5 Must Have Items Every Traveler Should Have

BY: - 19 Aug '14 | Travel

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Travel is fun, hectic and sometimes everything we love and hate rolled into one experience.  Travel can also be very expensive with ever rising fares and fees.  To help you manage your travel costs, we’ve come up with our pick of items that every traveler should invest in to help avoid additional travel fees.

1.  A Carry-on bag that’s the right size!  This is a travelers must have item and it’s essential to avoid checked bag fees.  All carry-on bags must be 45 linear inches or 22″x14″x9.”   Airlines are strict and enforcing this rule!  Investing in a sturdy, Pullman style carry-on bag is a must if you’re going to travel frequently.

Tip: Beware of expandable carry-on bags.  They are great for extra storage but may disqualify the bag as a true carry-on when expanded.  If that happens you’ll be forced to pay a checked bag fee that can be as much as $100 if this happens at the boarding gate (depending on your airline).     Rollers vs. Spinners! Spinners are the most popular type of pullman carry-on bags. right now.  These 4-wheeled gems roll upright taking the weight and stress off of your back, making it totally easy to glide through the airport.

2. A Tote bag.  Purchase the tote bag that is made for your carry-on bag or one that fits comfortable over the handle.  A tote bag can double as a laptop/tablet bag, or purse (for the ladies…lol) and a place for extra storage.  It is another great way to ensure that you do not incur a checked bag fee.

3. A Power pack!  We have truly become a gadget society especially when we travel.  Often is the case, an outlet is not available to recharge our devices.  Investing in a backup power supply is a great idea for vacations, business trips and daily travels.  Also known as power banks and/or magic juice (lol) they are available at great prices from online and big box retailers.

4.  A Sleep kit.  They were once free and we carelessly tossed them back in the seat without a second thought.  Now that cringe worthy pillow and blanket that’s been re-used on countless flights costs anywhere from $7-$25.  Build your own sleep kit by visiting your local TJ Maxx, Burlington, Walmart or online retailer and buying your own.  Make sure the covers are made of easy-care fabrics and you will never again worry about where that blanket/pillow has been or paying to use one.  (lol)  Let the kids have some fun by picking their own set with a funky pattern/print.

5. Noise canceling earbuds – Listen to some new music; watch your favorite movie/TV show in peace while drowning out your noisy seat mate.  Don’t break the bank but invest in a good, decent pair of earbuds that are compact and easy to travel with and also provide great sound.  Three great options are:

  • Sony’s ‘Bump ‘N Buds’  (love the name) are great for kids.  They come in 4 vibrant colors, have great sound quality and come with a travel case all for $20.  They can be purchased on www.target.com.
  • My favorites are JLab’s ‘JBuds.’  These earbuds are ergonomically designed for soft-ultra comfort and fit while providing great sound.  They come with 4 cushion fins and 6 gel tips ensuring that they will stay inside your ear while your jamming to your favorite tunes.  They also come with a small hard protective case for travel.  Available on www.amazon.com for $30, they also come in three sleek colors.
  • Everyone loves their ‘Beats by Dre.’  Their headphones are great and they also make a very popular pair of earbuds.  The ‘urBeat’s by Dre earbuds are made of solid metal housings and have an in-line mic for quick switches between music and calls.  Available at www.walmart.com in 8 fabulous colors for $80-$90 they also provide great sound quality.

These are just a few of the items we think will make your travels easier.

BMWK family what are your must have travel items?

 

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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Do We Really Need Travel Insurance?

BY: - 26 Aug '14 | Travel

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As a traveler and a travel writer/blogger, that’s a question I am asked a lot.  My answer is always conditional. (lol)  If you can afford it, yes! I’m not trying to get in anyone’s pocket, but in today’s economy I think it’s a valid question.  Even though travel insurance is a fraction of your trips’ cost, it’s an added expense.

One in three travelers buy travel insurance (according to the US Travel Association) and the main reason they purchase it…is peace of mind!  Comprehensive travel insurance provides the traveler with ultimate peace of mind that any emergency is covered.  Before you hop online and purchase that policy, there’s a little research needed and a few things to consider.

Medical coverage.  If you currently have medical coverage, check with your provider to see if you’re covered while traveling abroad.  If you are, print and make a note on your phone of the covered providers/hospitals in your vacation destination.

Travel protection.  The most important coverage in any travel policy.  Offers re-imbursement in the event your trip is cancelled, interrupted or delayed.  You may not need this coverage if you purchased your vacation on a credit card.  Some credit card companies offer this coverage, so check with your credit card company to avoid double coverage and wasting money.

Baggage protection.  This is an option you can avoid when purchasing travel insurance.  Most airlines offer reimbursement if your luggage is lost or seriously delayed.  Like travel protection, your credit card may also offer this coverage.

Other factors to consider when purchasing travel insurance:

  • If you’re nervous or ‘worry a lot’ when you travel, purchase travel insurance to give yourself some peace of mind.
  • If you’re the adventurer in the group or engage in high-risk activities while vacationing, travel insurance is for YOU!  (lol)
  • If you’re spending $5,000 or more on your vacation, it’s considered an investment that you should protect.  I believe… if the trip is any amount you can’t stomach losing, buy travel insurance to eliminate that risk.
  • What’s going on in the family?  If anyone in your family is dealing with a health issue, purchase travel insurance so that you can get your money (or a portion depending on the policy) back if you have to cancel the trip at a moment’s notice.

Purchase your travel insurance as soon as you book your trip to avoid any lapses in coverage.

If you are planning a vacation and want to purchase travel/trip insurance, check these providers www.WorldNomads.com and www.InsureMyTrip.com for great rates.

About the author

Kirstin Fuller wrote 285 articles on this blog.

Kirstin N. Fuller aka The Travelin Diva is a DC based travel journalist bringing fellow travelers the best deals on family vacations, couples retreats, spa getaways, the best travel gadgets and more in BMWK's exclusive Travel Tuesday & Weekend Travel Guide columns. Check out her new travel blog daily for more deals & destinations www.passenger156.com.

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