Seniors are traveling more and more. They have the time and the money, so why not? There’s a big world out there and lots of great and exciting places to see both at home and abroad. There’s also a lot of information available both on the Internet and in libraries. You can virtually “visit” before going so that you know exactly what to anticipate. Choose wisely and traveling will be best time you have! After you’ve researched your destination, it’s time to choose the right luggage. You’ll want the best that you can afford. With luggage, you really get your money’s worth. The better brands do not require repairs as often and will see you through all of the rigors of travel. You can rely on them, and that’s important. Look for ballistic nylon, which is the most durable of the fabrics. The blends of fabric or the “poly” materials are not as durable. You’ll want a locking push or pull handle for ease in maneuvering those airports and train depots. Inline skate wheels are the best and most durable of the wheels. They will virtually roll over carpet, tile, or cobblestones getting you from the luggage carousel to the taxi, bus or train terminal. The lightweight luggage you choose should be just that – light in weight. Lift the case before you purchase. Everything is called “lightweight” today but some are heavier than others. You’ll also want to choose smaller sizes. The airlines have a weight and size restriction now, so unless you do not mind paying a surcharge keep within the regulations.
Bright colors in luggage are easier to find and identify. The bright colors will save confusion at baggage carousels and makes your trip easier and simpler. If you must have black luggage, look into the huge array of travel accessories designed to make your luggage stand out. There are bright colored tags in every hue. These also serve as identification with your name and address printed inside. There’s also bright colored luggage straps that will wrap around the luggage. Some of these straps will buckle shut and others have combination locks. Be sure to choose one with TSA approved locks. All of the locks that you use on your luggage should be TSA approved. These locks have a small keyhole so that TSA personnel can open the lock with a master key if they deem it necessary. These are the only locks you can use when flying to or from your destination. These locks are also available in a huge selection of colors, and are another good way to identify your luggage. Choose all of the same colors for each piece of luggage so you can easily identify your pieces. Handle wrappers are also available to make your luggage stand out. These are bright colored wraps for the handles of your suitcases. You can place one on the top handle and one on the side handle, so you’ll spot your case no matter which side it lands on when circling on the carousel.
There are other features that make your luggage easier to use and make your travel more convenient. Besides the top handle, side load handles and bottom handles make it easier to slide your luggage at the carousel or from hotel luggage racks. These handles also make it easier to load and unload from automobile trunks. A “piggyback” or “add-a-bag” strap makes it easier to roll more than one piece of luggage through busy airports and other terminals. This is the front strap that will hook up another piece to roll together. Another good feature on your luggage is side feet. This protects the case when common carriers load and unload luggage. Outside pockets are wonderful for lightweight jackets or sweatshirts, and a folding travel umbrella. Having these handy in the outside pocket means you’ll be ready for any unexpected weather changes at your destination. All of the better brands of luggage and many of the discount luggage brands should have these features available.
Your carryon bag is your most important bag. You’ll want to keep your travel documents, eyeglasses, medications and anything necessary for health and well being with you in this carryon bag. The new regulations require liquids and gels to be kept in a 3-1-1 clear plastic quart sized bag when in your carryon. Something to read and eat on the trip and something to keep you entertained while waiting is also important. Many of these carryon bags will slide over the handle of your suitcase so you will not have to carry it when you get your luggage. Other models are available on wheels for your convenience in the airport and train or bus terminals. These bags are popular as corporate gifts and can be individually monogrammed with your initials or with a company name or logo. Remember to keep a luggage tag on this bag also for identification purposes. Seniors, start packing and get ready to go!