Travel Destinations

As February winds down and the winter season continues to bring cold weather and plenty of precipitation, we know it is never too early to begin planning a fun filled trip in March to celebrate the end of the cold season. A trip full of fun in the sun, good friends or family, and away from the office, Of course we are talking Spring Break. For this month’s entry we want to take a lighter approach, allow us to show off some great photos and destinations to get your mind off the cold of today and thinking to the warm adventures of tomorrow. Great destinations for spring break families, What to pack on your trip, and of course how to balance Work vs. Play. So strap on the flip flops, put on your favorite Beach album, and sit back as we dive into this weeks entry.

 

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1. Family Friendly Destinations

We know the stereotypical thoughts that occur when you think of Spring Break. We know a lot of people picture MTV, Drunk and disorderly college students, and that terrible Selena Gomez Movie. Well I am here to tell you that luckily, there is a lot more to Spring Break than the list above. Spring Break offers the perfect opportunity to get away from the crazy fast paced life that you have at work or school by taking the time to focus instead on rest and relaxation. For the family looking to avoid the large crowds and loud noises that are seen on tourist friendly beaches, this might be the best chance you have to try your first annual family cruise. With great rates for the entire family, Cruise lines are becoming more affordable and more family friendly than ever. Looking for a life experience your family will remember forever, get to the Grand Canyon in early Spring to beat the Summer time rush and get to see the Majestic Canyon before the summer months bring the high temperatures and flocks of tourists. Permits are required for overnight stay but the life experience make the cost worth every penny. Come see one of the nations most prized natural treasures first hand, or if you are feeling really adventurous, rent a donkey and go for a cliff side ride that you will stay in your mind forever. Just be sure you have high quality travel bags that are made for the rough and tumble travel that accompanies life outdoors, I recommend Eco-Friendly Kontiki Luggage due to its high degree of durability, Dependable Safari Styling, and National Geographic’s commitment to Adventure and Travel.

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2. What to Pack

When packing for your trip there are a few rules that you must follow to ensure you stay organized and do not forget any necessities. First and foremost, MAKE A PACKING LIST. This is the simplest and most efficient way to be sure you remember everything, not only when you leave your home, but also when you pack to come back. Having a helpful visual aid to ensure you don’t leave your lucky T-Shirt under a pillow is easy, efficient, and will save you tons of money and clothes in the long run. After you make the list, the must haves are up to you, But let us help get you started with a few no-brainers:

-A Swimsuit

b9905de0e10616e299e035717806ff2a-A Travel Bag you Trust

-Pajamas

-INEXPENSIVE Sunglasses (the first time you drop them in the sand you will thank us)

-Another Swimsuit

-Comfy T-Shirt (2)

-Toiletries (Tooth Brush, Soap, Contact Solution, Lotion, Dental Floss, etc.)

-A Separate Water Resistant Toiletry/Accessory Bag

-Flip Flops/Sandals

-Beach Towel

-Dress/Nightlife Clothes (3-5 Full outfits, no more unless you plan on going to fashion week)

-Sun Screen

-Phone Charger

-Another Beach Towel

-Workout Outfit (1)

-Pair of comfortable sneakers for walking or recreational sports (1)

-A Hoodie/Sweatshirt you are prepared to get dirty, sandy, or wet

-A Smile

3. Combining Work & Play

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Combining work and play during your spring break may seem like a hassle but take it from us, with all the modern conveniences we have today it is much easier than you think to stay connected and run a virtual office from just about anywhere. Seeing the opportunity to market to an emerging group of younger professionals who have positions that require frequent travel and constant connectivity, many of today’s leading brands offer safe and dependable bags for any job you may have. Need a Guarantee that your bag will last, The Briggs & Riley @work Medium Slim Brief offers the industry leading Simple As That Lifetime Warranty that you love from Briggs & Riley with all the modern features you need in today’s electronic driven world. Looking for something a little more trendy, The Oakley Works Computer Bag may be just that. With plenty of interior benefits such as the padded laptop sleeve, interior organizer, and tablet pocket, it is easy to see why this option is much more than simply a cool looking laptop case. Sleek and stylish, show off your professional outlook while staying true to your self with this extremely Dependable bag from Oakley that is casual enough for any vacation destination but has all the features you need to stay connected whether your at the beach, on the slopes, or anywhere your Wanderlust may take you.

 

 

If anyone has any questions, comments, concerns, or simply wants to add anything, feel free to do so below. We hope everyone is having a Great Month, Travel Safe!

 

 

Photo Credit:

treehugger.com

zimfamilycockers.com

technorati.com

 

 

 

 

Hello, Good morning, Good Afternoon, Good Evening, or even possibly goodnight. No matter what time zone you are in or where you are reading this, it is about that time for our Weekly Travel Blog. With the release of the 4th annual 2014 LonelyPlanet.com Top Travel Destinations, it got us thinking, what if your ready to travel, but not quite ready to go out of the country? Maybe you’re new to traveling and excited about the prospect of a first time experience, maybe your New Years Resolution was to see more of the USA, or maybe you just simply want to get a break from your regular routine. Whatever the reason we applaud your adventurous spirit, we would like to reward your travel tenacity by sharing  our list of the Top 7 Domestic Destinations to check out in 2014, So sit back, relax, enjoy and remember “A Journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” -Lao Tzu 

*Insider Traveler Tip: Buy Tickets in Advance to save hundreds on ticket cost

1. Boston, MA

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Starting off in the North East, Boston Mass, has been one of the most influential and exciting cities in the USA since the 1700’s. A big tourist destination for a large number travelers, Boston is particularly special to fans of American history, American baseball, the story of our Independence, and of course, for people who want to see the biggest St. Patricks day Party in the States. 2014 however, marks the year of Boston Strong. This mantra was adopted by the city after the tragic events that occurred during the 2013 Boston Marathon. In honor of the tragedy and the deaths of 3 innocent victims, Boston is planning on holding the 2014 Race to showcase the city’s fighting spirit, toughness, and most of all to show the world that they will never let anyone take away their freedom in the city they love and call home.

2. Central Coast, CA

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Coming in second, is the beautifully diverse and unspoiled Central Coast of California. Long been seen as a fly over location due to being almost directly between LA (200 Miles away) and San Francisco (220 Miles away), the Central Coast has been growing each year due to its beauty, culture, weather, and of course, the friendly people.  Beautifully laid out, the central coast has something for everyone no matter what kind of scenery you enjoy. Described by the locals as half beach bums, half cowboys, with a nice mix of winery fans, the central coast is a great melting pot of many differing cultures. For the beach lovers, Pismo and Avila Beach are great options for some fun in the sun for the entire family. Looking for a more rural setting,  Paso Robles, Lopez Lake, and Huasna Valley are all great places to see scenery and enjoy the great ranches California has to offer. See Edna Valley for the best Wineries in California next to Nappa.  Many travelers have even gone so far as to say that they prefer Edna Valley due to the friendly culture, lack of pressure on tourism, and especially the lack of traditional wine snobs. Avoid the big city bustle, and instead come check out the Laid Back atmosphere California is known for.

3. New Jersey

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Looking to bounce back in a big way, New Jersey seems to be pulling out all the stops in 2014 to get travelers to the Garden State. Kickoff 2014 Literally, and metaphorically, with Super Bowl XLVIII in Metlife Stadium home of the New York Giants in East Rutherford. Not a big sports fan, no problem, for fun for all ages look no further than the legendary Jersey Shore. Trying to rebuild after two years of heartbreak courtesy of Hurricane Sandy and a blaze that almost destroyed the boardwalk, The Jersey Shore is using 2014 to show off their cities resilience and dedication to the boardwalk they love. Affordable, easily reachable by plane or car, and fun for the entire family, be sure to put New Jersey on your list of places to see in 2014.

4. Yosemite National Park, CA

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2014 marks not only the year of the Horse, but it also marks the 150 year Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act first enacted in 1864. The Grant, which established the boundaries and protected the wild land for life, is one of the most historically significant grants ever established and is a testament to our love of the outdoors. Come see the events, programs, and fun filled activities that are planned for the celebration and be happy you broke away from your traditional routine this year. Put down the tech and let mother nature show you why the greatest images in life, never come off a computer screen.

5. Washington DC

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Still feeling the sting from the recent government shutdown, Washington DC is looking ahead to 2014 as a chance to start fresh and bring some new and positive energy into the Nations Capital. No longer the cellar dwellers of the past, DC Sports today have been on the upswing in recent years, The Capitals, The Wizards, and the new upstart Washington Nationals are all sure to be competitive this season. An affordable sporting event to see live, You can catch a Capitals NHL Game and see one of the worlds best players, Alexander Ovechkin, while not breaking the bank to get good seats. Not a sports fan, check out The Smithsonian Museums and National Monuments to touch up on your American History. See the Iconic Lincoln Memorial, Climb to the Top of the Washington Monument, and even get a White House Tour by the Secret Service, you can do it all and much more in 2014 in our Nations Capital.

6. Denver, CO

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One of the most forward thinking and progressive states in the country, Colorado is bracing itself for a huge year in 2014. Making headlines for their recent passing of the law for the legal sale of Marijuana, Colorado is much more than simply a place to go for new laws. Cited as one of the most important cities in the Beer Renaissance of today, Colorado is a Craft Beer lovers Mecca. Due in large part to the many craft breweries that line downtown, Denver is also the site of the annual Great American Beer Festival held each Fall. Looking for activity, Denver not only hosts some of the best sports teams in Colorado, they are hosting the 2014 International Lacrosse Championship. Come see one of America’s fastest growing sports host it’s Annual Championship and see best in the world talent, at bottom of the barrel prices.

7. Florida

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Make 2014 the year to enjoy the beautiful beaches, great people, and phenomenal cuisine that makes the sunshine state of Florida one of a kind. More affordable than ever for a family vacation, the average hotel rates in 2014 are down 7% compared to 2013. Be the first to check out brand new rides at the two most popular parks in the United States. Disney World & Universal Studios, both plan to roll out brand new additions to their parks in 2014 that are sure to excite even the most experienced thrill seeker. Too old for parks, Ultra Fest in Miami Florida is known as one of the, if the THE biggest electronic music festival in the world. Too old for those, Don’t worry, Florida still has some of the best beaches in the world to see. Take a stroll down the shore and take in all the amazing sights an sounds that world famous South Beach has to offer. Just be sure to keep your eyes in front of you, with some of the most expensive Super-cars lining the streets, the beautiful people in beach wear, and the bright colors of Miami’s fashion all on full display, be careful you don’t walk into a palm tree by mistake.

*Insider Travelers Tip- If planning to visit Miami, Fly to Ft. Lauderdale Airport to save money and avoid the large crowds that are sure to be at Miami Airport. Located less than 30 miles from each other, This Author Saved $100 on a flight from LA to Miami by switching to Ft. Lauderdale Airport, Same Day, Same Time, Same Carrier, But A Much Better Price!

Have a safe and happy 2014 from all of us here at Luggage Base!

Photo Credit:

http://handicapthis.com

http://www.centralcoast-tourism.com

http://www.wildwoodsnj.com/

http://cdn.nationalparks.org/

http://images.fineartamerica.com

Happy Thanksgiving Eve! We hope everyone is either settled in, almost done, or on their last leg of travel. We know that for some unfortunate  people, the timing of the storm in the North East could not have come at a worse time. CNN has already reported mid afternoon delays for LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy and Newark-Liberty airports (1), with more delays as the day continues. If you are stuck in a terminal waiting out a delay, already done, or checking updates for loved ones who are expected today we are here to help. Read below for how to stay informed on up to the minute travel conditions, how to get gift ideas without raising suspicion, Thanksgiving activities, and much more.

 

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Updates for Today’s Delays 11/27/13

Some things are inevitable, the rising and setting of the sun, death, taxes, and airport issues on major holidays. Not wanting to be outdone by her past, mother nature has decided that this week would be the perfect time for a North Eastern Storm. Today, with technology being readily available in our pockets and purses, we can now track a storms progress to see how it will affect our plans at the push of a button. I would suggest flightstats.com for up to the minute flight information, this way you can be sure to see when the scheduled dealys are so you can prepare appropriately. Looking for more up to the date information, I would suggest Twitter, and more specifically #ThanksgivingTravel for up to the second updates from people just like you. Also be sure to follow the airports official twitter account for up to the minute updates from the airport officials themselves. A Computer Briefcase or Laptop Sleeve will be your new best friend on a long delay, be sure to bring magazines, books, an Mp3 Player, a tablet, or a personal computer, because you never know how long you may be waiting for.

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What to do while waiting for dinner

Finally, you arrived at your destination and unfortunately you are dead on your feet from a day full of traveling. Now is the time to unwind and get a little extra R & R done, because tomorrow, well lets be honest, tomorrow is going to be a real busy one. Beginning as soon as you wake up in the morning, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade to many families marks the unofficial start to Thanksgiving each year. An American Tradition to many, this parade is a special event that attracts tons of people from all around the world who look forward to the colorful balloons and great music every year. Be sure to get your morning coffee and a nice spot by the TV, to check out all the cool and unique float designs for 2013. For the more active individual, unofficial Turkeys Bowls can be found at most parks, school yards, and makeshift football fields. An annual 2 hand touch football game is the perfect way to bring family and friends together, while simultaneously promoting team building. Build up that Thanksgiving appetite and be sure you don’t feel bad when reaching for that 3rd helping of mashed potatoes.

*Insiders Tip- Scheduling Annual sporting events around major holidays is a great way to stay in touch with old friends. Everyone traditionally comes home for the holidays to see family, so planning an annual reunion game is something that everyone will look forward to.

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Digging For Clues

Show off your foresight by using this time to get some great clues and hints for the upcoming December Holidays. Giving the gift of cash is reserved for uncles on birthdays, giving a gift card can be the best way to say that you had no idea what to get them, Christmas-shopper-frustrated-200x300and testing your luck and shopping blind will be sure to get you the awkward, “You shouldn’t have” because you probably REALLY shouldn’t have. Try and dig up some info on that hard to shop for person on your list with a few basic questions to get you headed into the right direction. I would recommend shifting the small talk to future plans. For instance if they are getting ready to become a new college student, a reliable Laptop backpack is a must, an individual who loves to travel always needs Reliable Eagle Creek Adventure Luggage, and an elder family member might be in need of an update to their travel security. Always be sure to keep your ears open, nothing is worse than calling a loved one on Christmas Eve and asking them for help.

 

 

Bringing Back Food and Drinks

If this year you are having Pumpkin Pie so good you need to take it with you, we can help. TSA has set forth these guidelines for bringing back food and drinks on the plane, however we are here to help with a few other ways to get your favorite foods back home safe and sound. Got a favorite Sauce or seasoning, TSA 3-1-1 Tubes are your best bet, these little tube sets are TSA accepted and will pass screening with no issues, if you needs more I recommend setting yourself up with 1 set on your checked bag (always in a plastic container in case of spillage) and an additional set on your carry-on. Beer and Wine drinkers need extra precautions due to the highly stainable colors used. I personally transported 1 Bottle of Saku Porter and 1 Bottle of Spanish Rioja Red Wine successfully with zero damage to the bottles with the following precautions:

1 Wrapped the bottles in bubble wrap and then placed in a thick sock.bublewrapbottle-300x231

2 Placed the wrapped sock in heavy duty Zip lock bag and then placed that in another for 2 layers of protection

3 Finally placed each bottle in one heavy boot and stuffed the boot full of socks to hold in place and placed in the middle of the checked bag surrounded by soft clothing for shock protection

 

We hope that this was helpful and everyone is getting their last bit of traveling taken care of. We would love to hear back from our readers, If anyone has any comments, questions or concerns please post them below. Have a happy holiday season and Travel Safe from everyone here at Luggage Base!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit/Source Information

1. http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/27/travel/weather-thanksgiving/index.html?hpt=tr_c1

2. http://www.smh.com.au

3.  http://valencia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/family-football.jpg

4. http://www.windmillleadership.com

5. http://hungrytravelers.com

In honor of the Halloween, Luggage Base would like to share the Scariest places in America. This list of Must-See (or Must-Avoid) places has plenty of terrifying and intriguing options worth adding to the bucket list. So sit back and enjoy and remember, there is no such thing as ghosts…… right?

 

#1 Denver International Airport 

13656DD07Starting off with an airport seems appropriate. Denver International Airport has been a hot bed of spooky stories and conspiracy theories since it first opened in 1995. Easily recognized due to the pointed white tents on top, this airport is rumored to have been built on an Indian Burial Ground. Airport travelers claim they hear spooky music in certain sections of the airport and some even claim to have seen ghosts. Seen as such a threat to it’s commercial appeal,  in 1995 the city claimed to have held a ceremony to settle the agitated spirits. Keep it moving with Spinner Luggage unless you wish to check out the ominous wall murals and make your own interpretation to their meaning. Weather you believe in Indian spirits, ghosts, goblins, or conspiracy theories, this is one airport worth checking out.

 

#2 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

pa-gettysburg-1456The largest battle in North America, Gettysburg located in Pennsylvania is said to be one of the, if not THE most haunted place in the United States. The 3 day long battle was said to be one of the most brutal of the Civil War and resulted in over 50,000 casualties. Witness testimony, eerie photographs and unexplained videos are seen regularly by tourists and the staff alike. Feeling brave, stay the night at Cashtown Inn to test your nerves of steel. Just remember to pack a Duffel Bag, just in case you might need to make a spur of the moment check out.

 

 

#3 Salem, Massachusetts

salemStaying in North Eastern United States, we have one of the most famous and well known locations in our history, Salem Massachusetts. In 1692 to 1693 Salem held the infamous Salem Witch Trials. Over 150 people were imprisoned for “Witchcraft” and convicted. Of those people accused, 19 faced the gallows, one man died via pressed stones, and about 13 others died awaiting trial. Being one of the most heavily visited tourist destinations does not deter the various witness statements of ghostly sights, terrifying sounds and feelings of dead as tourists walk the city. Worth checking out for the history buff or the Halloween aficionado, don’t forget to pack your electronics cases. You never know when a sudden bump in the night may have you dropping that tablet by mistake!

 

#4 St. Louis Cemetery, New Orleans, Louisiana 

 

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Home to the illustrious “Voodoo Queen” Miss Marie Laveau, this haunted cemetery is seeped in New Orleans tradition. Being the birthplace of Voodoo Black Magic in the United State, New Orleans houses many above ground tombs due to it’s low elevation and frequent flooding. A popular spot due to its history and the inhabitants, this cemetery is said to be one of the most eerie locations on the Southeast coast. Don’t forget to bring chalk, 3 X’s on Marie Laveau tomb plus a small token and a prayer is said to bring good luck and aid to a problem you may be having. Keep a watchful eye, it is rumored the Black Cat with the deep red eyes walking around the location is the spirit of Miss Laveau. With all the winding footpaths and old cobblestone streets having a backpack for your possessions ensures you can keep hands free to catch that elusive ghostly video on your smartphone.

 

 

#5 Moundsville Penitentiary

up-P6HM42VG5I0Q8KLSFor over 100 years Moundsville Penitentiary in West Virginia was one of the most violent and crowded prisons in existence. Finally closing it’s doors in 1995, this old Gothic style building is said to have been the final stop for a few less then 1,000 men. Paranormal experts, adrenaline junkies, and people looking for a good scare all flock to the location each Halloween for scheduled tours and to visit the site. Don’t forget to bring your Flashlight and Camera to snap some good photos, “The Shadow Man” is a notorious figure who roams the prison and has even been captured on film once. Another victim of the prison’s violent past, the “Maintenance Man” is seen roaming the basement where he where he met his grisly end at the hands of the inmates. Visit at your own risk.

 

 

 #6 The Bell Witch Cave

bell_witch_cave_8The inspiration for the film “The Blair Witch Project”, The Bell Witch Cave is one of the most notorious locations in the country due to its haunted past. The legend says that Kate Batts, a neighbor  of the Bell Farm had a disagreement with the family that soon escalated. Kate Batts was soon rumored to being a witch and having placed a curse on the family and was claimed to have haunted the Bell House for 4 years before John Bell finally died. Following his death the disturbances all stopped and the ghost was rumored to appear in a cave not far from the home. One of the truly eerie and unexplained locations, cameras, smartphones and other electronics do not take photos and malfunction upon entrance into the cave. Residents of the area claim that any item taken out of the cave carries with it a dark curse which can only be stopped by returning the item. So make sure to pack extra chargers and adapters but be sure to remember, the cave rocks look cool but it might be smarter to buy a souvenir from the gift shop instead.

 

 

 #7 The Winchester Mystery House 

winchester_mystery_house_san_jose_caAnother Famous American legend, The Winchester Mystery House is not only true, it has roots etched in American History. This house was owned by the Winchester family and constructed by Sarah Winchester, you may remember the name from the famous Winchester Repeating Rifle. The family was rumored to becoming cursed by the dead from their world famous rifle, and Sarah soon lost her husband and daughter to illness. Accounts state that after their deaths she was still frequented by the dead spirits and called in a psychic to help her. Upon speaking with the psychic, she explained to Sarah that the dead request she build a home for their lost souls and to never stop building. She began building the house and it soon became one of a kind due to it’s history and the strange construction request. Built with the idea that she needed to confuse the ghosts so they would stop following her, Sarah began building a home that was unlike any other ever seen before. Staircases to nowhere, hidden rooms, trap doors, secret passages and false walls are just a few of the extreme measures taken to construct this house. Sarah passed away while still building and adding onto the house, however visitors can now visit the home for themselves and tour the mansion and all of it’s hidden secrets.

 

Happy Halloween From Lugagge Base

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit:

1. urscorp.com

2. Hauntedhouses.com

3. Boston.com

4. TripAdvisor.com

5. topix.com

6. BellWitchCave.com

7. TheSanjoseblog.com

Here at Luggage Base we pride ourselves on being at the forefront for all things involving luggage and most things involving travel. We would like to pass along our traveling expertise in a new monthly segment called “Today’s Traveling Trends”. These will be monthly updates from us at Luggage Base into everything current in Travel and Lifestyle. New colors, the best destinations, trending ideas and topics, we not only want to keep you informed, we also want to hear from all you savvy jet setters about what you are seeing in today’s terminals.  Thanks for Choosing Luggage Base, and if you have any feedback, questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to post them below.

 

 

New Fall Colors A new season always brings change, change in temperature, changes in scenery, and changes in color. As summer 2013colorsfades into fall, the leaves change from bright green to auburn as new luggage lines and colors reflect the mood of the world. Say goodbye to the bright pinks, the deep blues, and the bright primary colors synonymous with summer, bring on the beautiful earthy tones of the Fall Foliage season. Already having the colors for Fall 2013 mapped out, Pantone.com has declared it to be the year of Emerald, Mykonos Blue, Acai, Samba, Koi, and Carafe. Luggage reflects fashion, keep an eye out for bags in all this season’s hottest colors. This fall, stay current, and stay classy.

 

If you plan on leaving today 

The secret is out, airlines are charging for bags any way they can. Gone are the good ol’ days when you were able to have one free checked bag and one free carry-on regardless of size. Today, most airlines adhere to strict restrictions for a bags weight, dimensions, and especially the contents. This increase in regulation has created new surprise bag fees and has caused modern travelers to see red while spending green. Adding to this headache, each airline has their own independent limits void of a overhead-bin-cartoonuniversal system, so when connecting with two or more airlines, your trip can quickly turn into a travel nightmare. Attempting to beat the system, travelers have found a loop hole in today’s system. By bringing a carry-on in addition to a “computer bag” cabin travelers are able to bring an additional bag and taking up any unused space. Causing a very visual issue in the cabins themselves, both International and Domestic planes are not equipped with the proper storage for the abundance of bags. Be sure to get a overhead space as soon as you find your seating arraignment and avoid fighting for space.

Destinations October 2013

Looking for a scary Halloween destination, Spookey Empire’s Ultimate Horror Weekend in Orlando Florida is a horror fan’s dream/nightmare come true. Taking place 1 week before Halloween, this 3 day long event feels more like a party. Rub shoulders with horror icons such as John Carpenter, Elvira, Robert Englund and many more.

Resting between peak and low seasons, October is a great time to travel on a budget. Cape Code Massachusetts, the Florida Keys, and the Outer Banks in North Carolina are all popular destinations among Autumn travelers. Great for the individual who wants to vacation while avoiding large crowds, beat the tourists while also saving money. Take advantage and save big, some of these packages offer savings of up to 50% off during the Autumn off season.

Trending Vacation Ideas

It is called “Agritourism” and it is the latest vacation phenomenon. Flooded with technology, people are looking to get away from the stresses of everyday life and the stresses of technology. Effectively “going off the grid” Agirtourism offers the chance to spend your vacation not on some tropical island, but instead enjoying the simple yet fulfilling life that living on a farm offers. Choose from a wide variety of hands on farming activities, you can go grape picking on a California vineyard, work an olive farm in Tuscany, or eat the same cheese you made yourself on a dairy farm in Vermont. Be sure to remember durable, stain resistant hardsided luggage, farm fields are quick destroyers of softer, stain-able luggage. With potential threats you can only find on a farm, be sure to protect your luggage and keep your items looking great no matter what questionable puddles you may roll into.

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Photo Credit:

Pantone.com

http://canadiantravelbugs.wordpress.com/tag/boarding-pass/

http://ontarioculinary.com/news/tasty-tidbits-rides-again

There’s no denying it: Florida has a reputation. A Google search for “crazy Florida news stories” yields nearly 40 million hits, ranging from freak tragedies like the Miami “Face Eater” to hilariously bizarre crimes of passion, like the story of diaper-clad astronaut Lisa Nowak. With characters like manatee-rider Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez running amok, it makes sense that vacationers would seek refuge in the controlled environments of Disney World, Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens, and other theme parks. But with ticket prices reaching unprecedented highs, it’s worth exploring the Sunshine State’s other offerings–and there are plenty.
Continue Reading »

FarmstayThere’s been a push in recent years to get closer to our food. “Eat local” has segued from gimmicky buzz phrase to familiar mantra, and thanks to the efforts of writers, chefs, farmers, and other visionaries around the world, today’s consumers are far more knowledgeable than they’ve ever been about the origins of their food.

It’s no surprise, then, that the tourism industry has caught on to this newfound awareness. Agritourism, sometimes referred to as a farmstay, provides visitors with an opportunity to spend their next vacation on a real, working farm. For rates comparable to a typical B&B or inn, visitors receive room, board, and, often, hands-on demonstrations of activities specific to their farm. At a dairy farm, for example, you may learn how to make cheese or milk a goat. At a berry farm, you might spend a leisurely afternoon picking blueberries and enjoying them later that evening in a delicious dessert that you helped bring to fruition (pardon the pun).

Hundreds of farms across the US offer a farmstay option, so there’s something for everyone–from an active family with young childrenZero Whirl 24 Red to a retiree who’s long overdue for a relaxing weekend. Whether you choose to rise with the sun and help with chores or spend your visit at your own pace, there’s never a shortage of things to do, see, and learn during a farmstay.

Find a farm close to you at farmstayus.com.

Packing for a farmstay, however, offers its own unique set of challenges. Rugged conditions, bulky clothing, and puddles of dubious origin can all wreak havoc on luggage that’s not up to the task. Zero Halliburton, a brand synonymous with toughness, passes the “farm test” with flying colors. Continue Reading »

As store displays have been “helpfully” reminding us since December 26, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Whether you love it or hate it, chances are high that whomever you love is going to expect some kind of acknowledgment. This year, the big day falls on a Thursday, making it perfectly placed for a long weekend away.

CampingIf you’re outdoorsy people, camping is a natural option. Spend the day lakeside with a good book, or enjoy an invigorating hike in the mountains. But save your energy–after sharing a s’more, you’ll want to turn in as soon as the sun goes down. Can two adults fit in a one-person sleeping bag? That’s for us to wonder, and you to find out.

For rustic expeditions, Eagle Creek is your brand. Built with adventure in mind, Eagle Creek products are travel-tested and match beautifully with the great outdoors. The EC Adventure Weekender Bag is sized perfectly for a weekend away. An interior divider and lots of pockets keep you from digging around endlessly, ensuring that the bear spray is close at hand when you need it. Plus, it has “Adventure” right in the name. I mean, come on. For heavier packers, the No Matter What Large Duffel handles all kinds of abuse–go ahead, test its limits. Compression straps stabilize whatever it is you’re hauling, and a storm flap protects the main compartment from the elements. Two-way lockable zippers keep unwanted hands (or paws) out of your stuff when you’re away on a marshmallow run.

Find the perfect campground for you and your sweetie at campgrounds.com or koa.com.

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Another new year, another set of resolutions that’ll be toast by Valentine’s Day. Swearing off carbs or cola? Admirable, for sure, but not particularly interesting or realistic. Why not deviate from the norm and make some resolutions you can actually look forward to keeping? This year, we’re resolving to make 2013 unforgettable–by hook or by crook (or plane, train, or rickshaw). Here are six travel resolutions to get you started.

1. Go it alone. We’re not saying you have to take six months to backpack through Europe or hike the Appalachian Trail to “find yourself.” (Though how cool would that be?) A weekend getaway to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit can be just as illuminating. What would you do if you only had to worry about yourself? Linger in a museum, take a long walk to nowhere, try a crazy new food, or experiment with the settings on your camera–the possibilities are fabulously overwhelming. If vacationing on your own just isn’t in the cards, take a couple hours for yourself on your next family trip. You’ll return relaxed, refocused, and hopefully with a great story to share with your loved ones.

2. Use your vacation days. Though Americans receive fewer vacation days than other industrialized nations–only 12 on average–we actually use even less. It could be because we’re worried about how the boss will respond; or perhaps we just don’t think we can swing it financially. But those days are there for a reason. How you use them is up to you–just don’t spend them at work!

Invest in a swanky new luggage set for your year of adventures–the American Tourister POP 3-Piece Luggage Set and the Swiss Army Luggage Spinner Lite 3 Piece Set are solid choices. Durable and attractive, three pieces of luggage instead of just one ensures that you’re ready for anything, whether it’s an overnight at a B&B or two weeks in Australia. (And we love the color options of the American Tourister set. A bright blue suitcase is hard to miss on the luggage carousel!)

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Why do we travel? To relax, to unwind, to get away. To return home rejuvenated, having rekindled our marriages or our relationships with our children. Some travel to try new food and drink, to see how the locals live, to be immersed. Some of us just want to be elsewhere, anywhere, to break up the monotony of daily life.

But some of us crave seeing the un-see-able. We want to challenge ourselves in the midst of history. We want to have a great story to tell. We want to know that we were there. Luckily for us, there is still some mystery left in the world–and one of the best places to explore it is in North Korea.

It’s formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or the DPRK, and it’s referred to as such within the country without a trace of irony. Though the tiny dictatorship has been cloaked under self-imposed isolation since the Korean war, outsiders know a bit. Defectors have talked of unimaginable human rights violations taking place in its prison camps, of widespread, years-long famine exacerbated by government corruption,  and of systematic, lifelong brainwashing initiated by the late Kim Il-sung. (His son and grandson, Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un, have carried on the tradition.)

On a trip like this, your luggage should have the strength to stand up to the unexpected. The Briggs & Riley Baseline 27″ Wide Body Upright is made of 1680 denier ballistic nylon and sized generously to haul your souvenir propaganda posters back home. Ballistic nylon was originally developed to be used in jackets for World War II airmen, but these days it leads a much more low-key existence as material for high-end luggage. If ballistic anything seems like overkill when it comes to luggage, consider that the Korean War isn’t officially over–it’s simply in the midst of the world’s longest ceasefire.

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