4 Tips to Buy Luggage That Lasts

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

If you travel more than once every few years, even once a year, you’ll want to get luggage you can return to again and again. If you’re a frequent traveler, visiting the airport or train station more than four times a year, you need luggage that’s going to be with you for the long haul.

So how do you choose the luggage that’s going to give you what you need? The first step is to assess the kind of traveling you’re going to do the most frequently.

Tpro Bold 2 Group Photo - Blue

Our new Tpro Bold 2 line.

If you’re traveling for business, you probably want a carry-on size, usually because you’re only going to be in one location for a few days at a time. But if you’re traveling with your family, especially a family with small children, you probably want a large piece of luggage that can accommodate the whole clan to some extent.

Choose luggage based on the size and durability based on your total usage, not just your next trip. Disposable luggage can end up being more expensive than a single piece of high-quality luggage due to the fact that you might have to continually replace it.

You should also check out the warranty information of the piece you’re considering. That will give you an idea of whether the company stands behind their work, and how much protection you have if your bag starts shredding after just a couple months.

It’s also not a bad idea to stay with a well-known brand when buying your luggage. Luggage takes a beating, as travel is never easy, especially if you check your bags at the airport. Look at the value of your chosen bag, not just the price. Don’t compare the cheapest, flimsiest piece of luggage from one line to the best-in-show piece from another line. It’s like comparing apples to sports cars.

Crew 10 Computer Bag

Crew 10 Computer Bag

Assess the various features the luggage has. Check that the moving parts are high quality and durable. Look at the handles, wheels, and zippers, to see if they look durable or flimsy. Also check out the interior of the suitcase and make sure it looks like it will serve your needs as you travel. A good luggage manufacturer will have tested these things already, to determine whether they meet their high standards.

Finally, visit a specialized travel goods store, which will allow you to test the luggage extensively. The staff are very knowledgeable about travel and luggage, unlike some department stores. The travel goods stores also get feedback from frequent travelers, so they know what actually works.

If you’re not sure of what bag to get, it could be worth paying the travel goods store a visit, because they’ll understand what you need and can help you figure out which bag you should get.

How do you assess your own luggage purchases? Do you look for anything in particular, or visit a particular kind of store? Leave a comment below or post something on our Facebook page, and let us hear from you.

Turkish Airlines to Improve Passenger Experience Even More

March 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A new airport is being built in Istanbul, Turkey over the next five years, with Turkish Airlines slated to be the “flagship tenant.” In this new space, Turkish Airlines plans to use cutting edge technology and personal hospitality to create a better passenger experience for their customers.

Turkish Airlines already takes great pride in offering comfortable spaces for travelers to relax in, so this should be interesting for those people who like to travel in comfort. The airline focuses on showing passengers a great degree of civility and hospitality, especially in their pay-to-enter lounges.

In the paying lounges, they’ve rolled out push notifications alerting passengers to gate changes, flight changes, and even nearby sales. This is already being tried out in airports in Istanbul and has apparently been a hit because Turkish Airlines announced last spring that they intend to make this a permanent feature.

Another great program that Turkish Airlines is rolling out is free tours of Istanbul to travelers on a layover of six hours or more. That way, travelers don’t have to waste a huge chunk of their time sitting around the airport, but can also feel more secure that they’ll get back to the airport on time since the tours are sponsored by an airline.

These types of pampering are about improving the travelers’ experiences and making things a little more convenient, even as travel seems to be more hectic and uncomfortable in this day and age.

Perks like this may eventually make their way to the U.S. If you’re in any major city in America, say New York or Miami, wouldn’t you be interested in a brief tour of that city during a long layover? We’re also interested in seeing push notifications for travelers, as well as a few other creature comforts at our airports.

We’ll look forward to seeing some of these improvements arrive here in the U.S. too.

Travelpro Announces “Win a Trip to Las Vegas” Sweepstakes in Celebration of Sony Pictures’ Upcoming Motion Picture Comedy, “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2″

March 20, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design, is proud to announce its “Win A Trip to Las Vegas Sweepstakes” in celebration of the upcoming Sony Pictures’ motion picture comedy “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” in theaters April 17, 2015.

Paul Blart 2 photoThe Sweepstakes winner and a guest will fly roundtrip and stay at the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Wynn Las Vegas resort. In addition, the winner will experience Le Rêve –The Dream, the aquatic and aerial theatrical production named Best Show in Las Vegas for four consecutive years, presented exclusively at Wynn Las Vegas. Additionally, the winner will receive two pieces of Travelpro luggage. Look for Travelpro luggage in the movie and at retailers nationwide and online.

One trip for two (2) to Las Vegas includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare for two (2) to Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Three (3) night stay in a Wynn Deluxe Resort room
  • 2 premium tickets to Le Rêve –The Dream
  • 2 carry-on size Travelpro luggage
  • $200 spending cash

The sweepstakes runs from March 20 through May 1. To enter, simply register at www.travelpro.com/mallcop-sweepstakes. Visit this same site to view the complete sweepstakes official rules. No purchase is required to enter the sweepstakes. Void where prohibited.

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 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.

About “Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2″

After six years of keeping our malls safe, Paul Blart has earned a well-deserved vacation. He heads to Vegas with his teenage daughter before she heads off to college. But safety never takes a holiday and when duty calls, Blart answers. Directed by Andy Fickman. Produced by Todd Garner, Kevin James, Adam Sandler and Jack Giarraputo. Written by Kevin James & Nick Bakay.

About Sony Pictures

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation. SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies. For additional information, go to www.sonypictures.com.

About Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn and Encore Las Vegas are two luxury hotel and casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. The iconic travel destinations are operated by international resort developer Wynn Resorts, recipient of more Forbes Travel Guide Five Star Awards than any other independent hotel company in the world. Wynn Las Vegas opened on April 28, 2005 and has been recognized as the best resort in Nevada on Condé Nast Traveler’s “Gold List” for six consecutive years. The resort features 2,714 lavish guest rooms and suites, more than 111,000 square feet of state-of-the-art casino space, 14 casual and fine dining restaurants, a spa and salon and an on-site Ferrari and Maserati dealership and 18-hole golf course. Wynn Las Vegas is home to Le Rêve – The Dream, the aquatic and aerial theatrical experience named Best Show in Las Vegas for four consecutive years, and Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers, a production with 35 singers and dancers and a full 31-piece on-stage orchestra composed of quintessential numbers from some of the most celebrated composers and lyricists to ever grace American theater stages. Encore, an expansion of Wynn Las Vegas, opened on Dec. 22, 2008. Featuring an additional 2,034 all-suite accommodations, a 72,000-square-foot casino, five restaurants and a spa and salon, Encore is located adjacent to Wynn Las Vegas. Combined, the two resorts boast four distinct nightlife and day club experiences, approximately 283,000 square feet of meeting space and 98,000 square feet of retail space. For more information on Wynn and Encore Las Vegas, visit www.wynnpressroom.com, follow on Twitter and Instagram at @WynnLasVegas and www.facebook.com/wynnlasvegas.

6 Tips for Making Solo Travel Amazing

March 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve all heard that we should be careful when traveling alone, and we sometimes worry that this keeps people from traveling at all.

The whole “you need to be comfortable with yourself” philosophy aside for the moment, we think it’s possible, and even enjoyable, to travel by yourself.

We recently read an article in Women’s Health about traveling alone. Although the article is aimed at women, men could benefit from some of the tips as well, such as dressing more conservatively than you would at home, especially if you’re going to visit a country where the culture is very different from your own.

Also, avoid dressing like you’re going to Home Depot on a Saturday morning. Try to fit in more with the local fashion, if only to avoid being identified as a tourist. Keep your gadgets, if you have them with you, hidden away in public places in order to avoid scrutiny and increased security.

If you want to meet people while traveling, go on a group trip as an individual. This way, you can meet people without having to make too much effort as it’s a lot easier to make new friends within such a group. Going somewhere as a volunteer is another great way to meet new people because in most cases, you will work together with others as a team to accomplish something meaningful.

We also liked the advice “be unapologetically selfish.” When you travel alone, you get to see only the things you want to see, so you can skip the collection telegraph pole photographs just because someone else wanted to see them. And you don’t have to visit the museum everyone else says you “have to” see.

One of our employees is a woman who has traveled extensively for business. She said these tips apply for business travelers too, because she tries to make some time to see the sights. She strongly recommends having a game plan in mind for what you want to see. This is especially important if you’re traveling on business, because your free time will be fairly limited.

She says she has a hard time taking the “Be unapologetically selfish” advice in the article to heart, but was intrigued by the idea. She thinks that both women and men should make an effort to have some down time just for themselves while traveling.

What special things do you do for yourself, or special precautions do you take, when you’re traveling alone? Do they work more for personal travel or business travel? Leave a comment below or post something on our Facebook page.

First Look at Amazon Travel’s New Hotel Contract

March 5, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

It’s never a surprise to hear that Amazon is planning to do something new, but this may be a little unusual: the online bookseller company has now decided to venture into the hotel booking business.

We recently read a Skift.com article about details about the contract, which discusses how they’re compensating the hotels and what type of commissions Amazon will receive for the service.

English: Bungalow at The Hotel Amazon Bed & Br...

Bungalow at The Hotel Amazon Bed & Breakfast, Leticia, Amazonas, Colombia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We actually didn’t even know Amazon was getting into the travel business, but it makes sense that an online mega-player such as Amazon would jump into the lucrative hotel marketplace. The company has already dipped its toes into the hotel booking pool by offering severely discounted, last minute deals via Amazon Local, which is a service similar to Groupon, but less well known.

The new scheme will expand that market significantly and allow hotels to list full price rooms.

It’s hard to say how their prices will shake out in comparison to discount travel sites at this point and it will be fascinating to see how this foray will work out for them. We’re especially interested to see how they stack up against Expedia, which we consider to be the main powerhouse in the travel website space.

Since Expedia has just gobbled up Travelocity, Orbitz, and other travel websites, we’ve seen a trend toward consolidation. It will be interesting to see how Amazon’s entrance affects all of that. Although the older companies have a big head start, Amazon is known for introducing change into the marketplace just by being one of the biggest.

According to the Skift article, Amazon Local first began discussing the plan with hotels last September and is already testing out the scheme in limited marketplaces.

What do you think about Amazon’s entrance into the travel space? Would you book a hotel room through them? And have you ever heard of Amazon Local before? Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page, and let us know if you’ll use Amazon for future travel.

Airlines Are Unlocking New Value In Their Frequent Flier Programs

February 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Reversing the direction of what we’ve seen recently in frequent flyer programs, Business Insider says that airlines are now finding value in their frequent flyer programs.

The recent trend has been for airlines to find ways to deny privileges to customers involved in frequent flyer programs (such as putting a stop to mileage runs). That trend probably isn’t going to change, but airlines are finding ways to monetize these programs in a way that, so far, doesn’t seem to be of much benefit to travelers themselves.

Multiple racks of servers

If you’re using Big Data, you need some Big Servers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Getting on board the Big Data bandwagon, airlines have started harvesting and selling the data they’ve gathered about their frequent flyers. They’re selling this data to a variety of sources; Business Insider lists credit card providers, rental car companies, and hotels.

This data is so valuable, Air Berlin recently sold a stake in its frequent flyer program for more than what the entire Air Berlin corporation was valued at.

“It’s extremely powerful data, especially as it tends to be slanted towards the premium segment,” said Marc Allsop, senior vice president and head of global business development at Aimia.

In other words, frequent flyers tend to be very desirable customers. Anyone who travels enough to rack up that many miles tends to have money to spare, even when the person’s travel is on the company’s dime.

Plus, the information being harvested isn’t just related to facts about the person. It can potentially include details about recent trips a particular person has taken.

How do you feel about your frequent flyer information being harvested and sold to a third party? Leave us a comment to let us know if that sounds just fine to you or if you’d prefer to go back to the days when your data was just between you and your airline.

Travelpro to Debut Dynamic New Luggage Collections at 2015 Travel Goods Association Show

February 25, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and winner of the 2013 Travel Goods Association’s (TGA) New Product Innovation Award, will proudly introduce its latest luggage innovations at the 2015 TGA Show, which will take place in Las Vegas from March 10 – 12. Travelpro will introduce three new lines designed to delight frequent business and leisure travelers – the Platinum Magna 2 Collection, the Maxlite Hardside Collection and the TPro Bold 2.0 Collection.

Travelpro redefines luxury travel with the Platinum Magna 2 Collection. Handsomely crafted with premium fabrics and genuine leather accents, this ultra-durable 13-model collection is the pinnacle of fashion, smart functionality and design innovation. Backed by Travelpro’s “Worry-Free” Warranty, Platinum Magna 2 ensures a lifetime of satisfaction.

Maxlite Hardside Spinner Collection

Maxlite Hardside Spinner Collection

Platinum Magna 2 features self-aligning MagnaTrac spinner wheels that ensure the luggage rolls in a straight line, a patented Contour Grip with updated design accents and cushioned touch points, and the robust PowerScope extension handle system that minimizes wobble. The high density ballistic nylon fabric, available in black and olive green colorways, comes standard with DuraGuard coating for stain and abrasion protection. The roomy main compartment has tapered expansion of up to 2″ on select models, maximizing space and packing flexibility, while keeping the center of gravity low.

Flyers can travel light and travel right with Travelpro’s Maxlite Hardside Collection, an amazingly lightweight 4-piece series that features a strong 100% polycarbonate hard shell for premier protection plus the patented Contour Grip to ensure effortless maneuverability and superior comfort and control. Featuring 2″ of expansion capacity, a Business Plus model and a dual wheel spinner system, the versatile Maxlite collection is a breakthrough in lightweight durability, style and value. All models in the collection are available in black and grape shell colors.

Crash protection is provided by protective side feet, molded wheel housings and built-in skid guards. The telescoping handle adds length and strength with airline-grade aluminum handle system with stops at 38″ and an extra-tall 42.5″ to ensure a comfortable roll for users of different heights. Travelers can relax knowing this collection features ergonomic, high-tensile strength zipper pulls that fasten directly to the built-in TSA lock to secure luggage contents. The split construction design allows for easy packing of clothes and contents within two full compartments that create separation of belongings. An interior divider panel with accessory pockets and a built-in mesh pocket provide handy storage for electronics, power cables and more.

Tpro Bold 2 Group Photo

Tpro Bold 2 line of bags

The TPro Bold 2.0 Collection by Travelpro is a durable, lightweight and versatile 9-piece collection which is perfect for those with a sense of adventure. It is ready to go anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Loaded with extras, creature comforts and flexible packing options, this premier collection embodies Travelpro’s next generation of action luggage.

Made of rugged, high-density polyester fabric with a water-repellent coating for greater stain and abrasion resistance, this line features a comprehensive offering, including Rollaboard and Spinner models, a backpack, a soft duffel bag and two drop bottom rolling duffel bags. Multiple carry handles make the luggage easy to transport in and out of a car or airplane overhead bin. The drop bottom rolling duffel models include a zippered divider panel for two separate packing spaces or, if opened, one large main compartment. The backpack, 22″ Rollaboard and 21″ Spinner models provide a padded tablet pocket for protection and easy access during travel. An “intelligent” interior offers packing flexibility with a mesh pocket and wet pocket, ideal for toiletries or wet clothing, built into the lid.

Available in distinctive blue and purple fabric colors with black accents, the T-Pro Bold 2.0 Collection offers dual spinner wheel models that allow an effortless roll in any direction, an aircraft-grade aluminum telescoping handle system strong enough to support a tote or case, and protective wheel housings, skid guards and molded rubber corner guards for crash protection. Compression straps provide extra security, while a hidden back pocket allows quick access to keys, electronic cables, phones and more.

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 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.

To Boost Safety, Cruise Lines Want to Be More Like Airlines

February 24, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

With a number of embarrassing, and very public, hits to cruise ship safety over the last several years, cruise lines are looking at the airline industry as a standard for safety. A recent article in Businessweek looked at how cruise lines are responding to three huge safety failures in 2012 and 2013, including the infamous grounding of a cruise ship in Italy in 2012 and two serious fires in 2013.

The cruise lines have realized that they need to focus on being safe by reducing crew errors and increasing safety protocols.

Since the 1980s, safety has been a high concern for airlines. They’ve pioneered many programs that cruise lines now hope to adapt for themselves. They have seen that crew error is the largest risk factor in any type of accident, so they’re working to reduce those first.

Carnival Liberty, Carnival Triumph and Carniva...

Carnival Liberty, Carnival Triumph and Carnival Glory (near to far) docked in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plan is to implement programs that make sure staff are following procedures. Such measures taken from the airline industry include a no-blame reporting structure where staff can report violations of protocol with no consequences.

Another way airlines have increased staff efficiency is to randomly send personnel out for an annual performance check of pilot performance in the cockpit. The cruise line is considering that as well.

Another airline safety protocol is to track data from the cockpit related to any deviation from standard procedure and finding out why it occurred. This could be an important protocol to increase cruise ship safety.

What do you think about cruise ship safety? Would you venture out into the high seas after these issues that have arisen over the past few years? Leave us a comment on the blog or our Facebook page to let us know what you think.

Important Travel Documents For Traveling With Kids

February 17, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Traveling with your children isn’t like running down to the grocery store with them. Just like you need your own passport and other travel documents, you need to have certain documents with you when you travel with your kids.

The Huffington Post has an extensive and helpful list they suggest you carry with you when traveling internationally with your family.

Air Canada planeObviously, a passport isn’t going to be a necessity on domestic trips, but HuffPo suggests you bring physical copies of the following: your child’s birth certificate, a signed permission slip if there’s a parent who isn’t traveling with you, vaccination certifications, travel insurance, emergency contacts, telephone numbers for healthcare facilities at your destination, emergency first aid instructions, a list of your child’s allergies, and your full itinerary with contact information.

The list makes a lot of sense, although it may be a little too thorough. Be aware that carrying all that paper documentation can be a security risk. (Think about what happens if that information were stolen.) But you can keep a lot of it on a cloud-based app, such as Evernote or Google Drive, which you can download to your phone or tablet as needed.

On the other hand, what if your phone charger is damaged or you end up in a remote site with no service? With Evernote, you can download documents to your phone’s app, and then lock it with a security code. Otherwise, you could end up with a huge phone bill if you need to access another country’s wireless network to access the information.

Be sure to do your research before you travel and know what you need. You may not need everything on this list for some of the places you’re visiting, so it’s better to determine it in advance.

Photo credit: Caribb (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Worth It or a Waste? The Real Deal on Five Common Travel Upgrades

February 12, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

A recent article on Lifehacker got us chatting about which travel upgrades seem worth it to us, and which were a waste of money.

There were differing opinions on the Travelpro team about whether shelling out for extra space is worth the additional cost. Those of us who feel hemmed in on flights, especially those of us who are tall (I’m 6’5″) said they will pay extra, especially for longer trips. Those who are more frugal (or smaller) said they don’t see a big difference in comfort and recommend snagging an aisle seat since that can give you the illusion of more space. Another good way to increase the amount of space you feel like you have is to keep the under seat luggage to a minimum. It’s worth it if you need the room, but a waste if you’re smaller, or the trip is shorter than two hours.

English: Delhi Airport Lounge

Delhi Airport Lounge (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We didn’t like the idea of paying for wifi, either at the airport or your hotel, especially if you’re on vacation. And even if you’re traveling for business, we suggest you trot down to a local coffee shop to get wifi while you sip a nice latte. Another option, which the article also mentions, is paying for a mobile hotspot so you have your own wifi wherever you go. And apparently, the new iPhone 6 includes this as a feature you don’t even have to pay extra for the bandwidth. (Another reason to upgrade sooner rather than later!) This one is a waste, unless you get the iPhone or other mobile hotspot.

A luxury we can get behind is the concept of club floors at hotels. These are special floors that serve meals, snacks, and drinks. You pay extra for the access but you do get pampered and you can eat there instead of going out. This feature adds about 20 to 30 percent to your bill, which is fine for those who don’t plan on eating out very often, making this worth it for the home bodies. It’s pleasant to be pampered, but foodies may not find it worthwhile. But if you’re going out more than staying in, or you prefer local eateries to chain food, this one is a waste.

A luxury the article doesn’t discuss is the option of paying for a day in the first class airport lounges. This typically costs about $50 for a day. It’s a great idea if you’re traveling for business or if you have a particularly long layover. The atmosphere is a lot more relaxed than the rest of the airport. Wifi is included and the staff make sure you know when your flight is getting ready to leave. This one is definitely worth it.

What are some of the worth it/waste upgrades you’ve found on your travels? Leave us a comment and let us know.

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