Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tip of the Day: The Careful Selection of Luggage For a Foreign Trip

I have always perceived myself as a particularly good observer and perhaps it was one reason why I chose federal law enforcement as a career because I could actually be paid to watch people, which has always fascinated me.

Over the years, I've spent perhaps 15 hours observing folks purchasing luggage.

In many cases, I've made a pest out of myself by asking shoppers whether they were flying domestically or abroad, getting their opinions on what advantages and disadvantages various bags have, etc.

Please check the link below because at least among domestic carriers, the maximum dimensions and weight of carry-on bags do vary, so check from one carrier to the other. 

Another factor to really pay attention to is the maximum weight of carry-ons: Some carriers have a maximum weight of anywhere from 25 pounds to 40 pounds, so weight does matter, particularly when airlines today nickel and dime so perversely.


Perhaps as many as 80% of shoppers purchase a rollable piece of luggage, keeping in mind, though, that rollables also add weight to the bag itself.

The above being said, it is completely understandable why increasingly, what with frequent flight delays, cancellations, etc., rollables are generally a very good choice.

One interesting fact is that the minimum amount of time spent in selecting a piece of luggage was eight minutes. Not very long given the large amount of choices. 

Another observation was that most people spend an average of 15 minutes looking for luggage, which is why I've put together the below list of critical suggestions:

1.  My first suggestion, particularly if you travel 30-60% of time, and fly to all destinations worldwide is to consider having THREE pieces of luggage:

a. One STURDY piece of luggage that you cannot "cut through." This piece would be checked through to your destination in DEVELOPING countries. This piece would contain only apparel and clothing, NO food supplies or perishable items and ABSOLUTELY no valuables;

b. One SOFT piece of luggage that would be used only in traveling to DEVELOPED nations. This piece of luggage would also be checked. For exterior compartments, you should use small padlocks to keep others honest, although acknowledging that no valuables such as pricey electronics should ever be carried in Bags A and B; and

c. A soft piece of luggage that you would carry aboard your flight for trips lasting less than FIVE days in duration, so pack carefully;

2. If Internet access is essential, I suggest carrying two CARRY-ONs:

a. A padded, no-name backpack that conceals you're laptop (13.3 inch suggested) and its totables, peropherals, etc.; and

b. An un-rollable tote bag for your personal and business items that will occupy your time and attention while aboard your flight;


B1, in the form of a travel vest that you NEVER take off that contains all of your essential goodies, including your passport, International Driving Permit (IDP), debit, credit cards etc. and at least $100 in cash, assuming that you've made arrangements on how to get local currency while at your destinations;

3. If you travel frequently, you may find the need to have a second valid passport issued by your government in order to process visa applications that require considerable periods of time;

4. If possible, register your itinerary with your government; and

5. Don't forget to obtain international medical treatment and medical evacuation coverage before you leave home by going to the following:


6. If you are transporting pricey electronics, I urge you to consider insuring them through:

http://www.safeware.com; and

7. NEVER use a street-level ATM or cash machine. Use only indoor, financial institutions during DAYLIGHT hours.