My Suitcase is Smarter Than Yours

I headed to Boston a few weeks ago to present at the Massachusetts Conference for Women. It was a very impressive conference. There were about 11,000 attendees and keynote speeches included Gayle King, Kevin O’Leary and Sarah Blakely.

I hosted a session called, (what else?) “Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed.” There were lots and lots of amazing list makers in the crowd. I even signed my very first to-do list! I also signed a lot of books and I got to meet one of the long time readers of this blog – Eileen Wyner! She was also a member of my VIP Launch Team when Listful Thinking was published. Grateful to meet her and share list stories!

I also moderated a session called, “Work Life Integration: Lessons From the Trenches” where I got to use my skills as a producer and interview two executives from Boston Scientific. We all shared stories of when we realized there had to be a better way to be successful in our careers and also happy at home. My lesson came when my appendix ruptured earlier this year.

Trying out the Arlo Skye Carry-On

About a week before I left for the conference I got a surprise in the mail. Arlo Skye, a luxury high-quality luggage maker, gifted me their new Carry-On bag to test out and review. I had just been thinking it was time I got a new small roller bag for quick trips. Mine was kind of old and beat up.

I was only going to the conference for one night so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I’m already a pretty efficient packer as you might have guessed, but this suitcase made me up my game.

It isn’t like other suitcases I’ve ever used. It’s meant to lay completely flat and you’re meant to pack your stuff in both halves of the suitcase. Not like the typical suitcase where you fill the bottom and the top is saved for items in the zipped up portions. With this system you use every inch of space.

I thought I would miss the zipped up portions of my usual suitcase but Arlo Skye is smart and includes some zippable compartments and pouches to mix and match. So I used one pouch for shoes, which is nice because I was always kind of grossed out by putting my dirty shoes next to my clean clothes. The packing cubes, shoe sleeves and and liners are anti-microbial so you don’t have to worry about germs.

Plus the removable packing liners are meant to go on top of your clothes when you’re done filling the suitcase so everything will stay in it’s place. Then you use the snaps to keep it all in place. It’s really brilliant.

This suitcase surprised me more than once.

It doesn’t close like a typical suitcase either. Instead of annoying zippers there are smart snaps to close it. They are very easy to close. If you struggling with them, it’s because something is sticking out of the suitcase – I learned this the hard way after having a mild scare. The suitcase really is smarter than me – it knew it shouldn’t have been closed yet!

Usually at some point in my travels I have a slight panic about not having enough battery on my phone. Rarely do I actually completely run out of battery, but it’s always in the back of my mind that it can happen. So I’m always on the hunt for an outlet to sit next to.  Well the Arlo Skye makes this easy – there’s a built in charger in the Carry-On for two devices. You just have to remember to charge it before you leave!

The Carry-On is aluminum, which means it’s a pretty gorgeous to look at, but also lightweight. I didn’t have a problem heaving it into the overhead compartment of the airplane and that’s usually one of my anxiety points for traveling alone.

Plus, because it’s a hardshell I didn’t have to wonder if it would really fit. Sometimes with the soft cases I’ve used in the past I overstuff them so much that then they are bursting at the seams and they might not perfectly fit. There’s no questions here – the dimensions are the max allowable by major US airlines.

It comes in three colors: silver, black and champagne and costs $550. Before you freak out thinking that’s too much – realize that smart designer suitcases like this typically start at $1000.  Yeah, who knew? I certainly didn’t before I started researching. If you’re a business traveler or are shopping for one this is a must.

I had a hangup over buying expensive rainboots for the longest time. I kept buying cheap, crappy pairs and they would all inevitably crack or break — leaving my feet cold and wet. I finally got over myself and invested in a high-end $200 pair and my feet have never been happier.  Sometimes it just pays to get quality up front.

If you’re still not sold — you can try it out and send it back if you’re not feeling it. They allow you to test out the suitcase for 21 days. If you don’t love it – you return it. That’s that. In the words of the Barefoot Contessa, “How easy is that?”

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