Category Archives: Travel News

Keeping you informed of the latest travel news. We welcome any information or opinions you might have regarding the industry!

How to Travel Like a Rock Star

Traveling and stress seem to go hand in hand these days. Having a great carry-on suitcase helps, but what about dealing with headaches like long lines, dashing terminal to terminal, the dreaded TSA inspections, and waiting for your checked luggage at the carousel? By the time you get to your destination you are exhausted. There ought to be a better way to travel. Well, there is, and the good news is that you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to travel like one. Here are a few suggestions.

BAGS Video StillsImagine arriving at your travel destination and your luggage is already there waiting for you. Shipping your luggage ahead is a great way to travel, especially when you are traveling internationally and/or traveling with sporting equipment, like skis or golf clubs. The company that you contract will pick up your items and hand deliver them to your destination. A plus is that they have insurance if something gets misplaced. Just make sure you are dealing with a reputable company and check online reviews. Here is an article that will help you get started.

Want to avoid all the issues with flying commercial? Then a private jet is for you and itPrivate-Jet-Charter-Priority-One-Jets-e1464293444844 might be more affordable then you think. Traveling in a group? Online searches can help you find a charter plane that might not end up costing you much more than a 1st class flight on a commercial flight, especially for shorter distances. Another option if you fly quite a bit is to look into one of those private membership airline clubs. Just make sure they handle destinations that you usually go to. As always, make sure to read online reviews and talk to current members to get feedback.

Most of our trips are now booked online and that works great, however, if you are flying to an out of the way place or planning a complex trip then you should consider a local travel agent. A good place to start your search for a travel agent is the American Society of Travel Agents. No matter how you find your travel agent make sure you are comfortable with them. Do they call you back? Do they seem knowledgeable about your destinations? Are they making sure that you have all the travel documents you need?

Lastly, a good luggage store such as Irv’s Luggage will be able to help you with your travel goods. We have the knowledge to make sure you have the right luggage for your trip and all your travel accessories and have the knowledge of what you need for every destination in the world. Feel free to stop in any of our stores or give us a call and we would be happy to assist you.

These tips and tricks can help avoid the headache that is travel today and might not even cost as much as you think. If nothing else it is worth checking out, especially if you are planning a once in a lifetime special trip. After all, great memories are priceless.

FYI Radiation and the TSA

The harmful effects of radiation exposure is all over the news due to the crisis in Japan; but it is also a topic of discussion at the TSA.  While the presence of x-ray technology in many US airports is hopefully, helping to prevent acts of terrorism in our skies, it may also be posing a risk to public safety with over exposure to radiation; a possible health threat to frequent travelers and airport personnel who have daily contact with these machines.

To address these concerns, the TSA has recently released a report on the results of radiation testing and outlined the safety procedures performed on these machines to ensure the “radiation emitted falls within applicable standards”.  To get all the details visit the TSA blog at

Happy and safe trails from Irv’s Luggage!


Budget airlines, ah the headache. Tight seats, no frills, and strict baggage guidelines. To make things worse, now Spirit Airlines is changing their guidelines for a personal item once again. Gone is the 16”x14”x12” sizing and now starting on April 4, 2017 the new size will be 18”x14”x8”. The downside is your old bag might now be useless and you will be losing 2’’ of packing space. The upside is now Spirit and Frontier Airlines have the same standards for personal items.


The dilemma is whether to purchase this new sized bag or use a conventional carry-on and pay the extra fees. Several factors will come into play. For example, how often do you fly these budget airlines? Also, how many days will your trip be? If you are going to be flying these airlines  more than a few times a year and for short trips (1-2 days) then investing in a new personal sized bag might be a good idea. However, if you are only going to be using the bag once or if your trip will require a few changes of clothes then this personal sized bag might not work for you.

If you are going to be using a full sized carry-on for your trip, make sure to build the cost of that for that into your trip. The cheapest time to pay for the baggage fees when you book your trip. For example, if airline A’s round-trip flight is $350 including a carry-on bag and airline B’s is $300 but will cost $35 for a carry-on each way then the real cost of airline B’s ticket is $370. So, you would end up paying more for that budget ticket.

One last tip is that sometimes it is cheaper to check a bag than carry-on according to Spirit Airline’s website. If you aren’t in a hurry this might be a great way to save a few dollars. Just make sure to take a small backpack or tote with emergency items…. just in case.



Free Antler Carry on! Limited time only.

The Carry On Goes Free!

Irv’s Luggage Highlight – Atlantic Compass Unite Expandable Spinners

The Atlantic Compass Unite Expandable Spinner from Irv’s Luggage is an impressive line of luggage.  It is full of features, perfect for family travel  and people on extended stay vacations.  Also available in blackThe Features:

  • Link2Go™ system connect luggage back to back with Velcro straps and roll two pieces with just one hand, or comfortably roll four pieces at once!
  • 360-degree 4-Wheel Spinners
  • Durable crash-guard wheel housings, skid bars and corner guards
  • Built-in zippered wet pocket
  • Adjustable interior hold-down straps
  • Removable hanging laundry or shoe bag
  • Locking retractable handle has two stops at 38” and 41”, providing a comfortable grip for users of different heights
  • Integrated accessory clip on top carry handle

The best part is the Link2Go™ system; you can attach two pieces of Atlantic Compass Unite spinner luggage together and roll them as one piece.  The spinner wheels assure the upright movement of the luggage, so you can keep one hand free or for your child if they travel with you.  For parents and travelers on the go, this is one way to make life much easier rolling through an airport.

Link2Go System!

Regardless of size, a carry on with Link2Go will fit against a larger piece with Link2Go technology.


Link2Go System




Atlantic Compass Unite

The included laundry/shoe bag helps keep your clothes separated as necessary, and the accessory clip makes for an extra hand when needed.  Atlantic Compass certainly thought of everything with this spinner luggage, and it shows.   Also an expandable luggage, you’ll have the space you need for what you leave with, and what you bring back.


Factor in the tough poly fabric and 10 year warranty, this is an innovative and useful piece for all travelers.  The Atlantic Compass Unite Luggage is available in 21″, 25″, 29″, and tote sizes at our guaranteed low prices, make your summer travel a lot easier when you travel united.

Luggage Sets, get your Discount Luggage Sets!


It’s one thing to buy a single piece of luggage to travel, but there will come a day you will need a full luggage set.  Enough toiletries to last a month, clothes and shoes of a number of varieties, and in this day and age possibly a lot of gadgets, chargers, and so on.  Luggage sets, while initially a bit pricey, pay off in the long-term by giving you everything you need at once as opposed to buying luggage piecemeal, and consistently designed luggage is easier to keep track of when traveling.  Not that there’s a shortage of companies that make luggage sets.  Samsonite, American Tourister, and Heys USA all make luggage sets, and at Irv’s Luggage you can guarantee the price you’re paying for it is the lowest one out there.

HEY-NA650-3PCHeys USA Luggage sets are some of the best lightweight luggage sets out there.  Their Britto by Heys spinner luggage set is hard to miss, and its hardside polycarbonate shell ensures its durability in addition to being light to carry and easy to move.  It comes with a 12” beauty case; a 19” carry on, as well as a 23” and 25” piece of luggage. Whatever you need for an extended stay, it’s safe to say you could bring it with you.  Or bring a lot of souvenirs back.  Currently Britto is 50% off at Irv’s Luggage as well, down from $2,120.00 making it one of our best discount luggage sets.




American Tourister Fieldbrook Luggage Sets come in 2 or 4 pieces, and are another great lightweight luggage set offering. Made of tough polyester and with multiple, this is a steal at 55% own from MSRP from its already everyday low price.  American Tourister Luggage is certainly a great brand to look at when you’re on budget.



Finally, one does not simply write about luggage sets without mentioning Samsonite.  The luggage heavy hitter offers a couple of hardside luggage sets in its popular Winfield 2 and Gravtec models, and while these lack totes they have dual spinner wheels and a polycarbonate shell to withstand the roughest terrain and calamities, as Samsonite is known for.  Starting at $347.99, Samsonite luggage sets truly provide some bang for your buck.

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Spring Travel – American Tourister Spinner Luggage & Anti-Theft Accessories!

As the weather warms up, the wanderlust is unavoidable.  You feel the need to travel, to go and see something new!

AT-60429-2575Make sure you’ve made the right choice with American Tourister Luggage.  With a variety of wheeled carry on luggage, spinner luggage,  and luggage sets, American Tourister is sure to have just what you need and Irv’s Luggage carries it.

We now have the American Tourister Colora Collection as well. Thanks to the spinner wheels, this piece is incredibly mobile.  Its vibrant colors assure how easy it is to spot and gives it a sense of of fun, along with plenty of room to pack for your trip.

After you’ve picked your luggage, packing comes next.  There’s the tried and true ECR-EC41196-BLS“rolling” method to save space, but recent experience has taught me the majesty of packing cubesEagle Creek has a wide variety of packing solutions to keep your clothes folded neatly, (especially when it comes to button down dress shirts) your socks and undergarments organized and together, and your shoes covered and separated from the rest of your clothes.  Everything is clean, fits together, and saves you on wasted space which could lead to additional check bag fees.  These packing cubes can also organize your personal electronics and toiletries, an invaluable aspect when you really don’t want to lose anything.

And when you’re not just looking at the luggage, you have to keep in mind your personal effects.  When you travel, make sure you travel safely.  Pacsafe Smart Travel Gear offers a number of solutions to protect your personal effects when traveling, especially during the popular travel seasons, when it’s easy to find yourself a target for theft.  RFID-blocking wallets, and anti-theft bags with slice-proof panels and straps, mesh camera bag protectors, we carry a myriad of options to help you make sure your personal effects remain personal.


When all is said and done, enjoy your vacation to the fullest.  Preparation only goes so far before it begins to diminish the joy of getting away from it all.  Conversely, it does not pay to be reckless and lose common sense and self-awareness when on vacation.  Be safe and be smart, but most of all make as many memories as you can.

Luggage: Your Constant Companion

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” as the saying goes.  To me, it begins not just with a single physical step, but when you make the choice to go, and what goes with you.  Upright luggage, carry on luggage, ultimately it’s your best friend or your worst enemy if you choose poorly.  Your suitcase is your first traveling companion, before you’ve even decided on any people you’re going on your trip with.  It’s your most consistent and reliable companion at that.  Plans change, availabilities come and go, flights get delayed, but your luggage stays with you, except in the most extreme of circumstances.  It’ll hold your gear and keep it safe, might even be a chair in a pinch.  Choose wisely, and I suggest starting with Heys USA Luggage.  With their designs and reputation, you don’t have to look through too many luggage reviews to find one that suits you.

If you’re a traveler from outer space or someone looking for a weekend getaway, you might need expandable luggage or a leather duffel bag, and you want to be ready.  It’s a tenuous balance!  Too much, and it’s cumbersome.  Too little, and you’re turning your underwear inside out with another week to go.  Your luggage will be there for you to provide fresh clothes and the amenities necessary to make you feel human again where ever you go.  The expression to live out one’s suitcase isn’t just an offhanded statement, travel luggage is your home away from home, why not make the best of it?

Heys USA Luggage offers spinners, hardside cases, fun designs, even computer cases.  You can peruse our abundant selection on or visit us directly at our Northbrook or Mount Prospect locations.  That way, you get a personal touch from our knowledgeable employees that will help you find what you want, get what you need, and send you off where you’re going to go.  If your luggage has been through some tough times, we’ll take care of it with one of the largest luggage repair centers in the Midwest and it will look good as new.  You take care of your luggage and it will take care of you.

Irv's Repair Center

Our own repair center, serving crews and the community.

10 Most Unusual Objects Found in Luggage

Have you ever wondered what people pack in their luggage when they are traveling? Usually it’s just clothes and travel accessories, but sometimes people pack artificial legs and a camera designed for a NASA space shuttle. That may seem strange, but those things were actually found in luggage bags! Here are the 10 most unusual objects found in luggage:

  1. Corn snake – A TSA screener discovered a three-foot corn snake while conducting a search of a checked luggage bag. The snake was alive and would have gone on a flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Sacramento, California if not discovered. The owner of the bag said she did not know how the snake got into the luggage. She was allowed to board her plane, but she received a $5,000 citation for illegally transporting, possessing and harboring a snake. She didn’t know how it got in there? Really?
  2. Barbie doll filled with $500 – What happens when airlines can’t find the owners of unclaimed luggage? The airlines send the unclaimed luggage to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama. People can visit the Center and buy the items that were found in the luggage. A woman bought a Barbie doll for her daughter at the Unclaimed Luggage Center. The daughter pulled the head off the Barbie doll and $500 in rolled bills fell out of the doll’s body. Why doesn’t that ever happen to me?
  3. Ancient Egyptian artifacts – Several ancient Egyptian artifacts including a mummified falcon and a shrunken head were discovered in an old Gucci suitcase. The items dated back to 1500 B.C. and were sold at Christie’s auction house in the 1980s. Actually kind of cool.
  4. Naval guidance system – A Naval guidance system for a F16 fighter jet worth $250,000 was discovered in an unclaimed luggage bag. The GPS was later returned to the Navy.
  5. Tiger cub – The Airports of Thailand staff at a Bangkok airport saw an object that appeared to be a real animal on their x-ray images after scanning a bag. The bag was inspected by officers from livestock and wildlife departments and they found some stuffed tiger toys and a sedated two-month-old tiger cub. Glad he was sedated or that could have been really interesting!
  6. Baby crocodiles – A Saudi passenger’s suitcase was inspected by officials at his departure gate in Cairo, Egypt after their X-ray machine gave odd readings. The officials found baby crocodiles, chameleons, and several snakes inside the suitcase. The 22-year-old man said he did not know he was not allowed to bring reptiles on the plane and he claimed was transporting them to a Saudi university for research. The man was allowed on his plane, but the reptiles were turned over to the Cairo Zoo because it is illegal to transport live reptiles out of the country in Egypt. Gee, really?
  7. Land mines – Three land mines were found in a woman’s luggage at an airport in New Jersey. The land mines were the same type of explosive used during the Vietnam War. The woman told security that she was attending an explosives demonstration. She was allowed to re-book her flight to San Francisco, but the land mines were not allowed on the plane. Has she been in a time warp? 9/11 — hello….
  8. 10lb frozen turkey – Airport security officers at Cardiff Airport in Wales stopped a passenger who tried to fly to Spain with a ten pound frozen turkey in his carry-on luggage. The man said he tried to fly with the Turkey because he was worried that he wouldn’t be able to find a turkey for his holiday meal in Spain. I admire this man’s preparedness. He must have been a boy scout.
  9. Five foot, ten inch man – A man was found in a luggage bag in Spain after a shuttle bus company employee noticed a man struggling to put a heavy suitcase into the cargo bay of a bus and alerted the authorities. The bus was traveling from the Girona airport to Barcelona. This was not the first time the man was in a suitcase and he would steal from other bags in the cargo bay during bus rides. The police had been alerted by bus passengers who noticed items were stolen from their bags after they got off the bus.
  10. Roasted human fetuses – A British citizen was arrested in a Thailand airport because six roasted human fetuses were found in his luggage.  The man said the fetuses were worth around $6,300 and he was going to sell them in Taiwan where they are considered to be lucky charms. Not your average barbeque fare, that’s for sure. This one is not only very strange, it’s also over-the-top gross!

Have you or someone you know packed anything stranger in your luggage? We’d love to hear your story!

How to Beat the Luggage Weight Limit

A vacation is a luxury that is getting more and more expensive. Airline tickets alone are quite costly and can put a large dent in an already pinched travel budget. So the last thing one needs when traveling by air is the additional cost associated with overweight luggage, luggage fees. Below are some tips to help keep your luggage within the airlines’ allowed weight limits and thus avoiding this additional expense on your next trip:

  • Pack lightweight, versatile, washable clothing including Ex-Officio Travel Wear.  Choosing lightweight black clothing is an especially great choice because it can easily be dressed up or down and is terrific at hiding the dirt.
  • Everyone has their favorite toiletry brands but using only travel size bottles that easily fit in cosmetic bags and toiletry kits is a must!
  • Limit the pairs of shoes you bring (make sure they are comfortable too). Wear a versatile pair of shoes on the plane and pack only one additional pair (if you have to).
  • Wear or tie around your waste a versatile coat or sweater and do not pack any additional ones.
  • Bring jewelry, scarves, and ties to mix-up your wardrobe; leave all that additional clothing at home. Travel jewelry cases and tie cases allow for easy packing.
  • Never bring a blow dryer as almost all hotels now provide them on site.
  • Lay what you want to bring out on your bed and then put half of it back (only bring your absolute necessities and  favorites, you will be happy to wear them several times anyways).
  • Buy a luggage scale and do not leave home until you are under the limit and please do it the night before so you do not miss your flight!
  • Finally, the best way to avoid luggage fees is to pack light enough to only need a carry-on bag! I am sure many of you ladies are rolling your eyes right now, like that will ever happen; but remember less is more……or at least less expensive!!!

The more money you save on this trip, the more money you will have for your next one!!!  Ahhh traveling truly is the spice of life!!!

Happy lightweight trails from Irv’s Luggage!