Tag Archives: luggage

Time for a knap

I spent most of last week on ‘planes, trains and automobiles.’ Unlike Steve Martin and John Candy in the iconic film of the same name, I suffered only minor delays in my journeys, but was constantly annoyed by one group of travelers —


backpack in airport

Backpackers clog the aisles of both airplanes and trains and, for reasons unbeknownst to me, appear to have no idea of the additional girth their over-the-shoulder luggage adds to their body. They careen down the center aisle, bumping people on either side (and behind when they need to back up).

Apparently the backpack cushions their body from all collisions too, because they never seem to notice or feel the need to apologize.

So, if any backpackers are reading this, take note the next time you travel. You leave behind a wake of bruised body parts and bad attitudes…

And they all have your name on ’em.

Baggage handler

When you travel for business,  you pack a lot. You get it down to a science.

I can pack for most trips 10 minutes before I leave.


Personal trips are a completely different story.

I don’t know exactly what I am going to be doing every hour of the trip. There is no ‘uniform’ that I can put on for each activity.  Plus, my vacations are usually a bit longer…and I have to pack for the dog, too.

And he likes to have a lot of choices.

Making a case


Wheelie bags are getting fancier all the time.

The travelers at the San Diego Airport are walking proof.

But women and little girls aren’t the only ones sporting these more lighthearted styles.  I have seen several men — unaccompanied by kids — pulling them behind.

Is this their sense of humor showing? (Or did they borrow it from their wife or kids?)

Oh, I got baggage

Today I retire a trusted member of my small business —

jack georges greenMy Jack Georges Milano laptop bag in vibrant green leather.

For more than a decade, this briefcase has accompanied me on my travels in these United States, Europe and Asia.

I have overstuffed it, crushed it, slept on it — and it has always looked as good as new.

Well, almost.

That bag was a great conversation starter at any airport gate, airport restaurant, airplane row, hotel lobby — basically anywhere.  Folks noticed my Jack Georges.  I’m sure I sold a bunch of them.

But today my Jack got to stay home and sleep in…and instead I brought along —

McKlein orange


My new briefcase by McKlein.  In bright orange.

Because I’ll admit it —

I like the attention.

Here’s to eavesdropping

I was standing in a crowd of people today, unintentionally eavesdropping on the conversation of two people standing close by.  I admit it.

I even told them.

eavesdroppingOne of the woman said she was going to walk to the train station in Philadelphia after our meeting ended. I was headed there, too, and I knew that walking that far was out of the question…especially with luggage, which we both had.

So I told her.

We ended up sharing a cab. We also ended up on the same train — she was headed to New York City as well.

It was her first train trip, first trip to Manhattan, first trip to the cafe car.  She was joining friends here for the weekend.  I usually travel alone on business, but watching her excitement at every step of the journey made what was a routine trip home for me a lot more fun.

Glad I was listening!


I took Amtrak yesterday to a business meeting outside Philly.

Why do trains kick air travel’s butt so soundly?

Of course there are the simple logistics.  No TSA security. No baggage check for most standard luggage. No plastic bag for toiletries, no removing coats and shoes, no arriving an hour before departure.

No hassle.

But I realized last night — as I sat in a comfortable semi-coma on a regional coach headed home — what makes trains more than merely the easier way to travel.

It’s the chugga chugga.

Trains literally rock you while you ride.  That signature motion soothes the nervous traveler and helps the overtired find sleep.

I think it takes us all the way back to the cradle.  Or, in my particular case, to the clothes dryer.  My mother used to sit my bouncer chair on top of the dryer to help me fall asleep.  The rocking motion and the warmth from the machine totally knocked me out.  (Still does.)

Now, people may not ride the train because of it, and Amtrak certainly doesn’t advertise it, but I think this subliminal motion really rocks.


Well, the only motion they have to offer is turbulence.

Sidewalk sermon

Are there etiquette rules for hailing a taxi?

One lady seems to think so.

Yesterday morning I rolled my wheelie bag to Columbus Avenue and stood mid-block, because taxis can get ticketed for picking up fares in the crosswalk.

At the corner two woman were also hailing taxis — in the crosswalk — but it’s not unusual to be one of many vying for a cab on the same spot in New York City.

After I had assumed the position — luggage in front of me, arm outstretched — one of the woman started yelling at me for “getting in front of her in line.”

Say what?

Taxis in Manhattan are plentiful, and I could already see about six of them with their lights on headed our way.

I chose to ignore the yelling at first, but she decided to walk over and confront me.

“Excuse me,” she said with quite a bit of ‘tude.  “You just walked in front of me.”

“Taxis can get tickets for picking up people in the crosswalk,” I said calmly.  “I simply moved down.”

“You moved ahead of me,” she repeated, hands on her hips.

I just turned away and continued to signal for the cab.  It was a moot point as far as I was concerned.

“And me, eight months pregnant — nice,” she huffed, and walked way.

Now, I hadn’t really paid attention to her in the first place, and I certainly hadn’t noticed she was pregnant under her heavy winter coat.  But I don’t think that knowledge would have changed my behavior….or should have.

Nobody made her get pregnant.  And nobody made her stand in the crosswalk.

Everybody makes their own choices.

Some…are simply poor ones.