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4 Packing and Luggage Tips for Road Travel

Posted by Laura Pinter on Fri, May 27, 2011 @ 06:50 AM

packing, luggage, car, travelThe Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial kick-off to summer — it's the season of cookouts, parades and fun activities for all ages. It also begins the busy summer travel season. The upcoming extended holiday weekend gives families the opportunity to include travel into their plans.  

Pack Right for Hassle-Free Holidays

Families frequently pack up their cars for the summer holiday and hit the road for a quick trip. Whether your next road trip leads you four hours or four states away, keep these packing tips in mind for future family-friendly travel to reduce stress and save time.

  1. Pack Overnight Essentials
  2. Sometimes it's necessary to stay overnight at a hotel before you reach your final destination. Travel blogger Cindy Richards suggests packing one bag that strictly includes nighttime necessities — like toothbrushes and pajamas — for the entire family. Everyone will have their essentials for the night, and you'll avoid the hassle of unloading each individual suitcase from the car just for a single stop.

  3. Save on Fuel
  4. By overpacking and loading excess luggage in the car, you're not only taking up room, but also adding unneccesary weight. Consequently, your vehicle will end up using more fuel. Gas prices are expected to drop nationwide Memorial Day weekend, which will reduce the cost of your trip. You'll save even more by packing smart; using lightweight luggage means using less fuel.

  5. Don't Get Cramped
  6. Keep your passengers comfortable and free up some space in the trunk or backseat by utilizing a rooftop luggage rack. Choose your bulkiest luggage pieces to move up top to free up valuable space. This easy fix will make for a more relaxing (and roomy) trip.

  7. Keep the Backseat Happy
  8. If you're travling with a full car, remember your passengers in the backseat. Pack a small suitcase or duffel bag with activities games, coloring books and snacks for younger riders, and books, music and writing essentials for the older passengers. Store it in the backseat for easy access; by doing so, you'll avoid the need to stop the car and dig through the trunk. In addition, the backseat passengers are sure to stay occupied and entertained.

Simplify Your Next Road Trip

When the holiday weekend arrives, use tips like these and other time- and stress-saving tricks to foolproof your road trip and enjoy friends and family. You're also sure to alleviate some of the pains of travel, which leaves more time for creating meaningful memories along the way.

How have you and your family created memorable road trips? What tips can you share to simplify car travel?

Have questions about the best luggage pieces for your road travel? Contact

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Photo credit: theloushe

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Luggage Shopping: 10 Questions to Ask [Slideshow]

Posted by Laura Pinter on Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 09:31 AM

The busiest travel season is just around the corner. If you’re in the market for new luggage, there are a number of things to consider before making a purchase.

You can find our top ten questions to ask yourself when shopping for luggage on SlideShare, or view the presentation below.

Many people forget to consider key factors about their travel needs when browsing for luggage. Essential items for travelers to evaluate include:

  • Type and frequency of travel
  • Luggage weight and size restrictions
  • Physical limitations
  • Color, style and fashion

Different Travelers Have Different Needs

The typical jet-setter interested in a stylish, lightweight carry-on doesn’t necessarily need a suitcase with expandability features. Likewise, an international sight-seer must consider airline regulations and restrictions of luggage. It’s important to recognize what kind of traveler you are in order to find pieces that fit your needs.

Ten Questions to Ask Yourself

Travelers often choose the wrong type of bag because they do not properly assess their travel personalities and luggage preferences. As a traveler, you might be thinking: What should I consider when shopping for luggage?

Incorporate these ten questions into your next buying process:

  1. How often do I travel?
    Determining how often you utilize luggage will help narrow down your choices. The weekly road warrior will have different needs than a once-a-year traveler. For example, a frequent traveler might opt for a carry-on to escape the hassle of checked bags while a family vacationer might invest in a luggage set due to infrequent and dynamic types of trips.
  2. What type of travel will I do the most?
    Are you traveling for business or going on a leisurely vacation? Are you an adventurous traveler or do you prefer sight-seeing trips? Consider these types of questions to find the style and design of luggage that will best suit your needs. Travel accessories like passport wallets or day bags might also be right for your kind of travel.
  3. What do I need to pack?
    Are you packing more than just clothes and toiletries? Whether you’re taking camera equipment or snorkel gear, this will help determine the size and rigidity of your luggage needs. For minimalist packers, carry-on luggage or duffel bags are great choices. Heavy packers may be interested in larger suitcases with expandability options.
  4. Are color, style and fashion important to me?
    These factors are influential; they may limit the options of your true luggage needs versus your desire for a stylish suitcase. Depending on your personality, plain and simple may be the way to go. Otherwise, there are new designs available to suit all needs.
  5. Do I have physical restrictions?
    If you suffer from back issues or other ailments, you might consider wheeled or spinner-style luggage or a lightweight suitcase instead of a duffel bag.  You may also concede to checking luggage since carrying on can be more physically strenuous. 
  6. What is my budget?
    It’s important to have an idea of what you’re willing to spend in order to find the right bag at a fair price. Most luggage specialty stores will show you bags with a variety of features and prices or alert you of upcoming sales. If you’re looking for a long-term piece, consider investing in quality or one with a lifetime warranty in order to avoid costs in the future.
  7. What are the current weight regulations?
    Airlines are very strict when it comes to the weight of checked bags. Remember — a large bag that is lighter in weight may not necessarily help you; it’s what you put in the bag that causes weight issues more so than the bag itself.
  8. Will I check or carry on my bags?
    Business travelers usually prefer to carry on their luggage since they do not have the extra time to stop at baggage claim. Others will choose to carry on to avoid checked baggage fees. Many retailers offer TSA-approved options. Check with your airline for current luggage size and weight limitations, and read our Guide to Carry-on Luggage.
  9. Am I a domestic or international traveler?
    If you’re a domestic flyer, the carry-on limitation is generally 22”x 14” x 9”. International carry-ons often require a 20” height maximum. There are new styles and sizes available that provide maximum space and still fall within size guidelines.  
  10. What does the warranty mean?
    Be sure to read what you’re actually purchasing.  A “lifetime limited warranty” generally does not cover damage that occurs during handling. Likewise, luggage with a 100% warranty against manufacturer defects and third-party damages usually means the cost of repairs is covered. Consider how much you travel and how long you intend to use the bag.

Determine Your Travel Personality

Shopping for luggage can be overwhelming if you’re not properly prepared. There’s a wide range of luggage for a reason — different pieces are designed to accommodate different types of travelers. Once you’ve answered these questions, your selection will begin to narrow, and the process will simplify.

Do you have tips for travelers looking for the right travel bag? What factors are important for you when purchasing a new piece of luggage?

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Luggage Tips for Business Travelers

Posted by Laura Pinter on Fri, May 13, 2011 @ 12:36 PM

Earlier this year, a Wall Street Journal article shared that business travel is on the rise for 2011. Also, business professionals who haven’t traveled in the past two years due to budget constraints plan to take more trips this year.

If you’re a business traveler going back to the skies this year, you may be looking for ways to simplify your travels.

Have you ever looked to your luggage as helping ease the stresses of your trips? Here are three ways that luggage can lighten the load surrounding business travel:

TSA-Friendly Laptop Bagscarry-on briefcase

In any air travel, getting through the security gate can be a challenge in itself. For business travelers, adding a laptop to the mix can drain even more time. Now, many luggage and suitcase retailers are carrying TSA-friendly business briefcases and laptop bags.

Instead of rummaging through a bag to take out a laptop, you can open the briefcase flat on the belt and run it through security. There are a number of sizes, styles and materials available.

  • Bonus Tip: Use the time you save getting through security to get some work done — and make sure to take advantage of the business lounges and free Wi-Fi if it’s available.

Lightweight Luggage and Packing

As we shared in our 2011 Consumer Luggage Report, lightweight luggage has taken over, with offerings to suit all needs and tastes. However, keep in mind that even the lightest-weight luggage can become heavy with improper packing.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the suitcase; look at other options that may be lighter and simpler for quick travel use. Carry-on sizes of duffel and garment bags come in a variety of styles, and can hold just enough for a weekend or two-day trip.

  • Bonus Tip: Do double-duty with your bags: duffel bags can double as gym or overnight bags, and garment bags hold clothes and accessories, and also keep suits and dresses wrinkle-free.

Carry-on Luggage with Ease

Airlines are paying 41 percent more than last year for fuel, which means flight fares and baggage fees are also going up. Traveling with a regulation-size carry-on bag will keep your company from spending extra baggage fees. Some luggage pieces also feature convenient expandability options that offer more room for your belongings.

carry-on luggageMany times, the airline will ask for volunteers to check bags for free at the gate if the plane is full. If you have the extra time to grab your luggage at the baggage carousel, it’s a nice, hassle-free way to get on and off the plane quickly.

Make Your Luggage Work for You

A business traveler should focus more on the trip’s purpose and less on the stresses of traveling. By incorporating these tips into your routine, you’ll be able to do just that. If you’re looking for more tips, marketing expert and frequent traveler Chris Brogan offers some great advice.

Are you a frequent business traveler? Tell us what suitcases you use, and packing tips you’ve learned to make trips less stressful.

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