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Choosing Luggage

Thinking about packing for travel includes what to pack but also choosing luggage is just as important.
If you are traveling extensively you need to look at your suitcases as an investment rather than an expense. They are protecting several thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes, toiletries,cosmetics and shoes.
You need to buy the best you can afford. It

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Thinking about packing for travel includes what to pack but also choosing luggage is just as important.

If you are traveling extensively you need to look at your suitcases as an investment rather than an expense. They are protecting several thousands of dollars’ worth of clothes, toiletries,cosmetics and shoes.

You need to buy the best you can afford. It will last for many years (depending how much you travel) if you buy good quality luggage. You never know, you may even become attached to your luggage. And in some countries, luggage purchased for business purposes will be tax deductible.

All suitcases should be on wheels. The suitcases with a retractable handle in the centre of the wide side of the suitcase are best. If the handle for pulling it is on the end, you will not have the stability that you need. Wheels on all four corners are best for stability and ease of maneuvering.

The old type hard shell suitcases are too heavy (8kg for the standard size suitcase and that is prior to putting anything into it). They also crack on the corners when they are dropped. The way this is fixed is to melt the plastic which fixes it in the short-term but this weakens the structure and before you know it, it is cracked again.

There are 2 key types of products to take a look at. Firstly the teflon coated polyester or nylon type non-tear products. These have a waterproof, fabric type outer which has the advantage that they have a zipper which makes them expandable if you purchase something while you are away and need more room in the suitcase. Alternatively the new style poly-propylene (molded plastic) ones which are extremely lightweight are excellent. An advantage to these suitcases is that there are no external pockets so no need to lock all external zippers when you are traveling internationally . This assists from a security perspective – there will be no question about who packed what is inside as you have complete control over that.

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    Essential and Optional Luggage

    What are the essential and optional luggage items to invest in?

    Essential – Overnight to 3 day trips – a small suitcase with retractable handle on wheels
    Essential – 5 days to 2 weeks – a standard size suitcase with retractable handle on wheels

    Essential – a wheeled carry-on/business suitcase with retractable handle

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    What are the essential and optional luggage items to invest in?

    • Essential – Overnight to 3 day trips – a small suitcase with retractable handle on wheels
    • Essential – 5 days to 2 weeks – a standard size suitcase with retractable handle on wheels
    • Essential – a wheeled carry-on/business suitcase with retractable handle

      1. this is to carry your laptop, cords, telephone charger, papers, pens, notes, etc Click here for a checklist of carry on suitcases. The size of this is critical as you will be taking this on the plane with you. The airlines are very particular about the size of case you can take onboard. All the major luggage stores have these airline specified dimensions so just ask them when you are shopping.
      2. This bag is the most critical in terms of quality. You will be taking this with you more often than the other pieces of luggage which will only travel between home, airports and hotels. The business suitcase/wheeled carry-on will be with you to and from meetings and the office also. If the handle breaks, you will need to carry it and it will be heavy. Or you will need to find a way to the local luggage store to purchase a new one. This is too inconvenient and too much hassle when you are away
    • Essential – Shoe bags – several of them. You need to put each pair of shoes in a shoe bag to protect your shoes. They will ensure that your clothes do not get dirty if there is soil on the bottom of your shoes. You can buy these at luggage stores or at the airport. Alternatively many shoe manufacturers pack shoes in shoe bags these days or you can use plastic bags
    • Optional – Small suit pack.This is exclusively for when you are traveling for a couple of days and either

      1. you cannot/do not want to squash the suit into the small case or
      2. you need a more formal outfit that you do not want to squash into the case or
      3. the garment/s will be needed soon after arrival and there will be no time for pressing. You will carry this on the plane with you so it needs to be small enough to hold only one suit or dress
    • A Good Idea – Small fold-up good quality carry all. This is to be packed in your suitcase for emergencies. For example, when you purchase something that does not fit into your suitcase! Longchamp make a great range of these in sizes and colours to suit your needs. The range is called Longchamp Le Pliage. You can buy them in all international terminals at luggage outlets. You will also find this useful to take with you on weekend shopping trips, to the pool/beach, sightseeing trips. An alternative to this style of fold-up bag is a fold-up back pack which can be used in the same way (also available at luggage outlets).
    • A Good Idea – Laundry bag. You need a laundry bag (even if it is a plastic bag) to keep you dirty clothes separate to your clean ones. Linen ones are a good idea and can be purchased at good linen stores
    • A good Idea – An “add-a-bag” strap. Many ranges of suitcases have a clip that will take an add-a-bag strap. Alternatively, it may be built into your luggage on the front. This will clip onto your main suitcase and then onto your wheeled carry-on. With both together you can wheel your luggage at the airport without requiring the use of or hire of an airport trolley.

    Click here for a ready reference of essential, optional and “good idea” luggage items.

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      The Compressor

      An addition to premium suitcases is the compressor. This is a very light weight fabric with a strong wire frame. It covers the length and width of the internal (usually) one side of your suitcase. It is connected to the suitcase with a strap which extends from one end, through the lining of the suitcase and back out the other

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      An addition to premium suitcases is the compressor. This is a very light weight fabric with a strong wire frame. It covers the length and width of the internal (usually) one side of your suitcase. It is connected to the suitcase with a strap which extends from one end, through the lining of the suitcase and back out the other end. It is then connected to the other side of the frame usually with velcro. You disconnect it at one end and pack your clothes in the suitcase. Then you put the frame on top of your clothes and connect the frame using the velcro strap. It tightens to the height of the stack of clothes in the suitcase. When you travel it keeps the clothes in place which minimises the need for ironing and is especially useful when you do not fill the suitcase to capacity because it makes its own level of capacity. This is great if you plan to go shopping while you are away because the extra purchases can then fit into the suitcase by adjusting the length of the velcro strap.

      Hot Tip:

      Some luggage websites to take a look at www.tumi.com, www.samsonite.com, www.rimowa.com, www.oroton.com, www.zazzle.com, www.personalizationmall.com (personalized tags), www.worldtraveltags.com for luggage tags. Click to see Useful Websites

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        Preventing Lost Luggage

        Preventing lost luggage prevents frustration. It is very frustrating when you need to head to the Lost Luggage counter. There is a big focus on this area from both the luggage manufacturers and the airlines for several reasons.
        Over 1 million bags are lost in US alone each year and requires a lot of extra administration for the airlines. Because

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        Preventing lost luggage prevents frustration. It is very frustrating when you need to head to the Lost Luggage counter. There is a big focus on this area from both the luggage manufacturers and the airlines for several reasons.

        Over 1 million bags are lost in US alone each year and requires a lot of extra administration for the airlines. Because they offer to courier you your bag, the cost of the courier alone is prohibitive. The average courier delivery is around $100 so with 1 million bags lost each year, the numbers are excruciatingly high. Thus the investment in new technology for preventing lost luggage or at least minimised it. Further, more customers will take for granted the arrival of the luggage without the frustratingly “Lost Luggage” line.

        Airlines are testing RFID and other Technology to Prevent Lost Luggage http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/delta-trying-digital-chips-to-prevent-lost-luggage/

        Luggage companies are also working on technology to ensure that consumers can keep control of their own bags at all times, thus preventing lost luggage frustration and the lost luggage line. German luggage company, Rimowa is at the forefront with the new electronic tag. This innovation was developed with German airline, Lufthansa and is currently only available with Lufthansa flights. Over time they will expand to other airlines. This tag is available in all Rimowa products at a cost of less than $US100. It is sold as an extra feature that you can chose to add to your suitcase. Take a look at the future of travel http://rimowa-electronictag.com/en-EN/start?continent=AS/

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        1. Love the rimowa-etag commercial. How wonderful to bypass the painful process at the beginning of each journey

        executive-travel-assistant-luggage-how-to-pack

        Tips on how to pack your suitcase

        Tips for how to pack your suitcase

        All your toiletries will be pre-packed – Click here for Toiletries so just pick these bags up and put them in your suitcase

        Shoes should always be put in shoe bags. This will ensure they are well looked after, easier to pack and the dirt on the bottom of

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        Tips for how to pack your suitcase

        • All your toiletries will be pre-packed – Click here for Toiletries so just pick these bags up and put them in your suitcase
        • Shoes should always be put in shoe bags. This will ensure they are well looked after, easier to pack and the dirt on the bottom of your trainers will not transfer to your new suit. You can buy these at luggage stores, sometimes at airports or use plastic bags
        • Fabrics which are most comfort and least crushing are:
          • Suits light wool or microfibre
          • Male Shirts cotton/polyester mix
          • Female Shirts cotton/polyester mix, silk or satin
          • Casual knits in wool, cotton and/or cashmere
          • Wide natural fibre scarf (pashminas are ideal) for flying and keeping warm in cold climates
        • Folding a suit jacket to minimize crushing is a challenge when you pack your suitcase. Lay the jacket on the bed or table front facing you and leave the buttons undone. Fold the sleeves towards the middle as they naturally fall. Then fold the jacket lengthwise towards you (down the centre seam at the back) so the 2 sleeves are folded against each other. If the jacket is longer than your suitcase, fold it in half just below the pockets at the waist. Pack the jacket last on top of your clothes and just prior to closing your suitcase. For extra care, place tissue paper around the jacket each time you make a fold and wrap the entire jacket in tissue prior to packing it in your suitcase.
        • Hang your clothes in the closet at the hotel as soon as you arrive. If you have clothes which are too crushed or you need to wear something immediately which is crushed, place it on a hanger in the bathroom. Shut the door to the bathroom while you have a shower and when you get out of the shower close the door to the bathroom for 5-10 minutes. The steam will de-crease it in no time.
        • Always remember your swimsuit or running/walking gear. You never know when you will want/need them and being in a swimming pool can be a great way to get out in the sunshine, relax, exercise and overcome jetlag. Even laying by the indoor pool can have the same effect. Swimsuit is best as it takes up very little space
        • On International Trips or trips where you are transiting (ie flying to a city via another city) always carry a change of underwear, your swimmers and a shirt that can replace the one your have on if your luggage goes astray. Put these items in a small plastic bag to protect them, and they will not take up much room in your carry on. There is nothing worse after a long distance flight if your luggage does not arrive and you have nothing to change into.
        • Scissors, nail files, aerosol cans and other dangerous items cannot be carried on the plane – they will be confiscated at best or you will be arrested at worst – so make sure they are packed with your toiletries bag in your suitcase
        • All flammable items including cigarette lighters cannot be carried on aircraft anywhere so make sure you do not have these when flying. Check your airline website and airport websites for details
        • Toiletries oval, flat or square (if you can get them) shaped bottles (eg perfume and moisturizers) will be more space efficient than round ones.
        • Toiletries Packing your hair products (except shampoo and conditioner) and paper products (tissues, cotton wool buds and pads, etc) in one bag and your everyday products in the other is a good idea. It will minimize the impact of spillages on paper products. If your toothpaste tube bursts open and spills all over your shampoo bottle, it is much easier to clean up than if your tissues and cotton wool buds are covered in toothpaste!!
        • International travel (especially flights over 5-6 hours) means you need some specific toiletries on board. You will need toothpaste, a toothbrush, your face moisturizer, a body moisturizer and a face cloth is a good idea. Make sure if you carry these items that they meet the airline requirements, usually no more than 100ml for each item and no more than 10 items per passenger. Even if the item is half full, it will be counted as though it were the full 100ml. These items should be in a separate transparent, ziplock bag. Some some airports require these to be taken out of carry on and put through security screening separately.

        If you are traveling business or first class, you will be given a small, airline toiletries bag which will have all these items with the exception of your face moisturizer or they will be provided in the bathrooms on board. You can rely on this but there are times when they are not issued and you may prefer to have your favorite brands and at least your face moisturizer will be critical. Also they are another great set of items to have in your carry on in case it is lost in transit.

        Hot Tip:

        You will accumulate many airline toiletries bags if you chose to accept them and bring them home. You do not have to take them and you can use them on the flight and then leave what you do not use behind. They will, however be a hit with guests in your home, your children or your nieces or nephew. Remember you can always ask the flight attendant for the male version if you are female or vice versa. Click to see Useful Websites

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          executive-travel-assistant-luggage-packing-your-bags-more-resources

          How to Pack your Suitcase – more resources

          Here are some more websites with tips on how to pack your suitcase.

          Some website that may be useful:

          www.onebag.com
          For more tips on “the art and science of traveling light”.

          https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-light
          This is a European Travel Website that has a section of Tips for Travelling including packing

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          Here are some more websites with tips on how to pack your suitcase.

          Some website that may be useful:
          www.onebag.comFor more tips on “the art and science of traveling light”.
          https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/packing-lightThis is a European Travel Website that has a section of Tips for Travelling including packing tips under an array of headings including packing lists, packing tips for women, packing light and right, etc
          http://goeurope.about.com/od/packingtips/ss/packing_tips.htmhas packing tips “to thwart wrinkled clothes”
          http://www.travelsense.org/tips/packingtips.cfmhas general packing tips
          http://www.travelsmith.com/travelcenter/tools/printable-packing-checklist/Printable Packing Checklist.
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            Luggage Services

            In some cities, there are also luggage services which pick up your luggage from your home or office six to twenty-four hours before your flight and thus eliminate the check-in process offered. They are expensive but do mean you do not have to worry about your luggage and may be useful if you are going directly to the office at

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            In some cities, there are also luggage services which pick up your luggage from your home or office six to twenty-four hours before your flight and thus eliminate the check-in process offered. They are expensive but do mean you do not have to worry about your luggage and may be useful if you are going directly to the office at your destination and want your luggage delivered to your hotel or home. Take a look at www.luggageconcierge.com in US and https://www.airportr.com/ in the UK.

            Also some airlines now offer luggage delivery service at some destinations for a fee. For example, American Airlines will deliver your luggage from the airport to your hotel, office or home at some international destinations from all US airports. You need to sign up for the service prior to travel and check in at the ticket counter. Your luggage will arrive withing 4-6 hours inside 100mile from the airport. To learn more click here.

            “Never pack your bags again” is the promise of www.dufl.com. Dufl is one of the new luggage services available. It is like a personalized valet service. Dufl will collect the clothes and other items that you will likely use in your travels. They photograph and prepare a visual inventory for you available in your dufl “closet” in your account on their website. When you travel you just select the items you want from your “closet”. Dufl will professionally pack and deliver your clothes, shoes, toiletries and other items to your destination (hotel or other address) in your suitcase.

            When you depart your destination to return home, dufl will collect your suitcase. They then launder your clothes and put them back in your “closet” for your future trips. There is a monthly fee for storage and a one time fee for each standard delivery (more for fast delivery). Save time packing, unpacking and laundering. Save time at airports as you will not have to check baggage ever again. They are based in USA but will deliver globally.

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              Luggage Tags

              All pieces of luggage should have luggage tags. Luggage should be name tagged with a permanent name tag on the outside and on the inside with a sticker or similar. The best external tags to use are the airline alliance frequent flyer luggage tags. The airline luggage tags can easily show what status you have and by completing the details,

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              All pieces of luggage should have luggage tags. Luggage should be name tagged with a permanent name tag on the outside and on the inside with a sticker or similar. The best external tags to use are the airline alliance frequent flyer luggage tags. The airline luggage tags can easily show what status you have and by completing the details, all the information the airlines will need will be readily accessible to them. These are sent to you when your annual renewal takes place. If you need more, just give the airline a call and ask for extra ones which the airlines will be happy to provide.

              Hot Tip:

              Some luggage websites to take a look at www.tumi.com, www.samsonite.com, www.rimowa.com, www.oroton.com, www.zazzle.com, www.personalizationmall.com (personalized tags), www.worldtraveltags.com for luggage tags. Click to see Useful Websites

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                Luggage Security Locks

                Luggage security locks should be used on all luggage being checked in. It goes without saying that you should keep you packed luggage with you at all times. The only exceptions are if it is in your hotel room, in the care of an airline or in a locked storage facility at your hotel or office.
                All bags should

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                Luggage security locks should be used on all luggage being checked in. It goes without saying that you should keep you packed luggage with you at all times. The only exceptions are if it is in your hotel room, in the care of an airline or in a locked storage facility at your hotel or office.

                All bags should have quality locks:

                • Some suitcases have built-in locks. Using the new polypropylene lightweight suitcases offer the added advantage that there are no pockets on the outside. Therefore, the built in lock is the only opening to the luggage.
                • The combination lock can accommodate any code for access. This means you can program in the same code number into a number of these locks so that you only need to remember one code.
                • Key locks will necessitate carrying a number of keys with you at all times so these are not ideal.
                • Many suitcases have a number of zippers on the outside. They should all be locked to ensure no tampering or other illegal activity is encouraged in your luggage especially when travelling internationally. You can also purchase plastic tag seals which can be removed by cutting them off. These can be used to provide your luggage with a deterrent. You can tag the external pockets which will not be used. Alternatively, you can carry a number of these tags with you and use them as required. If you notice one is broken when you collect your luggage from a baggage carousel, you will know it has been tampered with; a visual deterrent at least. Most major hardware stores sell them or you can purchase them online www.alibaba.com and specific luggage versions sold in luggage stores. Online you can purchase them in packs of 6 at http://www.padlocks4less.com
                • Many international airports also have a service for wrapping your bag in stretch plastic. This service will be sold at a booth near the check-in area and costs around $US10. It is by no means a barrier to external penetration but you will certainly know if someone has tampered with your bag.
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                  Travelling to the USA – Luggage Locks Security

                  Travelling to the USA – Luggage locks security is a challenge. You are required to leave you bag unlocked in case airport security needs to check its contents. Make sure all your valuables are with you when you are traveling into and out of the US.
                  Alternatively, there is a special lock to allow the US Transport Security Administration (TSA)

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                  Travelling to the USA – Luggage locks security is a challenge. You are required to leave you bag unlocked in case airport security needs to check its contents. Make sure all your valuables are with you when you are traveling into and out of the US.

                  Alternatively, there is a special lock to allow the US Transport Security Administration (TSA) to unlock and re-lock any checked bags after inspection. These locks have the label Travel Sentry Certified which is a red diamond logo. Premium luggage manufacturers like Tumi, Desley, Paklite and Samsonite make suitcases with these locks built in.

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                    executive-travel-assistant-luggage-laptops-tablets-and-phones

                    Laptops, tablets and phones for travelling

                    How do you optimize you laptops, tablets and phones for travelling? If you are going to be in a job that requires significant travel, your need to take care with your choice of laptop. For a few extra dollars (which will be easily justified) you may chose something more suitable for travelling with.
                    Some tips for choosing a laptop that

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                    How do you optimize you laptops, tablets and phones for travelling? If you are going to be in a job that requires significant travel, your need to take care with your choice of laptop. For a few extra dollars (which will be easily justified) you may chose something more suitable for travelling with.

                    Some tips for choosing a laptop that travels well and for traveling well with one:

                    • The standard laptop weighs around 3.5kg. This may not seem much if you pick it up and put it down again but try lugging it around the world. Remember there will always be a battery pack, cords for on the ground, attachments for cords for in the air and other accessories which also add up in terms of the weight you are carrying. Investing in a small and lightweight option will address this.
                    • The large screen laptops look good but they are difficult to open fully on some fold down trays (especially in economy). There will be a trade off between keyboard size and screen size so in looking for a laptop, type a few paragraphs to see how it feels and looks. Investing in a small lightweight laptop may be worth it. By using it for a few weeks, you will get used to the size of the keyboard.
                    • If you travel a lot on long distance trips or you have specific non mainstream tastes, you may want to download some movies for the flight from your google play or itunes account. Be aware that watching these movies in flight will take significant power from your battery. Make sure you have a power lead compatible with the airlines power source, a battery with sufficient power time and/or a spare battery.
                    • When using a laptop on the plane, put it on the fold-down tray. This will optimize ventilation and ensure that it does not overheat (using your PC on your lap will not be ideal)
                    • If you like to listen to music other than the mainstream options offered by the airlines, the best option is to download your favorites to your laptop, phone or other MP3 player. Again, you need to ensure you have sufficient battery time, a spare or a power lead that is compatible with the airlines power source.
                    • With respect to what you carry your equipment in, make sure your carry-on has the correct padding to take a laptop to ensure its physical safety.
                    • With respect to security, make sure you laptop is effectively password protected. Click here to learn more about “security”
                    • Remember that when going through airport security checkpoints, in most countries you will be asked to take your laptop and phone out of the bag to be put through the system separately. You may also be asked to turn it on and perhaps even to dismantle it and reassemble it for security reasons
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                      Storing Luggage at Home

                      Some tips for storing luggage at home are outlined here. The small suitcase will fit inside the large one and the carry on will fit inside the small one inside the large one. The suit pack will hang in your wardrobe so space for your luggage storage should not be an issue. You can store your luggage in your wardrobe

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                      Some tips for storing luggage at home are outlined here. The small suitcase will fit inside the large one and the carry on will fit inside the small one inside the large one. The suit pack will hang in your wardrobe so space for your luggage storage should not be an issue. You can store your luggage in your wardrobe below your shirts and pants. There is almost always free space in the wardrobe. Alternatively many wardrobes have a high shelf that a suitcase will store well in. Even on top of the wardrobe can be underutilized space. Some people store their suitcases in the garage or outdoor storage shed.

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                        Identifying your Suitcase at the Airport

                        Identifying suitcases at the airport can be challenging and a mistake quite a calamity. Many wheelie bags are black and the luggage companies sell many, many of the same model and size. If you travel often, you will get to know your luggage intimately and will be able to spot it a mile off even if it is the same

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                        Identifying suitcases at the airport can be challenging and a mistake quite a calamity. Many wheelie bags are black and the luggage companies sell many, many of the same model and size. If you travel often, you will get to know your luggage intimately and will be able to spot it a mile off even if it is the same model and size as the 5 bags either side of it. However some people like their bag visible at the baggage carousel. Colorful luggage tags and even fluorescent tags are now available from all good luggage and travel accessory stores. Finally you can also purchase custom designed tags which usually come in a bundle of 6 or 8.

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                          Quick Survey - My Favourite Suitcase Brand

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                          Luggage - Essential, Optional and a Good Idea