How To Protect Your Money When Traveling

June 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

For some, international travel can be that once-in-a-lifetime adventure they’ve planned for years. For others, it’s just another day at the office. But whether you’re setting foot on new shores for the first time, or everyone shouts your name when you walk into the airport, your trip can turn sour if you don’t know how to protect yourself and your money.

Here are a few tips to keep worry-free about your money during your overseas travel.

    Money

    Do not carry this much money, or carry it like this, when traveling. (Photo credit: AMagill)

  • Make several copies of your identification. Carry your driver’s license with you, but have a backup copy with a friend or spouse. Do the same with your passports.
  • Alert your bank that you will be traveling, especially if you’re traveling internationally. Because while you know you’re in Istanbul, and your family knows you’re in Istanbul, all your bank sees is a sudden flurry of activity in Turkey. They may freeze your account to protect you against fraudulent purchases. Let them know beforehand to ensure your money is available when you need it.
  • Slim down your wallet. Bring identification, debit/credit cards and insurance cards, but leave the extras at home. If you lose your wallet, it will save you time from having to replace every card you’ve ever accumulated. Finally, carry little cash, as it bulks up your wallet and makes you an easy target for pickpockets. Carry your cash in a front pocket.
  • Do not use a money belt. A money belt, just like a fat wallet, will make you an easy target for thieves.
  • Finally, we are releasing a business case line with RFID (radio frequency identification) protection. Since many credit cards, and even the U.S. passport, use RFID, it’s easy for an identify thief to just stand nearby and capture all your electronic information. Our RFID protective cases block these individuals from gathering your information, leaving your finances, and your trip, intact.

What are some other money-protecting traveling tips you have? What strategies do you use? Or what are some lessons you learned the hard way? Leave a comment here or on our Facebook page.

London Stansted Airport Begins Using Smart Access Security Gates

June 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

London Stansted Airport is pioneering new technology to the airline industry by introducing smart access security gates in its terminals. At London’s third busiest airport just 30 miles northeast of the city center, the new smart access security gates will be able to scan boarding cards, passports and identification cards.

The gates will serve as an extra level of security, by correctly identifying flight passengers and also assist the boarding process by removing the hassles commonly involved with current boarding systems. Less hassle means less time and greater efficiency for the passenger, the airline, security personnel and the airport.

ePassport GatesIf the tests are successful, there is a good chance the new technology will be adopted by other airports around the globe. At the current rate of technological evolution, the creators believe it will be more affordable within the coming years. And with London Stansted creating the blueprint, other airports will be able to more easily adopt it just by following Stansted’s lead.

The goal of introducing smart access security gates is to improve the passenger experience by automating as much of the boarding process as possible. Customer service agents will still be available to assist customers, but they won’t be tied down with the mundane chores that can be done more efficiently through technology. They will be available to solve real customer problems, instead of printing and collecting boarding passes and checking the customer’s ID multiple times.

While some people may have security concerns about the automated system, we know from our work in the industry that airport officials wouldn’t just adopt new technology if they weren’t convinced of its effectiveness and safety. The fact that they’re considering it at all makes us believe they have a lot of the bugs worked out. If they weren’t convinced, they wouldn’t even try it out on a small scale because the risk is too high.

As a result, we believe this is going to be part of the coming wave of gate and ticketing automation that will result in faster and more pleasant flying experiences for airline customers’ everywhere.

Travelpro’s Testing Methods

June 17, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you ever seen a lifetime warranty for a product and wondered just how the company can offer lifetime insurance against defects in materials and workmanship? At Travelpro, when we offer a lifetime warranty on our bags, it means we’ve thoroughly and rigorously tested each product line to our demanding testing standards.

Before we introduce a new collection, the luggage goes through a myriad of demanding laboratory tests to ensure the performance, aesthetics and durability of the wheels, handles, fabrics and zippers. The testing process is designed to replicate the hazards and perils that luggage faces over time in the real world. For example, we test the retractable handle for 15,000 up and down cycles.

We test our bags because they have to go through this.

We test our bags because they have to go through this.

If a bag fails even a single test, it’s sent back to the factory along with a detailed report on what failed. After improvements are made at the factory and the new sample is received, the bag is tested again. This process continues until all tests are passed. Only after all the tests are passed, the new luggage collection is ready for the first production run.

Initial production is inspected thoroughly by Travelpro’s inspection team at the factory and shipped to our distribution centers. At the distribution centers additional quality verification testing is conducted to ensure that the product produced meets our standards.

The process doesn’t stop with the first shipment to our distribution centers. Throughout the life of a product line, we’ll randomly pull bags from new shipments for testing to make sure they still carry the same level of quality. If not, we send them back to the factory for retooling and replacements.

It’s through our rigorous testing that we are able to provide high quality products. The tougher a bag is, the longer it will last. The longer it lasts, the less expensive owning that bag becomes to our customers (compared to buying a new, less expensive bag every couple of years). And thanks to our constant testing, our products continue to meet the needs of the frequent traveler.

Bring This, Not That: DVD Player Vs. Tablet

June 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Ask any parent, and they’ll tell you the biggest problem when planning a long road trip isn’t figuring out the driving directions. It’s how to keep the kids entertained. The younger the kids, the more difficult the task.

Teenagers can keep themselves entertained as long as they can text and listen to music. But how do you keep a trio of 8-year-olds entertained?

Portable DVD players have been the go-to solution for years. All you needed was either a DVD player hardwired into your car. Or you had to bring batteries, headphones, and DVDs, and your kids were entertained for hours. They became so popular as an after market product that many vehicle manufacturers included them as upgrades to their cars. That definitely eliminated the battery problem.

However, as technology has advanced, the portable DVD player has become less and less useful.

student_ipad_school - 234

student_ipad_school – 234 (Photo credit: flickingerbrad)

Tablet computers have become the new default entertainment system, although they don’t have DVD slots.

Whereas portable DVD players are not as portable as you might like, tablets can often weigh as little as a pound. They also have easily rechargeable batteries. Instead of grabbing your giant bag o’ batteries every three hours, you just plug in your tablet to a regular electrical outlet or car charger when it needs a boost.

You can also legally download movies or “rip” DVDs to save to your tablet, which means you won’t forget to pack your kids’ favorite movies.

All tablets can connect to wifi, which means they work at hotels, restaurants, and with a personal wifi hotspot. And many have their own data connection, which is great when you’re on the highway. Add a streaming video service like Netflix and Hulu+, and hundreds of movies are available at the touch of a finger.

Bottom Line: Tablet

If you already own a portable DVD player, by all means, keep using it. But if you’re trying to decide which child-entertaining portable device you need for your next car trip, we definitely recommend the tablet. Whether it’s an iPad, Galaxy Tab, or even the Kindle Fire, you can do so much more with it than just watch DVDs.

Our advice? Buy yourself the tablet and let your kids use it only when they need to be entertained. Otherwise, make it your own personal viewing device for when you get bored.

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Newest Innovations In Travelpro Luggage

June 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We don’t often talk about our luggage on our blog, but we’ve come up with some innovations that we think will improve travelers’ experience. The changes to our products were far from cosmetic, and designed to solve a common issue with modern luggage: stability.

When using four- or eight-wheel spinner luggage, the luggage has a tendency to swerve to the left or right. This puts a strain on the traveler’s wrist and shoulder as he or she compensates to keep the luggage moving in a straight line. This isn’t unlike a car whose wheels are out of alignment. In order to keep the vehicle in a straight path, the driver must constantly correct the direction.

Travelpro 21 inch Blue Marquis Spinner

Travelpro 21 inch Blue Marquis Spinner

We came up with a solution to the drifting issue by designing our patent-pending MagnaTrac Spinner wheels which incorporate magnetic wheel technology. Made specifically for spinner luggage, we created a system where the wheels will always line up and go straight, but can still be turned easily. The result is less strain on your body, which can mean a more enjoyable (or less tiring) trip.

We also introduced two other patented features, the Contour Grip and the PowerScope handle. Contour Grip is a handle specifically designed for use with Spinner wheels. The handle is made from two cushioned halves that fit directly into the palm of your hand, cushioning it while you push your bag through the airport. This improved handle gives you more comfort and control of your luggage, regardless of whether you push or pull.

The Powerscope Handle is made to resist the pressure points that form when pushing luggage and reduce the wobble in the handle. This gives you more control over the bag, and helps prevent breakage.

All three TravelPro designs won awards at the Travel Goods Association Product Innovation Awards in 2012 and 2013, including 1st place for the MagnaTrac™ Spinner innovation. These designs will be applied to multiple Travelpro product lines so the improvements can fit within most travelers’ budgets.

Super Savvy Summer Travel Tips

June 5, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Warmer weather and longer days can only mean one thing: summertime is finally here!

While every family spends their summer days differently, one common thread is travel. Because the kids are out of school, the months of June and July are ripe for family vacations.

English: family vacation summer 2007

English: family vacation summer 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In order to get the most out of your next summer vacation, you need to thoroughly prepare beforehand so you know how to react no matter what life throws your way. To help you plan, here’s a short list of things to consider to make your next vacation go smoothly.

  • Scan and move any important travel documents to the cloud, including passports, travel insurance, medical records and anything else that can be needed in emergency situations. Storing these documents in a Google Drive, for example, will provide safekeeping and easy access. You can also use Dropbox or Evernote. You can also share these documents with family members and friends.
  • Pack a first aid kit. You never know when an injury may occur, so keep pain relievers, bandages, sunscreen, and any medications (inhalers, etc) in a water-resistant, cool environment. If traveling by car, keep a kit in the vehicle. If you’re hiking or enjoying the beach, keep the kit in a backpack or in another convenient place.
  • Plan for the worst-case scenario. Make sure everyone knows what to do in case someone in your family is separated from the group. For young children, it is generally advised that they stay in the same place and wait for a parent to come back and find them. For older children and teens, choose a location to meet in case of any separation or threat.
  • If traveling by car, be prepared for any mechanical failures. Bring jumper cables, a spare tire, tire iron, flashlight and safety flares in case your vehicle breaks down. It’s also a good idea to keep a bottle of water and a blanket in your vehicle in case you are stuck for long periods of time without help.
  • For small children, bring snacks, toys or books to keep them entertained on long drives or flights.

We could go on and on and on with all the different tips and ideas for family summer travel, but experience is the best teacher. Enjoy your summer and travel safe!

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Bring This, Not That: Boots versus Shoes versus Sandals

June 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

We’re always big fans of “pack light, wear heavy” when you’re working with limited space. For example, don’t pack your big boots into your Rollaboard when space is limited. Which gives rise to the question of whether you should take boots, shoes, or sandals with you for most of your walking.

One of the most important things to consider will be how active you plan to be, and where you will be. It may seem like a no-brainer, but an active vacation requires completely different clothing and apparel than a more passive, relaxing vacation.

An example of walking in sandals.

An example of walking in sandals. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can leave the button down shirt and slacks at home if your next trip involves scaling up a mountain. Conversely, if you’ll be dining in five star restaurants, there’s no need to waste valuable packing space with tank tops, Bermuda shorts, and flip-flops.

But what about your footwear? There are several different schools of thought for what you need on your feet when you’re going to do a lot of walking.

Again, match your footwear to your predicted level of activity. If your plans include museum visits, city tours, theme parks, or other activities that involve a lot of walking, make room in your suitcase for your favorite pair of running or walking shoes, so that you can move through the day in comfort. If hiking is on your schedule, get the lightweight boots that will provide comfort and support. And if you’re just lounging on the beach, grab your sandals.

It’s important to pack for function, but versatility is just as important. You should pack no more than two, and wear the third pair. The last thing you’ll need is to take up space by packing every pair of shoes you own, “just in case.”

For instance, if you plan on traveling throughout the city on foot, and will want to dine at nice restaurants, bring a pair of casual shoes, like loafers, that allow you to look presentable in public while also providing moderate comfort. While your hiking boots may be more comfortable, the maitre’d may decide he doesn’t have any tables that night.

Finally, don’t forget to wear your heaviest or biggest shoes on the plane. That will save you packing space and baggage weight. If you think your shoes may be too heavy on the plane, then you may also want to think twice about whether you needed them at all.

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Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage Announce the “2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide” [PRESS RELEASE]

June 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Make this a Special Father’s Day with Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage

Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and Atlantic Luggage, part of the Travelpro family of brands, are proud to announce their “2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide.” Make this an unforgettable Father’s Day with a luxurious gift from their expansive lines of innovative spinner and carry-on luggage, designed to suit the needs of the business and leisure traveler.

Travelpro 21 inch Blue Marquis Spinner

Travelpro 21 inch Blue Marquis Spinner

Surprise the special man in your life with the new Travelpro Marquis 21″ Expandable Spinner. With its revolutionary self-aligning MagnaTrac system, magnets instantly align the 4 spinner wheels to roll straight in any direction the user desires. Moreover, the lightweight Marquis 21″ Expandable Spinner includes tapered expansion capability of up to 2″, maximizing packing flexibility while keeping the center of gravity low, making it the rolling carry-on item of choice this Father’s Day. Available in both stylish sapphire blue and elegant black, the Marquis 21″ Expandable Spinner retails for an affordable $179.99.

“The ’2014 Father’s Day Gift Guide’ provides shoppers with a variety of high quality luggage choices that are wonderful gifts for fathers who travel for business or leisure,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands.

The Travelpro Platinum Magna 22″ Duffel Bag is also an excellent gift for Father’s Day. Lightweight and built to go the distance, this spacious carry-on duffel features a comfortable adjustable shoulder strap, multiple pockets to store bulky items like belts, cables and socks and a large open area for high capacity packing. Additionally, the Platinum Magna 22″ Duffel Bag is part of Travelpro’s 2013 TGA Innovation Award winning Platinum Magna Collection. The award is an acknowledgment of the cutting edge consumer research that served as a foundation for the design of the line. Ideal for a two – three day business trips or a weekend vacation getaway, the Duffel Bag is available in fashionable sienna and black fabric colors with leather accents, for a retail price of $169.99.

Atlantic 25 inch Compass Spinner

Atlantic 25 inch Compass Spinner

Make family travel effortless and stress-free this Father’s Day with the Atlantic Compass Unite 25″ Expandable Spinner. Featuring the revolutionary Link2Go system, two pieces of luggage can connect back to back with Velcro straps so you can easily roll two pieces with one hand and hold your child’s hand in the other. The Link2Go feature is ideal for Dad when he is travelling with the family where multiple pieces of luggage are the norm. The 25″ Expandable Spinner is available in elegant Cobalt Blue and Black fabric colors, for a retail price of $139.99.

Travelling can be hassle free this Father’s Day with the Travelpro Maxlite 3 Garment Bag. This versatile, lightweight garment bag is the ideal carry-on to keep Dad’s suits, pants and dress shirts wrinkle free. Water resistant coating protects contents from foul weather, while interior pockets keep essentials handy and ready for use. The adjustable shoulder strap adapts to users’ different heights. The Maxlite 3 Garment bag is available in elegant black for a low retail price of $99.99.

Additionally, the Travelpro Crew 9 Business Brief is an ideal fit this Father’s Day for Dads who travel on business and want highly organized convenience and style. The Crew 9 Business Brief features multiple pockets, a padded laptop sleeve and a convenient business organizer for everyday use at the office or for business travel. In addition, the Crew Business Brief includes an adjustable, non-slip shoulder strap for maximum comfort when traveling. The Crew Business Brief is available for a retail price of $129.99.

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.

When is Shipping Your Luggage an Option?

May 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

As travelers, it’s been our struggle to deal with our luggage. It’s been going on for centuries, even millennial, when early man began cramming carry-on satchels made of Mammoth hide into the overhead bins on their Pterodactyl planes.

Or was that The Flintstones?

Regardless, people are still dealing with how to get all their stuff from point A to point B easily, cheaply and quickly. But like the old saying goes, there’s easy, cheap, and quick, and you can only choose two.

Travelpro provides Rollaboard and Spinner carry-on luggage so people have the convenience of skipping the bag check and retrieval in the airports, which makes their travel a lot easier. Other people are finding that they still have to gate check their bags, just because they’re one of the last ones on the plane. Sometimes, carry-on luggage is not an option for longer trips that require more stuff.

Yahoo travel blogger Sonia Gil recently posted a video about the joys of traveling completely bag-free. (Well, almost completely. You need to carry your laptop, tablet, book, extra sweater, tickets, spare underwear, granola bars, and well, you just need a personal bag.)

Sonia looked at the joys and costs of traveling bag-free — no bag-check lines, no lost luggage, no worries about whether you have to gate check your Rollaboard. To do it, you need to ship your luggage, and it may cost you a few bucks.

There are a few companies that specialize in shipping luggage, like Sports Express and Luggage Free. There are also the main package carriers, like UPS, Fedex, and DHL. Shipping your luggage comes with a lot of caveats however, like needing to pack and ship several days in advance, or the fact that it’s not always the cheapest option.

For example, Sonia looks at the costs of sending a 75 pound oversize bag on a luggage shipper versus American Airlines, and finds that the shipper wins, $299 to $400 ($200 for oversize + $200 for overweight). Of course, you have to ship your luggage five days in advance to get the $299 rate, but it certainly is worth it if it means not having to wrestle your 75 pound behemoth off the baggage carousel and in and out of the cab and hotel.

So, if you need to pack a lot of stuff to take on your next trip, or have golf clubs or skis you want to send, consider shipping your luggage instead of taking it on your flight. The benefit is that you don’t have to mess with it at the airport or move it to and from your final destination. Your bag is already there waiting for you, probably with its own stories.

Buses are Fastest-Growing and Cheapest Way to Travel

May 27, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Everyone has their favorite method of travel, whether it’s planes, trains, or automobiles. But can you guess which method is growing to be the preferred way by many people in the U.S.?

If you said buses, you are correct.

English: Coach USA Megabus.com Van Hool TD925 ...

Coach USA Megabus.com Van Hool TD925 Astromega double-deck bus DD415 waits outside Madison Square Garden and Penn Station. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coach bus services, such as the Megabus and Boltbus, are quickly becoming the most popular method of travel. To understand why, you only need to look at the fares.

Compared to airline services, fares for travel buses are a fraction of the cost. Megabus advertises prices that are very low. For example, to travel from Miami to Orlando, the one-way fare is as low as $3.00. Since these vehicles offer luxuries such as free wifi and larger seats, there are plenty of incentives for travelers to choose a bus for shorter travel trips. Of course there’s a trade off. A bus takes a longer time to get where it’s going. The estimated time of this bus trip is 5 hours, around an hour and a half more than by car. .

With airplanes, you can travel across the country in a matter of hours. The same cannot be said for a bus. Driving is always slower than air travel and depending on the destination, traveling by bus may require lots of stops and layovers, adding to the travel time and taking away precious vacation time. But, you can save hundreds of dollars, which will make your vacation a lot more affordable.

As travel prices are increasing, it’s no wonder people are choosing a travel bus for travel. It’s much easier on the wallet. But if your time is much more important, and you can afford the higher cost, air travel is still the quickest way to get from point A to point B.

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