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4 Best Places to Travel Alone

Planning a solo travel trip? You have to visit these best places to travel alone.

Once you experience one of these cities alone, you’ll have a new found love and understanding of not only yourself, but also the world and its many destination spots for solo travelers. What exactly makes a destination a great one for solo travelers? Landscape, history, culture, etc. just to name a few. We like to think that if a place can offer personal growth through experiences alone, then that is enough to want to visit it.

Here are the 4 best places to travel alone:

Portland, Oregon

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Is West Coast the best coast? If you’re talking about Portland, Oregon, then you might be right. Portland has become an affordable destination city with its love of both city life and nature. While you’re traveling alone, be sure to stop by this bike-commuting city that believes in this mantra: “Keep Portland Weird.”

Things to do & places to see:

  • See Portland’s skyline by kayaking downtown.
  • Stop and smell the roses—”City of Roses” to be more specific.
  • Fall in love with your favorite book all over again at Powell’s City of Books.
  • People-watch and stroll through Northwest District.

Dublin, Ireland

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Ireland’s Cap City and epicenter is so vibrant and full of culture that you won’t even realize you’re alone. Because Ireland is smaller, you can make day trips to other parts of the country to see castles, cliffs, museums and so much more. With its deep rooted history, Dublin is a place you want to visit at least once in a lifetime. Why not make that trip a solo one?

Things to do & places to see:

  • Take in the beauty at Cliffs of Moher.
  • Drink a perfect pint (or several) of Guinness at Guinness Storehouse.
  • The drinking isn’t over yet… Pub crawl, anyone? Meet fellow beer enthusiasts at The Brazen Head.
  • Stay at a hostel to save money and to meet new people.

Toronto, Canada

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Looking to splurge a bit on yourself? You deserve it. Toronto can be more expensive than most trips, where prices are comparable to that of NYC or LA. Fortunately, you can save a lot by traveling on foot, by bike or public transportation.

Things to do & places to see:

  • Check out the CN Tower, the tallest freestanding structure in the western hemisphere, and enjoy a hands-free walk on the outside ledge of the tower.
  • Hop on a ferry and see the Toronto islands, a collection of eight islands.
  • Go to one of the best markets in the world, St. Lawrence Market.
  • Expand your mind at one of Toronto’s museums, like Royal Ontario Museum.

San Francisco, California

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Whatever happened to predictability? This Full House-embracing city is perfect for solo travelers who want to wind down and relax in a city full of generally happy people. If you enjoy walking, then bring your favorite pair of walking shoes and get ready to fall in love with San Fran.

Things to do & places to see:

  • Experience where the hippie movement derived at Haight-Ashbury.
  • Brunch at one of the best brunch spots, Mission Beach Cafe.
  • Check out the breathtaking and iconic view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Take a much needed hike at Lands End, perhaps the best hike and trail in all of San Fran.

 

When you travel alone, make even more time for yourself.

And skip baggage claim. Bags VIP Luggage Delivery will deliver your bags to your destination. Whether it’s Portland, Dublin, Toronto or San Fran, we’ve got it covered.

How to Pack a Suit

In order to successfully pack a suit, you need to learn how to fold one.

Folding a suit can be tricky. Some may say there’s an art or science behind it—and we like to think there is, too. Here is our step-by-step tutorial on how to fold, and pack, a suit.

First, grab your sports jacket/blazer and lie it down on a flat surface with the front of it facing down.

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Then, fold over each arm of the jacket.

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Be sure to flatten and smooth the sides down to prevent potential wrinkles.

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Once you have a flat and wrinkle-free jacket, grab your pants and fold them.

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Place your folded pants on top of the jacket, then fold the jacket over.

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Now you have a neatly folded jacket, pants included.

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And, viola! Your suit is ready to be packed in your suitcase.

 

Not enough space on your carry-on for your neatly folded suit?

Check in with Bags VIP Luggage Delivery to get your suit and suitcase delivered to your destination.

Bags Travel Tip: How to Pack A Suit from Bags Inc. on Vimeo.

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6 Tips on How to Avoid Jet Lag

If only there was one magic solution to avoid jet lag…

In a perfect world, we’d be able to successfully avoid jet lag by resetting our internal clock and going to sleep earlier and earlier every night leading up to a big trip. Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a perfect world. But a world with far too many things to worry about before we travel to a different time-zone—now, that exists. And we’re all too familiar with it.

From preparing the family with last-minute packing to preparing your office for your absence, there’s so much to do to get ready. Therefore, getting enough sleep is the last thing on your mind. Here’s where we help. Check out these 6 tips on how to avoid jet lag.

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Avoid Jet Lag Tip #1: Skip the cup(s) of Joe.

Caffeine may seem like an obvious way to NOT avoid jet lag, but people still drink their coffee within the 12 hours leading up to their trip. We get it, you need it… but you don’t. Even if you want to be awake longer to avoid jet lag, it will affect you and cause you to wake up more often when you do eventually fall asleep, which reduces total sleep time.

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Avoid Jet Lag Tip #2: Do NOT raise your glass. No alcohol.

Did you know that one drink in the air equals to two or three on the ground? Alcohol dries you out and it’s important to stay hydrated. You don’t want to worsen the symptoms of jet lag with a hangover. Sure, alcohol may relax you, but is temporary relaxation worth you being in zombie-mode for your trip?

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Avoid Jet Lag Tip #3: Red-eye flights are no longer an enemy.

Most people don’t enjoy an overnight flight because it can mess with their normal sleep schedule, but that’s not the case for you. Choosing a flight that will land at your destination in the morning is the best way to reset your internal clock. You’ll land and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new adventure in a new destination.

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Avoid Jet Lag Tip #4: Don’t leave until the party’s over.

If you’re being thrown a “Bon Voyage” party, then don’t leave until the party’s over… way over. Make sure the party is being planned in advance so you’re not partying the night before you have to be on a long flight where you will suffer from major jet lag. Plan early, party early, and avoid jet lag.

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Avoid Jet Lag Tip #5: Chase the sun.

Daylight is a powerful thing, and it can regulate your biological clock. Staying indoors will only worsen the jet lag. If you see the sun, then chase it. Get outside, soak up some Vitamin D, and wake yourself up. You might hate it (and us) at first, but you’ll be thankful later when your jet lag fades away.

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Avoid Jet Lag Tip #6: Stay hydrated.

This snowballs off of the important reason to avoid alcohol. Plane rides can be dehydrating, trust us. You need to stay hydrated, so drink up. Keep in mind that you should drink at least 8 ounces of water per hour that you’re in the air, even if you don’t think you’re thirsty.

 

Bonus Tip to Avoid Jet Lag: Do NOT make big plans the first day.

When you land, the last thing you want to do is worry about any huge things. That’s why we recommend skipping baggage claim and heading straight to your hotel room. You can settle down, relax, and have your bags delivered straight to you. Use Bags VIP Luggage Delivery to make your trip a jet lag-free one.

7 Weekend Getaways for Couples

Keeping the romance alive with a weekend getaway

Romance is wherever you are with your significant other, but it doesn’t hurt to take yourselves out of everyday life to somewhere new and exciting for a weekend getaway. Our favorite getaways include places where you can really take in nature and spend time outdoors with your loved one. Here are 7 weekend getaways for couples.

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1. Desert Hot Springs, California

This city is sometimes referred to as the Desert Empire or California’s Spa City, which makes it easily a top getaway destination for couples. DHS overlooks the Palm Springs area, and is a resort hot spot known for its natural, healing, hot mineral water. If you’re looking for an authentic and natural spa, look no further―DHS caters to all visitors looking for a unique experience. If you’re looking for more than just time to wind down and relax, you can also enjoy a wide range of entertainment options, like Cabot’s Pueblo Museum, Joshua Tree National Monument and local dining and shopping.

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2. Sedona, Arizona

This Arizona desert town is the perfect spot to rekindle the flame, surrounded by steep canyon walls, pine forests and red-rock buttes. Its mild climate makes it the perfect weekend getaway year-round. Uptown Sedona is populated with shops, spas and art galleries. On the outskirts of Sedona, you’ll find many trails that lead to Red Rock State Park, where you can enjoy outdoor activities like bird-watching, picnicking and hiking. Sedona can be considered “equal parts rugged, equal parts resort.” Bonus points: Sedona has recently become a destination for wine enthusiasts with its nearby vineyards and tasting rooms.

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3. Big Bend National Park, Texas

As the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States, Big Bend National Park holds national significance―making it the destination spot for everyone. Its name stems from the vast curve of the Rio Grande in remote Southwest Texas, and has over one million acres of public land. What can you do here? Pretty much anything, like camping, hiking, horseback riding, river running, jeep touring, mountain bicycling, sightseeing and stargazing. From convenient and comfortable to resort luxury, enjoy these accommodations for adventure, discovery and romance.

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4. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Your mountain getaway starts and ends right here―in Gatlinburg. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, and Gatlinburg is nestled at the entrance of it. This town may be small with its 3,944 residents, but they are so welcoming that their population can grow to 40,000+ any given night. You and your significant other can feel secluded while also being a part of a community at the same time. Things to do: walking around downtown, the River Walk, arts and crafts, shopping, restaurants, cabins, B&Bs and more.

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5. Hocking Hills, Ohio

This Midwest getaway is for the couples out there who want to explore and cozy up next to a fire. Hocking Hills is perfect for canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, camping, ATV riding and more. There’s so much to do that it can be a little overwhelming―but the more options, the better! This state park is home of Old Man’s Cave and Ash Cave, with cliffs, gorges, rock shelters and waterfalls. Hocking Hills is an ideal weekend getaway for those who want to enjoy some quiet and peaceful time together.

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6. Lake Placid, New York

Home away from home―that’s what Lake Placid feels like to many visitors. With its quaint villages, small community and scenic mountains roads, it’s hard not to fall in love with such a dreamlike destination. The Adirondacks offers variety, from skiing to skating or spa time to wine and beer tastings. You also have an array of options when it comes to lodging, like an upscale green hotel, a cozy B&B, camping cabin or private rental house. Essentially, you can make this weekend getaway as romantic as you want it to be.

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7. Litchfield Hills of Connecticut

For those who live in and around the East Coast, Litchfield Hills is the destination for weekend getaways. Not only is it closeby, but it gives the illusion of being somewhere new and exciting, while also becoming a sanctuary for relaxing for the weekend. Litchfield hills are known for its distinct rural scenery; this is the opposite of Central and Southern Connecticut, which is largely urbanized or suburbanized. With vineyards, farm markets, factory outlets and tours, shopping, waterfalls, spas, health clubs, skiing/snowboarding trails, golf courses, amusement parks, cooking classes, museums, art galleries and so much more, you won’t ever find yourself bored or with nothing to do.

If you’re flying for your weekend getaway, spend more time together…

and less time at baggage claim. Check in your luggage with Bags VIP and skip baggage claim―we’ll deliver your bags to your destination.

8 Best Travel Apps

Some trips are meant for unplugging, especially when you know the place like the back of your hand, however, most trips are new and exciting, which means you could use a little help―virtual help. For the adventure seekers, world travelers and professional go-getters, this list of the 8 best travel apps is for you. Start downloading in 3… 2… 1…

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For itinerary creators: TripIt

If your motto is plan, plan, plan, then that’s just what you’ll do with TripIt. This is like having your personal travel agent in the palm of your hands. You can customize itineraries on your own or you can forward your email confirmations of your flight, hotels, rental cars and other tickets to plans@tripit.com and then watch TripIt construct the itinerary for you.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

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For self-proclaimed meteorologists: The Weather Channel

It’s nice to know what the weather is going to be like for wherever you are going so you can prepare your wardrobe and trip accordingly. This is the classic weather app that has a sleek interface, which is very user-friendly. Bonus points for telling users what airport conditions are like near you.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

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For social butterflies: Scout GPS 

If you’re one of those travelers who visits a new place and wonders where all the people are, then you’ll find your answer (and potential new friends) with Scout GPS. This app pinpoints neighborhood hot spots, like restaurants, museums, hotels, etc. in your area. Best part? It also finds nearby events, so you can check out local concerts, shows, plays and so much more.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

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For data avoiders: Free Wi-Fi Finder

With the constant worry of using all your data, it’d be nice to finally relax while you’re out of town. Free Wi-Fi Finder by JiWire helps you do just that by locating free wireless connections. You can either search through a directory or just enable the Wi-Fi scanner. You’ll be able to locate the nearest hotspots with the click of a button.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

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For memory capturers: Camera360

Taking photos of your trip is the best way to make memories. Unfortunately, we’re not all professional photographers here. Camera360 provides countless editing features to enhance any picture you take. Now you can look back at your photos and remember it as if you were back on vacation.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

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For road warriors: GasBuddy 

Saving time and money is an essential part of any trip, especially when you’re on the road. GasBuddy locates the nearest gas stations and provides approximate pricing. This is useful when you’re running on empty or you just want to find the closest gas station for the most affordable price.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

The Hamptons Lure Uber Top Drivers Amid NYC Slow Summer Weekends

For adventurous riders: Uber

For those who fly and don’t particularly enjoy renting a car, Uber will be your go-to app. Not only are they more affordable than taxis (most of the time), Ubers are also reliable by giving you an ETA and contact information of your Uber driver. They also give you fare estimates, so you don’t have to commit to anything until you’re ready to be picked up.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

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For prepared flyers: GateGuru

There’s nothing worse than layovers and delays, and we feel your pain. Fortunately, GateGuru acts as your own personal airport assistant. Lost and need a map of the terminals? Done. Hungry and need a map of the restaurants in the airport? Done. GateGuru also provides you with average wait times at each terminal’s security checkpoint.

Download for Apple

Download for Android

Once you’ve planned your trip and downloaded your best travel apps…

Be sure to check in your bags with Bags VIP so you can skip baggage claim and have your luggage delivered to you.

5 Most Affordable Destinations This Winter

Wanting to go on a vacation soon but concerned about your budget? No worries — we found the 5 most affordable destinations this winter. Whether you’re looking for a spot to escape the cold or to embrace it, there’s a place for everyone to visit.

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Bahamas

Would you believe us if we said a roundtrip flight to the Bahamas costs about the same for a roundtrip to LA? Well, it does. So if you’re worried about the cost of flying, there are places that are affordable when it comes to travel. One of the other great things about destinations like the Bahamas is that there are many hotels and resorts that are all-inclusive. This means you can enjoy more and spend less. TripAdvisor offers vacation packages that are affordable and make it possible to make 2016 the year that you finally make it to the Bahamas. You deserve the beach and some sun.

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Ireland

Although it may seem like a less desirable spot when it comes to a destination during the winter, it is actually a great time to check out Ireland. Ireland during winter has a reputation for being cold and rainy, but it’s important to remember that that’s just how the island nation always is. Ireland’s weather is relatively temperate year-round, yet people tend to travel during winter less, making it cheaper to visit. If Ireland has always been on your list of places to see, then why not visit now and save a lot of money? Main attractions are still open, it’s not actually that cold, and the off-season means great deals. Learn more about why you should pick Ireland as a winter destination.

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Vancouver, Canada

O Canada, thank you for having Vancouver be one of our favorite and most affordable vacation spots this winter. There may not be much history in this Canadian city, but they make up for it in scenery. Surrounded by mountains and beaches, it comes to no surprise that Vancouver is an ideal setting for film and TV. Want to save on flying? Choose a flight to Seattle, then take a shuttle into Downtown Vancouver. Also, save on gas (it tends to cost more up North) by utilizing the public transport. For more on traveling to Vancouver, check out these tips.

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Bermuda

Like the Bahamas, Bermuda is another dream getaway. It seems pretty unrealistic that a vacation to Bermuda is possible when it comes to being on a budget, but it is! Because May to September is Bermuda’s peak season, it’s uncrowded and affordable. Although temperatures are in the 60s, there’s still so much to enjoy and so much to see. Restaurants also offer great deals because they tend to suffer throughout the winter months from less tourists. The key to planning an affordable trip to Bermuda is, well, to PLAN. Plan in advance so you can save more. TripAvisor offers the best deals when it comes to a romantic vacation, family trip or an all-inclusive holiday.

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Denver, Colorado

This one’s for all of you who are ready to embrace winter and all of its wonderful qualities. It’s pretty uncommon for U.S. ski destinations to offer lower seasonal rates during winter, but Denver is the exception. With attractions like Loveland Ski Area, Winter Park Resort and Rocky Mountain National Park, it shouldn’t come to a surprise why Denver is an ideal spot for winter sports and activities. Still not convinced? Read more about the breathtaking city here.

 

It’s time to take an affordable winter vacation. Vacations are for relaxing — so when you travel to one of these five places this winter, leave the stress of your luggage with us. You can now fly into all five of these affordable destinations while using our Bags VIP luggage delivery service. See the full list of locations.

Checklist for Packing a Lighter Suitcase

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For those of you who have a hard time parting ways with your belongings, here’s a checklist for packing a lighter suitcase. Pack now, thank us later.

Gather the essentials first…

  • Passport, ID, credit cards, cash, etc.
  • Cellphone + charger
  • Contact lenses and/or glasses (pack extra contacts)
  • Toiletries: travel-size shampoo, conditioner, soap deodorant, face wash, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, sunscreen, razor, makeup, etc.
  • Comb and/or brush
  • Sunglasses
  • Headphones

Here comes the wardrobe…

  • Neutral colors/clothes you can mix and match
  • Double duty pieces, like a scarf that can act as a picnic blanket, tablecloth, head scarf, privacy curtain, etc.
  • 1 Jacket/sweatshirt (which you can wear on the plane)
  • Socks (stuff inside your shoes) and underwear
  • 2 pairs of shoes (wear your bulkiest pair on your flight and pack the other, or wear 1 versatile pair for entire trip)

Things you do NOT need…

  • Camera (say hello to your phone)
  • Batteries (if you need them, you can purchase batteries anywhere)
  • Alarm clock (hello again, phone)
  • iPod/iPhone dock and/or bluetooth speaker (put your phone’s volume on high and place it in a bowl)
  • Books (read from your phone for this trip — you probably won’t get much reading accomplished)
  • Towels
  • Jewelry
  • Blankets
  • Hair dryer (most hotels already have one)
  • Purses (carry one with you on the flight and that’s it)
  • Gym clothes for that “possible workout”
  • Valuables
  • Laptop (use your phone or a tablet)

When you can’t compromise on packing a lighter suitcase…

If you end up packing more because you simply need the extra items or because you’re going on a long trip/vacation, that’s ok! Be sure to check your bags through Bags VIP Luggage Delivery. Our luggage delivery service allows you to skip baggage claim entirely because we’ll deliver your bags to your destination.

5 Ways to Survive a Red-Eye Flight

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The best way to survive a red-eye flight is to get some sleep. If you have personally been a victim of getting no sleep during a red-eye flight, please raise your hand.

Now put down your hand, and your head, because these 5 tips will help you get through your next overnight flight:

Red-Eye Tip One: Dress to Impress Your Bed

Being a respectable and professional human being that you are, you would never go out in public wearing pajamas. And we’re not telling you to, however, wearing a suit or even jeans is unnecessary. People often say, “Look good. Feel good,” but we believe in this mantra: Look comfortable. Feel comfortable. Your bed wouldn’t judge you for wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt, and neither will the other passengers who, if are smart, are wearing the exact same thing.

Red-Eye Tip Two: Choose the Window

If you are a frequent bathroom user, please disregard this tip. For the rest of us, always choose the window seat. Bring a pillow, prop it against the window, and Viola! You have created your own little sleeping area. And if you forget a pillow, use your sweatshirt (thank God you dressed so comfortably) or a blanket. With a window seat, you won’t have to worry about other passengers walking by or accidentally using the person next to you as a pillow.

Red-Eye Tip Three: Avoid Caffeine

Are you an avid coffee drinker? Caffeine before flying is what creates the “Chatty Cathy.” Meeting new and interesting people on flights might be great and all, but save that for the birds. Most of us just want to get some rest, and being a Chatty Cathy or sitting next to one on a red-eye will prevent that from happening.

Red-Eye Tip Four: Say No to Connecting Flights

Question: What’s worse than trying to get some sleep on a flight? Answer: Trying to fall asleep on two or more flights. You have a big presentation as soon as you land… Why risk blowing it by not getting enough rest? We recommend shelling out a few extra bucks to avoid connections. Trust us—you and your job will thank us later.

Red-Eye Tip Five: Relieve Stress Before Your Flight

For some of us, falling asleep on flights is solely based upon whether or not we’re comfortable enough. For others, getting sleep anywhere is a struggle, especially with a thousand things on our minds every day. Prepare for your trip before taking off by handling the little things we always forget. Figure out where the closest Starbucks is to your hotel with an app like Foodspotting. Find out how far the airport is from where you are staying and schedule a ride that is most convenient, like Uber. Use a reliable luggage delivery service, such as Bags, so you don’t have to worry about your suitcase being lost. The less you worry, the more you’ll sleep.

Bags Transports Baggage for Pope Francis and his Entourage

Bags delivered luggage and trip-related items for Pope Francis and his traveling party during his September 22-27 visit to Washington, DC and New York City.Bags is honored to have delivered the luggage and trip-related items for Pope Francis and his large traveling party during his September 22-27 visit to Washington, DC and New York City.

Bags was entrusted to ensure everything traveling with the papal entourage aboard Shepherd One arrived secure and on time.

Bags complied with rigorous security requirements for handing and escorting baggage through numerous stops between Washington, DC and New York City. Those requirements included collaboration with the Secret Service, New York City Police Department, and Swiss Guard, which is traditionally responsible for the security of the pope during his travels and in Vatican City.

Bags delivered luggage and trip-related items for Pope Francis and his traveling party during his September 22-27 visit to Washington, DC and New York City.Bags delivered luggage and trip-related items for Pope Francis and his traveling party during his September 22-27 visit to Washington, DC and New York City.Bags is trusted nationwide to handle luggage logistics for clients, events, meetings, and conventions of any size. From remote baggage check-in to valet parking management, from luggage delivery to bell and concierge services, Bags handles more than 5 million checked bags per year and provides the highest level of service, not just for the Pope, but for every customer who entrusts us with their luggage.

How To Get Through An Airport In Record Time

For most people, the most stressful part of any trip or vacation is the airport, and the last thing you need is to rush through security and wait in a ton of lines. Luckily, there are some easy things you can do to speed up the process. Take some of the guesswork out of travel by checking this simple list as you head out to the airport—it’ll get you through security and on the plane in no time!

Luggage shipping alternatives aren’t the only way to speed through the airport. Try these tips to get through airport security faster.

Image courtesy Flickr user Andrew Magill.

 

  1. Print your boarding pass the night before. And, if you have a smartphone, use an app like TripIt to get your confirmation number, flight number, and other info in one easy-to-access place.
  2. Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off at the security line.
  3. Put any jewelry, watches, and even belts in your bag. Don’t wear them on travel day if at all possible.
  4. Put your phone, iPod, and other gadgets in your bag rather than your pockets. After you go through security, you can throw them in your pockets when you have a moment to sit down.
  5. Put your coat or other zip-up accessories in your bag. If you’re cold, opt for a non-zip sweater or sweatshirt, which they won’t make you take off at security.
  6. If you don’t have a TSA-approved carry-on, pick up a laptop sleeve with a detachable strap. That way, you can carry it with you through the airport, throw it on the conveyor belt, and put it in your backpack when you have a moment to yourself.
  7. When you arrive at the airport, check to see if there are any other security lines. Often (especially on busier days), they’ll open up a few security lines at the ends of the lobby, where you might be less likely to see them—and the lines are often much shorter.
  8. Lastly, check your luggage with a luggage delivery service like Bags VIP. With your ticket printed and bags on their way to your final destination, you’ll be able to move through the airport with easeor run to your gate if you’re in a hurry.  

 

 

Luggage shipping alternatives aren’t the only way to speed through the airport. Try these tips to get through airport security faster.

Image courtesy Flickr user Eric Salard.

Of course, there are a lot of other things you can do far ahead of time. Fly on less traveled days like Sunday, for example, or skipping baggage claim with Bags VIP. Bags VIP luggage delivery is an affordable add-on service alternative to luggage shipping that delivers customers’ luggage to any hotel, office or home address within 100 miles of the airport. No matter what your plans are, these tips should help you get through the airport as efficiently as possible.