Friday, December 23, 2005

Travel Essentials from

There's no getting around it: I love traveling. I love everything about it, from the packing to the airports to the hotels to the rental car smell. Going to a new place is always an exhilarating experience, but it can quickly become a nightmare if you're not adequately equipped for it. To make sure your next trip is a success, I have put together some essentials from that I feel no plane-hopping gal should be without: TOTE A simple, durable tote is essential for any trip. While a handbag may look cute, it isn't always very practical. The longer your ride, the more stuff you'll probably need. As a travel-holic myself, I always make it a point to keep some essentials with me, like a bottle of water, a book or a few magazines, some cosmetics for post-flight touch ups, my travel documents, and a light snack in case I get hungry. The best way to carry all this without lugging around a huge carpet bag? A basic tote, of course! Premium: Chelsey Henry Work to Play - $164.95 Chelsey Henry designs specifically for the woman on the go, so it's no wonder that I picked a bag from her collection for my list. The Work to Play tote is great example of the perfect travel tote: it's big enough to fit your laptop comfortably if you need to, it has a zippered closure so nothing will fall out as you zip from terminal to terminal, the handles are large enough to slip over your shoulder, and it has 2 front pockets to fit your travel documents (tickets, passport, etc.). While it may not be particularly trendy, it's streamlined and sophisticated enough for you to get away with it. Dimensions: 17" x 11.75" x 5.5 Budget: Ellington Small In-Flight Tote - $42.95 If you're traveling on a budget but still need a great tote, the Ellington In-Flight Tote is the one. Like the Chelsey Henry Work to Play tote, this one also has the ever-essential zippered closing. As a self-proclaimed pocket freak, I especially like the organization capability of this tote. Outside the bag, you'll find a total of five pockets, three with snap closures and two with zip closures. Two interior pockets with magnetic snaps flank the main zip compartment, one with an organizer for a phone, glasses, pens, and coins. It also has a removable coin and card wallet. The strap drop length is 11", making it perfect for slinging over your shoulder. The inside light-colored lining makes it easy to find everythingÂ?no matter how fast you're flying! Width tapers from 15.5" at top to 10" at base. Dimensions: 9.5" x 15.5" x 7", Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz. CARRY-ON One rule of thumb when traveling is that you should always keep a set of clothing and some other basic essentials with you. The last thing you want when you reach your destination is to find that the airline lost your suitcase and you don't even have a toothbrush on you. A wheeled carry-on is usually the luggage of choice for this purpose. Premium: Samsonite 700 Series/Silhouette® Softside SpaceMaster - $191.95 When I saw the 700 Series by Samsonite, I fell instantly in love. The entire collection is sturdy, suave and just looks so darn professional! I especially liked the 360-degree turning wheels that they added to many of the wheeled pieces. This particular wheeled carry-on is specially designed to fit most airline overhead compartments (how convenient), but at the same time is large enough to fit everything your emergency supplies. I love that is has a bottom zip-pocket that allows easy access to the contents while it's stored in the overhead compartment. It's made of 1682D Ballistic Nylon, which is a standard, even weave of durable nylon material originally specified by the Federal Government for military use (translation: it won't tear, even under the most rough treatment). As I mentioned before, it has spinner wheels that allow easy mobility down narrow airline aisles and other tight spaces (another big plus for me). Dimensions: 22x14x8 Budget: Landor and Hawa 18" Curved Polycarbonate 16092 - $55.95 If you don't travel very often and don't need something as rough and tough as the Samsonite, I recommend this futuristic and fun wheeled carry-on by Landor and Hawa. It has an ultra lightweight polycarbonate shell, which offers high impact protection. It is also the world's first expandable hard side suitcase. Thanks to its unique patent-protected expansion section, this carry-on can be expanded an extra 2.5". The push-button locking handle system is curved to reduce arm stress when rolling, while the inline skate wheels are designed to last. Dimensions: 18" x 13" x 8.5", Weight: 5 lbs, 14 oz SUITCASE Usually the centerpiece of your travel collection, a good suitcase can either make or break your trip. If you plan on traveling internationally, I highly recommend investing in a durable hard side suitcase, preferably a slightly larger one. They are also great for long domestic trips. A hard side suitcase protects your belongings better than a soft side and is less likely to be snagged and ripped when handled by the luggage throwers (they're called that for a reason). Plus, they last longer, so one suitcase is likely to see you through years and years of globe-trotting. Premium: Delsey Meridian 30" Suiter Trolley - $158.45 The Suitor Trolley closely resembles a basic wheeled carry-on, but is significantly bigger in size. However it offers the same ease in maneuverability and is less likely to feel bulky. The frame is made of lightweight integrated aircraft aluminum (ABS), assuring tremendous impact resistance. Inside, you'll find quite a few deluxe features: hanger hook and two hangers for additional packing, divider for organization, cross straps for folded clothes, and full padded lining for protecting contents. The built in Trolley handle can be pulled out and locked at different positions to accommodate heights of all travelers and fully recesses inside the case so it is safe when stored or checked. The four 360 degree rotation wheels assure multi-directional rolling, so no more tipped over suitcases as you try to get through check-in and security. The Tri-Lock system provides maximum security, while the key locks feature "OPEN" and "LOCK" readings, so you can tell by a simple glance if your suitcase is locked or not. Dimensions: 30"x21"x14", Weight: 20 lbs Budget: Samsonite 200 Series/Oyster Hardside 26" Cartwheel® - $79.95 A slightly more traditional-looking hard side suitcase, the colorful Oyster by Samsonite is our most popular suitcase. A piece that truly gives you the most bang for your buck, its shell is made of a durable polypropylene shell, a highly impact-resistant plastic that is strong, lightweight and moisture resistant. Inside, you'll find multiple pockets and cross-straps to secure the contents of your luggage and prevent shifting. The large shock-absorbing wheels are mounted near the outside edge of the case for easy rolling, maneuverability, and stability on a wide variety of surfaces. Shown here in cobalt blue; also available in citron yellow (both colors are bright, so identifying your suitcase is a cinch at baggage claim). Dimensions: 20" x 26.7" x 9.7", Weight: 12.7 lbs. EXTRAS Here are a couple of extra travel accessories that are sure to add comfort and peace of mind to your next trip. Baggallini CCB148C Complete Cosmetic Bagg - $43.45 Why carry a separate cosmetic bag and a separate toiletry bag when you can combine everything in one? From your basic essentials to the kitchen sink, this water-resistant cosmetic bag by Baggallini fits everything. It has lots of clear pockets, elastics, roomy zippered compartments, etc. to hold everything you can think of to take on your trip and then some. The swivel hook allows it to be hung from door knobs, shower rods or counter tops for easy access. Shown in black crinkle nylon; also available in dark olive, espresso, mango, seafoam, spice and tomato. Dimensions: 20" tall x 12" wide x 3" deep Royce Leather Women's Manicure Kit 550-6 - $26.95 To ensure your nails look perfect, even on the go, packing a small manicure kit is usually a good idea. This travel manicure kit by Royce Leather is perfect to throw into your suitcase and includes a cuticle nipper, cuticle pusher, fingernail clipper, hot-forged scissors, tweezers and covered nail file in zippered, genuine leather case. Dimensions: 5.375" x 3" x 1", Weight: 7 oz. Millennium Leather Hanging Travel Document Holder - $32.45 There's nothing worse than having to fumble through your pockets or your carry-on to find your passport, ID or tickets. Designed to accommodate the needs of real-life frequent fliers, the passport wallet is a convenient way of carrying your travel documents. This holder has a front window-view license pocket that ensures smoother airport check-ins, separate passport and boarding pass pockets, as well as a back pocket for airline tickets. There is also a memo pad and pen that can be replaced. Dimensions: 8.25" x 4.63" x .63 Eagle Creek Pack-It Cube - $25.45 Pack-It® cubes are the best way to keep everything organized and easy to find, especially in you larger luggage pieces. These cubes are great for things like socks/hosiery, lingerie, gloves/mittens and other accessories that have a tendency of getting lost in your suitcase. They have quick grab handles and mesh tops for visability and breathability. They're made of travel micro-weave and mesh. Shown in cherry red; also available in black, Neptune blue and sunburst. Dimensions: 14" x 10" x 3"



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