Author Archives: Yoel_Frisch

Your guide to international carry-on luggage

When traveling in North America which carry-on you need is simple; a domestic carry-on (22’’-14’’-9’’) is accepted by all the major carriers. However, things get murkier when traveling overseas. While many luggage makers sell international carry-ons there are no set carry-on sizes that each airline takes and very few rules regulating sizes overseas.

If you are flying direct overseas or using connecting flights, things nowadays are TP-4071667-01fairly simple. IATA Resolution 302 states that whoever the marketing carrier is (the company that you booked your flight from) their baggage rules must apply to all legs of your trip. So if your ticket says United, American, or any other major US carrier then your domestic carry-on will suffice. If you are booked on a major international carrier, refer to their website and follow their guidelines.

Things get murkier if you have multiple legs of your trip booked separately, especially if you will be using overseas regional jets.  Each regional airline overseas has a different standard for what qualifies for a carry-on and most have weight restrictions that really limit what you can pack in your suitcase. Please make note of any weight restrictions before packing and I recommend always having a luggage scale.

BR-TD445-47So if you are going be using regional overseas carriers you might have to rethink how you pack. My best recommendation is to consider not using a carry-on at all. For example, if you are going for several weeks and using several regional carriers, then a 25’’-26’’ suitcase plus a backpack, tote, or wheeled tote might be a perfect solution for you. You will have to check a bag either way so a smaller personal bag might be all you need to keep emergency items in.

For student’s studying overseas I really like convertible backpacks, especially ones without wheels. They can be carried either like a LGR-LG43-BLK_4backpack or a shoulder bag and have cinches that allow the bag to be adjusted to your specific needs and they usually weigh less then wheeled bags. My current favorite is the Lite-Gear Travel Pack. It can hold as much as a conventional carry-on and only weighs two pounds.

Finally, as always, less is more when it comes to packing for your overseas trip. Consider taking less then you usually pack, especially when it comes to shoes and accessories. You will be doing a lot of walking so plan on taking your most comfortable and easy to use clothing and shoes. The good news is planning for your trip in advance will help avoid nasty surprises on your trip, and that is something we all can appreciate.

 

Back to School Backpack Guide

At Irv’s Luggage we love The North Face line of backpacks; especially for students. They have to carry around books, electronics, gym clothing, lunch, school supplies and many other items so a quality backpack is a must-have item. The reason we recommend The North Face is because the quality of materials and the affordability they offer is unparalleled. However, they do offer many different lines of backpacks so selecting the right one can be difficult. Below are a few tips to help you out.

TNF-CLH3-X7SThe first step is to pick a size. Generally, The North Face divides their backpacks into two sizing categories, medium and large. In the medium category (30 liters or less) the top sellers are Jester, Pivoter, and Borealis. We recommend the Jester or Pivoter for students who only have to carry a few items with them, because those backpacks use lightweight but less durable polyester materials (see this blog for explanation of materials). The Borealis is a good choice for the student who wants a durable all nylon backpack but doesn’t need the size of the large backpacks.

The most popular large backpacks (over 30L) are the Recon, Surge, and Router. These are perfect for students who have to haul all their books and gear back and forth every day. All three packs feature all nylon construction for extra durability. One thing to consider, if the student is going to be carrying a laptop with them, is that most backpacks are designed for 16’’ or smaller. Only the Surge and Router can fit a 17’’ laptop, so check the dimensions of the laptop before you buy.

TNF-CLH1-WANOnce you have decided on the line, the last decision is color. Black is often very popular because it is very neutral and doesn’t show any dirt. If a student is just using the backpack to get back and forth to school then black might be a good choice. However, if a student has to carry the backpack all day to class then a color will help them to know which bag is theirs, because black is so common.

Because of the quality of The North Face, I recommend that you pick out one that you think will be happy with throughout high school. The backpack, chosen wisely, should be a companion during this journey in life and maybe even the next. School is hard, let’s make going back as easy as possible.

First look: New Briggs & Riley Transcend

When people find out you work for a luggage store their first question usually is, what is your favorite brand of luggage? While we love all brands here at Irv’s Luggage, there always been a soft spot for Briggs & Riley. Not only are they popular with both our employees and our customers, but they are Consumer Reports top rated luggage company. They are the only line of bags to offer such features the Simple As That warranty and an outside pull handle for easy packing. Now for 2017, they have redesigned their Transcend line of luggage.BR-TU422VX-46

So what is different in these new models? In one word; EVERYTHING. Traditionally, the Transcend series was a simple, no frills case for a casual traveler. Now this series has moved upscale. The most obvious change for this new model are new colors (rainforest, merlot, and slate) and a squared off shape. This gives their cases a more modern and luxurious look. This theme is continued inside with an upgraded tan interior that replaces the utilitarian gray color.

However, the biggest change is the redesigned expansion system. Briggs & Riley has gotten rid of the zippered expansion system and replaced it with their new VX variable expansion system. This system uses Velcro to allow the consumer to adjust the expansion to fit their items, rather than a zipper system which is either open or closed. No other luggage manufacturer has a system like this; it is truly one of a kind.br fbr ebr g

Another unique feature that Briggs & Riley offers is matching accessories. Most brands offer maybe a tote and a wheeled tote. However, Briggs has expanded their Transcend accessories to include wheeled totes, a shopping tote, toiletry kits, and new for 2017 a cabin bag and backpacks. All these accessories are available in all three colors and easily fit over the handle of all of their bags. These are must-have items when purchasing your new Briggs.br a

While the Briggs & Riley Baseline series is still the choice for the business traveler, the new Transcend series is a great choice for the frequent leisure traveler looking for a quality bag that is fashion forward. With all these new features it is one of our top sellers. Check out our website today to see all the sizes and styles or stop by one of our stores in Mt. Prospect or Northbrook, IL for a product demonstration. Once you own a Briggs & Riley you will be a loyal for life.

College Luggage and Backpack guide

It’s the time of year every parent dreads; sending your kid off to college. First-time students will need items like backpacks, duffels, and other travel items. All this packing might seem overwhelming at first. However, a bit of planning can prevent the dreaded last-minute panic. Below is a handy guide of what you might need for the new college student.

Backpacks

A backpack in college can serve a very different function than they did in high school. TNF-CHK3-SSWThe days of having to carry all your books and lunch to school are over. The college student won’t have to carry as many books but they probably will want to carry a laptop to class and study groups. Make sure that any backpack you buy has a padded compartment for a laptop. The North Face backpacks have been popular with college students for many years, and still standard issue at many college campuses. For most fashionable students, brands such as Kipling or Knomo might fit their style. For the student who wants to major in business, backpacks that are designed for professional use will be perfect to use for internships and job hunting.

The Weekend

One famous college tradition that hasn’t changed in many years is the road trip. Students will need a bag for coming home or visiting friends at other college campuses. Weekender bags are very popular because they are lightweight and because their designs can hold lots of clothing and accessories. Small, non-wheeled duffels are popular too because of their structured look and durability. If a student will be mostly traveling by plane to get home a carry-on suitcase might be a more practical idea.

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Getting There and Back

If you are going by car then boxes and large duffel bags will suffice. However, if your student will be flying back and forth to school things get trickier. Wheeled duffels are a popular item due to their easy storage (they will fit under most beds). Luggage can be used too but take up more room in small dorm rooms. The next question is size. Duffel bags 34’’ and smaller usually will work with airline regulations as long as they are less than 50 pounds. Larger sized and overweight bags will usually incur extra costs so be careful if you are trying to minimize costs.

Final Thoughts

When I first went off to college over 25 years ago, my family and I had to buy and pack everything I would need to furnish my dorm room. With the advent of the internet and e-commerce now, things can be ordered beforehand and shipped to the school on the day they will arrive. This will save you from having to physically bring everything and speed up the moving process. Sometimes things do change for the better.

Traveling overseas on budget, a how-to guide

 

Did you know that half of all Americans don’t use all of their vacation time? One of the reasons people give for not using their vacation time is they think they can’t afford it. Irv’s Luggage has always worked with our customers to find them the best values for travel and we believe that fun vacations are available in all price ranges.

Saving Money on Luggage

If you haven’t traveled much then you might need to get some new luggage. The good IT-1528082025-S619news is that decent luggage doesn’t have to cost you much. Luggage sets are a good idea if you are planning many different types of trips, and buying them together will save you money. If that is still too pricey Irv’s Luggage almost always has closeouts that are a great value. If you live near the Mt. Prospect, IL area, stop into our store to check out the clearance section for special deals.

Getting there

The first thing to plan is where you’re going. A good way to start is to research flights and see what’s in your budget. One idea is to travel off-season. For example, Europe is very popular in the summer, so waiting to go in the fall can save you money on flights, hotels, and attractions.

Staying there

hostelThis is the tricky part. There are all types of options depending on your budget and how adventurous you are. If you are traveling alone and up for anything then couch surfing or a hostel could work. If you have a travel partner or a group, then you can look at using such sites as Airbnb to rent a room or an apartment, at a lesser price then a hotel.

Eating and getting around

The best way to save money on your trip on is to live like a local. Stay away from the outdoortouristy parts of town and seek out where locals like to eat and how they get around. I would stay away from popular areas and takes buses rather than more expensive trains or planes. For a group renting a car might be an option too.

Final words

Look at budget travel as part of the adventure, not as something that you have to do. You will have a chance to meet people and see parts of the country that most first class travelers will never see. So get out there and see the world.

 

Affordable Animal Friendly Fashion Handbags

I love handbags; I love all the fabulous colors, styles, textures and shapes!!!  However, I do not love the big price tags that accompany them. That is why I am a huge fan of Big Buddha Handbags.  Big Buddha has a wonderful selection of very stylish, very fashionable bags at very affordable pricing. Gorgeous satchels, cross body bags, hobos and totes that look like designer handbags but are priced at a fraction of the cost.  What makes these bags so affordable is the vegan leather they are made from;  a leather-like material that not only looks and feels like real leather but is what some would call  “politically correct leather” because of the way it is produced. The manufacturing of vegan handbags does not involve the hides of any particular animal.  All the components of vegan leather are man-made……. therefore another great reason to love Big Buddha Handbags besides their chic looks and incredible pricing, is their “animal friendly” make-up!

Some of the top selling Big Buddha Handbags include:

The Big Buddha Mia Satchel – With its’ over-sized bow and unique feminine satchel shape, that includes a convenient shoulder strap, the Mia is one of our best selling Big Buddha bags to date. A versatile handbag (available in red, black, blue and grey) that works for both formal occasions and casual every day. A handbag that gives you a very feminine lady-like look with a vintage feel and a whole lot of modern day appeal as well!

The Big Buddha Adele Cross-Body Bag – The vegan leather of the Adele is incredible.  With an authentic snake-like appearance, the Adele will fool even the most sophisticated handbag connoisseur. Smart yet elegant tassels, a removable, adjustable shoulder strap (with drop down length of 38” – 43”) and a multitude of slip and zippered pockets, the Adele has just about everything a girl could ask for in a cross body and more!

The Big Buddha Brianna Tote Bag – You will love the metallic gunmetal sheen of the convertible tote / cross-body Brianna! With the Brianna, Big Buddha has truly mastered the art of vegan leather design. The Brianna’s textured exterior is so unique and fun that it is perfect for almost any outfit; a great year round bag for all with tons of space!!

The Big Buddha Courtney Zig Zag Hobo – The latest version of the Courtney was just released in  bronze and it is super cute!  The mixed metallic coloring, the fun zig zag design and the big slouchy hobo shape is terrific.  This is one bag that pictures cannot do justice to. A really unique looking bag that will definitely stand out from the pack if you are one of those handbag consumers looking for something special and unique in your handbag!!

With Big Buddha you are not only getting a dazzling “leather-like” handbag for a lot less money, you are also purchasing from a manufacturer that is not contributing to an industry where cows, pigs, or other exotic animals (alligators and snakes) are put in harm’s way for the sake of fashion!  Check out Big Buddha Handbags at Irv’s Luggage today!!!

The Return of Lady Like Structured Handbags

Handbag news flash!!  While the latest handbag styles have trended toward large slouchy bags with big chunky hardware, grommets & more; we are now seeing a resurgence of the more “lady-like” structured handbags.

Like anything in the fashion industry, if you hold onto something long enough it will eventually come back into vogue.  Redolent of the purses our mothers and grandmothers toted around these bags have a vintage feel with a modern twist; they are newly improved and hotter than ever!!!

Some great examples of these revived handbags with fabulous 21st Century style include:

  • The Dooney & Bourke Florentine Flap Satchel:  The Flap Satchel has a very traditional form reminiscent of the structured handbags of the past, but what is different and better about this handbag is the leather. The Florentine’s Vachetta leather is casual, yet elegant, with a rich beautiful texture that is both natural looking and sophisticated, and with a patina that becomes more and more beautiful with age. The stunning but subtle gold hardware Dooney has chosen, adds a distinguished elegance without overpowering the bag; less is truly more in this case, wow!
  • The Big Buddha Mia Handbag:  With its’ bell-like shape, distinguished handles, zipper closure and big bow on the front of the bag, this new style from Big Buddha epitomizes the lady-like trend. It has a distinctive shape that is both soft and feminine. The long shoulder strap that comes with the bag gives you the option of wearing it cross body, adding a lot of versatility to this bag for the modern woman on the go!
  • Harveys Seatbelt Bags Stella Hobo:  Although it does have the name hobo attached to it, there is not much ‘hobo’ in this handbag!  With a feminine teardrop shape that comes in both small and large sizes, and elegant silver hardware; this satchel style handbag brings you back to the 1950’s and 60’s with a great vintage look that is a little retro, very functional, indestructible and super chic.

I believe absolutely in the power of women today; we can do and be anything we choose. I also believe that we, as women, can still be exquisitely feminine no matter what we do, and that we should embrace that part of ourselves. So jump on board and try out this latest fashion craze, lady-like handbags….. Mom and Grandma would be proud!!!