Results: Best carry-on luggage brands

August 19, 2014 - 4 Responses

A few weeks ago we asked readers what the best carry-on luggage brand 8-19-14-1is. Honestly, I was pretty surprised by the results. My favorite brands (Victorinox and Briggs and Riley) barely got mentioned, and the pricey Tumi was the clear favorite. Here are all of the results:

  1. Tumi 17 votes
  2. Samsonite 7 votes
  3. Delsey 6 votes

Honorable mentions-

Briggs and Riley, Travel Pro, & Victorinox came in with five votes each.

Kirkland, Rick Steves, and Rimowa  finished with four votes each.

Readers, did we miss any? What’s your favorite?

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How to navigate airports when injured

August 18, 2014 - One Response

Several years ago (six? Seven?) I managed to break both of my feet in a period of four months. Luckily, it wasn’t both at the same swiss geartime, but with the second foot I was on crutches for about six weeks. I wasn’t able to postpone most of my business travel, so had to figure out the best way to travel while temporarily handicapped. This past May my mother broke her ankle, but had several business trips and speaking engagements that couldn’t be changed. Navigating an airport on crutches is definitely not easy, but here are our combined tips on how to make it manageable.

  1. Pack everything in one bag, ideally a backpack. The best thing is to pare down to only the essentials so you can fit everything into a backpack. My SwissGear backpack seems to expand exponentially, and worked great for a three day trip for my mom. It fit clothes, toiletries, and her laptop. Packing cubes can also help you minimize how much room your clothes take up. If you have a longer trip or need specialized equipment it may be your best bet to check your bag.
  2. Use a cross-body purse. By putting most of my purse items—laptop, umbrella, chargers, etc—into my backpack I was able to use a much smaller purse that just held my wallet, lip balm, phone, and book. With the backpack and cross-body purse I was able to hobble around without bags banging into my crutches very much.
  3. Use wheelchair assistance. If your ego can handle it, use the wheelchair assistance everywhere. Call the airline before your trip to arrange this. Don’t feel like you have to go straight to your gate—if you need to stop by the restroom, just ask. Otherwise they will just zoom you over to your gate. Once you are at your gate don’t let them stick you in a regular chair and take your wheelchair—this happened to my mom, there was a gate change and she was stuck waiting for another wheelchair. Finally, check constantly to ensure your wheelchair will be there the next time you need it.
  4. Bring plenty of small bills. Take lots of $1 and $5 bills to tip the wheelchair people. There may be several people helping you on each leg, so more cash is better.
  5. Upgrade your service. If at all possible, upgrade to first class. It will be so much more comfortable, especially if you are wearing a large cast or boot.
  6. Skip the connections. If there is a direct flight, take it. Some airports are enormous and difficult to navigate when you’re in tip-top shape, much less when you’re in a cast.
  7. Be careful of DVT. If you are wearing an air cast, be warned that a pressurized airplane cast will cause your bags to inflate. A friend of mine was wearing an air cast, didn’t realize he needed to take it off, and landed with deep-vein thrombosis. He is fine (thank goodness!) but had to delay taking his honeymoon until he was healed. Please, please talk to your doctor about what precautions you need to take during travel.

Readers, have you had to travel on crutches? What did you do that made it easier?

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Posts from the past

August 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

What was going on this week in years past?Post from Past pic

2013

2012

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Road Warriorette Weekend Express

August 16, 2014 - 4 Responses

Hey readers! Got something on your mind this weekend that you want to discuss or ask a question on?  Here’s the weekend expressperfect opportunity!  Whether you want to share an interesting 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. (Pictured:Airplanes Games Plane Paper app, free.)

Travel tip of the week:

  • When boarding the plane only put one bag in the overhead bin until you are sure there’s room for extras.  If everyone throws their extra bag into the overhead bin there won’t be room for all the rollaboards, which inevitably leads to gate-checking and delays.  Check out my post for more tips on carry-on suitcases.  

Week in review:

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Medications to take on business trips, updated.

August 15, 2014 - 8 Responses

A few months ago I posted the list of medications I take with me on business trips. The list hasn’t really changed in the last bandaidfour or five years (aside from when I was pregnant and had to have Tums on hand AT ALL TIMES). I don’t like to bring too much stuff, and what I’ve had has worked for me. After my trip last week, though, I’m adding something else.

In the past, I have said that it’s never smart to wear something for the first time on a trip. Even though it may be exciting to use your new shoes/dress/tights/etc. as soon as possible, you don’t want to be stuck wearing something that is uncomfortable with no way to change out of it. I learned that the hard way at Blog World a few years ago. Until now I’ve done a pretty good job of heeding my own advice, but not last week.   Read more of this article »

Travel bag of the week: Lily Jade Madeline

August 14, 2014 - Leave a Response

Each week Road Warriorette features a travel bag that hits all of the high notes for ladies on the road: pockets, construction, and (of course!) style.Lily Jade Madeline

I know, I know. Another diaper bag. But come on! Look at how gorgeous it is! Plenty of external and internal pockets, fabulous lines, and a roomy interior make the Lily Jade Madeline a winner. All of the baby stuff goes into the removable organizer—so when that comes out you’re left with a great business travel purse. Did I mention that it converts from a shoulder bag to a messenger bag to a backpack? I first saw it earlier this week at Putting Me Together, who is giving one away. It’s available in black and red on Amazon for $275, but the brandy (my fave) is sadly backordered.

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Airport theft

August 14, 2014 - 5 Responses

I’ve been lazy lately. Lazy and trusting. If I’m at the airport and I’ve sat down at a table, I’ll walk a few feet over to grab a napkin, Travelon bagcream for my coffee, or a fork, leaving my laptop on the table or my purse right there. Yes, I make sure my bags are zipped and I try not to leave smaller items in locations where they could easily be grabbed, but I’ve been very lax about my personal security for the last several months.

This week a friend of mine was traveling through Nashville. While waiting for his flight he stopped at Starbucks, grabbed a coffee, and sat down. He started getting out the stuff he needed from his bag: laptop, book, and a little pouch where he kept his Bose earbuds and smaller chargers. He leaned down to plug in his laptop, and when he sat back up the little pouch was gone. Initially he thought he knocked it off the table so he started searching for it. After a few minutes he realized that it was, in fact, gone. He told the barista what happened and she was like, Yeah. It’s an airport. Happens all the time.

I think one of the things that’s so hard for me is that it’s not like my friend was doing anything wrong. He was sitting right there, but his little bag was stolen while it was there one foot away from his face. But this is proof that even being vigilant isn’t enough—you need to be hyper-vigilant, probably bordering on paranoid. (Pictured: Travelon Anti-Theft Messenger Bag) Read more of this article »

Wardrobe Wedneday: Cardigans

August 13, 2014 - Leave a Response

Each week Road Warriorette features a clothing item that is great for travel. Do you have a favorite? Send it to RoadWarriorette @ gmail.com.Modcloth cardigan

A few wardrobe pieces are critical to a business travel wardrobe. One of the most important is the cardigan. It’s a finisher, making an outfit look more put together. It’s a layering piece, allowing you to keep warm on frigid planes. And it’s multi-functional, able to be worn with basically everything in your closet from dresses to skirts to slacks.

Cardigans can be found basically anywhere, at any price point. I prefer not to spend too much on them, since I wear them so much they don’t last too long no matter how expensive. A couple of my favorite places to purchase them are Target, Nordstrom, Modcloth, and Amazon. For the last few months I have found myself reaching for this mustard and white polka dot cardigan time and again. It’s so cute, adding a fun element to an otherwise simple outfit. The mustard color is surprisingly versatile, wearing well with navy, green, pink, coral, turquoise, and gray. Available for $45 at Modcloth.

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Cool travel gadget: charger with different plugs

August 13, 2014 - 2 Responses

Due to the nature of my job, I rarely travel with coworkers. A recent trip to New York was a happy exception. Not only did my com-padcoworker make the overall trip (and occasional boring meeting) much more fun, but he introduced me to a travel gadget I hadn’t seen before.

I have had a Jackery Mini mobile charger for a couple of years now, and it is great. Simply charge it before a flight and it will power my phone or Kindle for hours. As someone who only discovered mobile chargers in the last few years, being able to charge my devices in-flight without a plug feels like a minor miracle. I still had to bring the cords for each device, but I was so glad to have the charger it never occurred to me to complain.

During the trip last month, on the drive to the office my coworker complained about his phone not holding a charge anymore and pulled out a mobile charger by Com-Pad. This one looked just like mine but had a bundle of cords attached to it. I watched, fascinated, as he found the right plug for his iPhone, then plugged it in to charge. The bundle of cords also included a mini-USB, iPhone 4, and Sumsung charger. He explained that not only would it charge a variety of devices, but you can plug your device directly into a USB wall outlet when you’re at the hotel to charge a number of items using only one plug. Even better, to plug in the charger itself you just had to reverse the cords and plug it into a USB outlet. Genius!

So of course I bought one, and it has simplified the packing of electronics so much. Now I don’t need a bunch of cords and plugs—just one wall plug, one mobile charger, and one bundle of cords. It all fits into one tiny bag, leaving more room for all the other necessary business travel gear.

Readers, how have you simplified your electronics bag over the years?

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Business travel news roundup

August 12, 2014 - Leave a Response

Here are a few of the stories that caught my eye in the last week or so…. news pic bag

Readers, anything interesting come across your desk lately?

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