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Travel Detective Blog: Why I Always Pack Duct Tape

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People always ask about Peter’s travel necessities. He shares three things that come along with him on any trip in his latest Travel Detective blog. 

Of all the gadgets you could pack for summer travel, sometimes you need to go back to the low-tech basics: a good bag, a roll of duct tape and a gadget that gives you a little peace of mind.

Just because a bag has wheels doesn’t necessarily mean it’s portable. It may mean it’s transportable. Some people could put a dead moose on wheels and call it a rollaboard, and then hold up the entire plane trying to wedge it in the overhead compartment.

A quality bag is an investment, so you want one that will last more than a month. I put together suggestions for the Best Luggage for 2013 as well as the Best Luggage for Summer Travel, but here are the three things that matter the most:

  • Handles: Luggage handles matter more than you might expect. Look for a bag with a sturdy handle that’s not inside the bag but outside. When a quarter of the available interior space is taken up by a handle that’s going to bend, break, and completely fall apart, then you’ve bought nothing but a bag that is going to fall over. (You want a bag that can stand up on its own with the wheels.)
  • Weight: Leather luggage has limitations; it just weighs too much. IT, Delsey and Antler are brands that are designed to weigh as little as possible. For smaller options, there’s a range of convertible backpacks designed to offer a one-bag solution.
  • Warranty: Last but not least, you want a bag with a warranty. However, the biggest scam in the luggage industry is that every company says they have a warranty. Most of them call it a “limited warranty” and they’re not kidding. You’ll see all sorts of caveats in warranty language about not being responsible if an airline damages your bag or not being not responsible for “wear and tear.” Somebody has to explain to me the meaning of the words “wear and tear.” Because if a bag tears, then something is wrong with the bag.

Some companies actually tell the truth with their warranty, like Briggs & Riley’s lifetime warranty. I really destroy my bags because I fly so often. When the handle broke on my bag, I sent it to them and it was fixed and back to me the next day. Now that’s a real warranty. If you want to invest in one of their bags, look at the new TORQ collection for hard-shell luggage and the BRX for soft cases.

Now, what’s the duct tape for? It’s if you forget my advice and your bag fails you. An industrial-strength roll of duct tape can fix just about anything….except for lost luggage.

Now that’s when gadgets can help. There’s a new tool called the Trakdot Luggage Tracker that goes inside your checked suitcase. It tells you exactly where your bag is in real time. Another option is LugLoc, which tracks your bag from inside using GSM technology—like what cell phones use. And the battery lasts up to 40 days. Of course, all these products come at a price…and a monthly fee.

By Peter Greenberg. Originally Published on his LinkedIn Influencer blog.

Feature Image Credit Markbritton

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