Tag Archives: luggage

Gift Ideas for Travelers in 2010

Here is a list of gift items for travelers that I have personally used or can honestly recommend. Remember, it’s not too late to do some last minute Internet shopping.

Heys 4-Wheeled Spinner
Heys 4-Wheeled Spinner

Heys Spinner Luggage–World’s lightest 4-wheeled spinner luggage made from a Polycarbonate composite, the same material used in the making of bullet-proof glass, both durable and flexible. When under stress, it flexes to absorb the impact and then afterwards flexes back to its original shape. Another great feature, is its expandability, one of the few hard-sided bags that can expand for up to 25% more space.” Target, Costco, JC Penny, E-bags and many other online stores carry the Heys line. I found mine in TJ Maxx. Love it, love it!!

Blue Trunki luggage for toddlers

Microfiber Travel Robe– Unisex robes from size XS-XXL tuck into a 7″ x 7″ pocket for easy packing. Feather-light polyester feels like silk. $59.50 at www.magellans.com

Trunki Ride-On Luggage for Little People- Trunki is the perfect size for children aged 3-6; fits within what most airlines call carry-on size. The case is very light-weight at only 3.8 pounds, making it easy to carry and store in overhead luggage compartments. Trunki is made out of the same plastic that adult suitcases are made with, so it is very durable. Parents–don’t check this bag in, rather let toddlers ride on it, keeping them amused during delays at the airport. The luggage is designed with stabilizers to prevent children from falling off. Trunki is a great way to carry your child’s toys, games and spare clothes. $50, www.trunki.net/

Olympus 8000 Underwater Camera
Olympus 8000 Underwater Camera

TripIt Pro– The TripIt Pro app for computers and smart phones brings organization to all of your travel plans, making it a must for frequent business travelers. Simply forward your confirmations from airlines, rental car companies and hotels, and TripIt organizes each trip, adds the items to your calendar, provides you with timely reminders (like gate changes) and keeps track of mileage rewards. $49/year; www.Tripit.com

OLYMPUS Stylus Tough 8000 Camera — a wide angle point and shoot digital camera that works underwater (up to 30′), in the snow and is shockproof. The 12 mega-pixel baby with LCD screen also takes video. Great for outdoor active adventurers. I own the earlier version of this camera and always carry it in my purse. www.olympusamerica.com Highly recommended

Kensington Portable Power Adapter –is a portable outlet for charging multiple devices all at once. The slim device plugs into a single outlet and connects five devices at once with its three AC and two USB sockets. Its grounded cord wraps into a thin, lightweight package that’s easy to take everywhere. $25, www.Kensington.com

Flip Video Mino– a pocket-sized camcorder that records 120 minutes of video. You can attach this to a bike, a helmet, where ever– just think of the fun. Billed as “the world’s simplest video camera.” Uploads easily to the computer for sharing or connect and watch on TV. Weighs only 6.4 ounces. Very cool. High-definition model also available. www.flipvideo.com

Globe ornaments
Globe ornaments

Worldly Globe Ornaments – These handmade ornaments feature the intricately rendered sixteenth century maps of Gerardus Mercator–the first person to convert two dimensional maps to three-dimensional globes. Heirloom quality with brass finials and rings. They hang from satin ribbons and come ready to give in a beautiful gift box with historical information on the maps and Mercator enclosed. Set of Two Globe Ornaments 3 1/2″ diameter, $24. www.travelsmith.com

Kindle or Sony Reader– wireless reading devices. Instead of lugging heavy books on your trips, you simply download them onto your electronic reader. The process is quick and the screen is very readable. You’ll never run out of material and don’t have to lug around heavy books.

Retriever Luggage Tags–When (sadly, not if) your bags get lost, these bright yellow or green luggage tags invite agents (in eight languages) to remove the itinerary you’ve placed inside, and forward your bag to you while you’re still en route- instead of sending it to your home address. www.magellans.com Extremely useful on international flights.

Retriever Luggage Tags
Retriever Luggage Tags

World Monuments Fund — Help keep watch over the World’s endangered places, including some in the US. This advocacy group brings to light the risks of threatened cultural heritage sites and works to help conserve and protect them. Donations at www.wmf.org

Around the World by Private Jet–the ultimate 22-day journey to explore the most treasured and legendary places on earth given by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Only $59,950 per person. I want this one!

A private Jet
A private Jet

Debi loves her Ultra-Light 4-Wheeled Luggage

Heys Luggage
The Heys Ultra-Light 4-Wheeled Spinner Luggage

I wanted a new suitcase with spinner wheels; a bag with four wheels that can slide sideways, as well as be pushed or pulled.  I also wanted one as lightweight as possible.

Lo and behold, when I popped into T.J. Maxx one day (not looking for luggage), I found this amazing silver bag.   The piece lifted like a feather, much lighter than the others on display.  The exterior was sleek, made from polycarbonate; a hard sided plastic but somewhat flexible.  And the thing was even expandable with a divider and straps on the inside to keep your stuff from falling out.  Best of all, the price was low, only $70.

So, even though I didn’t recognize the manufacturer, I bought the Heys .  I figured I could search the Internet and compare quality, prices and ratings.  I could even return it, if necessary.

Here is what I discovered:

“The World’s Lightest Spinner Luggage” The HEYS USA 4WD is a 4-wheel Spinner luggage that is made from a Polycarbonate composite and uses Japanese made wheels. Polycarbonate is the same material used in the making of Bullet-proof glass. It is both durable and flexible so that when under stress, it flexes to absorb the impact and then afterwards flexes back to its original shape. Another great feature …is its expandability, one of the few hard-sided luggage that can expand for up to 25% more space.”

After reading that and other reviews, I kept the valise and have used it five times.  My conclusion: “Best luggage I’ve ever had, I’m crazy about it.”  The piece rolls easily; even my grandson can slide it sideways.  Max, as I named it, came through baggage claim unharmed and being silver colored, was easy to pick out, compared to those searching through the black suitcases.

Heys Ultra-Lite Luggage

Target, Costco, JC Penny, E-bags and many other online stores carry the Heys line.  The ultra-lights also come in black, blue and red.

Debi gives her new luggage a max 5-star over-all rating at a mini 3 star price.

Luggage Handling Tips for Flyers

The only way to eliminate lost luggage, is to personally carry everything on board. Since that’s not always possible, especially with the liquid and gel restriction, the following tips may help:

  1. Attach a sturdy identification tag to your luggage, including your name and mobile phone number written with permanent ink. A business card can easily slip or be removed from an ID.
  2. Secure a ribbon or neon object on the handle, quickly distinguishing your items on the baggage claim carousel.
  3. Place your name, mobile phone and flight number inside you luggage, in case the external tags are removed. Airlines usually contact passengers via phone.
  4. Know the three letter airport code denoting your destination and verify that your suitcases are tagged correctly, before you leave them.
  5. For international travel, purchase retriever luggage tags. These tags invite baggage agents (in eight languages) to remove the itinerary you’ve placed inside, and forward your bag to you, while you’re still en route.
  6. Whenever possible, take nonstop flights. Short layovers and flights involving multiple airlines increase mishandling opportunities.
  7. Make a list of contents or take a photo of your bag.
  8. Carry receipts with you as proof of purchase for items acquired during a trip.
  9. Never pack anything irreplaceable in your checked belongings.
  10. Always bring a change of clothing in your carry-on. Toiletries as easy to replace, but clothing proves more difficult.