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Pros and Cons of Wheeled Briefcases
Professionals who need to transport only a laptop may want to avoid wheeled briefcases. While such bags are convenient, computers are likely to receive more unnecessary impacts when close to the ground. In addition, it is easier to keep expensive computer equipment secure in crowded areas if it is kept next to the body. Professionals who typically transport their laptop to and from an office or home without flying regularly may not need large rolling models, either.
While shoulder-toted briefcases are advantageous for those who travel light, they may not work well for business people who carry larger, heavier laptops or must transport other heavy accessories like scanners, portable printers, projectors, or multiple power sources. Larger briefcases can accommodate other travel necessities like toiletry bags, books, paperwork or a change of clothing, making it easier to consolidate carry-ons and get through security more efficiently.
Once an individual has decided to purchase a wheeled briefcase, it's important to search for a design with high-end wheels and a sturdy handle assembly. High-quality wheels allow the briefcase to roll smoothly, without sticking or giving an expensive laptop a bumpy ride and are the main point of wear for this type of briefcase.
When making that final selection, don't forget about material. A rolling brief will be more exposed to the weather if used extensively outdoors. You may have to forgo that leather briefcase for a more durable material such as ballistic nylon.
Why Brand Is Important In Purchasing Luggage
Rather than searching for a baggage bargain, frequent travelers should invest in a quality, name-brand luggage set.
Advantages of Purchasing a High-Quality Luggage Set
It's easy to for passengers recovering from luggage sticker shock to forget that baggage is designed to protect valuable belongings during travel as well as being fashionable. A more expensive, high-quality, name-brand set of luggage will last much longer and endure the inevitable impact of travel and automated luggage handling while keeping personal items safe and intact.
Off-brand, inexpensive luggage often comes with problems regarding quality, such as substandard zippers, poorly designed wheels and cheap latches. Savvy travelers should search for bags with high-quality inline wheels, smooth, sturdy zippers and most importantly, a high density ballistic nylon. In addition, they should find out what type of luggage warranties and quality guarantees are provided by their selected sales company.
Name-brand baggage sets, travel products and leather goods from recognized companies such as Briggs and Riley,Tumiand Swiss Army by Victorinox offer travelers warranties of one year or more on most products, and have authorized service centers in many U.S. regions.
Travelers on a budget can find reasonably priced name-brand leather and nylon luggage from online retailers, who often charge less than traditional stores that build overhead costs into baggage prices.
Tips For Getting Through Airport Security Faster
Since travelers have to work around heightened security measures when traveling for business and leisure, they can often expect to deal with lengthy airport security lines. In its efforts to prevent a safety breach, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) provides passengers with specific guidelines for carry-on and checked airport luggage, and there are several tips that help streamline the security process when flying domestically or overseas.
- Don't forget the zip-top bag. All liquid toiletry items must be three ounces or under, and must fit securely into one plastic zip-top bag. For those who forget the rules or neglect to bring a zip-top, toiletry items can be transported in checked luggage.
- Wear slip-on shoes to simplify the airport check-in process. Since every passenger is required to send their shoes through the x-ray machine, it is not convenient to wear footwear with excessive lacing.
- Avoid the last-minute panic. Leave at least an hour and a half to get through security and get settled at the gate. TSA authorizes random carry-on checks and pat-downs, so it pays to arrive with time to spare.
- Be prepared to remove laptops from their cases. Some airports require this, and it simplifies the process if the computer is readily available.
For additional airport security tips, visit the TSA website.
Essential Travel Accessories To Keep You Looking Great On The Road
There are a few items that every business traveler should carry for those times when things happen that put you off your best. First impressions are so important that you must be prepared at all times to do what you can. It is always the little things that finish the look and make you look and feel put together.
Your toiletry kit should include items such as a small manicure set, a personal groomer, some fabric cleaning wipes, a small sewing kit with needle and a couple colors of thread, travel hand cleaning/sanitizing wipes, wrinkle free spray, and a couple band-aids. All of these things come in handy travel sizes, don't cost much, but can really save the day.
There are silicone type show shine pads available to revive those shoes after a mishap. These are not intended to replace a good polish but will restore a like new appearance to most tanned leather items for the day.
A travel steamer is generally less bulky than an iron and can quickly restore and freshen a wrinkled dress, shirt, or suit.
A little forethought to create an essentials kit that you know is complete, and can be tossed into your suitcase at a moment's notice, can have you back to looking your best and feeling confident when on the go.
Seven Essential Bags For All Your Travels
- Large, 28" to 30", Wheeled Packing Case: Best for lengthy trips where baggage must be checked, this type of bag expands to allow for extra clothing and amenities.
- Medium, 24" to 26", Wheeled Packing Case: Best for extended stay trips. Durability is the prime criteria for this bag as it used most often and is required to be checked.
- Expandable, Wheeled Carry on: Prefect for the short trip and business traveler. It allows the traveler to bypass lengthy baggage claim lines. It prevents loss by the airlines, and prevents delays when changing planes on a layover. A 22" is the maximum size allowed by domestic, U.S., flights (international sizes can vary from 18" to 20").
- Carry-on Tote: Used to hold essentials like reading material, medications, snacks, water bottles, wallets, and laptops. Totes can be shoulder carry, or wheeled. They can also be piggy-backed on larger pieces for easier travel.
- Garment Bag: The best option for travelers carrying formal wear, shoes, and accessories. The garment bag could be a piece used as an addition to a packing case and could be carried on with a shoulder strap, or a wheeled wardrobe as a stand-alone piece. In either case, the ability to keep clothes on hangers inside your luggage is an advantage to most travelers.
- Large Rolling Duffel: For a casual trip that requires packing sports/beach equipment or for a college student moving a significant amount of clothes at a time, a 30" to 36" duffel will offer the most packing room.
- Backpack: Considered the most comfortable means to carry on personal items, a backpack can also be used for shopping, changes of clothes, or items needed for a day trip. A backpack could also be the safest way to travel with a laptop. Better backpacks will come with a protective (and sometimes removable) laptop sleeve.
A Guide to Buying Travel Related Accessories
As you prepare to purchase luggage and travel-related accessories, it's important to consider your travel habits and packing needs in order to select the most appropriate pieces. Think about the following before committing to a major luggage purchase:
Consider the type of trips you'll be taking. For trips that involve changing locations often, perhaps shop for smaller, shoulder carry garment bags and satchels. They will be easier to transfer in and out of rental cars, shuttles and airplanes, especially when you're traveling alone. One larger, bulkier bag may work best if you generally remain in one place for a week or more and won't need to move it frequently.
Decide whether you need hard-sided or soft-sided luggage. Suitcases with a hard exterior are better for transporting breakables, while soft-sided suitcases are more flexible and expand to accommodate additional clothing and other non-breakables.
Check with the airlines you commonly fly to find out what weight and measurement restrictions are in place. If there are additional costs related to luggage checking, a larger carry-on may be the best value. Newly instituted airline surcharges can be a deciding factor in selecting the size and style of bag purchased.
Pack a small, empty duffel in your luggage if you're planning to shop for souvenirs. It's always handy to have some extra space to bring home treasures you can't live without.
Tips for How to Buy New Luggage
Vacation accessories are an expensive investment, so travelers need to educate themselves about how to buy new luggage before committing to a purchase. After considering their travel patterns and how they usually pack, they will be better prepared to make a practical, cost-effective decision.
In today's market, there are dozens of luggage makers offering a vast range of styles, sizes, and weights. It may be beneficial to determine travel patterns, how you pack and which characteristics are most important before beginning a search for new luggage. As with most apparel, style, design, and luxury of materials will greatly impact the bottom line cost of purchase. Brands like Tumi, and Hartmann have an aesthetic that is easily recognizable by others and carries a specific prestige with it.
Weight is now becoming more and more of concern for travelers. Most travelers will try to pack every inch of their case and a case that is heavy or cumbersome to begin with can make an already arduous trip all that much more difficult. In addition to ease of travel, airlines have added to the concern over weight by applying a surcharge for bags of a certain heft. There is a trade off, however. While luggage makers are always trying to improve the balance between weight and durability, generally speaking, the more durable a piece the heavier the material used. This does have an exception, though. Hard-sided, polycarbinate luggage could be considered the most durable and some of the lightest offered.
Most travelers are familiar the standard, wheeled packing case, but there are some alternatives to consider. Garment bags work well for short business trips or weekend adventures. They are perfect for formal wear, and business attire. Designed to keep clothing from wrinkling, garment styles can be wheeled, or slung over the shoulder for easy transport. Users must remind themselves to pack light, however, because this luggage style can be awkward to carry when overloaded. Duffel bags and cabin bags also work well for small trips, but can be unwieldy if they are overstuffed. Travelers should buy duffel bags designed with a handle and wheels for increased ease of use. The lack of an internal frame reduces weight significantly, and allows for the more fashionable leather designs.
Essential Travel Accessories For Comfort
Items like portable pillows and blankets can help frequent fliers travel more comfortably on long business or personal trips. While relaxation and travel do not often seem to go together, there are many accessories that can help make the journey a bit more pleasant.
Travel Pillows can be used to support the lower back and the neck on an otherwise cramped, uncomfortable flight. Fleece and synthetic fiber pillow designs are easy to spot clean, and fit inside carry-ons for transport convenience. Some pillows also come with a zippered pouch or case that is washable upon arriving home. By also packing their own poly-fleece travel blankets, passengers can be assured that they have a clean, sanitary sleep experience.Some fliers are reluctant to use airline blankets and pillows, so portable, personal versions are a welcome accessory for comfort and warmth.
Passengers who wish to sleep on the plane may also wish to invest in a sleep mask and/or noise reduction headphones to block out noise, as well as natural and overhead light while resting. Sleep masks are a low-cost, convenient accessory that help people avoid jet-lag symptoms by preventing unwanted light. Noise reduction headphones can be that one thing that tips the balance on those long duration or late night flights.While it may seem impossible to fit every travel amenity and piece of clothing into a backpack or a couple of small luggage pieces when traveling for a week or more, adventurers will find that it simplifies the journey. Packing light is especially helpful for travelers who regularly change hotels or destinations. 22'' Carry on cases are the most flexible, and expand when necessary. Even when filling a soft-sided bag, however, travelers should remember not to overload on extra outfits. Pack clothes that mix and match with one primary color in mind. A traveler can save room when they only have to pack one sport coat, one pair of shoes and one belt. Pack clothes made with thinner materials. Microfibers can offer the same warmth and style as wool, using a fraction of the space. Pack your toiletries in a flexible container that can be packed in a tote, or backpack instead of a Dopp kit. A relatively new development in the industry is packing aides. Companies such as Eagle Creek offer a variety of cubes and folders that maximize the packing space in a small case. To further streamline bags and luggage, travelers should wear their jackets rather than packing them in a suitcase. For cold or wet conditions, it's easy to wear a waterproof parka on the plane and plan to layer if the weather becomes an issue.