A New Website For Boomers And Other Older Travelers

November 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

AARP, the powerhouse organization that unites people over 50 by giving them a distinct voice and many life discounts, has recently launched a travel website.

AARP Travel features a search engine powered by Expedia, and offers the usual features, such as the ability to search for a good deal on tickets, hotel, and rental car in any given destination. You can also use it to search for the best deals on cruises. One thing that sets the AARP search engine apart from other sites, including Expedia itself, is the ability to access AARP member discounts.

AARP Travel Center logoAARP Travel also aims to help travelers research and plan for a trip before they deciding on a destination. For instance, articles feature information on best cities to visit, fall foliage trips, and wineries not in California. The articles are specifically geared at the traveler over 50. The site also hosts travel tips from “AARP Travel Ambassador” Samantha Brown who periodically posts articles with words of wisdom on travel-related concerns.

Another feature at AARP Travel is the Trip Finder, which takes you through a five step questionnaire about the types of things you like to do on vacation, types of scenery you’re looking for, how long you want to stay, when you want to go, and who you want to go with. The result is a specific recommendation such as “We think you’d love Taos, NM.” It includes a summary of what’s great about the selected spot, links to more info, and other places you also might enjoy.

The site also offers interactive maps of particular destinations, so you can easily see restaurants, attractions, and other great information about your locale of choice.

These are all nice features, but the site is not breaking a lot of new ground. The benefit is that it’s all pulled together into one place and presented by a trusted, hopefully unbiased, source that is geared toward helping out folks of “a certain age.”

Flying with Your Child

November 11, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As airlines continue to find new profit streams, more and more fees are being levied on every aspect of air travel, especially as it relates to convenience and comfort. Included in that list of conveniences is automatically receiving adjacent seat assignments when buying more than one ticket.

This can create nightmare scenarios if you’re not prepared. For example, two parents flying with a three year old and seven year old could face the possibility of everybody being seated separately.

On board Flight QF2 from London Heathrow LHR t...

On board Flight QF2 from London Heathrow LHR to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi BKK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That’s why parents need to plan ahead when buying tickets. The best thing to do when flying with children is buy tickets well in advance, after making sure your chosen airline has a system in place to reserve seats at time of purchase. If you buy far enough ahead, the chance of snagging adjacent seats is high. The chance that doing so will be free is not as high. Many airlines now charge extra for premium seats, including aisle and window seats. Or, you can fly Southwest, which doesn’t have reserved seats, but offers priority seating for travelers with children under four.

But everything doesn’t always go according to plan. Travel is sometimes last minute. And some parents have strict budgets in place. Should you not be able to reserve adjacent seats at the time of purchase, see if you can work with the airline to get seats with your kids. Call after you buy your tickets or arrive early on the day of the flight.

Even after all this effort, you may still find yourself on a flight with your kids in a different aisle. Many people will take pity on your plight and trade readily to keep your family together. But don’t assume the stranger sitting next to your kids is in the mood to trade seats, especially if he or she paid a premium to sit in the spot. Be prepared for a round of airplane “Let’s Make a Deal.”

Put your game face on and find someone else to trade with you. Or go prepared with a treat bag or gift cards to bribe the other person. Even if the person traded without blinking an eye, giving them a hearty thank you and a Starbucks gift card can make them feel better about helping you out.

How do you travel with your children? Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do to solve the problem? Leave us a comment here on our blog or on our Facebook page.

Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage Present the “2014 Holiday Gift Guide”

November 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Make Wishes Come True with the Gift of Quality Luggage for the Travelers in Your Life

The holiday season is right around the corner. As thoughts turn to making wishes come true for family and friends, Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage are ahead of the curve with their “2014 Holiday Gift Guide.” You can be rest assured that holiday memories will last for years to come by purchasing the ideal luggage for the business, leisure or adventure traveler in your life.

Crew Executive Choice Checkpoint-Friendly Computer Backpack

Crew Executive Choice Checkpoint-Friendly Computer Backpack

“No matter how uncompromising or discerning the person you are buying for, our 2014 Gift Guide includes items to please everyone on your list,” said Scott Applebee, vice president of marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “Our products embody the most advanced technology available today, offering amazingly durable construction, travel-tested features, impressive design and superior materials built to go the distance.”

For the traveler looking for convenience and functionality, Travelpro is proud to present the Travelpro Crew Executive Choice Checkpoint Friendly Computer Backpack. At a typical retail price of $199.99, this stylish and sophisticated item features a padded and quilted corduroy pocket for laptops up to 15.6″, plus a separate padded tablet pocket. A built-in business organizer and removable cord pouch provide efficient storage for business essentials and power cables. Added security is ensured with an RFID-blocking pocket which keeps credit cards and passports hidden to protect against loss and identity theft.

Another thoughtful gift-giving choice is the Travelpro Crew 10 19″ Business Plus Hardside Spinner at a common retail price of $249.99. Travelpro’s Crew 10 Hardside product line incorporates the most sophisticated technology and style for hardside spinner luggage in today’s market. Featuring its patented PowerScope Extension Handle and Contour Grip, this product is constructed from 100% polycarbonate material, engineered to withstand high impact handling and the rigors of long distance travel, while still being lightweight. A built-in business organizer and padded laptop/tablet sleeve are located in the front pocket for easy access to business essentials during travel.

Atlantic Solstice Collection group photo

Atlantic Solstice Collection

For those on your list who like to express their own unique style, you can’t go wrong with the purchase of the Atlantic Solstice 20″Expandable Carry-on Hardside Spinner for around $99.99 at retail. This carry-on includes dual-wheel spinner wheels for a smooth roll in any direction, a built-in TSA lock for added security and 2″ of expansion to maximize space and packing flexibility. Available in bright, vibrant colors, the durable hard shell is stylishly textured and resistant to scratching. The 20″ expandable carry-on is outfitted with multiple pockets to help organize your things and make travel fun. In keeping with the brand’s reputation for quality, Atlantic Solstice comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

Bring on the holiday fun kids! The National Geographic Explorer Lunch Bags, Totes and Kid’s Hardside Luggage are featured in our 2014 Gift Giving Guide. The lunch bags and totes come with stunning National Geographic photo images of a leopard and shark for the lunch bags and flowers and a tropical scene for the totes. The Kid’s Hardside rolling luggage is 16″ high and is made of 100% ABS material with PC film. It features a single tube extension handle with multiple stops, a low profile top carry handle, high‐performance inline skate wheels and two-compartment design for easy packing.

National Geographic Explorer Double Gusset Brief

National Geographic Explorer Double Gusset Brief

Around the world or around the block, the National Geographic Explorer Cape Town Collection Double Gusset Briefcase at $79.99 brings together vintage styling with abundant storage and durable canvas fabric that’s perfect for today’s traveller. Features include a removable padded sleeve which holds laptops up to 15.6″, a spacious main compartment ideal for storage of a tablet, file folders and power cords. The outer pocket business organizer holds pens, business cards and a phone, while the interior rear zippered pocket ensures smaller items won’t get lost. The padded and adjustable shoulder strap, made of sturdy cotton webbing, provide extra cushioned comfort.

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 at @Travelprointl.

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, 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.

Hotels with Women-Only Floors

November 4, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

More women are traveling for business than ever before these days. With this increase comes a new form of travel marketing: some high-end hotels are offering floors dedicated only to women.

The Naumi Hotel in Singapore offers women-only floors to its female travelers.

The Naumi Hotel in Singapore offers women-only floors to its female travelers.

Some of these “no men allowed” floors even go so far as to having female staff and a female concierge serve that floor. For some hotels around the world, it’s a question of safety. For others, it’s a marketing tactic geared toward attracting more women. Some of these gender-specific features include:

  • A focus on creature comforts that are actually sized for women, such as smaller robes, slippers, hangers, and other petite items.
  • Luxury items that are seen as more appealing for women, such as yoga mats, silk clothes hangers, and white wine in the room.
  • Decor that may appeal more to women, such as floral wallpapers and so on.

It sounds great, although we recognize that some people may see these single-sex floors as sexist. A recent court ruling in Denmark stated that a hotel’s women-only floor was discriminatory and the hotel was forced to open its rooms to men as well. In other countries, the women-only floors have remained open for business. Similarly, a hotel in Calgary has offered up a men-only floor to complement its women-only offering.

Perhaps the main beneficiary of women-only floors is the hotel industry. These rooms generally come with a hefty price tag for all the extra amenities and security. And whether these floors are successful will, in all likelihood, be determined more by the bottom line than the courtroom. Hotels are driven by profit which means filling rooms. If these gender specific floors can’t stay filled, we can’t imagine they’ll be kept around.

What do you think? Would you stay on a gender-specific floor? Would it be worth the extra cost? Leave a comment on our blog or Facebook page.

For Luxury Travel, It’s The Little Things

October 30, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Flying first class, dining out eating five course meals, extravagant hotels with Jacuzzis and HD TVs. These are all luxurious things that can be enjoyed when traveling, but that’s not always what makes luxury travel. Sometimes it’s the small details that can really make the experience.

Patrick Janelle, creative director of Spring Street Social Society, believes a cup of hot coffee in a unique café is the best way to begin a journey in a new city. He says it’s the little details, like restaurant menus delivered to his room, or a comfortable bed, that make him feel special.

English: Sofitel Macau - Hotel Lobby

English: Sofitel Macau – Hotel Lobby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I recently stayed at the Kimpton Hotel in downtown Miami, where I was greeted by a kind and enthusiastic desk clerk. Once I had checked in, I was surprised when she stepped out from behind the counter to direct me toward the elevator to get to my room. Those small steps made the experience more personable and welcoming, and will make me remember my stay there.

Some other little luxuries Janelle and I both agree on are room size, comfortable beds, and features like marble in the bathroom. The view can be luxurious as well. It sometimes pays to spend a little more get a nice hotel because they will have better views. They are also usually more centrally located as well, which makes it easier to travel around a city. Oftentimes, the extra cost can be justified over the cost of a less expensive hotel 10 miles from the city center, because now you’re not paying taxi fares or parking fees.

Other times, the ease of travel can be the most luxurious aspect. Getting bumped to first class or not having to wait at the carousel are also great. It might even be having the right luggage. At the risk of tooting our own horn, the MagnaTrac magnetic wheel technology makes for maneuvering through crowds a hassle of the past and one of those little luxuries we enjoy whenever we travel ourselves. Sometimes, it’s just the ease of pushing a bag through the airport with no effort that starts a trip off right.

What about you? What are your little luxuries and pleasures when you travel? What do you look for? Leave us a comment and let us know.

3 Tourist Scams to Avoid: Extreme edition

October 23, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

For the last few blog posts, we’ve looked at different travel scams and petty crimes from Lifehack.org infographic on common travel scams. We’ve talked about scams, pickpockets, and even identity theft. But we’ve saved the most outrageous scams for last. Scam artists will go to almost any length to get your money, so be on the look out for these.

1. Thrown Baby

Using pretend children is a low blow, but it happens. A woman will throw a baby, which is usually a doll so that you catch it. The woman and her accomplices will rummage through your pockets taking all they can find while you try to save the “baby.”

2. Expensive Taxi Driver

English: A checker taxi cab. Deutsch: Ein Chec...

English: A checker taxi cab. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you don’t know where you’re going, taxi drivers may take more twists and turns than necessary to get you to your location in order to make your bill higher. I have had this happen to me. When I questioned their route they said they wanted to “avoid traffic.” Make sure you’re only taking licensed cabs from official taxi stands, and if possible, double-check your route on your smartphone.

3. Windshield Washers Scam

We actually see this more in the United States than in foreign countries. A homeless person, or seemingly homeless, will run up to your car at a stoplight and start washing your windows, hoping for a tip. If you don’t do it, they’ll yell and raise a fuss, hoping to embarrass you into paying them to stop.

We don’t want you to be afraid of traveling. Rather, we want to make sure you travel smart. So please look over these possible scams, and when you travel, move confidently, say no politely, and continue moving. Avoid the situations where you might be scammed and you’ll finish your vacation with everything — hopefully — still on budget and on schedule.

5 Tourist Scams to Avoid: Pickpocketing Edition

October 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

If you’ve ever traveled, especially overseas, you may have run into a variety of scams and cons. In our last post, we talked about different, mostly harmless, scams you may encounter on a trip. This time, thanks to a Lifehack.org infographic on common travel scams, we’re going to discuss some of the scams that involved pickpocketing.

1. Train Pickpockets

This is one of the most commonly known pickpocketing methods. Trains are often cramped and crowded. Locals will take advantage of tourists traveling with their duffels or backpacks, and rummage through them without your knowledge, or even the ability to get away from them.

2. The Punctured Tire

sketch "pickpocket" with George Appo...

Sketch “pickpocket” with George Appo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rental cars are usually obviously rentals. Locals will search for them and inconspicuously puncture the tire. They will then come over offering to help. While you are busy with the flat, their accomplice will go through your trunk taking valuables.

3. The Fake Policeman

A policeman (supposedly) approaches you explaining an issue with fake money circulating around. He will demand to inspect your wallet. Once returned, you will notice it quite a bit lighter. You’ve been scammed.

4. The Overly Helpful Local

Cash machines and ATMs can be confusing in a different country. We suggest you just try to figure it out on your own. If a local comes over offering to help while it may seem nice, they are probably memorizing your pin number for when they swipe your wallet later. Better yet, just use a credit card whenever possible, and get the most favorable exchange rate in the first place.

5. The Charity Petition

This scam involves a group of children who often have a disability such as being deaf. They will ask you to sign a petition to help them out. While shoving paper and clipboard in your face, they will touch and grab at you. If this happens to you, you’ve probably been pickpocketed.

Your best line of defense is to keep your money in a special traveler’s belt wallet, something that loops on your belt, but hangs inside your pants. Keep a small amount of money in your front pocket, and then pull more money out of your pouch in the restroom.

Have you ever been pickpocketed, or nearly so? What did you do? How did they do it? Leave a comment, or tell us on our Facebook page.

Atlantic Luggage Announces its “Win a Delta Vacations Trip for Four to New York or San Diego Sweepstakes”

October 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sweepstakes runs October 15th through November 15th, 2014

Atlantic luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands and a market leader in affordable, lightweight luggage since 1919, is proud to announce its “Win a Delta Vacations Trip For Four to New York or San Diego Sweepstakes.”

The Atlantic Lumina group of luggage.

The Atlantic Lumina group of luggage.

Ideal for families who like to travel, Atlantic is offering the chance for a grand prize winner and three guests to win a fabulous Delta Vacations trip to either New York or San Diego. The winner will receive a certificate valid for roundtrip airfare for four (4); choice of Delta Vacations hotel accommodations; an activity package; and four (4) Atlantic carry-on sized suitcases.

“Atlantic Luggage has pioneered great luggage since 1919 and is known for its lightweight durability, affordability and style, perfect for family travel,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro and the Atlantic Luggage brands. “In commemoration of our long-standing customers, we are pleased to offer a grand prize winner and three guests the opportunity to visit a city of their choice, either New York or San Diego.”

The Grand Prize Package includes a certificate valid for:

  • Round-trip economy airfare for four (4).
  • Choice of Delta Vacations hotel accommodations for four (4).
  • A Delta Vacations activity package of the winner’s choice.
  • Four (4) Atlantic carry-on sized suitcases.

The sweepstakes begins October 15th and ends November 15th, 2014. To enter or view the official sweepstakes rules please visit the Atlantic Luggage fall sweepstakes page. No purchase or payment is necessary to enter or win.

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 at @Travelprointl.

About Delta Vacations

Delta Vacations is the official vacations provider for Delta Air Lines and offers convenient one-stop shopping for affordable vacation packages that combine Delta Air Lines or Delta’s codeshare partner flights with hotel stays, rental car, sightseeing and entertainment, escorted tours and more. Delta Vacations, in partnership with Air France Holidays and Alitalia Vacations, originate from more than 220 cities across the United States and Canada. Destinations include more than 4,000 world-class hotels and resorts throughout Mexico, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Delta Vacations is managed and marketed by MLT Vacations, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Delta Air Lines.

Travelpro Launches Crew 10 Hardside Spinner Collection (PRESS RELEASE)

October 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro, the inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a market leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, is pleased to debut the revolutionary Crew 10 Hardside Spinner Collection. This creative collection provides the perfect combination of durability, technology and style for today’s frequent travelers.

The Crew 10 Hardside collection

The Crew 10 Hardside collection

“The Crew 10 Hardside Collection has all the qualities that frequent travelers look for,” said Scott Applebee, vice president of marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “It embodies the most advanced technology today, offering amazingly durable construction, travel tested features, impressive design and superior materials built to go the distance.”

Travelpro’s Crew 10 Hardside product line incorporates the most sophisticated technology for Hardside Spinner luggage in today’s market. Featuring its patented PowerScope Extension Handle that minimizes wobble and with stops at 38″ and 42.5″, the Crew 10 Hardside line ensures that travelers of varying heights can comfortably maneuver through crowded airports and airplane aisles.

Crew 10 Computer Case - openThe Crew 10 Hardside is constructed from 100% polycarbonate material, engineered to withstand high impact handling and the rigors of long distance travel, while still being lightweight. The roomy main compartment expands up to 2″ to maximize space and flexibility for difficult return flight packing. A deluxe hold-down system secures clothing while keeping it wrinkle-free and features mesh pockets for extra storage and easy-to-adjust straps with Duraflex anti-break buckles.

Packed with innovation, the Crew 10 Hardside Collection’s 19″ Business Plus Spinner includes a convenient mobile office in the front pocket that holds pens, smartphones, cords and adapters for easy access on the run. Additionally, a separate built-in padded sleeve provides electronic travel protection for up to a 15.6″ laptop or tablet.

The entire collection is available in both stylish merlot and elegant black, and is backed by a lifetime warranty on materials and workmanship.

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 at @Travelprointl.

TSA Needs to be Consistent on New Security Rules for Electronics

October 7, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

The TSA is now requiring anyone flying into the US to be able to turn on their mobile phones and other mobile devices whenever prompted by security. Right now, the plan is only in effect for those traveling into the United States, but it could eventually become standard procedure here in the US.

So far, each airport has approached the policy differently. Heathrow Airport in the UK is checking devices at the gate while others are checking them at security or at check-in. Many people are confused by the new rules, with a lack of consistent direction from the airports.

Check-In Counter at London Heathrow

Check-In Counter at London Heathrow

Heathrow has put up signs to instruct people about the device policy, and others should be following their lead soon. Airlines and airports will be posting the policy on their websites to allow for more people to understand the new policy before arriving at the airport.

At Travelpro, we’re curious whether the security will screen every single device or randomly select based on some criteria. TSA recently released a statement that said that “officers may also ask that owners power up their devices,” which suggests that not everyone will be required to.

We also wonder how the TSA will enforce this policy? Most of the screening will be done overseas and therefore under other countries’ control. Will TSA require certain regulations and reports? Will this be a cooperative effort between all the countries?

All airport security processes are somewhat networked, but they’re also independent. Therefore, they don’t have to follow each others’ rules and requirements. However, because each agency and country is concerned with security, we would hope that they would work together to ensure everyone’s safety.

If you are unsure how the device policy is going to work and you are traveling, call the airport or search on their website to find more information. Homeland Security has commanded TSA to regulate this policy with little disruption if possible, so we hope this will be the case for all travelers in the future.

The best move for a traveler is to have their mobile devices charged before arriving at the airport. If you are chosen to turn on your device, you will be prepared.

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