Monday, April 26, 2010

0 Mailbag Monday: April 26, 2010

What type of luggage do you use when you travel?
-J.C., Cape Town, South Africa

We've seen a lot of travelers using the heavy duty, framed backpacks for long hauls, but our preferred luggage is actually categorized as a "day pack" by EMS. The Kelty is pretty much the perfect size--big enough to hold your needs for a six-month trek, small enough to fit easily in an airplane's overhead compartment (or maybe even below the seat in front of you, although I never checked). Its padded straps and compact dimensions made it very comfortable to carry for hours at a a time. Mine has lasted three years and shows no signs of giving up--it's a great investment at about $100.

For business trips I swear by my little Target Embark. It looks super tiny, but it's just big enough to fit 3-4 suits, 5-6 work shirts, a casual outfit, and toiletries. I normally can get my laptop in there too. I got my current one for $10 a year or two ago, but it looks like they are currently selling it as a part of a three-piece set for $20. These babies aren't as durable though (what do you expect at that price?) so you'll have to replace it every two years or so.

I'm taking a cruise departing from Valparaiso later this year. I'll need to fly in to Santiago first and I thought it could be fun to get there a few days early to explore the city. How much time would you recommend there?
-Luke, Golden, CO, USA

Santiago definitely has its share of interesting sights, but it was probably one of our least favorite South American cities. It might make sense to spend a day there to recupe from your flight and check out the Plaza de Armas, and then head to Valparaiso to spend a few days there before your cruise departs. It's a lot more charming than you might expect of a port city.

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