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!!!

Mother’s Day Harveys Seatbeltbag Free Gift with Purchase

Mothers, where would we be without our mothers?  From the day we were born, our mothers have always been there; through thick and thin our mothers are someone we can always count on. So this Mother’s Day, Irv’s Luggage would like to help celebrate these very important people in our lives, with a Harveys Seatbeltbag free gift with purchase! Between now and Mother’s Day, Irv’s Luggage will be offering a free rosette (a $28 value) with the purchase of several stunning Harveys Seatbeltbags!

The Harveys Seatbeltbags included in this fabulous free gift with purchase offer include:

Harveys Seatbeltbags are extremely tough, reliable and beautiful, just like our mothers!!!  This Mother’s Day surprise her with a terrific handbag from Harveys Seatbeltbag, and throw in the versatile and extremely popular rosette on us!  Happy Mother’s Day from Irv’s Luggage!!!

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 http://blog.tsa.gov/.

Happy and safe trails from Irv’s Luggage!

Spotlight on Irv’s Luggage

At Irv’s Luggage we pride ourselves on our hardworking and dedicated employees. They are passionate about helping customers with their travel and business needs. With their many years of knowledge and experience in the industry, our team helps customers have an enjoyable shopping experience and travel with confidence.

In this post we will be highlighting our Service Manager, Pete Silverman.

Time at Irv’s Luggage – 7 years

Time in the industry- 35 years

What is your favorite current travel item? “The Briggs & Riley U122CX. It is just a great BR-U122CX-4all-around bag”

Your favorite travel destination? “Rocky Mountain National Park. It is a great place for all kinds out outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, climbing, and camping. Just a great place to get back to nature.”

One piece of advice you give to travelers? “Safety is the most important thing for traveling these days. Don’t underestimate the need for items such as money belts and other RFID items and use them the whole trip.”

If you weren’t working for Irv’s Luggage what would you be doing? “I would be a pro basketball player hahaha. Seriously, I would be doing another service type job. I just really enjoy working with the public and helping them with their repair needs.”

LCI-1268-NATWhat are the most common types of luggage repairs? “The most common repairs are wheels, pull handles, and zipper pulls. The good news is that all of these problems are easily fixable.”

What should I do if my luggage is damaged by the airlines? “Immediately go to the baggage claim office right next to the conveyor belt and make a claim. Even though most airlines allow 24-48 hours to make a claim you should do it before you leave the baggage area. Be persistent and don’t take no for an answer.”

Pete is just one of many great employees working hard to assist and support customers at every step of the way, including repairs. If you have luggage that is in need of a repair, please come see Pete during Mt. Prospect’s business hours or give him a call at 847-437-4810. Our employees are here to make customers feel at home and at ease when shopping at Irv’s Luggage.

 

 

 

 

Holiday Road: Your Guide to Summer European Travel

Summer is almost here and that means summer travel. One of the most popular destinations this time of year is Europe, and it’s no question why. With all its culture, cuisine, and beaches it is the summer hot spot. Once your trip is booked it’s a good idea to come up with a packing list. Besides the need to keep your valuables (such as your electronics) safe, what else will I need to take with me? Below are some tips for easy packing.

Safety First

Going to Europe can be a lot of fun and for the most part very safe. However, theft can be an issue in some parts of Europe. For all the attention that electronic theft has been LCI-1267-NATgetting in the media (see this previous blog post for more about RFID) the most common issue is still good old-fashioned pick pocketing. Having your passport stolen and can quickly turn you dream trip into a nightmare. The best way to protect yourself from pick pocketing is to keep your passport, extra cash, and credit cards in a money belt under your clothes. When worn properly, the thieves will never know that you have one on. My advice is to keep only a few essentials in a backpack or purse and everything else should go in the money belt.

Light and Flexible

BR-BP240-44For traveling around Europe the best advice is to pack light. If a carry-on doesn’t have enough room then take one medium (24”-26”) case and either a backpack or a wheeled tote. Having a small item like that is especially great if you’ll be doing lots of walking and sightseeing. Also, European cars tend to be smaller so you will be thankful for the extra room there. If organization is not your strong suit then packing cubes are a life saver!

Other Necessities

Adapters and converters will be needed for your electronic appliances. If you are not ENV-TRB3sure what you need check out this guide. Another great item to have is a daypack for short trips. This a great place to keep a sweater, water bottle, and anything else you might need for the day. If you plan to shop on your trip remember that stores in Europe often don’t have bags, so a foldable shopping tote is a great item to throw in your purse or daypack.

Have fun

Once you have your trip booked and you are all packed up, then it’s time to relax. Studies show that the less stress you have during the trip, the more beneficial you time away from work will be. Make sure to give yourself “off” days on your trip so you can just sit back, relax, and take in an unique culture and just have fun. Bon Voyage.