The ability to travel light seems to be the golden ring every business traveler is reaching for. Some have the knack for it, while others struggle. Here are a few tips to help you choose what to bring with you on your next trip. For the purposes of this article, we’re assuming you want to avoid baggage fees, skip the luggage carousel, and be in control of your experience from start to finish.
Number one, truly, is plan what you’re going to wear and stick to it. You may think you need an extra outfit for a special occasion, but unless you’re attending a formal event that requires certain attire, you can pretty much wear anything else you’ve planned and it’s going to be sufficient. If you want to be successful at traveling light, take a hard look at what you must have versus what would be nice to have. Then keep the former and leave the latter.
Next, learn the art of packing by color family or using neutrals interchangeably. For example, if you know you need to dress warmly where you’re going, choose your favorite sweater that’s appropriate for all the engagements you have. If said sweater is navy, then everything else you pack should coordinate with navy. Creating an entire week’s worth of outfits using black, white, and khaki is another option that lets you mix and match without looking like you’re wearing the same clothes over and over again. Trust us, no one will notice.
When you’re in the market for a backpack or a classic business brief, there’s no one “best” choice for you. The best choice for you will be determined through your own personal preference.
Backpacks are still fairly popular, especially among Millennials. Many business users enjoy the hands-free flexibility the shoulder straps provide. However, there are still some industries — finance, banking and law for example — where a briefcase is perceived to have more seriousness and gravitas than a backpack.
Once you’ve determined what you want, and how you’re going to use your new portable office, there are a few important features you should consider when making a selection.
- Comfort: Examine the shoulder straps for cushion and adjustability, and make sure your handles are comfortable. The Crew™ Executive Choice™ 2 backpack and Platinum® Magna™ 2 features padded shoulder straps, as well as leather carry handles.
- Breathability: Look for backing material that allows airflow so heat won’t build up on your back. The contour of the design should maximize airflow as well.
- Storage: With its large internal cavity, a backpack can also function as an overnight bag, eliminating an extra carry-on. Make sure to get a backpack that has both a padded sleeve for your laptop, and a larger compartment for clothes. Read more
It can happen when you least expect it or you can discover it when you’re retrieving it from the baggage carousel, but no matter how it happens, a broken suitcase has the potential to severely impact your travel experience. With a little bit of resourcefulness, you can get through your trip and back home. Here are some ways to address common problems, as well as some Travelpro® product features specially designed to help avoid on-the-road luggage disasters.
If your telescoping handle sticks, apply a small amount of lubricant to literally grease the skids. See if you can track down some WD-40; if that’s not available, a little soap can help. If the handle is slightly bent, you may try manipulating it back into proper position. If it’s clearly broken, at least you have the other handles to carry the bag. An add-a-bag attachment strap, such as Travelpro® offers on many of its rolling products, would allow you to hook your broken bag onto another until you can address the issue.
If your wheels aren’t rolling smoothly, chances are there’s something stuck in them that’s inhibiting their movement. Wipe them with a damp cloth and look for anything that might be stuck in the wheel housing. If the wheels are wobbly, causing the bag not to pull straight behind you, the screws could be loose. Tighten them up – if you don’t have a screwdriver handy, call down to the front desk and ask for one. Travelpro designs its wheel systems with the frequent traveler in mind, subjecting their products to miles of rigorous testing. Our patented MagnaTrac™ Spinner wheels are self-aligning and have a specially designed housings to protect them from damage on baggage ramps and as they’re pulled over curbs and through terminals.
Conducting business at a trade show, expo, or conference requires a different level of energy than a routine road warrior business trip. You’ll spend two, three, even four days on your feet, talking to dozens of people, constantly walking back and forth, usually while trying to keep up with work at home.
If you’re not careful, even the strongest road warrior reserves can be tapped, leaving you ineffective and unproductive. Here are some tips I’ve collected from colleagues, as well as lessons learned from my own experiences. Following these can help you feel and perform at your best.
- Find the most comfortable shoes your company’s dress code will allow. You’re going to be standing and walking eight to fourteen hours each day, and you won’t be able to go the distance if you don’t have good shoes. If you can’t wear a well-cushioned shoe, invest in insoles to help your feet bear up under the pressure.
- You won’t make the best impression if the first question you ask a vendor or a client when you meet up is, “Do you have an outlet where I could plug in my phone?” Be sure to invest in a portable battery so you aren’t distracted from your purpose by your search for power. Make sure you recharge the battery each night, even if you only use it for a little while. 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
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.
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.
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.