The travel industry has changed immensely in the last few years, thanks in large part to Millennials and their travel habits. Commonly referred to as ‘Gen Y’, this tech savvy generation has caused big changes within the travel industry over the last year. Here are three surprising changes we’ve seen take place.
Home-As-Lodging > HotelsMany savvy travelers are skipping chain hotels in favor of lodging through sites like Airbnb, Homeaway, FlipKey and VRBO. These sites enable travelers to book anything from a spare room to an entire home in cities around the globe for significantly less than hotel room rates. This trend is especially appealing for group travelers who want to stay under one roof, budget travelers looking for cheap digs in a good location and solo travelers who wish to stay with a local. The home-as-lodging trend is so hot, that Airbnb is expected pass InterContinental Hotels Group and Hilton Worldwide and become the globe’s largest hotelier by the end of 2014.
Indie Travel Guides > Tours
Savvy travelers are forgoing the mainstream guides and booking tours through sites like Sidetour, Getyourguide and Canaryhop. Such sites hook travelers (and locals) up with unique city tours, classes and experiences in major cities around the world, making them a great way to get off the beaten path and meet locals.
Ridesharing > Taxis
Cabs can get expensive. Enter ridesharing programs like Lyft and UberX, which enable travelers to hitch a ride with a (fully-vetted) person in their personal vehicle. Ridesharing is significantly cheaper than taxi rides, and thanks to their apps, they’re also much more convenient to use in cities where it’s difficult to flag a cab. While the concept may seem a bit sketchy, many travelers report that the experience is actually much more positive than a traditional taxi experience.
With the travel industry changing so rapidly, we’re excited to see what changes are in store in the upcoming year.
Have you tried out any of these newer services while traveling? If so, we’d love to hear your experiences. Share your thoughts with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page.
First class is officially getting an upgrade. American Airlines recently released its new transcontinental fleet at JFK airport. Perhaps the most impressive is the new Airbus A321, which will run from JFK to LAX and SFO (Los Angeles and San Francisco). This particular plane is positioned to be American Airlines’ answer to JetBlue’s new premium product, the aptly named ‘Mint’, which will also run from JFK to LAX or SFO. There are many similarities between these new planes, so how do they compare?
To start, American Airlines’ A321 is the first plane to offer a three class cabin featuring first class, business class and coach. JetBlue, however, only offers two levels: coach and Mint. Both airlines will offer fully-lie flat seating. On American’s A321, lie-flat seating will be available in both first and business class. Additionally, AA will offer Main Cabin Extra seating for an additional fee, which offers six inches of additional legroom.
If sleeping on planes isn’t your thing, you’re in luck: both carriers offer extensive entertainment options via personal in-seat entertainment. American will offer a 9-inch HD-capable touchscreen with up to 120 movies, 180 TV shows, 350 audio selections and 30 games in addition to wifi via Gogo. JetBlue’s Mint service will offer 15 inch interactive video screens featuring up to 100 channels from DirecTV, SiriusXM Radio and access to Fly-Fi, which claims to be the industry’s first high-speed satellite-based Internet service.
When it comes to meal options, JetBlue appears to be the winner. While American Airlines will offer the ability to order entrees before your flight, JetBlue is kicking things up a notch: they’ve partnered with renowned New York restaurant Saxon + Parole to create a unique small-plates menu. Additionally, Mint passengers can enjoy full-bottle wine service.
While both flights will also offer complimentary amenity kits, Mint has taken theirs to the next level by partnering with Birchbox. Each kit will be filled with “editor-approved” beauty, grooming and lifestyle products and treats.
With amenities like these, long-haul transcontinental flights are looking more and more appealing. With first class amenities such as these, we wouldn’t mind a few extra hours spent in-flight…
How many times have you left home in a big coat and regretted it the minute you arrived at your destination? Even a trip to the mall in the winter can make a big coat seem like a bad idea when you have to lug it around, after only needing it to walk the 200 yards from your car.
When traveling during cold months, many travelers assume they need to bring their big coat to keep warm. It works, but there’s a better option: layer up and wear several light shirts and a fleece, rather than one shirt and a heavy coat. You have more flexibility with changing temperatures by wearing many layers, not to mention that you won’t have to haul that giant parka around with you.
Going Through a Climate Change
If you are traveling to a very cold location, like Finland in January, a big coat is probably a must. But if you can avoid bringing it to a place like St. Louis in March, why not? You may save room in your suitcase by wearing it onto the plane, but you still have to mess with it. Whether putting it in an overhead compartment, or carrying it around when you find out it’s not as cold as you thought, big coats take up a lot of space.
That being said, it may useful to wear that big coat, especially if you’re going to be outside a lot. But if you’re only dashing from cabs and cars to restaurants and offices, skip the coat and layer up.
If you are traveling from a cold climate to a hot one, layering is definitely recommended. You won’t want to carry that coat around in a warm climate and it is easier to add or subtract a few layers when needed. Plus you can pack them away when you don’t need them.
Bottom Line: Focus on Common Use
Think about packing for your most common use, rather than your peak use. Look at what you will be doing the most during your trip, rather than the worst situation you’ll only face once. Will you be outside most of the time in single digit temperatures? Then a big coat is a must. Otherwise, we recommend sticking with layers, thick and thin shirts. Layers make it easier in a temperature change and offer variety in climate changes you aren’t used to.
- Packing for a ski vacation? Better know your layers (theglobeandmail.com)
- Surviving In The Woods When You’re Lost, Cold And Desperate (thesurvivalplaceblog.com)
- How to keep warm outside: 5 science-based tips (theweek.com)
- Hang Up That Coat! 5 Tricks to Stay Warm and Look Chic (stylecaster.com)
- Ultra Chic Layering Techniques! (louettelifestyle.wordpress.com)
Travelpro, the inventor of Rollaboard luggage, announces the Maxlite 3 Collection of 4-wheel Spinner and Rollaboard Luggage
Travelpro the inventor of Rollaboard luggage and a market leader in innovative, high-quality luggage design is pleased to introduce the ultra-lightweight Maxlite 3 Collection, the successor of its award-winning Maxlite 2 product line. This new collection of Rollaboard and Spinner luggage offers lightweight durability, functionality, style and affordability for the business and leisure traveler.“We pride ourselves in creating outstanding durability, practicality, fashion and innovation in each of our luggage designs,” said Scott Applebee, Vice President of Marketing for the Travelpro family of brands. “Maxlite 3 continues the Travelpro legacy of innovation, with its patented Contour Grip, which allows the user to push 4-wheel Spinner luggage easier, reducing fatigue on the shoulder, arm, wrist and hand.”
Maxlite 3 is Travelpro’s lightest luggage collection ever. A 21″ 4-wheel Carry-on model weighs 6 1/2 pounds, making it easier to lift into airplane overhead bins and the trunk of a car. A unique bottom tray aligns and stabilizes the wheels for enhanced durability over the long haul.
With 360 degree rotation, Maxlite 3 4-wheel Spinner luggage provides superior maneuverability and an effortless glide in every direction, making it easy to navigate through airport check-in lines and airplane aisles. The smooth-action and strong telescoping handle system has two extension stops at 38″ and an extra tall 42.5″ to ensure a comfortable roll for travelers of various heights. Complete with flexible packing options and dynamic accents, Maxlite 3 has the look and feel of topof-the-line luggage, without the hefty price tag. Available in elegant black and ocean mist blue fabric colors, the Maxlite 3 uprights feature a full length front pocket, perfect for storing tablets, laptops as well as any other last minute items. In addition, a zippered, interior side mesh pocket serves as an ideal storage location for bulky power cables, chargers and socks or belts. Every piece is backed by Travelpro’s reassuring lifetime warranty, ensuring that the luggage is free from defects in materials and workmanship.
For over 25 years, Travelpro International has prided itself in 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.
Are you staring back-and-forth from your closet to your suitcase wondering what to pack for your next adventure travel? Our favorite travel writer and photographer (and contributor to the Travelpro blog), Mark Eveleigh, has some tips to think about when planning your outfits.
1. Pants and Shorts
Jeans are not recommended for adventure travel, because once they get wet, it’s game over. Instead of heavy denim that never dries, cargo pants are the way to go. They are light, dry quickly, and have pockets for storage.
If you’re traveling someplace warmer, tough bush-shorts are an excellent option. They have large pockets and are durable. You may even find cargo pants that unzip at the knee are ideal for places with temperature changes.
Any shirt is good as long as it’s durable and lightweight. You’ll want to stay with neutral colors, especially on safari, so you blend in with the brush. Shirts should be versatile enough to be worn outside during adventure excursions and to be worn when having drinks in the evening.
Eveleigh carries a kitbag, also called a duffle bag, where he stores most of his supplies. One of our colleagues also stated that a backpack could be just as useful, although Eveleigh has said he favors kitbags over backpacks. We wouldn’t recommend a vest with pockets because once they’re full, it’s heavy. And heavy isn’t good in heat.
Cross country running shoes are ideal during adventure travel. Lightweight and compact, these shoes are perfect for an average trip. Also packing a pair of sandals or trekking shoes is a good idea for something to wear to dinner.
There are a lot more adventure travel packing tips at the Kitbaggers website. As long as you’re packing smart and taking only the things you need, you’ll have a good time.
If you’ve been thinking about signing up for an airline’s loyalty program, you may want to think again. Some airlines are devaluing their frequent flier mile programs, making free airline seats harder to earn.
Several years ago, airlines said they would never be so bold as to change their loyalty programs. They were afraid that if they changed the program, passengers would go elsewhere. You could earn large blocks of miles and obtain a free ticket fairly easily.
Recently, airlines have been consolidating, making less competition for booking airfare. Therefore, they have more flexibility in changing their loyalty programs, adding more blackout dates, increasing the cost of rewards, and decreasing the point value of flights.
Peter Greenberg said on his blog that not only are frequent flier miles becoming harder to redeem, but also that the points to every dollar ratio are decreasing. This means that depending on the airline, your points can be up to 25% less in value.
Why is this happening? Why are airlines making it harder to be loyal to them?
It’s because airlines are already flying at close to full capacity, and there are fewer seats available on the market, which means the airlines don’t need to work quite as hard to earn your patronage. And since people are already paying for seats, why give one away? Ultimately, this is one of their methods to stay profitable. And one of the things that is suffering is the frequent flier programs.
Maybe it’s time to rethink how to earn points without being confined to a loyalty program that could be changed in a few years. You could always earn points on a credit card, something that I do on a regular basis. The value of the points you earn on credit cards can exceed the airline benefits and you are not confined to one air carrier when you book your air travel.
- Delta’s Frequent-Flier Rule Change May Be Sign Of Things To Come (ktoo.org)
- Delta’s Frequent-Flier Rule Change May Be Sign Of Things To Come (wnyc.org)
- Travel rewards becoming a bigger concern (lexingtonlaw.com)
- For some fliers, mileage programs come up short (trib.com)
So you’re traveling to a new country and you want to explore a bit. How do you do go about it? Should you hire a tour guide to take you around, or should you grab a map and venture out on your own? There are plenty of reasons to go either route — no pun intended — and either has its pros and cons.
Tour GuidesHiring a tour guide, whether local or from a travel agency, is a go-to option for many travelers. And why not? You can sit back and enjoy the sites as someone else does the hard work. They have all the knowledge and can share insider knowledge of all the best locales.
The downside is that you’ll spend extra cash for these guides to show you around; self-guided tours are free (except for the attractions themselves). Another point to ponder is whether you want to have a structured tour where you know where you’re going ahead of time, or if you’d like to be surprised as the guide shows you around. Just be careful with some tour guides because they often have formed relationships with the places they stop at, so they may have financial interests in making those stops.
You may be a go-getter and think a tour guide is not for you. The upside of this type of exploration is that you’re not on a time constraint and can explore a place as long as you like, or leave after a few minutes. Self-guided tours are also cheaper, because you’re not paying someone to usher you around. If money is a concern, you may want to try this option.
A pitfall with this type of tour is that you could end up flopping around aimlessly and miss out on a few important places if you haven’t done your research. So put some time into figuring out where you are going and have a plan, including a prioritized list of “must see” versus “could miss” venues.
Whether you hire a guide or grab a map and go out on your own is solely up to you. The important points to consider here are cost, your personal preferences, and where you are.
This last point is important, because personal safety is also a consideration. There may be some places where it’s not safe to venture out on your own, so the best way to see the area is with a guide. In these situations, work with an established, reputable tour guide, and not someone you just met at the airport. Don’t venture out on your own, and make sure to follow basic common sense in ensuring your own safety.
We were recently reminded of why we like being a luggage company after reading Mark Eveleigh’s post on his blog, Kitbaggers.com, extolling the virtue of kitbags (duffel bags) over backpacks.
Kitbag is a British word for a duffel bag, and there are several styles of kitbag — er, duffel bags — that have wheels on them. They’re easy to pick up and carry when necessary, and even easier to pull along behind you, just like a regular piece of Rollaboard® luggage. Travelpro offers a wide variety of rolling duffel bag styles in the T-Pro Bold, Platinum Magna and National Geographic luggage collections.
The decision whether to carry that weight on my back for the next few months or to simply haul it on a kitbag with wheels is a no-brainer.
. . .
Before you head for the airport next time, at least spare a thought for which sort of bag is suited to your trip. On a relatively long adventure travel jaunt, there will be relatively few incidences when a backpack is preferable. There will be countless times, however, when you’ll whisper up a prayer of thanks for the foresight that turned you into a kitbagger. From the airport to the bus, to the hostel, to the bus, to the beach, to another hostel, to another bus, to a national park a tough, well-made kitbag on heavy-duty wheels is the easiest way to transport your kit across all but the roughest of dirt tracks.
If you’ve ever hauled a 60-pound backpack for miles through Europe, South America, or Africa, you know how hot and sweaty you can get by toting around three month’s worth of belongings on your back. But pulling your bag behind you lets you not only carry more, but you can transport said bag more easily.
Backpacks are great. They’re a lot of fun, they’re great for hiking and camping, and they have a secret gypsy vagabond appeal for many of us. We even make backpacks for people to haul their laptops, tablets and paperwork. It may not be trekking the rainforest of Chiapas or the streets of Paris, but you can still feel like you’re there, even when you’re just walking to your car after work.
But when it comes down to it, if you need something rugged, tough, and built to last, a rolling
duffel bag kitbag is your best bet. They’re soft, so you can overstuff them. They have plenty of compartments, so you can keep items separated by function. And they open at the top so you can easily dig out an extra shirt or your book for the plane.
Mark wrote several posts for us in 2010 after hauling some of our T-Pro Bold rolling duffel bags (kitbags) through Chiapas, Mexico and down the Amazon River. We figured if anyone knows about proper adventure travel gear, it’s bound to be Mark.
So when he said kitbags, not backpacks, we wanted to pass on his thoughts to adventure traveler within us all.
Travelpro and Atlantic Luggage to Introduce Newest Luggage Innovations at the Travel Goods Association Show, March 11- 13
Travelpro, the original inventor of Rollaboard luggage and the winner of the 2013 Travel Goods Association’s (TGA) New Product Innovation Award, is proud to debut its latest luggage innovations at the 2014 Travel Goods Association Show, from March 11 – 13 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Travelpro will introduce three new luggage collections under the Travelpro brand, including Crew 10, Maxlite 3 and Marquis. Three collections will also be launched under the Atlantic brand, Atlantic Solstice, Debut and Lumina.
The new Crew 10 collection, the next generation of the legendary Crew product line, which has long been the choice of flight crews and frequent travelers around the world, will be unveiled at the TGA Show. It is a leap forward in innovation, lightweight durability, style and effortless mobility. One of the new features is its sliding compression strap system that allows the hold down straps to be moved from side to side the entire length of the bag to effectively secure different amounts of packed items during travel. Its patent-pending MagnaTrac system with built-in magnets instantly aligns wheels to roll straight for effortless mobility. The patented PowerScope aluminum extension handle minimizes wobble and has multiple stops at 38” and 42.5”. Specifically engineered for spinner model use, the patented Contour Grip adds control and comfort when pushing the luggage, relieving tension on shoulders, arms, wrists and hands.
Travelpro’s Maxlite 3 brings amazing innovation to its ultra-lightweight collection of stylish 4-wheel Spinners and 2-wheel Rollaboard luggage. This handsome 12-piece collection comes with the patented Contour Grip, plus a full-bottom tray that aligns and stabilizes the wheels for durability and effortless mobility. This collection’s “intelligent” interior is ideal for packing flexibility. The full-size lid compartment zips open to keep pressed shirts and pants wrinkle free. Maxlite 3 has the look and feel of top-of-the-line luggage, without the hefty price tag. And it’s lighter than ever!
Travelpro is proud to introduce the Marquis collection, the amazingly lightweight and innovative luggage. Marquis combines lightweight design with the best of Travelpro’s ‘smart’ technologies in one innovative collection for business and leisure travelers. Straight-rolling MagnaTrac wheels, the Contour Grip and the PowerScope Extension Handle all maximize comfort and control on a trio of Spinner styles. This stylish 9-piece collection also features 2-wheel Rollaboard luggage and matching Totes. With a large selection of seven carry-on models all under seven pounds and several sizes for international travel, Marquis is the smart way to roll.
Under its Atlantic Luggage brand, Travelpro is introducing three fashionable and practical collections: Atlantic Solstice, Atlantic Debut and Atlantic Lumina.
The Atlantic Solstice collection includes a trio of hardside Dual Wheel Spinner models that roll smoother, perform better and offer more features for a great price. Available in bright, vibrant colors, the durable hard shell is stylishly textured and resistant to scratching. Solstice comes in three sizes, including a 20” expandable Carry-on and 24″ and 28” expandable Spinners, each outfitted with multiple pockets to help organize your things and make travel fun!With incredible style, great value and bright colors, the new Atlantic Debut is a unique 4-piece collection that combines the very best of today’s fashion, lightweight design and protection for your possessions. Debut’s stylish case resists abrasion and is built to absorb shock during every day travel. The two-compartment design allows for greater packing flexibility and travel ease. Combine this with eye-catching color options and a 10-year limited warranty, you get the best of all worlds. Perfect for international travel, Debut features a 20” Carry-On, 25” and 28” Uprights, and a handy Rolling Tote. Available in hot pink and cool turquoise, your luggage will turn heads every time it appears on the carousel!
Also being introduced is the Atlantic Lumina collection. It not only looks different; it feels different. The Lumina collection introduces a contemporary satin look and feel to hardside luggage. Featuring a unique polyurethane finish on a sculpted hard shell, you have to touch Lumina to appreciate its rich, satin texture. Complete with a dual-wheel spinner system and expandable packing compartment, Lumina combines superior strength, looks and maneuverability with great value.
Lastly, a wide array of other cutting edge products will also be on display in the Travelpro booth. Exciting, contemporary-looking Travelpro business cases, adventure luggage and hardside models will be featured for the first time. Under the Atlantic brand, the Compass Unite collection with the patent-pending Link2Go system will be prominent. With Link2Go, you can connect luggage back to back with Velcro straps and roll two pieces with one hand, or comfortably roll four pieces at once.
For the adventure-minded traveler, there will be a complete line of attractive National Geographic Explorer business bags that are not only fashionable, but highly durable. They include various models in leather, canvas, and a unique weatherproof material. A full line of National Geographic Explorer children’s luggage, backpacks and insulated lunch totes with animal prints will also be featured.
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.
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.
If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ve likely already noticed the airline industry has been making some big changes over the last few years, and 2014 will be no different. In fact, many new trends and test projects we reported on in the previous year are set to become mainstream in the upcoming year. While many of these new changes will be for the better, some may leave passengers feeling, well, a little uncomfortable.
1. Airports will become more efficient
Travelers can now look forward to a quicker check-in process at airports thanks to the DIY bag tag trend. As we reported last year, airlines have been testing out self-tag options in various high-traffic airports, and with great results. American Airlines has reported that the new system has sped up check-in times by 55%, and Iberia has experienced similar results. Additionally, thanks to the growing popularity of programs such as the TSA PreCheck program, airport security lines are moving a bit faster. The TSA is now looking to expand the program to over 100 airports in the upcoming year.
2. Discount airlines fly across the pond
If you’ve ever turned green with envy at the sight of low-cost fares in Europe, you’re in luck. A few new transatlantic carriers (such as Iceland’s Wow) have entered the scene. Thanks to their fuel efficient jets, we may soon be able to cross the pond at a more affordable rate.
3. Taxes and fees will go up
Before you get too excited about cheaper transatlantic fares, hold your horses. If you thought fees couldn’t get any worse, you were wrong. They’re expected to go even higher in the upcoming year. However, these fees may be ones that you’re actually willing to pay for. In addition to more fees, taxes will also go up in 2014. Thankfully, it’s not too bad: the security fee for a round trip flight will be raised from $5 to $11.20 — a difference of, well, the cost of a bottle of water at the airport.
4. Seats will get smaller
If this isn’t motivation to revisit that New Year’s resolution to lose weight, I don’t know what is. Boeing is now manufacturing 17″ seats. Let’s hope you like your seat neighbors, because you’ll be getting pretty cozy.
5. You’ll stay connected
Not only will you be closer to your seat mates than ever before, but you may also get the opportunity to eavesdrop on all of their conversations. The FCC is looking to allow air passengers to make cell phone calls in-flight, much to the chagrin of most travelers. Sadly, you may never be able to use that “sorry I didn’t answer that email, I was on a flight.” excuse ever again. More airlines will be adding in-flight WIFI and even power outlets.
6. Private jets will go mainstream
Now that seats are getting smaller and planes may be getting noisier, you may be wishing you had access to a private jet. Surprise, you do. Companies such as JumpSeat are now offering innovative new jet sharing programs to the masses.
- United Airlines is the First to Fly with New, Fuel-Efficient Split Scimitar Winglets (sacbee.com)
- The hidden fees with low cost airlines (wcpo.com)
- Airlines promise a return to civility — for a fee, of course (wfaa.com)
- Airline fees continue to take off (wvec.com)