Eight Packable Items that Could Save Your Life

March 12, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

No one typically thinks to pack emergency preparedness items when planning a business trip or vacation. But making a few basic plans can help you be prepared for the worst that your destination can throw at you. So there’s one simple step that can help you be prepared: know the risks associated with your destination.

For starters, check out the FEMA app which provides tips on how to deal with disasters like earthquakes severe weather, wildfires, volcanoes, and terrorism.

Additionally, emergency experts suggest that when you’re at your destination, keep a pair of shoes and socks by your bed in case you need to leave the room in an emergency, such as a fire, so you can protect your feet from broken glass.

A recent article in Smarter Travel got us to thinking about taking precautions when we travel, and they shared eight items that could save your life while on the road.

A whistle may be loud and obnoxious, but that means it can provide personal safety if you’re walking alone or at night. It can also help rescuers find you. A “pealess” whistle is best—and provides maximum durability. Its high-pitched sound can be easier to detect than a human voice and it will work if anything impairs your ability to yell, like dehydration or crushing.

A keychain flashlight is one of the packable items that can help you out when you're in a tight spot.In the event of a power failure — natural disaster or not — a flashlight can provide a much-need light source. Choose a small, keychain-sized LED light with a long battery life. It’s ideal if you’re stuck in a subway, navigating poorly lit paths, camping, or even reading in bed while sharing a room. Plus it saves your cell phone battery in those non-emergency uses.

Speaking of a loss of electricity, bring along a battery backup charger. If the electricity fails, you can you can use it to keep your phone operable. You may not be able to make calls, but you’ll be able to have a spare flashlight, and access to emergency apps. On a brighter note, if there isn’t a power failure, bringing an extra charger means helping you stay connected (via apps, maps, social media, email, and phone) whenever your phone battery runs low.

Take a first-aid kit that includes the basics (bandages, alcohol pads, antibiotic ointment). No matter where you’re headed, you’ll be prepared for blisters, scrapes, bug bites and other minor injuries.

A space blanket will not only provide warmth if the heating system fails, it can be resourceful if you need a place to rest during an overnight airport layover. On a brighter, shinier note, it can be a great makeshift picnic blanket.

A small, simple dust mask, like a surgical mask, is another “must have.” Not only do these small, stackable masks protect you from airborne particles, they can also prevent you from spreading your germs, too. (Or getting sick if you’re around a lot of sick people or have a weakened immune system.)

Take a bottle of water. Clean water is one of the most important things you can have with you. Having clean, accessible water can prevent dehydration and it can save you money by not buying a bottle for $4 when you’ve got no other options. Better yet, bring a reusable water bottle, and fill it each morning.

Finally, pack a few high protein snacks for energy or a quick snack if your blood sugar is low. Protein bars like Clif bars are heavy and dense, and can give you a quick boost. Tuck a couple into your briefcase, purse, or backpack and pull one out when you need it.

What are some of the must-have emergency items you take on trips? Did we miss anything? Or do you have a favorite make, model, or energy bar you don’t leave home without? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream.

Photo credit: Wtshymanski (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons 3.0)

Our Favorite Travel Gear for Business Travel

November 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When you’re traveling, being distracted from the sights and sounds of your destination by your luggage or day bags should not be part of your itinerary. With some planning, you can streamline your experience, travel in comfort, and focus on the people and places you’re visiting.

Platiinum Magna 2 Backpack and Briefcase - two important pieces of travel gear

Platiinum Magna 2 Backpack and Briefcase

The first two items you need to consider when planning your travel is your personal item and your carry-on suitcase. Our Platinum® Magna™ 2 Collection has multiple options to choose from but two suggestions are the Platinum® Magna™ 2 20” Expandable Business Plus Spinner and the Platinum® Magna™ 2 Check Point Friendly Backpack, to outfit you for the road. The suitcase comes well equipped with patented MagnaTrac® Spinner wheels that always roll straight and don’t pull to the left or right when pushing as well as padded storage for your electronics.

The Check Point Friendly Backpack includes laptop and tablet sleeves, and other organizers for anything you want to pack, as well as a TSA-friendly feature that allows you to pass through security without removing your laptop.

After you’ve determined what kind of luggage you’ll need, organizing its contents can go a long way toward maximizing your trip. While they may seem extraneous, packing cubes help you maintain a place for everything and everything in its place. Only accessing what you need, instead of pawing through everything you own, will reduce your stress and increase your ability to engage your destination. A well-appointed toiletry kit will also keep you from hunting through your suitcase or backpack to locate that rogue toothbrush and toothpaste. We suggest a multi-function, waterproof one with see-through, zippered pockets that includes a hanger or Velcro loop for easy access.

Because it’s every bit as important to enjoy the journey as you do the destination, you may want to consider some in-flight travel gear comforts. If you want to catch a nap, think about including a travel pillow in your backpack. Noise-cancelling earbuds or headphones will also help you create a “cone of silence,” whether you’re in a plane or in your hotel room.

If hands-free travel is your goal, consider this unique travel gear option: SCOTTeVEST. Designed to conceal almost everything you could possibly need while en route, the system’s extensive interior pockets will allow you to carry all your tech and travel items on your person with fellow passengers being none the wiser. To get through security, simply remove your vest or jacket, lay it on the conveyor belt, and retrieve it after the scan. Your items remain secure and invisible, and you’re not fumbling with or searching through an extra bag to find your phone, tablet, passport, or e-reader.

What are your favorite travel gear items? Do you have any tried-and-true products or new items you want to try? Share them with us in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or in our Twitter stream.

Don’t Make These Tech Travel Mistakes

September 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

We’ve come to rely on technology so much, we’ve sometimes made things more difficult when the technology is supposed to make our lives easier. And one little tech mistake on your travels can throw off your whole trip, or add some unexpected expenses. USA Today shared several tech travel mistakes we can avoid to ensure our next trip is pleasant and glitch-free, and we picked a few of our favorites.

Avoid travel mistakes like forgetting mobile chargers or letting your phone's memory get too full.

  • Don’t forget the power sources for your mobile devices! Nothing can stop you in your tracks faster than a dead battery, so consider purchasing an extra wall charger that stays in your luggage at all times. Some battery packs take up less space than a wallet, and can boost your device for a day if they’re fully charged. Take along a separate charging cable that will allow you to charge your phone using your laptop’s power, and if you’re going to be driving, pack your car charger. Better yet, purchase our new Crew™ 11 21″ Spinner with a built-in USB port for on-the-go charging! Be sure to label the cords and wrap them so that they don’t become a tangled mess, and check your rental car and hotel room thoroughly so you don’t accidentally leave one behind.
  • Airline earbuds are complimentary for a reason. They get the job done, but often they don’t fit your ears well. That means those around you are forced to eavesdrop on your conversations or “enjoy” your music selections. You may live in a state that doesn’t mandate Bluetooth use when driving and talking on a cell phone, but you may go to one that does. Buying a set of Bluetooth-enabled earbuds will do double duty for you. One heads-up, though: this type of earbud system runs on batteries, so re-read #1. Read more

The ONE Thing Travelers Can’t Live Without

May 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

If you had the choice between being able to maintain adequate hygiene or take a selfie while on vacation, which would you choose? If you said selfie, you have good, albeit stinky, company.

iphoneEvidently, 60 percent of travelers from 19 countries would rather risk offending others with their breath than leave their phone behind while on a getaway.

According to a recent study by Expedia of 9,642 travelers, 33 percent said they use their phones more during vacation than while at home. Aman Bhutani, president of Brand Expedia Group, said that participants claimed having their smartphones with them “improved the quality of their vacation.”

How? By providing them with the nagging sense that they’re falling behind on their work every time they gave into the urge to check email or voicemail? The device does offer quite a few helpful applications, but at what cost to truly relaxing?
Read more

Tiny Travel Gadgets You Didn’t Know You Needed

January 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Have you ever seen some cool gadget and wondered, “Where has this been all my life?” or how your life was ever complete without it? While those may be few and far between, we’re always on the lookout for the next great gadget to make our life easier. Here’s a list of some very helpful gadgets we found, for use while traveling or at home:

VoltReady. This credit card sized dual charger has built-in Apple Lightning and micro usb cords and you can use them at the same time to charge two devices. We’ve heard reports of phones below ten percent being fully charged within an hour with this!

Chamberlain Jump Starter. This little two-pound gadget eliminates the need to find someone with jumper cables and a car to jump your car (or rental’s) dead battery. It can jump-start a vehicle up to 20 times before requiring a charge itself.

Waka Waka Power SupplyWaka Waka Power+. This solar charger stores the sun’s rays for that time when you need to charge your phone or just need light in the dark. The unit can charge a phone or provide 150 hours of light in its flashlight setting, and with each purchase the company donates a solar light to someone without electricity.

Kenu Stance. We all take pictures with our phones these days, but sometimes it really would be handy to be have a tripod available to steady the shots or videos. This tripod mounts to the phone’s charging point and folds down smaller than a pack of gum.

Victorinox Jetsetter 3-pocket Knife. The pocket knife guru has created a TSA-friendly, bladeless pocket “knife” includes tweezers, a screwdriver tip, toothpick, scissors, key ring, bottle opener, and wire stripper. Some reviewers have said it has almost been confiscated, though, so buyer beware.

Shavetech USB Rechargeable Travel Razor. Electric razors are convenient, but bulky and require their own charging cord to be useful. Not so with this razor. The built-in USB connector cuts the cord and is smaller than your phone. No word on how close a shave it gives.

Ivation Super Portable Bluetooth Speaker. We’re a bit skeptical about how good the sound quality could be from such a small speaker, but you can afford to give it the space to find out, since it’s only as wide as a quarter and the built-in USB connector results in four to six hours of augmented listening.

BlueDriver. Now this tool could get you on your way faster if your car breaks down while you’re in route to your destination. The tool works in conjunction with your phone to allow you to diagnose problems with your vehicle.

Do you have any devices you never leave home without? Do you have any experience with these gadgets? We’d love to hear about them. Leave us a comment below oron our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Alper Çuğun (Flickr, Creative Commons)

What Are The Must-Have Stocking Stuffers For Travelers?

November 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

As the Holiday season approaches, you’re probably wondering what you’re going to stuff into the stockings of the frequent travelers on your Christmas list. May we suggest Austin House Travel Essentials? Austin House, a leading brand of travel accessories, features a variety of practical and cost effective items that are ideal for loved ones who are always on-the-go:

  • Flash Drive Combo Lock: Keeps personal and business information protected while traveling.
  • Dual Voltage Kettle: Allows friends or family members to have their morning coffee, tea or hot chocolate wherever they are.
  • Purse Hanger: An elegant hanger that can be placed on nearby tables or desks to hang a purse, keeping it safe, clean and conveniently close-by.
  • Croco Compact Jewelry Case: A multi-compartment jewelry case that protects rings, necklaces and bangles.
  • Croco Travel Wallet: Features multiple interior dividers that can be used to separate currencies, documents and receipts.
  • Croco Passport Cover: Stylishly and effectively protects invaluable passports.
  • Universal Adapter Plug  Compatible with outlets in more than 160 countries, and comes standard with built-in surge protector.
  • Travel Scale with Built-in Tape Measure: Weigh and measure luggage in advance, avoiding overweight baggage fees and unnecessary frustration at the airport.
  • Leather Bag Tag: Conveniently holds a standard size business card, and features top-grain leather for durability and a flap which covers your name and address to protect confidentiality.
  • Cell Shelf: Keeps cell phones off the floor while charging in inconvenient locations.
  • Auto Neck Rest: Provides a soothing massage to relieve tension during long car commutes.

Austin House started in 1974 to make travel as safe, comfortable and hassle-free as possible. Today, the strength of Austin House is its vast selection of travel essentials and clever ideas, including safety locks, travel clocks, luggage straps, luggage tags, passport and document holders, personal security, comfort and care items, leather goods, adapters and converters and electronics accessories.

Visit the Austin House website for a full list of the latest products and retail locations.

For more information on Travelpro luggage, visit our Travelpro Retail Locator on our website.

Be Prepared For Travel Emergencies

September 17, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Adventure isn’t the only thing awaiting you when you travel. Emergencies are often waiting, too.

So, you should not only streamline your travel with Travelpro® Rollaboard® luggage, you should safeguard it by taking steps to avoid emergencies.

Purchasing travel insurance is one such measure. It can be inexpensive, but it can be invaluable should a problem arise.

If you are taking medication, make sure you pack enough for the trip and keep it in your carry-on luggage.  It’s also advisable to take a copy of the prescription and any other pertinent medical information.

If you’re traveling outside the country, be sure to store an extra copy of your passport separate from the original. You should also register your credit cards or have a trusted friend or family member maintain a list of both your cards and company contact information. This will allow you to react quickly should your purse or wallet be stolen.

We recommend leaving expensive, easy-to-steal items such as jewelry at home when traveling. If you must bring valuables, use either your room safe or the hotel’s main safe to secure them. You can also protect yourself and your belongings while traveling with Austin House™ products.

Austin House, a leading brand of great travel accessories, offers a number of personal security items perfect for those far from home.

  • Personal Safety Alarm – This high-pitched alarm fits around your wrist or belt loop and can be activated with one pull of the rip cord.
  • Compact Door Alarm – A protection device for the door (or window) of your hotel room which emits a high pitched sound when the clips placed between the door and door frame are separated.
  • Stay Dry – A tough vinyl waterproof bag that protects cameras, cell phones, MP3 players and other valuable electronic against water damage. Neck cord included.
  • Waist Safe – A washable, lightweight pouch with an adjustable strap that fits around your waist.  It holds passports, credit cards, traveler’s checks and other valuables.
  • Leg Safe – A washable, lightweight, adjustable leg sleeve that holds passports, credit cards, traveler’s checks and other valuables.

In the excitement of planning a trip, it’s easy to overlook safety and security.

By taking a few common sense precautions, and by packing a few Austin House personal security items, you’ll be safe and sound when traveling.  You can see the entire collection of Austin House Travel Accessories.

Six Must-Have Travel Accessories For Stress-Free Travel

September 8, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

There’s more to stress-free travel than Travelpro® Luggage. It often takes world class travel accessories to make a trip truly exceptional.

Austin House, a division of Travelpro International and leading brand of great travel accessories, offers a number of innovative, high quality items that will improve the life of any traveler. Based on our customer feedback and sales, we’ve found six of the must-have travel accessories for the business or leisure traveler.

If you’re planning a trip overseas, remember that dual voltage (110/125v) and (220/250v) appliances require an adapter plug, while non-dual voltage items require a converter or transformer. The Austin House™ Universal Adapter Plug is compatible with outlets in more than 160 countries, and comes standard with a built-in surge protector.

Use the Austin House Travel Scale with Built-in Tape Measure to weigh and measure your luggage. This invaluable tool enables you to redistribute your belongings before you reach the airport, avoiding both overweight baggage fees and unnecessary frustration at the airline counter.

Another popular travel accessory is a set of Pressure-Less Earplanes. These specially designed ear plugs relieve air pressure during take-offs and landings. They’re recommended for cold and allergy sufferers, travelers with sinus conditions and those prone to air pressure changes. Earplanes work naturally using the exclusive Ceramix™ filter, and are good for two flight segments.

A great way to eliminate the need to pack excess clothing on extended trips is the Austin House Travel Laundry Kit. The kit contains five liquid Woolite® detergent packets, a sink stopper for sinks without a plug and a laundry line to hang dry laundry.

With many airlines no longer offering blankets due to cost cutting, the Austin House Super Soft Blanket has become a true travel necessity. Simply remove the 2-in-1 blanket and pillow set from the pouch, inflate the pillow and use the pouch as your pillow case. You’ll arrive at your destination refreshed and ready to go.

Finally, Austin House Adjustable Luggage Straps prevent accidental openings, protect zipper pulls and help you identify your luggage on the crowded conveyor belt. These rugged polypropylene straps contain an ID window and feature a high impact side-release buckle.

You’ve streamlined travel with Travelpro Luggage. Take it to the next level with Austin House travel accessories.