Travelpro, the luggage choice of flight crews and frequent travelers and its innovative Platinum Magna collection.

“We want to thank Premier Traveler subscribers, our customers, retail partners and the media for all their complementary comments on our products,” said Scott Applebee, Travelpro’s Vice President of Marketing, after receiving the award from Premier Traveler readers. “By listening to customer feedback via social media, product reviews and observational research, we were able to identify the implicit needs of the customer that led to the development of the innovative Platinum Magna magnetic 8-wheel spinner system, which eliminates the drifting and pulling effect that is typically seen in other 4- and 8-wheel Spinner luggage.”

The Platinum Magna Collection introduces four revolutionary patent-pending features, including the MagnaTrac magnetic 8-wheel spinner system, with user removable and replaceable Spinner wheels, as well as the Duraframe framing system, the PowerScope extension handle and the Contour handle grip. The end result of these features is the luggage is easier to move, more durable, lighter weight and more comfortable to grip. The entire groundbreaking Platinum Magna collection is backed by the Travelpro “Worry-Free” lifetime warranty.

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.

About Premier Traveler

Premier Traveler was designed with its readers in mind: frequent travelers who are perpetually on-the go (both domestically and abroad), who have high expectations and a taste for luxury. With a focus on excellence in writing and response to reader requests, Premier Traveler provides valuable and relevant insights in an intelligent, energetic style. The magazine is noted for responding to its readers, by providing detailed informational surveys, insider reviews and in-depth answers to issues concerning frequent travelers.

Mitch Joel’s Best Piece of Travel Advice

February 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Many people ask: what’s the secret to a positive air travel experience? Having traveled plenty in my lifetime, I have survived every possible scenario: flight delays, cancelled flights, red eye flights, missed connections and stressful flights. Along the way, I’ve learned a lot about how to travel better and more efficiently. So what’s the secret to a stress free trip?

Mitch Joel on Marketing Yourself

Mitch Joel on Marketing Yourself (Photo credit: watchmojo)

To summarize a recent post by Mitch Joel, seize the moment.

As they say, preparation is everything, and this is especially true for air travel. This means filling out your customs declaration form the night before, and checking in and printing your boarding pass in advance. Packing snacks in case you’re stuck sitting on a runway, and using a carry-on bag instead of checking luggage whenever possible. Come prepared with magazines, books or other entertainment so you don’t find yourself rushing through the airport to grab a magazine before your flight boards.

If you’re flying across several time zones, my number one tip is to get acclimated to your new time zone before you arrive. Before your plane takes off, set your watch to your new time zone and adjust your routine accordingly. This may mean that you’ll be sleeping while others on your flight are eating lunch, but so be it. Many people spend a full day recuperating from jet lag when traveling across several time zones. A day spent sleeping off jet lag could be a day spent touring a city, spending time with your family or getting extra work done.

Finally, if you’re a frequent traveler, consider applying for a program such as the TSA Precheck which will allow you to move through security lines faster – or in some cases, skip them entirely. This investment can ultimately save you up to an hour per trip – and if you travel often, that can result in days of saved time.

What’s your best piece of travel advice? Share with us in the comments section below.

Enhanced by Zemanta

When Hotel Rooms Become Mini-Spas

January 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Say ‘sayonara’ to letting go and doing without while traveling. Thanks to the health and wellness craze that has swept the country, some hotels are now revamping their offerings to include amenities that target travelers concerned about healthy living. Upscale hotels have always gone the extra mile for their guests by offering things like complimentary treats, upscale gyms and high end toiletries, but how about a “running concierge”?

Both the Westin Hotel chain as well as The James Hotels have hired staff members who will give travelers local running tips; The James Hotel even offers running tours of New York City and Chicago. After their morning run, travelers can indulge in gluten free, organic and low calorie menu options at many hotels. Healthy eating and exercise options are the tip of the iceberg. While healthy menus and plentiful exercise options aren’t too outlandish, some hotels are taking the wellness craze one step further — or one step too far, depending on your outlook.

English: MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas.

English: MGM Grand Hotel, Las Vegas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, this past December the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas increased the number of their “stay well” suites (which cost $30 more per night) to a whopping 171 rooms featuring high tech amenities that have been endorsed by famed guru Deepak Chopra and other wellness experts. Dubbed the hypochondriac hotel by some, the rooms feature anti-microbial coating on bacteria susceptible surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops and a dedicated cleaning crew that will come armed with UV wands to sanitize and HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaners. If you’re planning on pulling an all-nighter in the casino, these rooms may be just what you’re looking for, you’re in luck – the rooms also feature melatonin-friendly lighting and dawn-simulator alarm clocks, allowing travelers to sleep as late as they please and still get the sunlight they need. As if that wasn’t enough, guests can enjoy a Vitamin C infused shower, which is said to neutralize chlorine and promote healthy hair and skin.

According to Stephanie Serino, a New York-based travel agent, “Business travelers want to keep their regimen going. I do have them asking for perks that go beyond the gym.” However, she adds “for many consumers who do care about wellness, a gym and a few healthy restaurants nearby will likely suffice.”

Would you spend an extra $30 per night to stay in a room with top-of-the-line wellness options? Share with us on our Facebook page.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage 2014 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide [PRESS RELEASE]

January 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For Those Who Love to Travel in Style

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and Atlantic Luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands, announce their “2014 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide” for special loved ones this Valentine’s Day, with fashionable and durable spinner and hardside luggage, totes and a business brief.

“The ‘2014 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide’ offers shoppers a variety of innovative and well-crafted new lines of spinner luggage and totes to choose from that will fit their budget and make a wonderful gift for that special someone in their lives,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands.

Closeup photo of Atlantic Lumina Expansion

The Atlantic Lumina expansion feature.

Present your loved one with the new Atlantic Lumina 24″ Expandable Hardside Spinner. Featuring a unique polyurethane finish on a sculpted hard shell, you have to touch Lumina to appreciate its rich, satin texture. Complete with a dual-wheel spinner system and an expandable packing compartment, Lumina’s superior storage space is perfect for traveling families or vacationing couples. Available in fashionable ruby red, midnight blue and black, the Atlantic Lumina collection is backed by a 10-year warranty. The suggested retail price is $139.99.

Another great gift idea for your Valentine is the Atlantic Debut Rolling Tote. Available in both eye-catching pink and turquoise fabric colors, the tote combines the very best of today’s high fashion and lightweight design, while resisting abrasion and absorbing shock during everyday travels. The Debut Rolling Tote is the item of choice this Valentine’s Day for the special women in your life and is available at a great value of $89.99 with a 10-year warranty.

This Valentine’s Day, Travelpro introduces the Maxlite 3 21″ Expandable Spinner, an economical and ultra-lightweight 4-wheel spinner design, ideal for carry-on use by frequent business and leisure travelers. The patented Contour handle grip makes it easy to maneuver through busy airports and narrow airplane aisles. Maxlite 3 has the look and feel of top-of-the-line luggage, without the hefty price tag. Available in both beautiful ocean mist blue and black fabric colors, Maxlite 3 is backed by Travelpro’s Limited Lifetime Warranty, for a retail price of $139.99.

Surprise your Valentine with the Travelpro Platinum Magna Deluxe Tote, a special gift for a man or woman in need of a stylish and easy-to-pack carry-on bag for quick trips. Available in both sienna and black fabric colors, the Platinum Magna Deluxe Tote is equipped with a laptop sleeve, tablet pocket, business organizer and a compartment for overnight clothes storage. The suggested retail price is $129.99 and comes standard with Travelpro’s “Worry-Free” Lifetime Warranty.

Crew 9 BriefAdditionally, the Travelpro Crew 9 Business Brief is an ideal fit this Valentine’s Day for a loved one seeking highly organized convenience. The Crew 9 Business Brief features multiple pockets, a padded laptop sleeve and a convenient business organizer for everyday use at the office or for business travel. In addition, the Crew 9 Business Brief includes an adjustable, non-slip shoulder strap for maximum comfort when traveling.

For more information, or to purchase Atlantic brand luggage, please visit www.atlanticluggage.com, For more information or to purchase Travelpro brand luggage, please visit www.travelpro.com.

About Atlantic Brand 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, including neatly designed uprights and spinners to trendy and smart garment bags and totes, all Atlantic branded luggage is of superior quality and durability. Whether for business or pleasure, travel is easier with Atlantic luggage, now part of the Travelpro family of brands.

Please visit the Atlantic Luggage website for a full list of the latest products.

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.

Six Tips to Embarrass Yourself Abroad

January 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We hate to admit it, but it’s no secret that we Americans have a reputation for being, well, a little embarrassing abroad. While this is only as true as other stereotypes you encounter (i.e. not much), it’s still a stigma that should make American travelers a little more aware of their behavior when visiting other countries.

No matter where you’re from or what country you visit, it’s always a good idea to keep your manners in check when traveling abroad. With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of six sure-fire ways to embarrass yourself abroad.

1. Not being able to say ‘thank you’

While you probably don’t have the time to become fluent in Italian before visiting Italy, you should at least know enough to be polite. Before you travel, take some time to learn the obvious phrases. After all, if someone came up to you on a street in America saying, “Dov’è il bagno?” (where’s the bathroom?), you’d have no idea what they meant, and keep walking.

2. Wearing sweatpants

In America, we love to wear sweatpants, yoga pants and hoodies when running errands. If you do so in many other countries, be prepared to stick out like a sore thumb. When visiting another country, it’s a good idea to put your best foot forward – and make sure that foot isn’t wearing flip flops.

3. Complaining

English: A bicyclist in Amsterdam, the Netherl...

English: A bicyclist in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Nederlands: Een fietster in Amsterdam, Nederland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

No matter where you go, you’re going to find plenty of things that are very different than America. While you may instinctively want to comment on the differences, don’t. When in doubt, act as if you’re in someone else’s home. Some things may seem a little strange, but it would be rude to mention it, right?

4. Getting impatient

We Americans have a need for speed. However, many countries move at a slower pace and enjoying a relaxing meal at a restaurant is the norm. If your waiter is moving a bit slower than you’d like, don’t get frustrated — use it as an opportunity to r-e-l-a-x.

5. Not eating the local fare

We recently heard about a young woman who spent two weeks in Europe and only ate pizza or hamburgers everywhere she went. Don’t turn your nose up at the local cuisine or ask a restaurant if they can ‘Americanize’ a dish. Take a risk and order something new – you just may like it. And if you don’t, refer to #3.

6. Being ignorant to local etiquette

Did you know that in Hawaii, it’s rude to surf at the locals’ beach, and in Bali, it’s impolite to visit a temple without a ‘blessing’ such as a basket of flower petals? Before you travel, always do your research. With so much information at our fingertips online, you have no excuse not to.

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have anything that you’d add to this list? Tell us in the comments section below, or post your comment on our Facebook page.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Do Travel Reviews Really Matter?

January 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Although the Internet is still relatively young, it’s difficult to remember a time without it. Until a little over a decade ago, trips were planned using hefty travel books, glossy brochures, 800 numbers, and travel agents.

This limited amount of information meant that many times, travelers entered into their trip hoping for the best. The Royal Imperial Windsor Arms Hotel in National Lampoon’s European Vacation is a great example: the Griswolds were expecting a posh four-star hotel, but discovered upon arrival that it was actually a bit of a roach motel.

The Yelp RV.

The Yelp RV. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These days, we have a wealth of knowledge at our fingertips. While mainstream publications are still a popular resource for travel guidance, research shows that today’s travelers trust online reviews more than other resources. In fact, according to online research firm Market Matrix, 90% of global travelers state that their booking decisions are heavily influenced by reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Places and the like. Furthermore, 53% of travelers state they wouldn’t book a hotel that has no online reviews.

The real question is – can the reviews you read online be trusted? Not always! While 95% of travelers believe that online reviews are trustworthy, the reality is every major online review site has a percentage of phony reviews – both positive and negative. In fact, Yelp recently admitted that roughly 25% of all reviews they receive are fake. While these sites make an effort to filter out blatantly suspicious reviews, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to identify and filter all phony reviews.

Unfortunately, we’ve had a few experiences with phony online reviews here at Travelpro. As customer satisfaction is our top priority, we continually monitor our reviews on different sites, like Amazon.com and others. There have been a few times we’ve received negative product reviews from individuals who haven’t placed an order with us. When we reach out to them in a private message, the vast majority of the time they never respond to our efforts to resolve their complaint.

How can you separate fact from fiction when reading online travel reviews?

They key to using online reviews is to read a lot of different reviews from a few different sites and make your opinion across a very broad spectrum. If you come across reviews that are either absolutely scathing or overly-positive, always click through to see the other types of reviews that have been posted by that user. If their account is brand new, has only one or two other reviews or only posts one star reviews and/or five star reviews, it’s safe to say their opinion might be biased. Additionally, be aware that some companies offer freebies to existing customers who leave online reviews. While this practice isn’t illegal per se, it can sway the types of reviews people leave.

When trying to determine the actual quality of a particular restaurant, hotel, or travel resort, you need to use your best judgment and look at the total number of reviews. Are more people happy or unhappy? By looking at the trends, you can get a clearer idea of how well the destination will perform.

How do you separate fact from fiction when reading online travel reviews? Share your tips in the comments section below!

Enhanced by Zemanta

« Previous PageNext Page »