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.

Adapters/Converters… What you need before you go

One must-have item before you travel overseas is the right adapter or converter. Most countries outside of North America are on a different electricity standard, which requires the use of an adapter/converter. Buying one can seem confusing, maybe even overwhelming at first, but with this handy guide you will be on your way with everything you need.

The first question is what country or countries are you going to. North America, most LCI-AP-EK58of the Caribbean and Central America, and Japan use our plugs so if that is your destination then most likely you don’t need anything at all. However, the rest of the world has different sized plugs and/or different voltage than the United States so you will have to look up the standard of the country you will be visiting. Most travel agents or hotels will be happy to provide you with this information, and Lewis & Clark publishes a handy guide. Be careful though, some countries have more than one standard so you might have to get several types of adapters

TRV-12712-BLKSmall electronics, such as phones, tablets, and e-readers only need adapters, as well as most camera batter chargers and shavers. Laptop computers also only need adapters, but those should be grounded. Hair appliances are a different story though. Some are duo-voltage, but many still are not. Most hotels now have hairdryers and if you usually use a hair curler or straightener maybe consider a hair style for your trip that will not require the use of one (hats always work). If you still feel the need to take one the next step is to determine both the voltage and wattage of your device. It will be on the device usually on the handle or inside. When you get your converter make sure the wattage of your device works with your converter. If you are using more than one item I recommend a high-low converter.

Once you know what you need then it is time to choose what adapter and/or LCI-AE-EK121converter you wish to purchase.  Most people will be fine with a single use adapter. They are the easiest to use and the least expensive. There are also kits available that contain adapters for all over the world or both the adapter and the converter. One other choice is a device that has all the adapters or adapter/converter in one. These tend to be the most expensive and might not work with grounded items (or even in all countries).

If you are still not sure what you need after all this then going to your local travel store (such as Irv’s Luggage) might be a good idea. They are the experts and deal with these questions all day long. I often tell people to bring what they are planning to take with them so I can see what they need and not just guessing. This is the surefire way to make sure you are not stuck with a wrong plug or even worse a burned out appliance.

 

 

Soft luggage: the definitive buying guide

 

Hard-sided luggage seems to get all the attention these days, but the reality is most of us are still buying soft luggage. There are features, such as outside pockets, hanging areas, and expansions that are hard to find in hard luggage yet common in soft luggage. Plus, for those who love to stuff their bag as full as possible, there is nothing like having a bit of flex in our bag.

DEL-40177183006The challenge for the consumer is to understand that not all soft luggage is alike. The materials used in the construction determine the durability of the case. Budget to mid-priced luggage tend to use polyester and higher-end cases tend to use nylon. Polyester is lighter but the material starts to pill then degrade over time. Nylon is heaver but much more durable and ballistic nylon is the heaviest and most durable. Some brands weave nylon and polyester together as a compromise. Therefore, if you are a frequent traveler you should narrow your selection down to nylon.

One nice thing about soft luggage is that some companies, like Travelpro and Briggs & Riley, offer both two and four wheeled options. If you are not sure about which one is right for you please check out this earlier blog. Other features to consider are if you want a suiter in your luggage. A suiter is a place where you can hang a garment rather than folding.

Once you have decided on the size, materials, and features of your desired luggage youBR-ZU121SP-5 might want to look at the warranties. Most luggage companies offer a limited warranty that will only cover defects in manufacturing. However, some companies offer warranties that cover airline damage. This will save you the hassle of trying to file a damage claim after a very long flight. Briggs & Riley is famous for offering this warranty for life on all their products. Other companies, like TravelproVictorinox, and Eagle Creek offer this warranty on some products only and/or have time limits.

One final tip is to make sure you are buying luggage from an established company whose primary business is making luggage. The internet is full of start-up companies that aren’t in a position to support their products or stand behind their warranties. Dealing with a quality luggage retailer such as Irv’s Luggage will help you avoid this situation. If you are not sure about a manufacturer, don’t be afraid to ask. Salespeople are more than happy to help:)

 

 

Hello Muddah Hello Faddah: A Summer Camp Duffel Guide

It might still be cool outside, but summer is not far away. For many kids, this means summer camp time and for parents, time to shop for a duffel. There are many choices and below is a handy guide to simplify the process.

Sleeping under the stars

The first step will be to determine what your camp’s guidelines are. For the classic overnight camps, where the kids will be transported by bus, most camps will require a large non-wheeled duffel bag. In this case the recommendation will be a 40’’or larger duffel bag. Being non-wheeled, it will still be easy to store and your child will be able to use the same bag year after year.

Game on

For specialty camps (such as sports camps), or in the situation where you will be driving TNF-CWV7-KZ3_1your child to camp directly you might want to consider purchasing a large (36’’ or larger) wheeled duffel. The advantage of using this type of duffel will be the maneuverability that having a bag with wheels will offer. Imagine having to carry a 50 LB bag hundreds of feet!!! While a wheeled duffel isn’t quite as easy to store they will usually still fit underneath a bed.

Learning is fun

Older kids nowadays often go to academic camps which are hosted on college campuses. These camps tend to be shorter in duration, but might require flying to your destination. A wheeled duffel is still a good idea for these students; however, you will have to keep in mind airline regulations which are typically 62’’ (this is determined by measuring a bag adding together length plus with plus height) and a max weight of 50 LBS. If you go over this size or weight you might be hit with significant fees by the airlines. If your child needs to take more, then it might be cheaper to ship some items ahead.

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Those who fail to plan plan to fail

Camps almost always provide a packing guide that lists what your child will need for the summer. Once you purchase your bag do a practice pack to make sure everything fits and do it well in advance. If organization is an issue, packing cubes can help. Last minute packing is no fun and finding out the bag you purchased isn’t correct can lead to unnecessary panic. I would try to have your list complete and the practice pack done at least 3-4 weeks in advance.

Final Thoughts

One final tip is summer camp isn’t the time for your son or daughter to bring out their new fashions. Old clothes will be nice and comfy and if they get ruined or misplaced they won’t be missed. At the end of the summer your kid can just throw them away rather than having to repack their items. Remember, simple packing equals more time for fun.