With so many travelers trying to streamline what they use to manage their essentials, knowing all your “personal item” luggage options could make what you carry onboard more efficient. Maybe you’re checking a large suitcase, but still want to take a small personal bag on the plane with you. Or maybe you’re only traveling for a single overnight trip, and a normal rollaboard is too big.
This is where a tote can help out. They’re smaller, lighter, and easier to carry or roll. Here are a few features you should look for in a travel tote.First, just because a tote is lightweight doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be durable. A good tote won’t sacrifice quality and durability for the sake of being lighter. For example, we make our Crew™ 11 Deluxe Tote with the same high-quality ballistic nylon fabric as our other Crew 11 luggage. It’s also thoroughly tested to withstand the same rigors of frequent business travel.
Your tote should also be comfortable to carry. Look for an adjustable strap with a padded shoulder pad so you can wear it hands-free, either over the shoulder or across your body. Look for leather handles so it’s comfortable to carry as well.
Given the increase in travel and baggage fees by some airlines, it’s important to travel as light as possible. It simplifies the check-in process, and helps get you to your destination with a minimum of fuss. These are a few things we do on our business trips to make for a lighter traveling experience:
Use your carry-on as your only piece of luggage. With careful planning of your wardrobe and necessities, you can take all you need with you on the plane. You’ll avoid the time sink of baggage claim, the cost of checking your bag, and the fatigue of lugging what could be extraneous items through security to your final destination. It’s actually possible to carry 10 days worth of outfits in your bag if you pack it right.
Become a digital professional. Most anything you need can be retrieved from online “cloud” storage and printed at a hotel’s business center with a simple USB thumb drive. If you have documents you need to access, consider Google Drive or Dropbox for online storage. If you like to read while traveling, e-books take up no space in your luggage and an e-reader can be loaded on your tablet or phone so that you don’t have to pack a special, single-use device.
We really love flight crews at Travelpro. Not only are they some of our best customers, but they’ve got some great stories about things they’ve seen, heard, and even smelled over the years. There are certain points of etiquette that we as travelers should respect, especially since they have the power to make our flight very comfortable, or less so.
- The galley is not passenger personal space to use as you see fit for stretching or putting your child in time out. Think of it like the kitchen in the restaurant: it’s off-limits to the general public.
- Self upgrading is not a thing. Although people try to get away with it all the time, the seat you’re assigned is your seat, unless you’ve received an upgrade before you board the plane.
- Touching them is big no-no. Even if they are within reach, invading their personal space by tugging on their uniform or touching them on the arm or leg in order to get their attention is not polite. The worst infraction of this type? Tapping them with trash. That can be insulting to some.
Road warriors and frequent business travelers need luggage that will see them through hundreds of thousands of miles and hundreds of hours in the air. You need something that will last for years and not fail on you at the most inopportune moment.
So you may be interested in learning just how thoroughly tested the Crew™ 11 luggage collection is. Crew 11 is the sister collection to our FlightCrew™ 5 collection, which is made specifically for flight professionals. (Our founder, Bob Plath, was originally a pilot for Northwestern Airlines when he invented the Rollaboard Carry-on suitcase, so he understood what flight professionals put their bags through.)
As you would suspect, we have tested every element of Crew 11 with a series of machines developed to test the strength and durability of all our models. For example, the top and side carry handles are put through a jerk test by attaching a fully loaded bag to a machine that roughly lifts, drops, and jerks it, testing the handles as well as the screws that secure them to the bag.
Our high performance wheels are tested for mile after mile over multiple surface types to simulate road warrior usage.
Using “lightweight” and “durability” in the same sentence when describing luggage may seem like an oxymoron. Duffel bags have long been lightweight; heavier hardshell case bags have been durable. And that’s the way it has always been.
When it comes to “lightweight durability,” at Travelpro®, we have built our reputation on marrying the two.
It’s simple science: The lighter the bag, the more you can put into the bag to meet the maximum allowable rate. With airlines instituting weight limits for checked baggage, and carry-ons for international travel, the empty weight of luggage matters.
It all starts with the lightweight frame, which has been subjected to (and exceeded) rigorous testing criteria. And while all of our collections have new design innovations, let’s focus on Crew™ 11, the sister collection to our FlightCrew™ 5 collection, which is used extensively by flight professionals.
When checking out your options for air travel this summer, two carriers have set themselves apart from the competition by creating customer loyalty.
According to the Customer Loyalty Index created by Brand Keys, a research consultancy that specializes in consumer behavior and brand loyalty, the majority of the 42,000 travelers surveyed awarded JetBlue the coveted top ranking. (One sidenote: only seven airlines were ranked in the survey results because Brand Keys requires a certain number of responses before a carrier can be included.)
What had this low-cost airline’s customers singing its praises? Its customer rewards program. In 2014, JetBlue decided to aggressively compete with six other loyalty programs by offering the Mosaic Challenge, a 90-day contest that heavily rewarded elite fliers if they would jump ship. It worked. JetBlue’s TrueBlue rewards points don’t expire, and fliers can quickly rack up additional points by booking seats with greater legroom or bringing a pet on board. Rewards members can also choose to donate their points to the charity of their choice.
Another way JetBlue incentivizes its customers to remain loyal is by offering fare options that include a checked bag allowance when purchasing tickets. This applies only to tickets purchased in the BluePlus and BlueFlex categories. If customers purchase their ticket through jetblue.com, they automatically earn twice the points than if they book through another website. All these may seem like little things, but they obviously add up for consumers.
There are almost as many ways to see the world as there are people living in it. Those who travel on someone else’s dime have learned how to take advantage of at least one of the following six opportunities: sell, write and promote, exchange, work, points, and luck.
Selling may seem like the most unlikely way to travel free, but if you’re an organizer who is good at bringing people together and you convince 15 of your friends or family to vacation together somewhere, you just might be able to negotiate free airfare or lodging for yourself.
Another option is to get a job in the world of international sales, and spend a lot of your time on the road.
Travel writing/promoting is a growing business and a unique way to get a great vacation in exchange for a review on social media of your experience. Even if the cruise or tour doesn’t live up to expectations, it’s still really a win-win: you get to travel free and you get to share the pros and cons of your trip with your audience. TravelPro has a luggage reviewers program and is a travel partner with Two Monkeys Travel. We’re meeting all kinds of travelers and influencers who fund vacations through their own promotion and writing work.
Have you ever wanted to visit a country and live like the locals? Through Couchsurfing and HomeExchange.com, you can share authentic travel experiences while staying in someone’s home in one of 65,000 homes in 165 countries or invite a traveler to stay with you while visiting your town.
If you travel for work, one of the greatest perks is tacking on a few days or taking an extended vacation after you’ve completed your responsibilities. After all, the company has already footed the bill for your airfare, so you can delay your departure by a few days, and you just have to pay for that time yourself.
Perhaps the most common way to travel free is to use points with one of the many loyalty programs available through airlines or destinations like Disney. Do your research and glean from those who have learned the ins and outs of the system, and you’ll find amazing vacations can be earned by using a credit card or hoarding your points from work travel.
Photo credit: kokorowashinjin (Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)
What do coronary heart disease (CHD) and vacation have to do with one another? Nothing, you might think. But Dr. Brooks B. Gump and Dr. Karen A. Matthews studied 12,866 men between the ages of 35 and 59 with high risk for CHD for 10 years and proved otherwise.
It has now been scientifically established: going on vacation is good for your heart!
Gump and Matthews gave men questionnaires at their annual physicals that asked them to rate how they felt after going on vacation. Their research determined that vacations “reduce ongoing stressors,” “eliminate potential stressors and anticipated threats,” and “provide a unique opportunity for behaviors having restorative effects on anabolic physiological processes, such as social contact with family and friends (36–38) and physical activity (15), in the context of reduction of stress-initiated catabolic effects.”
The reason it took a scientific evidence to prove what we want to believe in our hearts to be true is that, in the American work culture, taking time off is seen as something “bad” employees do. If you think you haven’t succumbed to this mindset, ask yourself these questions:
Deciding what type of luggage you’re going to need for a trip can be almost as challenging as determining your destination. If it’s a business trip, the wardrobe specifications can make that selection easier, but if you’re heading out for a seven- to ten-day vacation, do you use a duffel, a carry-on, a medium Rollaboard® bag, or the biggest suitcase you can buy?
In order not to get overwhelmed by your options, ask yourself some questions first:
- Am I traveling by car or plane?
- Do I want to avoid checked bag fees or need extra space for souvenirs so that I don’t exceed the 50-lb. weight limit?
- How efficiently can I pack?
If you’re traveling by plane, my preference would be to use a carry-on. It provides you with complete control of your bag during travel and you avoid waiting at the baggage carousel upon arrival. You also avoid the checked baggage fee, and won’t risk running afoul of any overweight baggage fees.
We were very pleased to have Travelpro featured in this CNN Travel story on the future of smart luggage. You can also see our luggage testing facility in action, where we put all new models of luggage through rigorous testing to be worthy of our lifetime guarantee.