Tag Archives: luggage

Tom Bihn Carry-On Luggage for Travel

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Traveling is fun – and also a pain in the ass. You know I’m right. Packing is the worst. If you only want to take a carry-on bag (to save on those baggage fees!), you’re stuck figuring out how to possibly fit everything you’ll need into one small bag. You need to have your personal hygiene items, your clothing and all of your various geeky items in one tiny little duffel. Jake is a minimalist when it comes to traveling, but he’s found what he feels is the perfect bag.

The Tom Bihn product line is not only well constructed, it’s also made right here in Seattle. They make it easy to cram as much as possible into the smallest space available. In this video, Jake is using the Tri-Star, which looks like the perfect solution for my traveling needs.

On the front-right of this pack is a curved zipper pocket. If you unzip it partially, it can easily hold your boarding passes. Unzip it all the way and you can stick your water bottle or soda pop into it.

On the left side of the bag, you’ll find three more zippered pockets. These are awesomely designed, folks. The top one is the same length as the bag itself and can easily hold a book or even a Kindle. The middle one is about half that length, and works well to store your laptop charger or phone accessories. The smallest of the three is still large enough to keep your wallet and sunglasses safe.

You can add Packing Cubes to any of the bags offered in this line. These will help keep different items separate from each other, and make all of your stuff easier to find when you’re on the road. The Freudian Slip features eleven compartments to keep files and small items organized within your main luggage.

The Tri-Star is not only durable, it also comes with several different carry methods. You can use it as a backpack, a cross-shoulder strap or even a normal over-the-shoulder strap concoction. Jake has been using these particular bags since 2006, and reports that he has never had any issues with wear and tear. They stand the test of time while saving you space. That, my friends, is what the perfect carry-on should be doing.

How do You Travel?

Chris Brogan is – simply put – a great guy. I’ve heard him described as a “big teddy bear” with a “huge heart” on more than one occasion. He’s genuine, personable and extremely intelligent. Chris recently started up a new site that he is calling Man on the Go.

Chris is definitely a man on the go. He attends more conferences and functions than even Robert Scoble does. During all of his travels, Chris has learned many things the hard way about packing, unpacking, hotels, food, airlines and things that most of us never even think about. He’s using Man on the Go to help educate men and women alike… helping us all be better travelers.

Some of the tips Chris gives in this video include:

  • Only use a carry-on bag whenever possible. – You’ll cut down 20-30 minutes of each trip by not having to wait in line for luggage. You also will never run the risk of having your luggage lost.
  • If you’re a larger person, go for a window seat. – Chris has very wide shoulders, so he always chooses to sit near a window. This way, he can tuck himself in a little better and not be bashed in the arm or leg by the beverage cart.
  • Bring your own snacks on the plane. – Chris advises you to bring your own snacks to eat. Most airlines will give you nothing more than a small bag of half-stale pretzels or nuts. Bring some jerky, trail mix or other snacks that can be easily tucked into your bag.
  • Test out your carry-on before getting on the aircraft. – There’s nothing worse than struggling to find what you need in your bag in the middle of a flight and disturbing people around you. You don’t want to elbow someone repeatedly as you dig through and attempt to find what you’re looking for. Pack smart, and be aware of where things are located that you might want to retrieve in the air.
  • Don’t read your magazines until you are going on a trip. – If you subscribe to any magazines, don’t read them when they arrive if you know you’ll be traveling soon. It’s unreal how much you will save by not grabbing something in the airport to read on the plane. Many magazines have their cost inflated by up to 90% when you buy them this way.

What tips do you have that are tried-and-true? Leave us a follow-up comment and give us your ideas.

What Luggage Do Geeks Use?

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Every so often you may need to leave the comfort of your own home and travel somewhere. When you do, you want to try to travel light, to be more convenient. Up until the other day, I had a satchel that I slung over my shoulder for my laptop and other things. It ended up being really heavy. When given an opportunity to check out the Travelon Checkpoint Friendly Wheeled Computer Brief Computer Case, I was all for it! A computer case with wheels? I’m down with that!

Yes, it has a handle that extends quite far. If you don’t want to wheel it around, you can carry it with the handles. It also has a water-bottle pouch built in! It slides onto a suitcase, to double up how you’re wheeling your luggage around!

The thing that makes this particular case wonderful beyond the wheels is the fact that it is compliant with the way the TSA expects you to have your notebook when you travel. It slides out easily from a pouch, instead of having to take it all the way out! That makes it so much easier when you are trying to get through the airport.

There’s an accordion pouch in the middle that zips all the way down both sides. You can get into any of the four sections quickly to find whatever it is you need. There’s a lot of room to store all of your gear. Since it’s on wheels… it’s not going to get too heavy to carry!

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What’s the Problem with American Airlines?

This post was written by my mom, who was more than a bit peeved when American Airlines lost her luggage – only to find out that they mishandled it. If you’ve also had a problem with American Airlines, be grateful to know that you’re not alone.

When a person visits another country, they will likely purchase items from that country as souvenirs. As tourists in Jamaica, my girlfriend and I purchased 3 bottles each of Jamaican Rum to bring home (one of which is unavailable for purchase in the States). These were wrapped and packed in a heavy cardboard box with cardboard placed in between the bottles. Before going through customs in Miami, we opened our luggage to make sure the bottles were still intact. They were. My girlfriend’s luggage made it to the Dallas / Ft. Worth airport with all the bottles unscathed.

My luggage was lost between Miami and Dallas, apparently taking another plane ride.

The first time I called to check on the status of my luggage, around 12:30am, I was told it had arrived at Midnight and that I would be called before it was delivered to my son’s house. The implication was that it would be delivered that night. The next morning, I called again to check on it and was told that it would be four to six hours before the truck would deliver anything. When the luggage finally arrived (WITHOUT me receiving a phone call), I found broken bottles of Jamaican Rum which had spilled all over my suitcase and the contents inside. Luckily, I always pack many of my clothes in plastic bags; however, my suitcase and some items didn’t escape the sticky mess.

Since we are understandably required to put any liquids over 3 ounces in checked baggage, this eliminates “hand” carrying and protecting fragile liquid items. However, my girlfriend’s checked luggage made it through with everything intact – bottles and all. This tells me that the EXTRA plane ride, EXTRA baggage handling and the (four to six hour) truck ride took a toll on my bottles and broke them.

When I called the American Airlines customer service line for recompense, I was told that American Airlines wasn’t responsible for broken bottles and alcohol. I asked the representative for her manager’s name and phone number and was given the name – but was told the manager had only a FAX number to reach her!

I didn’t ask American Airlines for an arm or a leg – I only asked for the cost of my Jamaican Rum. This amounts to about $36. I didn’t even ask for anything for my possibly-ruined luggage or the contents! (I’m rethinking that though!). I was told unequivocally “NO” even though my luggage traveled extra miles, received extra handling, and likely a long, bouncy truck ride. I find this type of customer service incomprehensible. I worked in customer service for over 15 years and always tried to work out problems to benefit both the customers and the company. I am very upset with American Airlines’ policy, with the lack of ability to talk directly to a higher authority, with the loss of my luggage (which I truly feel caused the breakage), and with my ruined items.

Would I think twice about flying American Airlines again? You bet – and you might think twice as well.

KermitRocks: @jboeckman has a beef with American Airlines too. Don&#39t get him started. I&#39m sure he&#39d be happy to help your mom.

about 4 days ago

nathangilder: Looking forward to your mom&#39s blog post 🙂

about 4 days ago

nerdseyeview: more for that AA guest blog? 4 hour delay IN SEATAC? http://is.gd/nX8W or ANOTHER guest blogger #AASUX ? i&#39m in.

about 4 days ago

phuzion: I don&#39t know the details of the situation, but maybe you should have her contact Consumerist?

about 4 days ago

hpduong: i&#39ve been flying American Airlines on and off for the past year and half and it has always been TERRIBLE

about 4 days ago

CA20K1: Try Singapore Airlines. It&#39s a great way to fly 😉

about 4 days ago

UncleJohn97420: She must not watched the A&E show.lol I would never fly with them. (Airlines was a show on A&E bout America Airlines.)

about 4 days ago

KyleVanKooten: that&#39s right.. Better stick with Southwest!

about 3 days ago

pcasey44: – I am still angry at AMR. They lost my passport and my mother&#39s at a checkpoint on the way back to US from Virgin Islands.

about 3 days ago

caseygotcher: @ianmcnaughton is twittering on his unhappiness with them too

about 3 days ago

ZenTigerpaw: Ouch. That I gotta read.

about 3 days ago

pcasey44: – AMR lost my mother&#39s passport at checkpoint on return from cruise. That was her final cruise, she died shortly after that.

about 3 days ago

DC616: yelling at your chest? LOL!

about 3 days ago

MorningMist: AA has alot of not so happy customers they are what I call a cheap hotel of airlines. Low amenities with low service.

about 3 days ago

donsmith: American is on my bad list too.

about 3 days ago

jboeckman: Don&#39t get me started on AA, I had a very bad experience when I went to a conference in Chicago.

about 3 days ago

limelight: Who really enjoys flying? Seriously! If it wasn&#39t so convenient I&#39d elect to take my car cross country in my underwear.

about a day ago

Packing Tips

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As you know by now, Ponzi and I are on our cruise through Hawaii this week. Since we’ve taken so many trips and cruises together, we have become pros at packing. We thought we’d share some tips with you all.

  • Make a list It sounds simple, but in the weeks leading up to your departure date you should write up a list. This way you don’t forget things on the fly… and can make sure you pack everything to take home at the end of the vacation. Also, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll have a list of everything you had packed.
  • Ziplock baggies If you have anything that could possibly leak, such as shampoo or soap, place them into a Ziplock baggie. This will help keep any liquids from spilling out all over your other items.
  • Tape your toiletries Anything with a lid or cap on it, tape the lids shut to prevent leakage. Don’t forget to tape the hairspray lid, as well.
  • Tags inside the bag, not just outside If you place a luggage tag on the inside also, you’ll have that extra identification if your outside tag falls off.
  • Put something unique on your bag Everyone is using ribbons on the handle now. Try putting a unique sticker on it, buying a unique color, or even adding some paint to the luggage. This will keep yours easily identifiable from everyone else’s!


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