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.

Bring This, Not That: Three Unnecessary Travel Items

September 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes, knowing what to bring on a trip can get confusing, especially if you love your gadgets and want to bring them on the road. A video article by Matt Granite from USA Today had some good advice on what not to bring on your next flight.

Travel Adapters

Granite: Travel adapters are unnecessary. Most hotels accommodate you and your electrical needs. They take up a lot of space as well.

Single travel adapter for Europe and Asia

Single travel adapter for Europe and Asia

Travelpro: We disagree. Yes, you shouldn’t buy the adapter kit with 20 pieces, because you’ll most likely only need one style. However, imagine getting to your hotel and not being able to charge your phone. Do some research to find out what kind of adapter you will need, and just bring that, not all the adapters for every country.

It’s important to weigh the costs for this too. If you frequently travel around the world, the 20 piece kit is probably the best route for you. But if you’re taking that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Paris, go for the single adapter only.

GPS

Granite: Why bring an extra device when you can just use a mobile GPS app? Your GPS is the most likely item to get stolen.

Travelpro: Agreed. Another device is unnecessary. However there are some factors to think about when opting for the app. It drains your battery, can go into roaming, which will hike up your data usage, and is a lot smaller than a GPS. Better yet, consider a map as your primary wayfinder, and use your phone GPS for fine tuning or when you get lost.

Bluetooth Shower Speakers

Granite: Pointless, poor audio quality, and overpriced. Skip the shower speakers, and get a regular speaker instead.

Travelpro: We sort of agree on the speakers. Why not just endure your 10 minute shower without music at all? You want to save as much space and weight as possible, and a bluetooth speaker of any kind is just going to take up both.

But if you simply must sing in the shower, we recommend Nude Audio’s Super M as an all-in-one speaker. It’s bluetooth, water- and sand-proof, offers a 360-degree sound experience, is compact and durable, and costs $99.

Tech gear is one of those optional things. Other than some kind of power adapter, you don’t need a GPS (travelers have survived forever without them), and you certainly don’t need a speaker for your mobile device. Go as light as possible, leave the unnecessary gear at home, and experience what your destination has to offer, including the music.

Airline Industry Putting $Millions Into New Terminals

September 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

An airline terminal can be a relaxing place to sit for a moment, after rushing and scrambling with last minute packing. Or it can be stressful with the chaos of other travelers anxious to get home. Airlines are hoping it will be the former, making it a place where more people are willing to spend time, relax, shop, and eat. Many airports are pouring in millions, if not billions, of dollars into renovation projects.

SFO Open House - Thom WatsonWe’ve talked about some of the ways airports are trying to enhance travelers’ experience such as the efficiency of baggage screening and the use of wearable technology. Airports are also revamping the themselves, according to a recent USA Today article.

Examples of the grandiose projects

  • San Francisco International Airport completed a $138 million project that features free wifi and even a yoga room.
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport’s renovation features kiosks that print boarding passes and luggage tags.
  • The Los Angeles International Airport remade the Tom Bradley International Terminal to let in a lot of natural light through massive windows. It also has an aluminum roof resembling ocean waves.

Enjoyment and productivity for flier

These renovations will enhance both the enjoyment and productivity for the fliers in these areas. Not only is there free wifi for everyone, but there are even work stations and additional power outlets to get work done while you’re waiting. (If your airport doesn’t have additional outlets, here are a few backup battery options.)

Airports are also putting more of their region’s personality into their terminals, adding architectural flair, since it’s the last or first place a flier will see of their city. And they’re adding more and more dining options, including several local restaurants for more of that local “flavor.”

Of course, some people may not appreciate the renovations, because it either means fewer flights during renovation, or more likely, you have to navigate all the construction chaos to get to your gate. Renovations also cost a lot of money, which may mean an increase in ticket prices. And finally, some fliers just don’t want all the extra gadgets or bonuses, so they may not see what all the fuss is about.

But for those of us who travel a lot and sometimes feel like the airport is our second home, these improvements are much needed, much welcomed, and much appreciated. They may be inconvenient at times, but they’re being done to make your flying experience more convenient and stress free.

Photo credit: Thom Watson (Flickr, Creative Commons)

New Crew 10 Luggage Promotional Video

September 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

This is our latest video for our newest line, the Crew 10 series. We’re very proud of our new line and the changes and improvements we’ve made.

How to Get Results When Travel Goes Wrong

September 16, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Things are going to go wrong when you travel. Maybe not this time, but soon. Something will happen, and you — understandably — won’t be happy. It could be lost luggage or bad weather causing major flight delays. An article from Peter Greenberg this past spring discusses how to get results when something goes wrong during a trip. Getting positive results boils down to having manners and being polite toward other passengers and the airline staff.

There are five things we should or should not do when dealing with travel problems.

1. Don’t call customer service

Check-In Counter at London HeathrowCustomer service is there to deal with complaints, but they may not have the power to say “yes.” They can easily say “no,” however. Peter suggests going to someone who has the ability to say yes, so avoid calling the customer service line. Also, if you’re having problems with your current flight, skip the desk at your gate. Go to an empty gate for your airline and ask them for help. They’re plugged into the same system as your own gate.

2. Do address the problem right when it happens

Waiting until you get home or arrive at your destination will put extra distance between yourself, the problem, and those who can help fix it. It may mean staying in the airport, or hanging around the hotel a little longer. Keep your travel time a little padded for emergencies anyway.

3. Keep all documents, names, and receipts

If you’ve ever tried to return a purchased item without a receipt, you know how tough that can be. Without proof, they won’t budge. Keeping all information related to the incident will allow for those trying to help you to do so in a more efficient manner. If you have this information readily available, they’re more able (and likely) to help you.

4. Use your credit card

This is important enough that it’s worth doing every day. Not only do you get travel points (if you have one of those kinds of cards), but thanks to the Fair Credit Billing Act, you can also dispute an unknown or unwanted charge to that card. For example, if you did not order room service in your hotel, you can dispute it, as long as you paid for the room with your credit card.

5. Have an alternative to suggest

One suggestion we came up with after reading Greenberg’s article is to have an alternative when addressing a problem. For example, if a flight is delayed due to bad weather, ask the gate agent if an alternate route is available, and suggest a few possibilities yourself. That will make their job easier, because they will not have to spend extra time researching alternatives.

While you’re not going to have major problems on every trip you take, it helps to be prepared, and to be polite and have a positive attitude when dealing with others. You’ll get more done, and you’re more likely to get the desired outcome.

Photo credit: Travel Collector (Flickr, Creative Commons)

Travelpro Product Testing Featured on NBC’s “The List”

September 15, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

NBC’s The List, a show that airs in Phoenix, Tampa, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Tulsa, Baltimore, and West Palm Beach, recently visited our luggage testing facility here in Boca Raton, Florida to see how we put our luggage to the (rigorous and rough) test before it ever reaches the store.

« Previous PageNext Page »