Great Ideas for Gearing Up for Travel

By Guest blogger Kathy Witt

Road trips, international travel, less crowded destinations, more responsible travel, family and friends getaways and cruising – these are the types of travels Americans are seeking for 2023 according to a travel predictions outlook by AAA.

Whether they jet off to Europe (where the dollar is stronger than it has been for the past 20 years); choose to cruise, attracted by cruising’s all-inclusive nature; or hit the road for more budget-conscious but still meaningful experiences, travelers need the proper gear.

Fully featured with every amenity, the Rodeo Drive 2.0 Large Check-In ($279.99 on sale) by Ricardo Beverly Hills,, is a gorgeous and sleek checked-size piece with extravagant packing space – THE piece for that extended dream vacation. Light but sturdy, it will hold everything needed in a well-organized interior that includes a suiter system, zippered pockets and compartment, removable laundry bag and individual shoe bags.

This bag’s refined craftsmanship shows in its scratch-resistant, nearly indestructible Makrolon polycarbonate textured exterior, meaning the case will arrive at your destination looking as good as it did when you checked it. It has smooth maneuverability thanks to dual, all-direction wheels and premium handle system and is finished with a Makrolon polycarbonate textured exterior.

Classic styling and functional finesse characterize Briggs & Riley’s Baseline Traveler Tote ($219), Generously sized, it derives its strength from durable ballistic nylon construction and its elegant, good looks from leather detailing, from carry handles to hideaway ID tag to nameplate that can be monogrammed.

Available in black or olive, the bag’s exterior has a slip-through back panel for sliding over a roller bag and Briggs & Riley’s signature SpeedThru pocket with a lining in luscious orange for fast access to stored items at security checkpoints. Inside, the main compartment is generously sized and offers three elastic bloused pockets and a soft lining in a contrasting color that makes finding items a snap.

In 100 percent recycled materials, Eagle Creek’s rugged and sturdy 40L Migrate Duffel ($99),, with wide-mouth opening is made to swallow up enough clothing and accessories for a long, leisurely weekend or weeklong getaway. Not only that but it converts quickly to backpack mode with tuck-away straps for versatile carry options.

Among its many features are side buckles that unlock for additional packing space; external compression straps to keep gear in place; seamless bottom bathtub construction that helps prevent water from entering the duffel; top, side and end handles that double as tie-down locations; an internal storm flap to deter dust and water entry; a lockable main zipper with large finger loop zipper pulls for easy access; and a front-zippered pocket for quick access essentials. All this and soft and squishy to fit into the overhead bin or under the airplane seat.

Pair the Migrate Duffel with one of Eagle Creek’s Pack-It packing cube systems, like the Pack-It Isolate Cube Set ($45),, comprising three differently sized bags made to organize everything needed for travels. Stash accessories and socks into the extra small cube, pajamas and undergarments into the small and jeans and other bulkier items into the medium cube. Zip closed and voila! Once you travel with packing cubes, you’ll never want to travel without them again.

Ultralightweight, water resistant and translucent, these washable cubes are treated with an antimicrobial agent that combats harmful, odor-causing bacteria and provides long-lasting stink protection. New to Eagle Creek’s Pack-It line is Pack-It Starter Set ($55), which includes a folding envelope designed to hold up to 12 items, fit into a carry-on and transport more wrinkle-prone garments to keep them looking sharp.

Bringing a downtown energy in a laidback bag is Solo’s Duane Hybrid Briefcase ($64.99),, one of the most popular (and versatile) bags in the U.S. Featuring a fully padded laptop sleeve and an internal iPad/tablet sleeve, Duane converts from brief to commuter to backpack in seconds, making it the perfect bag to carry to the office, across town for a meeting or out of town for a weekend getaway.

The bag has a large front pocket with organizer panel, two quick-access front pockets for added storage, smooth-glide zippers, padded carry handles with magnetic snaps, a removable/adjustable shoulder strap and hideaway padded backpack straps. Duane maintains a slim silhouette, while providing enough room for a change of clothes.


Renee Silverman, president of Irv’s Luggage in Vernon Hills, IL (, has a curated list of interesting and useful travel products for 2023 to keep travelers organized, confident and prepared for anything.

“These are all items intended to make travel easier, more organized, more secure and therefore, less stressful,” said Silverman. “Keeping these essential items together ensures that you don’t forget any of them.”

  1. Compression packing cubes. These are the most important item in your suitcase. Compression cubes keep you organized by allowing you to pack by category, and they allow for the most efficient packing. Other benefits: You never have to unpack them. Your personal items never come into contact with the interior of the drawers.
  • Charging station. With four USB ports and one US grounded plug, the Tech Candy Power Trip Outlet + USB Port Travel Charging Station lets you charge up to five items at once. For international travel you just plug the power trip into your adapter plus and you’re ready to charge.
  • Toiletry kit. Silverman loves the Travelon Flat-Out Hanging Toiletry Kit because it’s designed to be easier to pack than other bulkier toiletry bags – and allows for packing a ton of toiletries in the see-through pockets.
  • Toothbrush sanitizer. Keep your toothbrush clean with Pursonic’s S1 Portable Travel UV Toothbrush Sanitizer. When you close the lid, the green light goes on to indicate UV sanitizing is taking place.
  • Mirror. Charge up this 2-sided Tech Candy Glow Up Charging Mirror (one side is magnified) and you have a great lighted mirror AND a portable charger for your phone.
  • Book light. Tiny but powerful, the Mighty Bright Rechargeable Travel Book Light concentrates light exactly where you need it. It’s small and easy to pack and recharges so you never have to replace the battery.
  • Anti-theft protection. “Do not travel without an anti-theft bag of some kind,” said Silverman. Her pick? Travelon’s Anti-Theft Metro Sling, a crossbody sling equipped with all the most important anti-theft features – plus you are hands free.

For more information on each item listed above, visit or call the store at 847-437-4810.

About Guest Blogger Kathy Witt

Award winning writer and author Kathy Witt is a member of SATW Society of American Travel Writers and the Authors Guild

She is the author of Secret Cincinnati; The Secret of the Belles; Atlanta, GA: A Photographic Portrait

NEWCincinnati Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for Cincinnati’s Hidden Treasures is now available.

NEWPerfect Day Kentucky: Daily Itineraries for the Discerning Traveler arriving Fall 2023