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’s the one thing that unites every airport traveler, regardless of destination, purpose of your trip, or which class we fly. We all want to get through security quickly.
We take off our belts, remove our jackets and our shoes, put our change and keys in the little dishes, and pull our laptops from our bags. All of this wastes time, and we’re at risk of forgetting something and leaving it behind. (It’s also one of the compelling reasons for signing up for TSA Pre-Check.)
If you had a checkpoint-friendly backpack from our Crew™ Executive Choice™ 2 or Platinum® Magna™ 2 collections, you could be efficient with your time and protect your valuables simultaneously. Our checkpoint-friendly backpacks can be opened up and laid flat, leaving the laptop in one half and your loose items in the other, ready to be checked by security. No chance of leaving things behind or having them stolen. Just re-zip the bag shut, and you’re on your way.
Protecting yourself from identity theft is also a concern. This is where our Crew Executive Choice 2 and Platinum Magna 2 backpacks can help. Both pieces include an RFID protected pocket, which protects its contents by blocking scanners used by identity thieves, making it ideal for storing your wallet or passport.
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.
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.
Travelpro®, the leader in luggage known internationally for being Pilot Designed, Flight Crew Tested®, is proud to introduce its bold new Crew™ 11 collection. Designed exclusively for those always rushing to their next destination, this 14-piece collection of Spinner and Rollaboard® luggage is packed with innovations that make travel hassle-free and even pleasurable.
Business executives and all frequent fliers will appreciate the Crew 11’s innovative features, such as MagnaTrac™ self-aligning wheels, Power Scope Extension Handle and the Contour Grip designed specifically for Spinner luggage.
It also offers an integrated USB Port on select Carry-ons to power-up phones or tablets. With 10 Carry-ons, this stylish collection is designed for today’s high-mileage travelers.
“The fact that flight crews for over 90 airlines use Travelpro luggage speaks volumes,” said Ron Wood, Executive Vice President of Sales for the Travelpro family of brands. “We are pleased to present the new Crew 11 collection, which exceeds the high standards that have come to define our company — amazingly durable construction, travel-tested features, premium fabrics, innovative design and quality materials built to go the distance.”
While the popularity of soft-sided luggage has boomed in recent years, many travelers prefer a hard-sided bag for its perceived durability and compression resistance. Travelpro provides several hard-sided options, but I want to talk about the three types generally available in the marketplace. We can think of them as good, better, and best.
GOOD: Polypropylene. This material is popular because of its price. It’s durable and flexible to some degree and is offered in a wide variety of colors. It is usually manufactured in solid colors with a matte finish and smooth texture.
BETTER: This next one is a mouthful: ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) is a hard-sided material that is thermalformed to add strength to the structure of the luggage. It is very durable and is the most popular and most affordable option offered by many companies. ABS bags can have a variety of looks, including textured patterns, embedded prints, and images, due to manufacturing processes that incorporate ABS and polycarbonate.