Have you ever stayed at a hotel and found they have a few issues you’re just not happy about? While you could always complain, the front desk staff can’t always fix your problems.
For instance, a poorly-placed outlet is not something the staff is going to be able to fix during your stay. So rather than register a complaint, carry a short extension cord in your luggage for just such an instance.
Smarter Travel has discussed how to work around your hotel pet peeves, so you can enjoy your next hotel stay a little more.
Here are five of their best pieces of advice.
- Loud hallways and rooms. If you’ve ever spent the night listening to the ice machine, or the elevator that dings every time it lands on your floor, or the stairwell door slam shut, we know your pain. Rather than wait to see if your room is loud, call ahead and ask for a quiet floor or for a room far away from an area where people are coming and going. Finally, pack a couple pairs of earplugs. Read more
I was asked recently which of our pieces of luggage within the Crew™ 11 Collection works better for the business traveler, the Spinner (8 wheels) or the Rollaboard® (2 wheels). This is a tough call, because both of them are great products, but in fact there are reasons that one may work better than the other in certain situations.
Both the 21″ Expandable Spinner and the 22″ Expandable Rollaboard® are designed with the frequent traveler in mind. Each bag fits in most overhead bins, and has many features that make either an excellent choice for anyone who spends a lot of time maneuvering through airports and hotels.
Both Crew 11 models have the Suiter system, which protects jackets and dress clothes from excessive wrinkling. The main difference between the two with regard to this feature is that the Spinner’s suiter is a “drop in” version, while the suiter for the Rollaboard® is built into the lid. The Rollaboard® has a slightly larger compartment due to the 2 wheel design so it’s suiter can actually fold up into the lid.
Now, the biggest difference: the wheels. This is where most people make their choice. First, the Spinner features MagnaTrac™ self-aligning wheels. This patented design allows you to push the bag with one hand or pull it behind you, and it will always roll perfectly straight, with minimal effort or resistance. This 360-degree maneuverability alleviates arm strain that can occur when pulling a Rollaboard behind you.
Garment bags often get a bad rap for being an outdated “box on wheels” predecessor to the Rollaboard® luggage that is seen everywhere today. Not so!
We like garment bags because they offer a streamlined manner of protecting and transporting business apparel in a way that reduces wrinkling. If you travel for business, and are required to wear suits and semi-formal clothing, you may want to consider a garment bag.
For example, you can typically only pack one suit inside the suiter of a regular carry-on. But if you have several suits or jackets, the garment bag allows you to carry several business dress items virtually wrinkle free.
The Crew™ 11 collection features three models, a basic bi-fold and two sizes of rolling garment bags. As with the entire Crew™ 11 collection, all are made of high-quality ballistic nylon fabric with a Duraguard coating, and feature a large exterior pocket and metal hanger clamps to keep your garments secure. All are subjected to strenuous testing to ensure durability of all moving parts and abrasion resistance over the lifetime of the bag. A limited lifetime warranty is also standard for all three models.
The Bi-Fold has an over-the-shoulder padded strap that can be worn crossbody as well, and has a leather carrying handle. It opens like a book and features multiple accessory pockets for separating and organizing contents. A foam padded roll bar and adjustable hold down straps help prevent wrinkling.
Both the Rolling Carry-on Garment Bag and the 50″ Garment Bag feature a high-performance Rollaboard® wheel system with integrated four-point stability system that keeps the bag from tipping when fully packed and standing upright. They also feature our patented Powerscope Extension Handle which reduces wobble when fully extended. The large compartment in each has a padded roll bar and two adjustable hold-down straps for securing up to four garments, as well as compartments for folded shirts fresh from the cleaners and pants. There are also corner pockets for small essentials such as belts, socks, and toiletries.
Do you regularly travel with suits? Are you a garment bag user? What do you typically look for in a garment bag? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.
Photo credit: TravelproLuggage
It’s one of the biggest causes of conflict on a flight, and you’ve probably encountered it more than once if you’re a frequent business traveler: Should you recline or not recline your seat?
The topic is a hot button with seasoned travelers, so we thought we might suggest a few ways you can be considerate of others as you contemplate whether or not to push that little button on your armrest.
First, consider the Golden Rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” In other words, think about how your actions could impact the person directly behind you, and then wonder if you would like the same thing done by the person in front of you. If you’ve ever felt hemmed in, or had your laptop slammed shut, because someone else exercised their “right” to recline, ask yourself, what would you have liked done before they leaned back into your space.
That’s possibly the biggest courtesy in seat reclining: Offer the person behind you the same courtesy you want from the person in front of you.
Of course, that may mean there are times when you shouldn’t exercise your right to recline, like during beverage and meal service. Imagine not being able to eat because you can’t see your tray, or get your drink past the other person’s seat back.
One of the new innovations for the Travelpro® Crew™ 11 Collection is that several models, including our popular 22″ Expandable Rollaboard®, feature on-the-go charging for electronics. The luggage has an external USB port and a dedicated, zippered Power Bank pocket on the side designed to hold a battery pack. This means you can charge your mobile phone or tablet while you’re waiting for your next flight.
You’ll need to provide your own charging cable, which you connect to the external USB port on the back side of the bag, just below the Powerscope extension handle. That port connects, through a hard-wired connector cable inside the bag, to a separate battery pack placed inside the Power Bank pocket.
However, the Crew 11 bags do not come with a charging battery. So what should you consider when purchasing one to drop into the pocket whenever you travel? A wide variety of chargers are available on the market, and each has its own pros and cons. In our opinion, sufficient power for charging multiple devices is the most important consideration when looking to utilize this feature of the luggage.
You want to look for the number of milliamp hours (mAh) the battery has. The higher the number, the longer the battery will last between charges. Travelpro has partnered with battery maker Incipio to offer a thirty percent discount card for those who purchase the Crew ™ 11 models with the charging feature. Incipio’s batteries range from 1500 to 8000 milliamp hours (mAh).
So, you’ve purchased the 22″ Expandable Rollaboard and the battery to suit your needs. Here are a few tips for making the most of this feature:
Some people live by the motto, flattery will get you everywhere. While this may not work in all situations, it helps when traveling and actively seeking out an upgrade. Especially if you’re on the road a lot for business, every little comfort and consideration can go a long way in helping you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
There are ways to get an upgrade to your hotel, your flight, or your rental car when you’re traveling. A lot of it is just a matter of asking, or remaining loyal to your different travel companies.
We share these with the following caveat: If you try to get a hotel upgrade using any of these methods, you should exercise the utmost courtesy and expect nothing. Upgrades are a gift, and not done in exchange for your niceness.
Loyalty does have its privileges, but what if you’ve become a regular at an independent lodging establishment that doesn’t have a rewards program? Send an email to the owners to let them know how you found their hotel and what you enjoy about staying there, or write an online review of your experience.
When you’re traveling in order to celebrate a special occasion — a milestone birthday, an anniversary, your honeymoon — invite others into your party by mentioning it as you check in. You might also call the hotel and tell the reservations person instead of making your reservations online. Special notes don’t always get shared with the individual hotels, so you’re more likely to get that hotel upgrade if you call your hotel directly.
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 traveling light as easy as possible.
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.