by Debbi, · September 4th, 2012
Shop the LuggageOnline.com Labor Day Sale and Save 20-75% Off Sitewide!
by Debbi, · August 31st, 2012
Here are the “newest travel-inspiring sites” recently added to the UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List, according to TravelandLeisure.com.
“Germany’s Bayreuth Opera House isn’t exactly a household name, but you’ll be hearing more about it and for good reason. This opulent 18th-century theater has been singled out by UNESCO—and will host events celebrating the 200th birthday of composer Richard Wagner in 2013.
Every summer, UNESCO names new cultural and natural wonders to its World Heritage List for their outstanding universal value. It’s a way to raise awareness of the preservation of places important to mankind, but also drives tourism and brings fascinating places to the attention of travelers wondering where to go next. This year’s crop of new wonders—some obscure, some already famous—spans the globe and suggests the range of human experience and achievement.
Among the wonders added in 2012, the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon in Palau delivers both a unique natural topography and the cultural legacy of stoneworking villages abandoned in the 17th and 18th centuries due to climate change. Lovely painted farmhouses in the Swedish countryside testify to the skill of folk artists, while nearly 200 species have been identified from fossils in China’s Yunnan province. Taken together, these wonders provide a visceral connection to the past and remind us of mankind’s shared history.
This is especially true for countries that can seem inscrutable or challenging to visit. Iran, for instance, claims two of the new wonders on UNESCO’s list. Jerry Dekker, of Irantraveler.net, believes Americans should look beyond political hyperbole to explore the country for themselves. Of the Masjed-e Ja-mé mosque in Isfahan, Dekker says: “What makes the place so unique is that not only can one have a visual experience of learning architectural history but one can also absorb the real power that lies behind Islamic architecture.”
Some wonders stimulate the senses in other ways. Case in point: Rio de Janeiro’s gorgeous cityscape of sultry beaches and forest punctuated by the world’s largest Art Deco statue: Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado. The UNESCO designation of Rio’s Carioca Landscapes is timely, with both the Olympics and the World Cup coming soon to Rio. Yet it is also timeless: the site made the World Heritage list in large part because of the long-standing human settlements in the region along with Rio’s cultural influence on Brazilian artists and musicians.
See all the 26 new wonders and be warned: you may have another dream trip to add to your own list.”
1. Lena Pillars Nature Park, Russia
2. Bali Province’s Subak System, Indonesia
3. Rock Islands Southern Lagoon, Palau
4. Margravial Opera House, Bayreuth, Germany
5. Landscape of Grand Pré, Canada
6. Rio de Janeiro’s Carioca Landscapes Between the Mountain and the Sea, Brazil
7. Site of Xanadu, China
8. Lakes of Ounianga, Chad
9. Pearling, Testimony of an Island Economy, Bahrain
10. Sangha Trinational, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo
11. Western Ghats, India
12. Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem
13. Garrison Border Town of Elvas and Its Fortifications, Portugal
14. Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden
15. Chengjiang Fossil Site, China
16. Rabat, Modern Capital and Historic City: A Shared Heritage, Morocco
17. Archaeological Heritage of the Lenggong Valley, Malaysia
18. Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan, Iran
19. Bassari Country’s Bassari, Fula, and Bedik Cultural Landscapes, Senegal
20. Neolithic Site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey
21. Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel, Israel
22. Heritage of Mercury, Almadén, Spain and Idrija, Slovenia
23. Historic Town of Grand-Bassam, Ivory Coast
24. Major Mining Sites of Wallonia, Belgium
25. Gonbad-e Qābus, Iran
26. Nord-Pas de Calais Mining Basin, France
by Debbi, · August 29th, 2012
LuggageOnline’s new web experience includes interactive elements, a one-step checkout process, enhanced photography and rich content. The site offers an expansive collection of product videos, live chat with a LuggageOnline Customer Service Representative and more social engagement tools, including ratings and review capabilities and social sharing. The expansive navigation allows consumers to find products based on a series of features such as category, brand, color, price, customer ratings and much more.
by Debbi, · August 23rd, 2012
The innovation that revolutionized the traveler’s world had humble beginnings.
Inventor and Northwest Airlines pilot Bob Plath’s eureka moment came as he waited at an airport security checkpoint behind passengers struggling to free their bungee-cord-attached bags from bulky metal luggage trolleys. He headed for his garage workshop, tinkered a bit and returned to the airport with a luggage trolley screwed onto a hard-sided bag.
“The (security guard) said I had to take the suitcase off the trolley and I said, ‘I can’t,’ and he said, ‘OK,’ and I said, ‘I got ‘em!”And the rest, as they say, is history.
It was 25 years ago that Plath’s Rollaboard bag changed the orientation of a suitcase from horizontal to vertical with the simple addition of two wheels and an extending handle, bringing relief to legions of travelers. (Seventeen years earlier, luggage executive Bernard Sadow attached four wheels and a pull strap to a bag, creating the first wheeled suitcase, but the design lacked the nimbleness of Plath’s upright wheeled bag.)
The Rollaboard liberated travelers from bellhops and porters. It prompted airlines to reconfigure overhead bins to accommodate 22-inch wheeled carry-ons. It sparked a new pack-light sensibility among travelers. And it inspired a slew of imitators, invigorating the travel goods market.
“The upright carry-on revolutionized the travel goods industry,” says Michele Marini Pittenger, president of the Travel Goods Association. But more recently, so have airline surcharges and government regulations, both of which have sparked innovations.
Compressible and collapsible luggage
Lipault of Paris’ foldable bags , which made their debut in North America in 2010, collapse to a svelte 4 inches for practical storage.
Both Briggs & Riley and Samsonite have introduced zipperless systems that expand and contract the cases for more efficient packing. Briggs & Riley’s Baseline Collection features CX compression, which increases capacity by up to 34%.
With most major airlines now charging for checked and overweight bags, manufacturers have embarked on a weight-loss quest. Wheeled upright carry-ons, which once typically weighed in at around 15 pounds, are down to about 5 pounds, says Pittenger.
Four-wheeled cases with spinners, available from many manufacturers, make it possible to push or pull the bag, walk beside it, “swing it around or dance with it,” says Pittenger. “Once you’ve driven a spinner, it’s hard to go back.”
Not that every traveler is necessarily taken with all these flourishes. Flight attendant Karissa Mackin of Denver says it’s not unusual to see passengers with overstuffed expandable carry-ons jettisoning dirty clothes in the aisle in order to cram the bags into overhead bins. (She offers them a plastic bag for the overflow.) As for four-wheel spinners, Mackin recently test-drove one and concluded it’s more maneuverable and might be good for older travelers or young kids, but it slowed her down on airport concourses. She remains loyal to her Travelpro carry-on, which lacks lots of bells and whistles but is sturdy and lightweight.
It’s by design that the Rollaboard is associated with flight crews. Plath initially made his Travelpro Rollaboard available exclusively to airline employees, who served as a far-flung sales force for the bag. By the time other manufacturers rolled out their own versions circa 1993, the brand name was so well established, “I didn’t care if anyone was doing knockoffs,” says Plath, who left Northwest Airlines to run Travelpro full time in 1991 and has since sold the company.
And while millions of travelers can thank Plath for taking a load off their shoulders, backs and various other body parts, not everyone appreciates the invention — even 25 years and many innovations later.
“I consider the invention of the Rollaboard the beginning of human devolution,” says adventure travel pioneer Richard Bangs and host of American Public Television’sRichard Bangs’ Adventures With Purpose. “It used to be, as we ran through airports carrying our bags, there was a measure of physical exertion that countered, to a degree, the hours spent motionless in an airline seat. It toned muscles and prepared us for the adventure ahead.”
Whether or not you agree with that assessment, the travel-bag evolution is bound to continue.
So what’s next on the horizon?
“If I knew that, I could retire,” says Pittenger with a laugh. She considers for a moment and responds, “Luggage that packs itself? Now that would be a problem-solver.”