Tag Archives: international travel

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.


Luggage Sets: a Major Do

Wenger SwissGear luggage set

Wenger SwissGear luggage set

Luggage sets. We’ve all seen them and heard about them. What’s the big deal? Is it really worth it? Do I need it all? Yes, yes and yes. We’re taking a minute to highlight the importance and great value of luggage sets, and why you need to put it on your list.

I recently came back from an overseas trip, and packing beforehand was a nightmare. I embarked on an organized group trip that required us to move around. A lot. I knew I wanted to pack lightly, but couldn’t quite fit 12 days into a carry on. I remember wishing I had a good in between sized piece of luggage, but all I had was my trusty carry on roller board and my gone-for-three-months-size ship through. Despite my best efforts, I ended up with the much too large bag which was less than fun to lug through the soft sands of the Israeli desert. If only someone had taught me the importance of owning variously sized luggage. To ensure no one else falls into that trap, I’m making the case for the luggage set. Yes, you need it.

It doesn’t matter if you are 26 or 62, with or without kids or even have a trip planned or not. At some point, you will need the options. The luggage set is ideal because it’s more cost and time effective than buying separate pieces. No need to remember what you have or what you need- you’ll have it all in one well-coordinated place.

Now the question becomes, what brand do I buy? There’s no wrong answer here, and it heavily depends on your current stock and luggage personality. I tend to lean towards classic and timeless, but there are great options for that side and something more fun and creative.

If you’re like me, Wenger SwissGear is your go-to. The traditional designs and colors of the pieces make a statement without being overwhelming. The iconic SwissGear logo instantly exudes the dependability and durability equated with Swiss made products. Each case is equipped with padded laptop compartments and thoughtful organization pockets and straps to ensure hassle free packing and unpacking.

IT Skulls & Roses luggage set

IT Skulls & Roses luggage set

If you’re looking for something with a little more personality, the new Skulls & Roses line from IT Luggage is where you should start. IT luggage is known for its trademark patented lightweight luggage pieces that allow for easy maneuvering through busy airports or city streets. Don’t let the lightweight technology fool you; these cases are put through extreme quality control tests and come out on top.

Be prepared, and plan for the future now. Don’t be that girl dragging a massive suitcase through the desert. I for sure won’t make that mistake…again.






Heys America Luggage Meshes Pop Art and Travel

Heys America Luggage has become a global leader in luggage design with their innovative and original collections. They have created two Limited Edition luggage series, Britto and Fernando Volken Togni. Each collection combines a unique pop art design with the high standard features of all Heys America cases. These designs and patterns transform your luggage into a work of art.

The Heys America Fernando Volken Togni (FVT) Collection is unlike any other. It features three groups; FVT Cities, FVT World, and FVT USA. Togni is a Brazilian-born illustrator currently living in London. His art style is bold and unique. He uses vivid colors and sharp shapes to create a design of organized chaos. Each collection offers a three piece luggage set, such as the Heys America FVT USA 3 Piece Set, that includes 21”, 26”, and 30” uprights. All uprights are also available as single items to better suit your needs or allow you to mix and match. The Cities Collection highlights New York in the Heys America FVT Cities 30” Spinner.

The Britto by Heys America Collection, while also featuring a pop art style, is vastly different from FVT. It is designed by Romero Britto, a Brazilian-born Florida resident with a neo-pop style. Neo-pop combines pop art with graffiti. With this style, he created lively, fresh and happy designs shown on this Britto by Heys A New Day 26” Expandable Spinner. The bright colors stand out on the hardside cases. Like the FVT, this collection includes luggage sets and individual spinner suitcases, along with beauty cases and smaller travel duffels, totes and business pieces.

All Heys America collections are held to a high standard. Each suitcase, made from polycarbonate composite material, is both lightweight and durable, even the Britto by Heys Butterfly Love 30” Expandable Spinner. The impact-resistant and scratch-resistant printed exterior is protected by a layer of clear coat that provides a beautiful, glossy finish. Designed for easy maneuverability, each suitcase has four spinner wheels for an ultra-smooth and effortless 360 degree rolling. All pieces, including the Heys America FVT Cities 21” Spinner, feature a fully lined interior with built-in divider and mesh pocket. Heys included a built-in TSA lock for your safety and a zippered expansion system to provide you with 20% more packing capacity.

Pop art originated in the mid-1950s in Britain and late 1950s in America. The term was invented in 1955 by Lawrence Alloway, a British curator. Characterized by pop culture and consumerism, the concept of pop art refers to the attitude and not the art itself. It often uses images currently used in advertising, such as logos or product labels, comic books, and news. The style is bold, vibrant, and simple, and often features bright colors. Shop Irv’s Luggage for travel goods that are functional and durable as well as reflective of your style and personality.

Best Destinations to Travel to in 2015

Best Destinations to Travel to in 2015

Planning to start 2015 traveling to different destinations and just have the best experiences in your life? Then the following are perfect destinations that would make you prepare your travel backpacks!

  1. Montenegro

This is a unique vacation destination that has been overshadowed by Croatia. For many who are trying to experience a world class travel destination where luxury can be experienced, you’ll want to be sure to bring your anti-theft cross body bags with you to Montenegro.

  1. Lithuania

This is a former country of the Soviet Republic that is located in the eastern area of Denmark and Sweden. Since it will be a part of the Eurozone in 2015, you’ll get the chance to experience Lithuania in the same way European travelers do. There are many attractions within the country, most especially the beaches. To enjoy these places, you should bring your waterproof cases and just enjoy the adventure that awaits you in the latest EU country.

  1. Namibia

Being in its 25th year as an independent country, Namibia is definitely a country considered a jewel in Africa. If you want to appreciate the beauty of the natural environment, then this country is a worthy destination to visit. Don’t forget to bring your travel shoulder bag so that you can carry everything you need with on your excursion into the African landscape.

These are just a few of the perfect destinations that should top your list of places to visit in 2015.

Tips for Traveling Abroad

Anytime you make plans to leave the country, it is wise to take precautions. The U.S. Department of State suggests several things to do before traveling aboard:

  • Register your plans with the State Department so they can better assist you in an emergency
  • Sign your passport and fill in the emergency information requested
  • Leave copies of your itinerary, passports and visas with relatives stateside
  • Check with your insurance regarding coverage outside the country
  • Become familiar with the laws and customs of the country you are visiting and respect them
  • Educate yourself on how to avoid being a victim of a crime while traveling (ex. do not flash jewelry or cash)
  • Contact the U.S Embassy in case of an emergency

For more details visit the U.S Department of State website

Happy and Safe International Travels from Irv’s Luggage!

Share a Travel Experience and Win a Dooney & Bourke Crossbody Bag

We wanted to thank all our friends and followers, so we’ve set up a contest that only our nearest and dearest can participate in. You’re either seeing this blog post because you are a regular visitor to our site (bravo), or you followed the link from our facebook or twitter post (also, well done). Either way, you’re one step closer to winning that prize, and the next part is easy. All you have to do is post a comment to this blog, and we’ll enter you into the contest.

You can write about anything, really. It can be that carry on bag you’ve had since the wedding, and for some reason can’t seem to get rid of. It could be about the 95 year-old man you encountered on a beach in Maui that happened to be the happiest person you’ve ever met. It might be the coffee from that bed and breakfast you came across backpacking through Europe with your friends. It might even just be that smile on your son’s face after showing him that brand new batman backpack you bought him for school…maybe you bought it from us!

Whatever it is, we want to hear about it. It’s just our way of saying thank you for keeping up with us! The winner will be announced on facebook and twitter on Monday Aug. 16. We’ll also e-mail the winner just to make sure he or she knows. The last day to submit your winning comment is Friday Aug. 13. Make sure to post your comment by then, and if you win you’ll be given the choice of the fabulous Dooney & Bourke Nylon North/South Triple Zippered Bag in black or khaki.

This is a great bag for everyday and night; it’s black or khaki, so it goes with everything. The size is a bonus because it’s big enough with tons of compartments to hold everything you’d need for the day, and small enough to be that cute bag you use at night, too. This Dooney would be a great gift for your mom, sister, best friend, or yourself!

Don’t forget to share your favorite travel experience or product with us by Friday Aug. 13 for your chance to win.

Let the games begin!!

Step 3: Everything is Set, So What do you Wear?

Your flight is next week. You’ve packed your new luggage set and called the hotel, hostel, B & B, or wherever you’re staying to confirm your visit. You have a good idea of which days you’ll be hitting up the museum, and what days you’ll spend exploring the city streets. Now, Rick Steves is going to help you with what to bring.

Airlines have put so many price and weight restrictions on luggage that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Here’s a good tip: don’t over pack. Believe me, I know it’s easier said than done, but if you take some time to really think about it, it can make a huge difference. First you have to think about the climate and theme of your trip and destination. Are you going to be hiking and biking in the forest or desert? Are you going to be lounging poolside under the Bora Bora sun? Don’t pack for what you might be doing; pack for what you know you’re going to be doing.

You might also want to take some time to research the culture of your city and what they wear. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a new wardrobe to fit in, but just to work with what you have and be conscious of the already existing fashions. If you’re traveling in the Middle East, remember to be modest in your dressing. If you’re heading to Paris just be aware that it’s are the fashion capital of the world.

There are also some picks that you should always have with you no matter where you’re heading. For example, items such as raincoats, adapters/converters, cameras, and medicine. There’s bound to be that horrible rainstorm you get caught in, or that one vibrant street market you’ll want to show everyone back home.

Basically, do some research, be aware, keep it simple, and always aim for one bag. Your arms and wallet will thank you.

Step 2: What to Say, Where to Sleep, and What to Eat

Okay, so now you know where you’re going, and you’ve started thinking about what you want to do while you’re there. This one’s for you. Rick Steves has all sorts of tips on what to actually plan for while you’re there; with everything from beds to the best sangria, we’ve got the scoop.

There are many points to thank about when deciding on your accommodations abroad. It depends with whom you’re going, what your budget is, and what kind of experience you want to have. Let’s say you’re taking your four kids to Italy. Maybe they’re young, or maybe they already have their own families started. You could stay in a normal chain hotel in the center of a city, and experience the lights, sounds and action first hand. Then again, maybe you want to rent a countryside villa with enough bedrooms for everyone, and a breathtaking view out the window you won’t get in the city. You might be on your honeymoon and want to be served and pampered, or just left alone in a secluded apartment on the river. These are all to be considered when choosing a place to stay.

Next, you should be aware of the language barriers wherever you’re going. Don’t go somewhere assuming everyone you encounter will know English. While many do, many do not and it does add something to the experience when you can communicate a little in the native language. I don’t mean you need to get Rosetta Stone and listen to tapes until your ears fall off. I just mean pick up a pocket dictionary and learn how to say things like: hi, good morning and thank you. Trust Rick Steves and me; these simple things will make the locals more appreciate of you.

Now, the best part. The food! Worry about the gym when you get home, and take the time to eat while you’re traveling. It’s part of the culture, and you’re missing out if you don’t. This doesn’t just mean make a reservation at that swanky French restaurant where Victoria Beckham frequents. I mean walk down a quieter street one evening and try that café filled with locals and yummy smelling bread. That’s really what traveling is all about, anyway. Also be sure to eat the trademark foods, there’s a reason why they’re so popular. If you’re in Italy have gelato everyday. If you’re in Paris have a bakery fresh croissant every morning.

In short, remember to use your dictionary and eat everything you can! Your taste buds will thank you.

Step 3 will be be here tomorrow!

Step 1: How to Start Planning your Trip

Rick Steves. You’ve seen him on TV. You’ve heard him on the radio. He travels everywhere, and dedicates most of his time to helping others travel; whether it’s making luggage lines for them, or writing guidebooks for them, Rick Steves is the name to know in this business. In these three series of blogs about Rick Steves, I will present my research on his best advice, tips and gear.

Let’s start out with the first step in traveling: planning the trip. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a destination. Maybe it’s the aqua blue waters and white sandy beaches of the Maldives, or perhaps you want to explore the trails of Yellowstone National Park. No matter where you’re going, Rick Steves has some tips for getting started.

One of his main points is that no matter how much you can plan, make sure you’re prepared for spontaneity. Ironic, right? It maybe, but it also makes the most sense. You might have saved that hike through the forest for the last day, and you wake up amidst the loudest and strongest storm you’ve ever seen. So much for that hike, but don’t let it ruin the day or your sentiments about the trip. Just find something else to do. Either talk to the concierge at your hotel, or wander the streets and talk to some locals. Another planning aspect to consider is when you’re going to take the trip. Chances are, you’re going to be somewhere during peak traveling season. This means everything is going to be more crowded and expensive. Some advice to avoid the tourist chaos are to hit up the famous spots at off hours; get up early and go first thing…and no, I don’t mean 10 a.m. early. I mean actually early. You can also take some back roads and explore the side streets of wherever you are to avoid all the tourists in the main streets, and you’ll get a more real experience of the city instead of the tourist trap one.

Wherever you’re heading, I hope these tips have been helpful. Happy Traveling, and be on the lookout for step 2!

U.S. Passport Fees Going Up

Starting July 13th fees associated with obtaining U.S. Passports will be going up. An extensive study in 2009 by the State Department determined the true cost of providing passports has risen substantially and per the law these costs must be collected through fees.  Below is a quick summation:

Adult – New Passport  $135 (Up 35% from $100)

Adult – Renewal  $110 (Up 47% from $75)

Minor – New Passport $105 (Up 24% from $85)

To see the full new fee schedule from the Bureau of Consular Affairs visit http://travel.state.gov/news/news_5078.html