Review: Eagle Creek Adventure Pop Top Carry-On

January 30, 2015 - 5 Responses

Since my earliest business travel days almost a decade ago I’ve been a big fan of Eagle Creek packing cubes. I’d also always heard good things Eagle creek adventureabout their luggage, a perennial reader favorite, but never had any experience with it myself. Then last fall Eagle Creek sent me one of their newest bags to try out—the Adventure Pop Top Carry-On. Here are my thoughts.

The concept. The idea behind the Pop Top Carry-On intrigued me from the moment I saw it. It can be a full sized rollaboard that fits within most US airline size requirements. Or it can be half the size, basically a wheeled tote that fits under the seat in front of you. There is a pocket where the top compartment basically collapses and is zipped up, creating the smaller size.

Size and weight. Even with the extra zippers and compartments required for a bag that partially collapses, this bag weighs around 5 lbs—a full two pounds less than my beloved Victorinox (which I always thought was incredibly light). When both compartments are fully utilized it is 22inx14inx9in. I haven’t had any trouble fitting it into overhead bins so far. It also fits underneath airline seats, even in smaller planes. Read more of this article »

Is travel time considered work time?

January 29, 2015 - 3 Responses

Do the hours business travelers spend commuting count as working time? Reader M asks…1-29-15-2

I’ve just started a new job where I will be traveling regularly. I’ll be required to account for my hours, including travel time. When I told my friend that travel time counted as work hours (and therefore, went towards overtime pay) she was really surprised. Is it typical for businesses to count transit time as work time?

Great question! At my company we aren’t required to keep track of hours but I can tell you that when someone asks me how many hours I worked last week I don’t think twice about adding in time traveling to my destination in that number.  Here’s how I see it.  Would you consider driving to another city for business as work hours?  If so, why should flying be any different?  In a car you are limited on the amount of work you can do, but air travel gives you the opportunity to work sporadically which IMO justifies counting travel time as work time even more. Read more of this article »

Bravo Avis

January 28, 2015 - 3 Responses

Early this month I took a trip to New York (not this week, thank goodness!). Since I wasn’t staying in the city I needed to rent a car. My 1-28-15-1company’s preferred vendor is Hertz so that is who I always rent through. Typically I am very happy with their cars and service. This last time though, not so much.

I flew into La Guardia, where shuttles for each rental car company regularly go by the terminals to pick people up and take them to the car lots. This particular night it was 9:30pm, about 30 degrees, and I was hungry. I figured I could find something to eat once I was in my rental car, and assumed it would take me about twenty minutes to get picked up, get my car, and be on my way. Twenty minutes later I had seen virtually every rental car shuttle, including Avis, National, Budget, and Thrifty. But no Hertz. Read more of this article »

Carryons causing injuries

January 27, 2015 - 3 Responses

I’ve seen two recent stories about things falling out of the overhead bin and injuring people.  In the first instance an older lady was knocked 1-26-15-2unconscious by a shoe falling out of a bin during a flight.  In the second story a man says he suffered a compressed disc when luggage fell on him from the overhead bin during the boarding process.  What may be surprising to you is in both of these stories the victims are blaming the airlines.  The elderly woman said the incident with the shoe happened because airlines are charging fees for checking bags, which encourages people to overpack their carryon.  The man that had the carryon luggage fall on him is blaming the airlines (and suing for $49,000) for letting the passenger bring luggage on board that’s too big for the overhead bin, and for not training the flight attendants to properly deal with luggage in packed overhead bins.

While I do agree that airlines bear some of the burden for incidents such as these, I also believe passengers have a responsibility to consider the safety of others using the overhead bins.  Here are some things to remember when using the overhead bins.  Read more of this article »

Road Warriorette Weekend Express

January 24, 2015 - Leave a Response

Hey readers! Got a question or something you want to discuss this weekend?  Here’s the perfect opportunity!  Whether you want to share an Weekend Express picinteresting travel story, a packing tip, an etiquette tip, or anything else going on in the business travel world, comment here and we’ll have a discussion.

Travel tip of the week:

  • Pack efficiently. Whether you are checking your bags or not, make sure your suitcases are packed neatly. If your bags are ready to go it makes things go more quickly at the counter, plus any security scan go more smoothly. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting in line behind people frantically repacking their bags at the counter!

Week in review: Read more of this article »

jetBlue takes on Flight Etiquette

January 23, 2015 - 2 Responses

One of my favorite subjects to write about is travel etiquette.  When you travel week after week you notice a lot of questionable behaviors.  In my 1-23-15-2goal to make the skies a little friendlier I share my observations about etiquette at an airport to etiquette at a hotel, and everything in-between.  After the seat reclining incident happened last summer I made a suggestion that maybe airlines should have video monitors on the jet bridge that show videos of in-flight etiquette scenarios as a way to make travelers aware of issues we see in the skies.  Well, we still don’t have that (and probably never will) but jetBlue may have given us the next closest thing for now. Read more of this article »

Weighing the contents of my carryon

January 21, 2015 - 5 Responses

Before a recent three day trip to New York I decided to do an experiment. See, I before I started traveling for work on a regular basis I was one of weighing laptopthe dreaded over-packers. I would make lists three pages long of all of the things I needed for a one week vacation, then bring two suitcases stuffed to the brim. It was a long process to train myself to only pack the essentials, but has only become more important as airline carryon rules get stricter.

Even after almost a decade on the road I have to occasionally rein in my over-packing tendencies. So I weighed my luggage and the contents inside, wanting to see what the heaviest items were and if I could do something about it.  I thought surely my clothes, or the luggage itself would be the top of the list, but I was wrong.  The winner (or loser depending on how you look at it) was my laptop and charger.  5.3 pounds! Read more of this article »

Marriott no longer blocking personal wifi. Great?

January 20, 2015 - 2 Responses

Marriott announced last week that they will not block personal Wi-Fi networks in the future after being caught doing so and a fine of 1-20-15-3$600k from the FCC.  In their initial FCC petition, Marriott said their primary concern was about the potential of cyberattacks and their network slowing down. While this petition asked the FCC to allow hotel properties the ability to block personal Wi-Fi networks, after pressure from consumers, and from businesses such as Google and Microsoft, they look to be backing down.  Marriott’s press release can be seen here.

On the one hand their concerns about rogue wireless hotspots seem to have a tiny amount of validity to them, but on the other hand I have a hard time believing that this was only being done to protect their customers.  I mean, blocking signals, then charging up to $1000 per wireless access point for connectivity? What the heck!  If Marriott’s petition to the FCC had come out before they were busted this story might be leaning slightly more in their favor, but now it just sounds like they got caught stealing and are trying to justify their thievery. Read more of this article »

Packing for a two-week winter trip in a carryon

January 19, 2015 - 6 Responses

Is it possible to pack for a trip up north during winter in a single suitcase? Reader S. asks….1-191-14-1

I saw your blog and decided to ask for your help. Hopefully you will respond before I depart warm Florida for my business trip to Boston leaving mid-January 2015. My job assignment will be from January to August. Here’s my dilemma, I will be staying in a hotel weekly and commuting daily to work using public transportation in Boston. I’m a Southerner so I don’t have a true four season wardrobe.

#1 I’m having trouble trying to decide how to dress while commuting to work in the winter weather and to not overdress in too many layers. I do not have an office or a dedicated area to store my belongings, so I have to keep my things with me at all times. I heard other say they have a jacket or shoes they keep at work so they only have to dress for the commute.

#2 Trying to pack for two weeks while the employer will only pay for one piece of luggage. No luggage overage charges will be reimbursed. Winter clothes weigh more and take up more space. Can’t decide between slacks, blouse and a jacket or dresses and a jacket.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wow. That is a lot of complicating factors! Let’s take them one at a time. Read more of this article »

Posts from the past

January 18, 2015 - Leave a Response

What was going on the last few weeks in years past?Post from Past pic



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