Feature Article - November/December 2017

Travel Smart

Advances in Luggage & Travel Goods Make Adventure Easy

By Emily Tipping

"Luggage companies seem to always be competing for the latest innovations, but the three most significant trends seem to be: expansion, durability and TSA-compatible design," Hudson said. "For example, Briggs & Riley's Transcend VX Collection features a variable expansion system that allows for easily customizable packing capacity. The Ocean Drive collection by Ricardo Beverly Hills includes a durable polycarbonate outer shell, protective corner guards and a lightweight internal frame."

Make a memorable first impression with the sophisticated Ricardo Beverly Hills Ocean Drive 21-Inch Spinner Carry-On in Sandstone, available through Incentive Concepts. Equally appropriate for business or pleasure, it's packed with storage features that deliver smart organization without compromising its generous capacity. The tough Makrolon polycarbonate construction resists dings and abrasions. A TSA-compliant combination lock protects your valuables. Sturdy, smooth-motion wheels, an ergonomic handle and extra-grippy top and side handles deliver effortless maneuverability along concourses and in and out of overhead bins.

The farther you go, the more stamps on your passport, the better your story. Your Tumi 19 Degree luggage is part of that story. Exceptionally striking up close or from a distance, the super-durable Aluminum International Carry-On in Silver boasts a modern silhouette with fluid-looking, strategically contoured angles. Ideally designed for short, overnight trips and travel within Europe and other international destinations.

The Hartmann Century Softside Carry-On Expandable Spinner, available through Samsonite, is constructed in durable polyester, with a lightweight honeycomb frame, virgin aluminum trolley system and ball-bearing wheels. Interior are accented with the heritage Ducord stripe, and the padded, tri-fold suiter is built into the case, folding nearly for travel.

Cassius agreed that hardsided luggage is trending. But he also added that colors are still expanding. "You still have black, navy and burgundy," he said, "but in addition to that, now they talk about jewel tones—rose gold, ruby and emerald. Those are new and upcoming colors."

In addition, he said, the size of carry-ons may change, as airlines get stricter about what is and isn't allowed, and begin charging fliers for carrying on a bag as well as checking one.

"Right now, the 21-inch is the carry-on size," Cassius said. "But size is a big deal, with airlines now charging you to bring a carry-on onto the plane…" and with possible future limitations on the size allowed for carry-ons.

Available through Earth Gear, the Ciao Voyager Hard-Side Spinner Luggage Set features a 20-inch suitcase, 24-inch suitcase and 28-inch suitcase, all with smooth-rolling spinner wheels. These suitcases' spinner wheels pivot a full 360 degrees, so the cases roll smoothly and stay stable even as you're rushing to catch a flight or using them as props in your figure-skating routine. ABS plastic exteriors protect your belongings from the inevitable abuse of air travel, shrugging off scratches and impacts to keep your clothes as neat as when you packed them.

You'll fret about dents and damage no more with the impact-resistant Crash trolley case that doubles as an eye-catching piece of modern art, available through Stark Enterprises Inc. Each Crash collection includes a set of three pieces: Large, Medium and Cabin. The lines are ranging from the Pioneer collection with a selection of eight colors to the Bright collection, which includes a choice for four stunning metallics.

And for a pop of color and style in a different sort of case, check out the Vera Bradley 22-Inch Roll Along Duffel Travel Bag, available through Top Brands, and shown in the newest pattern, Paisley Petals. Whether for a vacation or a weekend getaway, this wheeled duffel will help you pack it all in perfect style. Interior pockets keep your cosmetics and accessories sorted, while the exterior pocket keeps boarding passes, reading material or snacks close by. It features grab-and-go handles in addition to a telescoping top handle, one exterior zip pocket, interior with one zip pocket and two elastic mesh pockets, luggage ID window and lock.