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Posts Tagged ‘Space Bag to Go’

Travelers share their best travel packing tips

It’s really been a busy year for Friendly Planet Travel. There were the protests in Thailand and Egypt, and then the disasters in Japan. Then on the other hand, we had the introduction of new tours to Namibia and Madagascar, as well as the celebration of our 30th year in business.

Oh, and I can’t forget the time we spent talking to travelers at The Philadelphia Inquirer Travel Show and The New York Times Travel Show.

Well things have finally calmed down a little bit, and I was looking over my to-do list. Lo and behold it’s been almost a year since I updated with the travel packing tips I promised! I’m so ashamed.

To refresh your memory, when we were giving away Space Bags TO GO, we asked you to share your best packing tips in a comment on the blog post. So many of you posted creative tips to scale down your luggage that I wanted to compile them into one blog post that you can bookmark and refer to when you need some packing advice.
So here you go. These are all of the travel packing tips you gave me, quoted word for word:

  • “Convince your husband to put his clothes in the same bag as yours. That way HE only has one bag to carry. :-)”
  • “I stuff socks/rolled underware in my shoes. Depending on kind of shoes, uses up wasted space. I also have lots of “travel” clothes – the soft, wrinkle-free pants, tops and jackets. Lightweight and warm or cool, depending on weather.”
  • “I always pack zip-lock type bags of a variety of sizes on long trips. They come in handy, especially for packing liquids during flights, holding spare change, separating wet socks, or toting things like fresh fruit on day trips. It’s a low-tech, inexpensive way to organize and separate items during travel.”
  • “Get a bag that has two smallish side pockets- one for socks and underwear and the other that has a plastic bag for dirty laundry..This always saves routing around in the bag for those essentials.”
  • “I use ziplocks too. Especially for ‘intimates.’ That way if my bag is searched someone’s hands aren’t touching the personal items.”
  • “For longer trips, we travel with wheeled pack (combo of suitcase, backpack, with attached zip-off small back pack for day trips) top and side holders for easy handling – would not be without one!”
  • “I travel alot and have come up with a few GREAT ideas… the 1st one is the roll technique…I roll all my clothes to fit more items into my suitcase. It is a little time consuming but it works. Also if you plan to carry a flashlight, camera or anything with batteries and plan to pack it…turn the batteries backwards in case the flashlight or camera get cut on by accident. I learned this lesson the hard way.”
  • “My best tip is to plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute to pack.”
  • “Take little as you can. take things which can be used for multiple times to save the space. like wrinkle free cloths, multiple zips bag to fit in all important things.”
  • “When I pack, I start by checking the weather forecast and determining the type of clothing that will be best suited for the environment. Then I choose a “color scheme” (i.e. earth tones, blacks, colorful, etc.). Choosing pieces in the same tones makes it easier to mix and match and to minimize the number of pairs of shoes I’ll need to bring along. Before packing, I make a list of outfits in a way that minimizes or eliminates duplicates. Then I button up, or zip up, each piece and pack my suitcase like a lasagna: layering up each piece flat, to minimize wrinkles. I start by using four pants (or longer skirts or dresses) with the legs extended out of the suitcase at the bottom (the legs will be folded over at the end making it easier to close the suitcase and also creating a barrier to avoid losing small items). I pack clothing items first and then use the spaces “in between” to put shoes and miscellaneous. By making sure everything is extended flat on the suitcase, I am able to have maximum packing space!”
  • “I always pack an extra compact zip duffel or light suitcase in my suitcase that way when I buy extra gifts or souvenirs I don’t have to buy an extra bag to lug those items home!”
  • “More ideas for ziplocks: I buy the biggest ones and pack 2-3 tops in each; they get less wrinkled because they ‘slide’ around rather than getting smushed. When looking for items in my suitcase, it is easier to find what I want and not disturb items I don’t want to use. You can pack by color combinations or clothing combinations (e.g. outfits or longsleeve vs shortsleeve). It protects the clothing from dampness or spills and also makes it easier to see what you have. Especially good if you have to ‘live’ out of your suitcase.”
  • “Put some of your clothes in your husband’s suitcase and some of his in yours. If one of the suitcases get lost, both of you can still survive for a few days. Learned that one the hard way.”
  • “If we are traveling long enough to need a suitcase, I put enough essentials in my carry-on bag to last a couple of days if my suitcase gets misdirected: underwear, toiletries and of course, any medications stay in my purse. As others have noted, don’t put all your ‘eggs’ in one basket when traveling!”

Do you have more travel packing tips? Let’s keep the list growing! Leave your own travel packing tips in a comment on this post.

Thanksgiving wishes and gift ideas for travelers

No matter where you are today, I hope you have the opportunity to gather with family and friends and enjoy the warmth and fellowship of good company, a special meal, and a moment of gratitude for the abundance that fills our lives.

And for those of you who plan to take advantage of the doorbuster deals on Black Friday or shop the Web on Cyber Monday, I’ve rounded up some of our best gifts ideas for travelers to help you with your shopping.

Scroll through the links below to read about our favorite travel accessories and gadgets that I think would make wonderful gifts this holiday.

  • Kiva makes Oprah’s Ultimate Favorite Things 2010. I love Kiva and just found out that Oprah does too. Oprah included a Kiva gift card on her Ultimate Favorite Things 2010. Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs around the globe.

  • Three new travel gadgets to get you going to your destination. Getting through airport security is still a necessary hassle. That’s not to say it can’t be less of a hassle. I looked at how the the scanner bag, portable scales, and Space Bags TO GO help speed you through airport check-in and security.

  • SCOTTEVEST Travel Clothing takes the weight off your shoulders. SCOTTEVEST Travel Clothing is stylish clothing that actually saves you from having to carry around purses and bags, since every garment has tons of pockets where you can securely stow gear and gadgets. We talk to Scott Jordan, CEO and founder, about what he thinks will be the hottest selling SCOTTEVEST items this holiday.

I hope you find these links helpful and that they make shopping for your traveler this holiday a little easier. And if you have any great gift suggestions let us know about them in a comment on this post. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

And the winners of our eight Space Bags TO GO are …

Time is up! Our Space Bags TO GO contest is over and I’ve randomly picked the winners. I could just type the names here in my post, but what fun is that? Melissa, a Friendly Planet blogger, grabbed her webcam and recorded herself drawing the names. Watch it now to see if you are one of the lucky winners!

Congrats to our winners! THANK YOU to everyone who submitted their best packing tip. I’ll be putting them together into one post to share with our readers, and hopefully make packing a little easier.

Last chance to win a Space Bag TO GO!

I asked, and you shared. I’m overwhelmed at all of the great packing tips you’ve posted to be eligible to win one of eight Space Bags TO GO. For those of you that haven’t shared your packing tips yet, time is running out!

You have until 11:59 p.m. EST TODAY to share your best packing tip in a comment on the original post to be eligible to win a Space Bag TO GO. Go to the post to get all of the details.

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you leave your name and an e-mail address where we can contact you if you win. If you don’t leave it and we pick your name, you will not be eligible to win. Eight winners will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants and announced on the blog next week.

What are you waiting for? Post your comment now. Good luck!

Should you bring jewelry on vacation?

I’ve given a lot of advice to my customers on what they should and shouldn’t pack when traveling on one of our tours. One question I get asked frequently by women is whether they should pack their jewelry.

My answer is yes and no. Bring the less expensive pieces so you can still accessorize and dress up, but leave the pricey jewels at home. It’s not worth the risk. The last thing you want to do is spoil your trip if you lose expensive jewelry or someone swipes it from you.

In fact, it’s no secret that even on the fanciest of luxury cruises, many of the world’s rich and famous wear fake jewels. Plus, when you travel with Friendly Planet, you’re visiting some of the most exotic locations in the world where you can buy unique pieces of jewelry. Look at your trip as a way to expand your jewelry collection. 😉

While I’m on the topic of accessories, let’s talk handbags. I can’t leave my house without my purse, let alone the country. The last thing you want to do — whether on vacation or at home — is put it down or hang it on the back of your chair at a restaurant and lose track of it. My trick is to carry a purse hook in my bag.

It’s a small, lightweight hook that latches on to the table you’re sitting at. Place the handles of your bag on it. Now your purse is hanging under the table next to your legs, rather than on the ground or on the back of a chair. The hook costs only a few dollars and is well worth it.

It’s little tips like these that make packing for a vacation less stressful. If you have other questions about what you should or shouldn’t pack, write to me or post a comment. Also, check out some of the packing tips we’ve been getting on our Space Bag TO GO contest.

We’re asking people to share their best packing tips to enter to win one of eight Space Bags TO GO. If you want to share yours, go to the original post and leave a comment. All of the details are there. You just might be one of our lucky winners!

Reminder: Share a packing tip, win a Space Bag TO GO

We’ve gotten some terrific packing tips for our Space Bag TO GO giveaway. Thanks to those who have shared their tips so far! I wanted to remind everyone that the deadline to enter is on Friday, April 16 at 11:59 p.m. EST.

To enter, share your best packing tip in a comment on the original post. All of the contest details are there. I have eight Space Bags TO GO to give away, so enter to win before time runs out!

How you can win one of eight Space Bags TO GO

Some things in life are unavoidable, such as catching a cold, being late for an important meeting, and packing for a trip. Worse, not only is packing unavoidable, it’s also often one of the most stressful parts of a trip.

Frankly, packing is a pain. But I’m about to offer eight lucky Friendly Planet travelers some pain relief. A few weeks ago, I told you about some handy gadgets to get you going to your destination. One of those gadgets was the Space Bag TO GO.

These are bags that you can roll up or push down to compress the items inside, which decrease the bulk of clothing and other soft items. I have found you can fit a lot of stuff into a little space with a Space Bag TO GO.

After I wrote the post, I thought it might be fun to give a few of these bags away on the blog. So, I contacted the company for some samples and they generously provided me nine bags for a giveaway.

One bag I provided to one of our bloggers who is using it now on Friendly Planet’s Athens and 3 Day Greek Isles Cruise. We’ll have more from her when she comes back, including photos, hopefully some video and, of course, feedback about how helpful the Space Bag TO GO was on her trip. I still have eight more to give away to you, loyal readers and frazzled packers.

Here’s what you have to do to enter and win: Share your best packing tip in a comment on this post. It’s that simple. Click on “Post a Comment” at the bottom of this post. A comment box will appear. Write your best packing tip and click “Publish Your Comment” when you’re finished.

Here are some ideas to get you started. What makes packing easier and faster for you? What’s your strategy for fitting a week’s worth of clothes into an overnight bag? How do you make sure your shampoos and lotions don’t explode all over your clothes?

Your tips can be as simple as rolling your clothes instead of folding them. Or can be as complex as a detailed play-by-play plan on how you pack your suitcase. Whatever your advice is, I want you to share it here.

VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure you leave your name and an e-mail address where we can contact you if you win. If you don’t leave it and we pick your name, you will not be eligible to win. Eight winners will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants. Deadline for comment submissions is Friday, April 16, 2010 at 11:59 p.m. EST. I’ll announce the winners shortly after on the blog.

Note: This contest is open to anyone except employees of Friendly Planet Travel, Space Bag TO GO, and any Friendly Planet Travel vendors.

Good luck!

Three new travel gadgets to get you going to your destination

Whether airport security is getting tighter is still up for debate. I told you about my recent experience flying to Israel, and what has (or has not) changed. One thing is certain. Getting through airport security is still a necessary hassle.

That’s not to say it can’t be less of a hassle, or that traveling from point A to point B can’t get easier. Here are some new gadgets that do just that, by helping you speed you through check-in and security.

The Scanner Bag: In most airports, you’ll have to put liquids and gels into a quart-sized plastic bag for easy inspection. The Scanner Bag is a handy accessory that makes that task easier. It works like a luggage tag, but unfolds to reveal mesh pockets that hold your items. It attaches to your carry-on luggage and rolls along with it through the scanner. Now you can forget the plastic bins and bags, and stop worrying about collecting them up in a hurry after your belonging emerge from the scanner. Everything stays together, neat and tidy.

Portable scales: Most travelers collect souvenirs and other momentous, and think nothing about carrying them back in their luggage. But if your items increase their weight of your luggage over the airline’s prescribed limit, you’ll be hit with a surcharge. Certainly you could mail the items back home. But that’s not always practical. A better solution would be to bring a digital portable luggage scale with you. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and tell you exactly what your luggage weighs before you arrive at the airport. That way you can rejigger your luggage to remain under the airline’s threshold, and know exactly what you need to include in your carry ons.

Space Bags to Go: For short trips, some people like to cram everything they need into a single carry-on bag, so they can skip the baggage check and pickup. If that describes you, you know how hard to can be to actually get everything you need into a single bag. It’s almost like a Three Stooges skit. Just as you think you have the bag filled, it pops open and your stuff flies out. Sound familiar? Then you need the Space Bag to Go. Simply put your items into the Space Bags, and roll up or push down on the bag to compress the items inside. Once compressed, you seal the bag and everything stays put. You can significantly reduce the bulk of clothing, towels, and other items. Carry more stuff while carrying less luggage! Who wouldn’t like that? The manufacturer claims you can carry 300 percent more. That sounds optimistic to me. But I do know the Space Bag does help scrunch more items into a duffel bag or traditional suitcase.

Have any suggestions for other helpful travel gadgets? Let me know! I’ll share them here.