Most of us travel at one time or another, either for business or pleasure, but is it really a pleasure? Trudging through the airport with a clunky suitcase that’s over the weight limit is no one’s idea of fun. Are you going to remove items from your luggage at the ticket counter or pay the overweight baggage fee?
Or how about this scenario: you’ve planned ahead and packed in a carry on, planning to bring your case on the plane and be on your way while your fellow passengers are still waiting by the baggage carousel. While they’re watching the endless stream of bags rolling out, you’re in an Uber halfway home. That’s the plan, but then you’re told that your carry on bag is too large or too heavy to go on board, and now YOU’RE standing by the baggage carousel waiting. You get the idea.
This is where Irv’s Luggage comes in; we are going to save you from the pitfalls of travel that take the pleasure out of your trip.
Read on for the top 5 travel tips from our expert staff.
- International Carry On: Economy travel has brought with it a change in the allowable carry on size for domestic travel. A 22” case may now be too large for some domestic flights (check your airlines website for their specific carry on dimensions.) Pro tip: buy an International carry on bag that’s 18-20” in size and you’ll have no issues bringing your bag on board. Briggs & Riley makes a 4 wheel International Carry On or a 2 wheel version. What’s the difference you ask? The 4 wheel model makes rolling the bag alongside you easy-peasy. However, you sacrifice interior space; the 4 wheel case is 1.5”shorter with around 200 cubic inches less. If you need to pack more, then perhaps a 2 wheel case is the better choice for you.
- Luggage scale: Get one TODAY! Do not be that person in front of the check-in counter at the airport with your suitcase open while you frantically assess what looks like 5 lbs that you can remove so your case makes the weight restriction. For the $10-$20 a luggage scale will cost you, save on overweight baggage fees, and most importantly, look like the expert traveler you can be. Weigh your bag at home and sail through check-in at the airport. Travelon makes 2 models that we love, the Stop & Lock 75 lb Scale and the MuV Digital scale.
- Packing cubes: if you don’t have them, you MUST get them. You will never travel without them again, I guarantee it. You can buy them in different sizes, with the most common size being 12” x 14” x 2” (some expand to a depth of 5”). You can color code them for your family; 1 person has blue cubes, another has red and another has black. Color coding makes packing in 1 suitcase a great option; everyone knows which cubes belong to them, and you can save on checked baggage fees by sharing a suitcase. If sharing your luggage isn’t for you, you will still reap huge benefits by using packing cubes. Here goes:
- You will save TONS of room in your luggage when your items are contained in cubes. They stack neatly and efficiently in your suitcase, thus maximizing your packing space.
- You will have less unpacking to do upon arrival at your destination. Just move your cubes into drawers and you’re done!
- The cubes maintain a sanitary barrier between your personal items and the drawers and shelves of your accommodations.
- If you’re moving a lot from place to place, you can easily stay organized with your cubes. Without packing cubes, your suitcase will be a mess within a day – guaranteed.
- You will be the envy of any traveling companion NOT using packing cubes!
- Some of our favorites: Set of 3 Lightweight Packing Organizers and Electrolight Expandable Packing Cube 2 Pack.
- RFID protection: SO easy to do and can save you endless aggravation when you’re traveling. Millions of credit cards, debit cards, and passports issued since 2006 are embedded with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip that contains personal information. The technology was designed to let us bypass scanning our cards. However, electronic identity thieves have undermined the security of RFID products by devising scanners that read your personal information without you even realizing it. Blocking56MHz frequencies, the standard for most credit cards and passports, items with RFID-Blocking protection have allowed individuals to safeguard themselves from electronic pick pocketing and identity theft. Take a look at these RFID Credit Card Sleeves.
- Anti-theft Bags: these bags can be used every day as well as for travel, when you are a target for thieves. There are a wide variety of styles available, including cross body bags, totes, hobos and backpacks. We sell some awesome brands too; Baggallini and Travelon are the best in this category. The Baggallini Anti-theft Large Hobo and the Baggallini Go Bagg are fan faves. Anti-theft bags have several important features that will send a potential thief on their way.
- Slash resistant fabrics that will not allow a knife to penetrate your bag and get to your wallet.
- Anti-slash shoulder straps have stainless steel cable running through to prevent someone from slashing the strap and running off with your bag.
- RFID pockets to protect your credit cards and passport from being scanned by identity thieves.
- Locking zippers prevent someone from accessing your bag without your knowledge.
Most importantly, take full advantage of 72 years experience in the luggage and travel industry! Our service is exceptional and personalized; we will help you choose the best bag for your type of travel. We have a wealth of information to help every traveler stay safe, organized and save money on extra fees. We hope you’ll stop in and see how we can help you prepare for your next trip.
When you buy from Irv’s, we’ll take care of you down the road if your bag ever needs a little love. We have the largest luggage repair center in the Midwest and haven’t met a bag we can’t fix (okay, maybe a few, but VERY few). We service airline claims (ie. United, American) as well as manufacturer warranties (Briggs & Riley, Travelpro, Samsonite). We also refurbish leather bags, so if you have a beloved leather duffel or briefcase, we can bring it back to life!
Content provided by Women Belong member Renee Silverman