If you subscribe to my free daily travel tips newsletter, then you know that for a long time, I’ve been recommending travelers not check a bag when they fly. However, I realize it’s almost impossible for many, including me these days when I travel with my little kids (ages 3 and 6). Sometimes I think we should rent a U-Haul for all of their clothes, products and gadgets. RELATED: 10 Things You Don’t Need to Pack
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That’s why I advise that if you do check a bag, make sure it stands out (you can paint it, tie a ribbon on it, buy a wrap for it) because black bags are the most common, get lost in a sea of other black bags and get misplaced the most frequently.
In fact, a baggage expert recently told me: “Don’t check-in a hard sided black suitcase. It’s the most common type of suitcase in the world. It’s 22HW type and almost regarded as the default bag type. If your bag is missing, you don’t want to be the black hard one, you want to be the green one.” Here are the rest of his tips.
Since the spring, when it was apparent that airlines and airports were grossly understaffed, I started recommending that travelers pop an Apple AirTag or a Samsung SmartTag in their bag to track its location. These $28 gadgets have been lifesavers for so many and it’s arguably the travel product of the year. So many bags have been mishandled and unfortunately, ruining the vacations of so many. That’s one reason why you want to always pack a day or two’s worth of clothing in your carry-on, along with your valuables, medications and a bathing suit if you’re going to a remote tropical destination.
I’ve had an Apple AirTag in my carry-on for a while now. If it ever gets stolen, I want to be able to retrieve the stuff the thieves leave behind.
Well, wouldn’t you know it. It seems like the executives over at T-Mobile must be reading my emails because today, they announced a new product, which they sent me to check out, just in time for holiday travels. It’s called The Un-carrier On, which is a new, limited-edition, magenta smart carry-on suitcase. Yep, you read that right.
Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile says: “I know there’s a lot to unpack here. Why is T-Mobile, a wireless provider, launching a suitcase? Well, we’re the Un-carrier—and travel is kind of our bag. So we made one. A bag. An actual bag.”
The Un-carrier On was developed in collaboration with Samsara Luggage and is available for pre-order today (while supplies) last at TravelMagenta.com for $325 plus tax (shipping is free).
The suitcase has wireless charging capabilities and the removable battery pack also has USB-C charging. Additional features include:
- Tag Smart Technology – Equipped with Apple AirTag to help track your belongings if you need to check your bag.
- Eight-Bag Packing Set – Keep your bag and your belongings organized – and ensure your dirty stuff never touches your clean stuff again.
- Flat Top Work Surface – The flat top can turn your bag into a workstation on wheels, or a leg/foot rest depending on the occasion.
I’ve been a T-Mobile user for probably over a decade since they have the best plan for international travelers; they offer free high-speed data in 215+ countries. They also give T-Mobile users free Wi-Fi on the biggest U.S. airlines.
Another reason this is a great suitcase is because you will always have your own personal charging station with you, wherever you go. I’ve written about the dangers of using public charging stations and how you can get hacked. The practice is called ‘juice jacking’, and it means that a cyber criminal can hack into public charging stations and then into your phone where they can download malware or a virus. Using your own personal, portable charger or a suitcase like the Un-carrier On means you’ll have one less thing to worry about.