Which is the right suitcase for you? | Casual Travellers

There are certainly no hard and fast rules about the perfect suitcase for your circumstances, however we have noticed that our customers will typically fall into one of four categories; the casual traveller, the business traveller, the adventure traveller and the backpacker. Here are our top picks for these 4 types of travellers.

This week we will look at the ‘Casual Traveller’ – check back over the next 3 weeks for business, adventure and backpacker top picks!

which-suitcase-is-best-casual-travellers

Image via @chloe_bh Instagram

The Casual Traveller

Casual travellers will typically have one main holiday per year up to 3 weeks and a couple of smaller getaways throughout the year. Whilst casual travellers may travel domestically or internationally and may have a huge variety of trips planned, the key thing is they are flying in, checking into a hotel and pretty much staying in the one spot before flying home – or they may move around two or three locations, but each location will be hotel style accommodation.

The vast majority of our customers are casual travellers, we advise the casual traveller to think beyond just the one trip and buy something that will suit them for up to 5 years if not longer. They key factors we tell them to think about are:

  • Soft or hard – this is personal preference, see our soft vs. hard suitcase guide for advice!
  • Budget – casual travellers don’t need to buy top of the line luggage, normally it doesn’t get used enough to justify the cost. However you should invest in a reputable brand with a solid warranty and solid construction. We recommend spending between $150 – $300.
  • Size – where possible we push people toward medium suitcases, they are easier to manage when you need to lift them and fit in car boots more easily (important to consider as your next trip may be a road trip!), they are also easier to store at home. If extra space is needed then you can add a cabin bag or look for one of the smaller of the large suitcases.
  • 4 Wheels – most casual travellers opt for 4 wheels, they are easy to manage through airports and hotels. Look for ‘double’ spinner wheels for more durability.
  • Suitcase features – the top features a casual traveller will use are built in locks, durable wheels, durable zips and durable handles. Also, suitcases do ensure some rough handling, major brands can be repaired more easily should any damage occur (under warranty or not).
  • Additional Luggage – For casual travellers, you don’t necessarily need a matching cabin suitcase. If you do a lot of domestic flights for the weekend or overnight, then a matching cabin suitcase is ideal, it will serve you well for all trips. If your other mini-trips away are car trips or a bit of a mix, also consider a duffel bag or weekender style bag. Just look for a model with a loop on it so it can slide over your suitcase trolley handle when being used together.
  • Accessories – casual travellers will generally need locks (if not built in); travel adaptors; a toiletry bag; luggage organisers, waterproof bags or plastic bags and a neck pillow as the key essentials.

Most Popular Options

which-suitcase-is-best-samsonite-b-lite

Image via @mysamsonite Instagram

The Samsonite B-Lite range – The B-Lite collection is a big range which includes 5 trolley cases and a range of soft bags and toiletry bags to match allowing travellers to pick out items that will fit their needs. The B-Lite collection also has design inclusions that set it apart – the double wheels and strength in the handles are superior to many of the main competitors at this price point.

SHOP THE B-LITE RANGE HERE

which-suitcase-is-best-american-tourister-bon-air

Image via @americantourister_au Instagram

American Tourister Bon Air Range – The Bon Air is a fantastic balance between weight, function, aesthetics and quality. Again it has the double wheels that give it an edge over similar bags

SHOP THE BON AIR RANGE HERE

Next week we will take a look at which is the right suitcase for business travellers.

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Which is Better | Wheeled Backpacks vs Backpacks

Perhaps third on our staff’s frequently asked questions list is should I take a wheeled backpack or a backpack, and what’s the difference? We’ve delved deep into the Wheeled Backpack vs Backpack argument.

This is the latest in our “Which is better” posts – in case you missed it our earlier posts, find them here:

Hard vs Soft suitcases’  and ‘2 Wheel vs 4 Wheel Suitcases

wheeled backpack vs travel kpack

Images via Osprey Packs

For once this FAQ has a clearly defined answer. It’s simple: will you need to carry this pack for trekking or extended walking (full day of intense walking or 3+ days of easy walking) at any point on your trip?

Yes > A travel pack is the way to go

No > A wheeled backpack is your answer

So that should be that right? Wrong! Backpacking or adventure trips are rarely that cut and dry – take for example the person travelling for one year with a 3 day trek booked in the middle, do they really have to cart a pack around for 362 days simply so they are more comfortable on the trek? Well yes and no, read on!

wheeled backpack vs backpack

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Wheeled Backpack

PROS

  • It’s like a suitcase you can take off road. And for this reason they are ideal for more than just gap years. When the terrain becomes too much for the wheels to handle, simply pick it up and put it on your back. This is not limited to just walking to a campsite – dirt roads in off-the-beaten-track towns, cobblestones, stairs, railways & subways, packed sidewalks, rainy, muddy or snowy conditions or sea adventures are all examples of conditions that may cause your suitcase to be less helpful and more of a liability.
  • They combine the best bits of a suitcase – the wheels and handle (obviously) but also the packing structure – they generally open out like a suitcase making them easy to pack and find what you’re after.
  • And the best bits of a travel pack – many models come with a removable day pack, giving you options when you travel, plus they feature things like compression straps, tie ons and quick access pockets just like a travel pack would.
  • The quality and range of wheeled backpacks has really improved in recent years, models on the market now have terrific support and excellent padding and comfort when being carried, so they can be carried more readily and for longer than earlier generations of wheeled backpacks.

CONS

  • When using it as a suitcase you do lose a lot of space and some weight to the harness. Some wheeled backpacks do have the option of a removable harness, which cancels out this negative – Osprey’s wheeled backpacks all have this option).
  • When using it as a backpack you have the additional weight of the handle and wheels to carry – and also the discomfort. The handle is a rigid pole that runs down the back of the case – it takes quite a bit of support and padding to ensure the pack is comfortable and supportive despite this straight metal rod.  The wheels whilst often wide set; can only be so far apart, they can dig into your hips after a while.

osprey-Wayfarer-70-womens-tavel-pack.jpg

Photo by Nat Saggers of Checkin-Out 

The Pro’s and Con’s of a Backpack

PROS

  • The latest batch of travel packs and backpacks offer such great support and comfort with such a range of sizes and packing options available. Osprey Packs even have packs especially designed for men and women, meaning your pack is fitted perfectly and you’re ready for even the longest on foot adventure.
  • If you’re trekking or walking on your trip, a travel pack is most definitely the way to go. A comfortable and suitable design allows you to enjoy your adventure and not be weighed down and miserable with an ill-fitting or too heavy bag.

CONS

  • Perhaps the biggest downside to travel packs is they are really only suited to trekking or walking trips, which can often mean they are a single trip purchase, where a wheeled backpack can be used for all sorts of travel.

 

So now you know what type of bag you’re buying, how do you then know which one to buy? Our advice here is to match the bag up to the length and ruggedness of the trip. It may seem counter-intuitive to advise a backpacking student to send $300+ on their bag, but well, they should. They live out of their bag for months at a time, drag it and throw it, wear it, sleep on it, rely on it. Their bag is their life – and if it breaks, well then, their life is broken. Maybe not so dire, but it will feel like it in that moment when you’re zip is broken, clothes are leaking and the next main town stop to get it repaired is 3 weeks away.

So our main tips are these:

  • The longer your trip, the better quality the bag should be.
  • The more rugged your trip, the better quality your bag should be.

 

What to look for when purchasing a wheeled backpack

  • The key things for a wheeled backpack are the same as on a suitcase. The zips, wheels, material, handle and warranty
    • Zips – they should be rugged, large and lockable (on all pockets if that’s what you need)
    • Wheels – wheeled backpacks always have 2 wheels, so look for large wheels with a durable tread, preferably on an axis (avoid smaller roller blade wheels) and a generous kickplate and protective plastic housing around the base of the case. This will absorb the impact of being dragged upstairs and so on, rather than wearing through the fabric.
    • Material – rip stop nylon, water resistant, thick and highly resilient.
    • Handle – the poles should be sturdy – a warped pole can mean a handle that stops going up and down so the poles should be sturdy and have adequate protection from getting damaged.
    • Warranty – the warranty is generally a good indicator of quality, 1-3 years would be sufficient for a shorter and less rugged trip, 5-10 years is ideal and lifetime means the company really back their product – look for lifetime if you really need something high quality (Osprey’s lifetime warranty is a good example!)
    • Pack comfort and support – if you are purchasing the wheeled backpack just so you can catch a train or get across the odd paddock then you can get away with something simpler and lighter, it should always have a lumbar or chest strap though if it’s over 50L. For anyone who will need to actually carry their pack, look for adjustable shoulder straps with great padding and comfort, test it out in the shop or before you go with the bag weighted to check the support.
    • Features such as a removable day pack, raincoat, mesh panels and so on are dependent on your specific needs for your trip.

 

What to look for when purchasing a backpack

  • If possible, visit us in store and try some on. The harness systems on travel packs are very sophisticated now, and its best to get matched up and test it out.
  • If that’s not possible, give yourself time if buying online. We allow refunds for 100 days – so you can order it, test it out at home and then swap it if need be.
  • In terms of quality indicators, zips, material, harness and warranty will be your biggest clues;
    • Zips – they should be rugged, large and lockable (on all pockets if that’s what you need)
    • Material – rip stop nylon, water resistant, thick and highly resilient.
    • Harness – the more sophisticated the harness is the more comfortable the bag will be – things such as height adjustable straps, breathable mesh panels, lumbar and chest straps, even weight distribution and so on will make a huge difference 7 days in to your trek.
    • Warranty – the warranty is generally a good indicator of quality, 1-3 years would be sufficient for a shorter or lighter trip, 5-10 years is ideal and lifetime means the company really back their product – look for lifetime if you really need something high quality (Osprey’s lifetime warranty is a good example!) When your comfort and back health are in question, buy the best quality you can afford.
    • Features such as size, capacity, removable day pack, tie downs, raincoats, packing style and so on will all depend on what sort of trip you’re doing.

So there you have it – our comprehensive guide to wheeled backpack vs backpack, a seemingly simple question!

And to answer the question we posed earlier about the traveller with a 3 day trek booked in the middle of their year long trip – the best option would be a wheeled backpack with a generous removable day pack. Take the day pack on the trek and leave your bigger case behind.

OUR TOP PICKS

Wheeled Backpack: Osprey Sojourn 28 Wheeled Backpack. This top of the line wheeled backpack features a fully loaded harness (which is removable), high clearance trolley system and superior wheels. It’s also backed by their lifetime warranty, it’s one of the toughest in the game.

RRP: $399.95   $319.95

Wheeled Backpack Honourable Mention: Caribee Fast Track 75 Wheeled Travel Pack.  Caribee have really knuckled down in understanding how people use this bag, it’s got loads of great usable features including a detachable day pack, integrated show bag and internal organisation.

RRP: $445  $311.50

Mens Backpack: Osprey Waypoint 80 Men’s Travel Pack. RRP $349.95 $319.95
Women’s Backpack: Osprey Xena 70 Womens Travel Pack  RRP $449.95 $369.95
Both are specifically designed for optimum comfort and weight distribution for men or women and are loaded with features that make even the most intense trekking paths easier to navigate.

Shop our range of Wheeled Backpacks HERE

Shop our range of travel packs and backpacks HERE

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Top 10 ‘Back to Work’ Innovations in business bags

 

top 10 back to work innovations

It’s mid Jan, so by now we’re shaking off the post holiday blues and getting started on goals for 2017. These innovations in briefcases and business bags can upgrade your work experience this year.

1. Expandable Briefcases: Not necessarily a new innovation, however the latest batch from Victorinox & Samsonite feature specialised storage for your laptop + tablet with an expandable sections for either files or some overnight necessities. You will also find most designs have a sleeve on the back that fits over your suitcase handle for better integrated travel and an organisational panel in the front pocket. The latest batch are savvy and relate to modern workers – an upgrade could make the world of difference to your commute and day to day use!

Shop our range of briefcases here.

Our top pick is the Victorinox Lexicon Professional La Salle 15 Laptop Briefcase - a premium quality briefcase with a lifetime warranty – it’s smart, savvy, has looks to kill and will last beyond retirement.  Was $629. Now $377.40

2. IPad/Tablet Briefcases: If you no longer need to cart your laptop to and fro but wouldn’t be caught dead without your tablet – there is an emerging range of shoulder bags, satchels and mini briefcases designed to fit this job. Ranging from casual to smart casual to business with added features such as anti-theft technology and convertible straps you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Shop the range of iPad/tablet briefcases here.

Find anti-theft iPad/tablet bags here

Our top pick is the Victorinox Werks Professional Analyst 10 Tablet Briefcase – this mini-briefcase is smart enough to wear with your suit and features a deluxe organisational panel in the front pocket. Was $185. Now $111

3. New Collection of Women’s Business Bags: For years the choice was to stick with the big, black, bulky men’s designs or opt for overly feminine designs. The new batch from the likes of Samsonite and Pacsafe include shoulder bags and backpacks with colour options ranging from black to nude to grey and red. These bags are professional, lightweight and well designed.

Shop the range here.

Our top picks include the Samsonite Boulevard and City Air range and the Pacsafe Slingsafe range.

4. Anti-Theft Laptop Backpacks: The answer to all your hot-desking frustrations! The emergence of new open plan and hot desking style offices is terrific – except when you want to duck out to the coffee shop to grab a coffee without first gathering all your bits to put in a locker and risk losing your spot. The range of anti-theft backpacks have slash proof lining, lockable pockets and you can lock the strap to a fixed pole so no one can run off with it, keeping you gear safe at all times.

Shop the range here

Top Pick: Pacsafe Metrosafe LS450 anti-theft 25L backpack - this backpack has storage for up to a 15 inch laptop, plus more and has 6 anti-theft safe guard features; it’s available in a range of colours and is designed for both men and women. Was $199.95 Now $169.96

5. The new Prodigy mobile office by Samsonite: This is a well designed carry on size suitcase with generous packing space and a fast access front sleeve for your laptop, tablet and personal effects. This makes getting through airport security a breeze and also makes going from airport to meeting to hotel a much simpler task. Most innovative of all is that it’s one of the first premium quality mobile offices that comes in a colour option other than black.

Find the Samsonite Prodigy Mobile Office Here. Was $429. Now $257.40

6. Convertible Bags: Depending on what line of work you’re in, your bag might just need to do more. Attend a meeting with your tablet as a shoulder bag, convert it to a backpack to jump on your motor cycle to get on site, then convert it to a waist pack to keep your hands free.

This is all possible with the following convertible designs:

7. Convertible Cabin Suitcase/Mobile Office: Storing 2 different cabin bags, one for your business trips and one for your leisure trips can be a right pain. Surely it would be easier if they were both the one case? Well now they are – the Victorinox Spectra range of cabin suitcases all feature a removable ‘business panel’, which when attached houses your laptop and work gear with packing space behind, or simply remove it when you want to dedicate the whole suitcase to board shorts and snorkel gear.

Shop the Victorinox Spectra Range here

8. A gym/weekend bag to match your suit: Speaking of one bag to meet all your needs, The Victorinox Architecture Urban Rappard Expandable Satchel is a premium quality duffel bag that is smart enough to take to the office with your gym kit inside. This all purpose bag is expandable too, so it’s makes a great weekend bag or cabin bag for your travels as needed. It comes with Victorinox’s lifetime warranty, it’s quality and versatility make it well worth the investment.

Was $559. Now $335.40

9. Portable Safe: Is your office less high rise and more work site? Or perhaps less desk and more cliff top? Modern connectivity means we can now work everywhere, but this also means you might find yourself having to stash your laptop on a busy building site, or carting your camera to a shoot in the middle of a market – Pacsafe’s range of portable safe’s could be the answer for you.

Find them here.

10. Hi Vis Gear: Whether it’s a workplace necessity or you simply want to be seen when you’re cycling home, the Caribee range of high vis bags is essential.

 

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2 Suitcases in 1 – The New Victorinox Spectra Expandable Luggage Range

Expanding hard suitcases are hard to find – the new Victorinox Spectra has a HUGE expander to solve all your problems!

The new Victorinox Spectra release has been designed to solve two big problems – firstly, it gives you multiple size options in the one suitcase, so no need to store a whole family of luggage to give yourself options, this is highly important for all those living in small apartments with no storage to speak of! Problem 2 – having a cabin size suitcase that adapts to different airline allowances.

Expandable hard suitcases are rare and the Spectra in unique in it’s huge 47% expansion in the medium and large cases, that’s unheard of even in soft luggage and truly gives you multiple suitcase options in the one bag.

The expandable Spectra luggage is ideal for frequent travellers, the idea being one case is perfect for a one week trip, a quick size adjustment and it’s ready to go for your 3 week trip. Everything is covered.

The case itself packs more like a soft case, the central zip releases the expander, so the case is accessed through the lid flap, everything packs into the main compartment. This has a couple of benefits, the main being that it takes up less room on the floor when you’re packing or living out of your bag. One drawback though is that it can be harder to find things in a deeper compartment.

The cabin bag has an extra trick up it’s sleeve also – the removable electronics sleeve allows you to turn the case into a mobile office, with padded storage for your laptop and tablet, and packing space for a night or two behind. For a weekend holiday simply remove the electronics sleeve, leave your work at home and off you go. So again – 2 suitcases in one!

Victorinox has really thought through the challenges that modern travellers face – multi-functionality is so important in our world where space is becoming premium. We demand more from our gear – and this case really delivers, it’s well designed and highly functional.

Other included features are Victorinox’s built in TSA lock with free ‘The Access’ combination lock recover program – a program which allows you to lodge your combination online securely and retrieve it again later should you ever forget it. The Swiss Tracker Bag Tracking Program will reunite you with your bag anywhere in the world – should you happen to be separated for it, also free.

Find further specifications or to purchase the suitcase follow the links below;

Victorinox Spectra Expandable Global Carry-On Hard Suitcase $799 $479.40

Victorinox Spectra Medium Expandable Suitcase $1020 $612

Victorinox Spectra Large Expandable Suitcase $1100 $660

 

If you’re looking for an expandable hard suitcase, also check out the Bon Air Collection by American Tourister for Samsonite – here.

 

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8 Anti Travel Rules for first time International Travellers

Look at you… breaking all the rules on your first overseas trip! But some rules are made to be broken, and these travel rules are it.

If you’re heading overseas for the first time there are so many checklists, rules and guides that it’s easy to get carried away. It’s understandable, you’re heading into the unknown and it is better to be prepared, it’s always essential you have your passport and visas in check and you will be more comfortable if you have the right gear. However, there is a product sold for just about every need, and before you board the plane with every travel gizmo ever conceived take a look at our anti rules.

best travel tips for first time international travellers

Via @saasha_burns

Don’t buy Travel Clothing

Heading on a safari in Africa? Or perhaps a day trek in Bali? You won’t need a safari suit, or even zip off trousers, you also won’t need hiking boots. Consider what you would wear doing the same activity in Australia and take that – your board shorts and runners will do the job just fine. You will need Aerogard though and sunscreen and it’s far easier to take them from home then find them in a Turkish market.

 

Take One Adapter, One power board

This one’s simple, taking 3 devices that will need charging? Take one adapter and one power board. Just ensure it’s a high quality power board that will accommodate different wattage’s of different countries.

 

Shop for travel adapters here

 

Avoid Currency Converters

Do your research on this one – have a look at what the best option is for the country you are going to and also look into it with your bank, but in our experience one of the best methods of handling currency conversions is to simply use our normal savings card and withdraw money at an ATM as soon as you arrive in your destinations airport, then as you need it afterward. This is convenient (no extra work at all), banks usually only charge a flat rate fee per transaction and you get an on the spot exchange rate. We work to the theory that we take about $500 – $1000 cash out at once to limit the transactions you need, but that does of course depend on where you are and how secure it is to be carrying large amounts of cash on you.  One thing to always keep in mind however you organise your currency though is always have local currency on you before leaving the airport – and having USD$100 on you can get you out of some sticky situations (here’s looking at you surprise Visa in Indonesia and speeding fine in Africa)!

best travel tips for first time international travellers

Take as much luggage as you want… so long as you can get it where it needs to be! Image via Samsonite.

Take as much as you want

… as long as you can carry it! Ok so this one’s a little sneaky as it is in line with advice we’re all well versed in – but seriously, if you’re heading to a resort in Hawaii and there is door to door transport on each end, take as much as you want, or as much as the airline will allow, we’re all for it! If however, you will be in a situation where you need to pick up your own bag, make sure you can. And we’re not just talking about being able to carry your pack if you’re backpacking, consider yourself hailing a cab in NYC or Rome and trying to get 2 oversized suitcases in the tiny boots on your own without getting run over, you need to be able to lift your bag on your own. And if you’re travelling in pairs or more, your combined bags need to fit into whatever transport you have arranged on the other end.

 

Our favourite oversized suitcase for over packers is 81cm Cosmolite (it’s so light you can probably still lift it with 13 pairs of shoes and a brick or two inside)

 

You can use your phone

Yes roaming charges are outrageous and we don’t recommend that avenue. In many countries though data sim cards are super simple to get and inexpensive, even if you’re only somewhere for a couple of days it’s a very viable option. Make a phone store you’re first port of call.

 

Ditch the guidebooks

They are a handy place to start your research, whether it’s online guides or our trusty Lonely Planets, but consider this, are your favourite places in your city listed in the local travel guide? Probably not.

These guides are fantastic for learning about major attractions and how best to navigate them, they are not so great for ‘hidden gems’ and restaurants and bars though. Do some research before you go and write down your must do’s. Do these in the first couple of days as you settle in and get a feel for a place. Along the way ask your hotel staff, the staff in the museum and people you meet along the way to share their favourite places – then go there. And if all else fails, jump in a cab and ask them to take you to their favourite restaurant.

 

pacsafe anti theft travel tips

Staying secure doesn’t have to mean a money belt! Image via @pacsafeofficial

Ditch the money belt

Go on, the thieves are on the lookout for it anyway! Again, this is dependent on where you are travelling to so do your research, but for your typical tourist trying to avoid being pick pocketed is a matter of blending in and being alert. Organising your valuables from top to toe in money belts and magic socks is like a beacon to a well versed thief.

Scenario: you are in a rush to pay for your melting Gelato so you stash your purse back in the front pocket of your handbag (not its usual spot), you then get to the Duomo and go to get your purse to buy your ticket only to find it missing – you panic, you frantically throw your bag on the ground emptying the contents everywhere only for it to fall out of the front pocket where you stashed it twenty minutes ago. Classic Tourist.

Things get lost, forgotten and taken when you break from your routine. The best thing is to stick to your routine as closely as possible; we do recommend the following tips;

  • First up, take photos of your passport and credit cards and email them to yourself. Stolen passports and credit cards can be solved very quickly if you have copies in your email so don’t panic.
  • Take your usual purse or wallet but empty of all non-essential stuff before you leave.
  • If you’re purse or wallet is valuable in itself take a less expensive one with a similar layout
  • Don’t take your passport and extra credit cards out with you unless it’s safer than leaving them behind or unless you need them that day.
  • Likewise, don’t carry all your cash if you don’t need to
  • Your handbag should have basic security, such as a zip to close it or an internal zipped pocket – It’s great to stick to your usual handbag if possible, if security is a real concern (and it is if you are visiting lots of tourist attractions each day) then anti-theft handbags are great, choose a design that replicates your usual handbag the closest.
  • Men should not carry their wallets in their back pockets – break this habit before your travel, your side pocket is much more secure.
  • If you change your wallet and bag or both – make the change a few weeks before you go so everything is seamless by the time you’re on holiday.
  • At the end of the day, where there are large groups of tourists there will be opportunistic thieves.  Lost passports and cards can be solved, cash is upsetting, but again not the end of the world; the most upsetting thing to lose usually is a phone or camera due to the photos. Back up your phone’s photos before you go and if you’re taking lots of snaps along the way, back those up every couple of days. If you are robbed, it shouldn’t ruin your holiday – it’s happened to the best of us, and if it hasn’t, well they just haven’t ventured far enough off the beaten track yet!

 

Pacsafe are unbeatable when it comes to finding the right anti-theft solution – find the right solution for you here

8 tips for first time travellers

Neck pillows will make or break you. Image via @cabeautravel

Pssst – here’s a little known secret, they give you pillows on the aeroplane

Not that you would believe it with the number of brightly coloured neck pillows hanging out of everyone’s backpacks at the airport. It is true, so a neck pillow is not actually an in-flight essential. And we will save you the $40 you might be tempted to spend on one of the bean filled versions at the airport – they are a nuisance to carry and they are uncomfortable. They will be in the bin at the other end, we promise. Before you gleefully cross if off your list though, neck pillows do have their use, and we can’t recommend (certain) ones enough. The pillows on the aeroplane have questionable hygiene, so there’s that, and they actually don’t make the best neck pillows. They do make great lumbar pillows though! If you consider that you will be sitting up using this pillow anything that has big bulk at the back will simply push your head forward into a very uncomfortable position, here are our neck pillow essentials;

  • Your neck pillow should have a pliable (foam) back to it, be flat or ridged at the back or be inflatable. That way there is no bulk behind your neck but you can rest your head to the sides to get some rest without resorting to taking a nap on your neighbours shoulder.
  • Your neck pillow should be able to easily be packed into your luggage – if it doesn’t fit, forget it. Spend the extra money to get one that folds or squashes down, or a less expensive alternative is an inflatable one.
  • Neck pillows are actually far handier beyond the plane – car trips, long ferry trips and train trips, now, none of these places actually do offer pillows and you will feel mighty smug with your hot pink neck noodle at midnight on the bullet train.

 

Cabeau neck pillows are the best – in case you missed it, I hate neck pillows, but Cabeau one’s are fast making me a convert!

 

So there you have it – our rule breaking travel rules!

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Spring Carnival Style | His & Hers Packing Guide for the races!

Spring racing is upon us with the Melbourne Cup in just a few days.  The dress and the suit might be sorted, but have you considered how to pack your formal wear for travel? We’ve got you covered with a his & hers packing guide for the races.

There’s so much to organise for the races it goes so far beyond the dress and suit, with hats, shoes, pocket squares, hair dryers and equipment and even second or third outfit options to cater to Melbourne’s changeable weather! On top of that there are a whole lot of rules to follow depending on which day/s your attending, it’s a lot to consider so it’s no surprise that people think about how they’re going to pack last… not to worry, we’ve thought of everything for you!

For the ladies

races packing guide for her

Luggage Pictured: Samsonite Cosmolite Medium Suitcase in Copper Blush, Samsonite Cosmolite Beauty Case in Copper Blush, Lapoche large luggage organiser black, Go Travel Inflatable Travel Coathangers

Fashion Pictured: Self Portrait Ava guipure lace mini dressKitte the midnight crown headbandRaye Lilly Heels

Things to consider for the ladies are mostly centered around how to transport precious headwear, keep your dress from becoming a crumpled mess and how to cart your entire bathroom with you so you can do hair and make up. Here are our top tips;

  1. HEADWEAR: Opt for a fascinator over a hat if you’re flying, store it in a box inside your cabin luggage to keep it nice and safe. If you do have a hat, put it in a box, which will become your carry on luggage. Make sure you can carry it easily so you can manage it with your other luggage – tie some ribbon around the box to make handles if it helps.
  2. DRESS: If your dress is likely to crease or wrinkle, use a soft dress bag inside your suitcase to reduce wrinkling. If it’s OK to be folded use a large luggage organiser such as the Lapoche one pictured to put your dress into – this helps protect it from spills and snags inside your suitcase. Get some inexpensive inflatable hangers so you can hang your dress straight up on the other end, and if needed prearrange with your hotel for an ironing or steaming service.
  3. SHOES: Use the Lapoche shoe bag to transport your shoes – it takes up less space than a box but will protect your shoes from scuffs on your way to the races, and protect your clothes from the mud and grass they acquired on your way home!
  4. GLAM TIME: Your usual toiletry bag may not cut it for the races when you need everything but the kitchen sink (although a bathroom sink is essential!) – the Samsonite Cosmolite Beauty Case has room for everything, it keeps everything inside organised and protected and can slip over the handle of your suitcase, which brings us to…
  5. TRANSPORTING IT ALL: The new Samsonite Cosmolite in navy blue or copper blush will get all your things there and will look great in transit. A cabin size if you’re super clever, or a medium if you’re smart and take a few outfit alternatives for Melbourne’s crazy Spring weather.

For the men

mens packing guide for the races

 

Luggage Pictured: Antler Atom Cabin suitcase in charcoal, Victorinox Werks WT 5.0 Deluxe Garment Sleeve, Go Travel Single Power Bank

Fashion Pictured: Boglioli Blue Slim-Fit Stretch-Cotton Twill SuitCanali Pink Cotton ShirtKingsman + Drake’s 8cm Silk-Grenadine TieLanvin Silk-Twill Pocket SquareSaba Nile Loafer

Whilst it’s not dissimilar to packing for a formal business trip there are a few things to keep in mind for the races, notably, how to arrive not too creased if you’re straight off the plane and keeping track of race day essentials such as your pocket square and cuff-links. Here are out top packing tips for the men;

  1. FOR YOUR SUIT:  A garment carrier or suiter is essential for keeping your suit in top condition. We love the Victorinox Deluxe Garment Sleeve, it’s lightweight and slim, with enough room for your suit and shirts without being cumbersome. You can take it on board with you along with your cabin suitcase too, so no need to check in bags.
  2. FOR YOUR SHOES: Keep your shoes in a shoe bag to keep them in pristine condition on the way down. Nothing worse than trying to get your shoes cleaned the morning before the races!
  3. FOR YOUR GROOMING: A generous hanging toiletry bag is key, have everything at your fingertips without needing to unpack it, then simply zip it up and throw it in your bag and you’re good to go. We love the Victorinox 4.0 hanging toiletry bag.
  4. TRANSPORT IT ALL: The new Antler Atom cabin suitcase is amazingly lightweight and super strong, it will take you on your Spring Carnival flights for years to come.
  5. STAY CHARGED: A bonus tip – all the odds checking and selfie taking can be a major battery drain on your phone, take a power bank phone charge that you can store in your pocket to stay connected all day and night.

It’s a great day out – enjoy!

 

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Love Affair | Leather Trim Suitcase

Leather trim luggage is back and we’re in love! There’s nothing more luxurious than a touch of leather on your suitcase, here are our current favourites…

Just like anything else, luggage and suitcases go through trends, we see colours come and go and seasonal changes between matt and gloss and variations in between. Right now, the hottest interior colour combo of navy blue and copper have made their way on to the stunning new Samsonite Cosmolite’s and matching soft range the Uplite’s – it’s the first time we’ve seen a soft and hard range that can truly be mixed and matched, a trend we’d like to see continued!

As with all trends they are cyclical – and the current trend of leather trim on luggage is a throwback to traditional trunks and suitcases from years past. The leather trim on modern suitcases revives some of the romance of travel, it invokes a sense of luxury and formalness that travel from earlier years embodied. The current batch of leather trimmed suitcases are highly functional with all the latest suitcase developments, but the leather trim just adds that style and luxury – it’s a trend that will stick around and we love  it!

Our top leather trim suitcase picks;

Hartmann Intensity SPL

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Photo via @mensfashiobblogger

The Hartmann Intensity SPL range is a truly luxurious piece. Hartmann Luggage has a long history of producing top quality luggage favoured by U.S Presidents, celebrities and sportsman. The Intensity SPL range is a striking aluminum look lightweight polyurethane with a rich caramel coloured leather trim and handles. Inside the suitcase is fully fitted with a suit carrier, shoe and laundry bag and leather accented lining. The Intensity SPL is an investment piece; the lifetime warranty will ensure you get years of adventures with it.

Shop it here: Hartmann Luggage

Samsonite Lite-Cube DLX

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Photo via @mysamsonite

The Lite-Cube DLX is the ever popular Lite-Cube suitcase in either an aluminium or dark olive metallic look polypropylene with rich toffee coloured leather trim.  The Lite-Cube DLX enjoys all the benefits of Samsonite’s famous super lightweight and super strong Curv material making the DLX the lightest of the leather trim suitcases. No luxury has been left behind though; inside the case is lined in black and features a removable packing frame, shoe bag and laundry frame all with matching leather accents. The coordinating soft Lite DLX tote bag and beauty tote complete the set, they are also trimmed in matching toffee coloured leather.

Shop it here: Samsonite Lite-Cube

Delsey Chatelet

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Photo via @captainandthegypsykid

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Photo via @ejmaxwell

The vintage aesthetic and leather trim of the French designed Chatelet suitcase has been a favourite amongst travel and fashion bloggers! The striking design is available in 3 colours, the black with black leather trim, brown with tan leather trim and white angora with tan leather trim. Each case is lightweight and features the unique brake stop system unique to Delsey suitcases. Inside the case is lined in a dark red and includes a laundry and shoe bag.

Australian lifestyle blogger Sheree Commerford of Captain and the Gypsy Kid (@capatinandthegypsykid) recently did an epic US trip with her family and three large Chatelet’s in black and one cabin in Angora. Melbourne fashions and lifestyle blogger Erin Maxwell of Love Shop Style (@ejmaxwell) took one large black Chatelet on her recent travels.

Shop it here: Delsey Chatelet

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Which is better? | 2 wheel vs. 4 wheel luggage

After the soft vs. hard suitcase debate, the 2 wheel vs. 4 wheel is next on the list, and opinions are just as divided…

Missed our feature on Soft vs Hard Suitcase?  – see here

In recent years we have seen a major shift to 4 wheels on all suitcases, and with good reason, on the whole they are easier to manage and better balanced – but a 2 wheel suitcase has some surprising benefits and may be a better choice for some types of travel.

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4 Wheel Suitcases

Major Benefits

  • 4 wheel suitcases are very easy to manoeuvre and manage, particularly if you have more than one suitcase. They are a dream though the airport.
  • 4 Wheel suitcases are better balanced, depending on how you pack, if the weight distribution is out of whack in a 2 wheel case they can tip over, 4 wheel cases don’t have this problem.
  • They require much less effort to ‘wheel’ – as they wheel along beside you rather than being dragged.
  • They can be pushed in front of you – particularly advantageous if you want to wheel your cabin bag or a suitcase on to the plane or a train, they can be turned sideways and fit down the aisle, a 2 wheel suitcase would have to be picked up and carried.

Major Drawbacks

  • The 4 wheels tend to be 360 degree spinner wheels housed in a casing, these are terrific on smooth surfaces like at the airport, but they can really struggle on rough surfaces. If you need to wheel your suitcase on footpaths, roads, dirt roads, cobblestones or over grass, a 2 wheel might be a better option, or look for a 4 wheel case with big, robust wheels particularly on the rear.
  • The 4 Wheels are housed in casings that are completely exposed, 2 wheels tend to be on axles with the wheels sitting quite flush to the case, and the external casings have a greater chance of being broken in transit. They can be quite easily fixed, but not when you’re on the go – and a missing or broken wheel can really slow you down. Look for a case with bigger wheels and a really solid, integrated housing.
  • A 4 wheel suitcase can get away from you pretty quickly if you’re standing on a bit of a slope, and a full large suitcase can pick up speed quickly! Not such an issue in the airport, but imagine yourself loading the family into a taxi at the hotel, and your little one lets your suitcase go, next minute your chasing it down the (hopefully not busy)road!

2 Wheel Suitcases

Major Benefits

  • More often than not, as soon as you’ve left the airport it’s more convenient to pull your suitcase behind you, a 2 wheel suitcase is better suited to this
  • If you need to spend a little time off road 2 wheel suitcases are better equipped – they generally handle cobblestones, dirt roads and footpaths better than a 4 wheel suitcase
  • The wheels tend to break less as they don’t stick out as much

Major Drawbacks

  • If you’re travelling with more than one suitcase it’s near impossible to wheel them both at the same time – 4 wheel suitcases are no trouble. To get around this with a 2 wheel suitcase look for models with a piggy back strap.
  • You generally can’t wheel a 2 wheel suitcase all the way to your seat on the plane as they are too wide for the aisle.
  • 2 Wheel suitcases can tip forward if they are not balanced properly when you pack.

As the quality of the 4 wheels has improved we are seeing less 2 wheel options on the market, as a better quality set of wheels can handle more rugged terrain and stands up to the wear and tear of transit much better. When you’re shopping for your suitcase pay close attention to the wheels and when you test it out, try pushing it and pulling it to make sure it’s a smooth ride however you wheel it.

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So which is best for you?

For the vast majority of travellers 4 wheels are convenient and easier to manage so a great option. However the following considerations should be kept in mind when making your decision;

  • Will you need to wheel your suitcase over rough terrain often? If you are spending a few months on the road in Europe for example, a 2 wheel suitcase may manage the cobblestones a little better.  Or if you’re favourite retreat in Thailand is accessed via a long dirt path make sure the wheels are up to task.
  • If you’re a frequent traveller or do a bit of mixed travel pay close attention to the wheels before you purchase, a 4 wheel suitcase is perfectly suitable but look for a bag where the wheels have notable quality features that are correct for what you need. The ‘double’ wheels (sometimes referred to as 8 wheels) are generally more robust.

 

Our top picks;

4 Wheel Suitcases;

Hard: Samsonite Octolites’

Hard (special Mention): The Delsey Chatelet has great quality wheels but also a brake feature – you can switch it to lock to stop it rolling away from you!

Soft: Victorinox Werks

2 Wheel Suitcases;

Hard: Not Available

Soft: Lipault Original Plume

Offroad: The Osprey range is the ideal 2 wheel backpack and suitcase range for more rugged adventures, see it here

 

 Images via @mysamsonite (second image by Laudine Auborg)

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Around the world with the Osprey Wayfarer | Check-In Out

“After more than one month on the road, these backpacks have our seal of approval and we’re looking forward to many more together” Nat & Bonny from the CHECKIN-OUT travel blog

A few months ago we met the very lovely Nat and Bonny of the travel blog Check In-Out, and conversation quickly turned to their upcoming trip – a gap year spent travelling Europe and Central and South America. After getting over our extreme jealousy talk quickly turned to how they were going to pack for their year abroad and the various adventures they would embark on.
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We have ourselves spent 7 months travelling and knew from our experience that good access into the bag was a must, as was some external pockets and extra clips to strap things on to the outside of the bag. For getting around, it had to be manageable, something that can be easily picked up and carried up stairs, carried for long distances and crammed into tight overhead compartments on buses (or even sit on your lap for a few hours!). And it had to be tough. Bags generally are not put though solid stints of travel – day in and day out for 365 days, normally a bag would be lucky to see that in a lifetime. A broken bag in a remote village – or worse, mid trek can ruin a destination. Our trip was more hotel and apartment stays, Nat and Bonny however are going off road also, so they were looking for a pack.

We steered them to the Osprey Wayfarer 70.  Being designed specifically for women it was a clear stand out in terms of comfort and support for long stretches of bag carrying. This pack would allow them to get from city to city, but it would also allow them to go on the hikes and walks that they were planning, particularly in South America. Osprey packs are also stand outs for their quality, backed with a lifetime warranty, we knew it wouldn’t let them down. 

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Well the girls checked in with us a few weeks ago – they are loving life, loving the trip, loving the bags and have send some photos to prove it (the jealousy monster arose again!) Read all about their thoughts over on their blog.

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To follow their adventures, keep an eye on their Instagram @check.in.out

To find out more about the Osprey range – click here 

Photos by Nat Saggers of Checkin-Out (with thanks!)

Safe Travels!

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Introducing the Delsey Chatelet Hard + Suitcase

Your suitcase style has just been upgraded with the striking leather trimmed Delsey Chatelet

delsey-chatelet-the-luggage-professionals-oh-so-glam-blog

In more recent years Suitcase design has been all about super lightweight technology and material break throughs and sleek go faster aesthetics. The nostalgic romance of travel & luggage has gone out the window with evermore tougher baggage restrictions.  The Delsey Chatelet range stands out from the crowd for its beautiful classic styling, it’s thoughtful and stylish interior and of course all the bells and whistles of modern suitcase design.

Available in 3 colours, Angora, Chocolate & Black, the case features a beautiful tan leather trim (the black case has black leather) and handles. The interior is fully lined with pockets, extra drawstring bags and a coat hanger, and the suitcase itself is made from a durable Makrolon polycarbonate, with double spinner wheels, secure zips and built in locks and a handy brake feature that stops your bag from running away from you when packed.

Already a hit with the style set, Sheree from Gypsy and the Captain, Cait from Southern Curls and Pearls and Christina from Oh So Glam Blog show off their #chateletstyle

(Top Image: Christina Oh So Glam)

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Image via @captainandthegypsykid Instagram

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Images by Caitlin C Souther Curls & Pearls

Shop the Delsey Chatelet Hard + Suitcases HERE, available in cabin, medium & large

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