Tag Archives: security

Pros and Cons of Carry-on vs. Checked Baggage

airportgroundtransportationFactors to Consider Before Packing for Your Next Flight

Most travellers I know aim to travel with just carry-on baggage but most often end up checking their bags because it takes far too much time and effort to pack smart and efficiently. Most of us pack far too many clothes than we will ever need because doing so requires much less thought when packing. Just throw everything in that suitcase and don’t worry about it right?

Although there may be several benefits to travelling with just carry-on, in my personal experience it may not always be the best choice.  In fact, it may end up causing you more headaches throughout your journey.  Before I divulge why it may be less convenient to not check a bag, lets explore some of the benefits to travelling with carry-on alone:

Pros of Travelling With Only Carry-On Baggage:

No extra baggage fees


The typical airline charges $25US per checked bag and up to well over $100 for bags that are overweight.  By keeping your personal articles to a minimum, you can save up to over $200 per return flight. Recently however, due to long TSA wait lines, some airlines are dropping baggage fees in order to expedite the security wait times.

Save Time by Avoiding Baggage Drop-off Lines and Waiting to Collect Your Baggage at Your Destination

Businesswoman walking with luggage in airport baggage claim area, rear view (tilt)If you are checking a bag, be prepared to add at least 1 hour minimum to your transit time.  Instead of simply printing off your boarding pass and proceeding through security, you will have to tag your bag and line up to drop off your bag. This process alone can take an hour so if you are planning on checking a bag, be sure to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours early for domestic flights and 3 hours for international flights in order to ensure you have enough time to drop off your bag and go through security.

Furthermore, when you arrive at your destination, typically you will have to wait an additional 20-30 minutes for your bag to be available for pick-up at the baggage claim carousel. For international travellers, this wait may be even longer given that customs agents may be searching your bags prior to putting them on the carousel.  What better things could you be doing in those 20 minutes? Be at your hotel, sipping on a nice glass of chardonnay? Sign me up!

No Worrying About Lost Baggage

lost baggageI don’t know about you but every time I’m waiting at the baggage claim, I always fret over the fact that my bag might not make it.  I neurotically think of what time I checked-in for my flight and what order my bag should be in as it was loaded and unloaded on the plane.  Fortunately, I have not ever had one of my bags lost but one time I had to wait almost 3 hours after returning on a flight that arrived at midnight.  I was not a happy camper by the time I claimed my bag at 3am but nonetheless, I was pleased that I did get my bag!

Save Money at Your Destination

suitcasefull It’s quite simple: if you have limited or no space in your bag to put anything else in it, you don’t have the option to buy things and bring them home, well unless you buy another bag!

 

 

Cons of Travelling with Only Carry-On Baggage:

Not All “Carry-on Approved” Bags Will Fit in Overhead Bins 

Can't fit much more than a laptop case in this bin!

Can’t fit much more than a laptop case in this bin!

Ever go to a luggage shop and see luggage labelled as “Carry-On Approved Luggage”?  Or even try out the airline’s “Carry-on Approved Luggage Sizes” bins at the airport?  Well sorry to disappoint, all that is meaningless and rather completely dependent on the type of aircraft you will be flying on.  Each aircraft has VERY different overhead bin storage space and there are some aircraft such as the dash series which won’t fit much more than a laptop case!

 

IMG_20160505_200803Travel Tip: I always travel with an extra small bag/purse within my larger carry-on which contains all of my electronic devices (cell phone, chargers, etc).  Note the small purse in the left of this photo which I store in my larger carry-on below.  This way if you are on a small aircraft where your bag won’t fit and you have to use the sky-check service, you can quickly remove any articles which cannot be checked (i.e. anything containing a lithium ion battery).

 

Additional Scrutiny at Customs Checkpoints

customs nothing to declare

As I mentioned previously, if you are just travelling with carry-on, you have limited space in which to place any additional articles which ultimately limits you in terms of what you can purchase throughout your travels.  Several times, well more often than not, I travel with only carry-on and do not purchase any items while abroad and therefore have nothing to declare at customs.  Apparently this must be some sort of red flag or perhaps a red flag only because I am a female and I should be bringing multiple bags and shopping everywhere I go? I have wound up in secondary screening almost every time I travel with carry-on only and have nothing to declare. Being subject to secondary screening is time consuming and anything but fun.  At minimum, it may add 1 hour to your journey and if you have been travelling for a long time, this is the last thing you want to have to go through! As a side note, if you are travelling internationally, ALWAYS DECLARE EVERYTHING HONESTLY and IF IN DOUBT, DECLARE IT! Not properly declaring items is a serious offense!

Limited Quantity of Items (Liquids and gels, clothing, shoes etc.) 

liquids and gels

This is probably the biggest challenge for most travellers; Being able to pack all of your necessities in such a way that it meets carry-on requirements.  Liquids and gels are limited to a maximum of 1L total comprising of bottles that contain a maximum of 100 ML each and that is very difficult to do, especially if travelling for more than a few days at a time.  Clothing can be packed minimally especially if your hotel has laundry facilities but shoes however cannot.  If you are planning on travelling with just carry-on, I recommend wearing all of your bulkiest items (boots, jacket, etc.) during transit.

In reading this, I hope that my points will better prepare you for your next trip.

Looking for tips on how to travel more efficiently? Contact me at thetravellingsaleswoman@gmail.com

Safe travels my friends!

TSW

 

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Reasons Why the iPhone is Inferior to BlackBerry for Business

And Why I’m Ditching my iPhone and Going Back to Blackberry

iphone_trash_300x2991

When I first hopped on the bandwagon and switched to an iPhone, I quickly realized how useless it is for business and that it was much more of a toy.  Sure the iPhone is pretty, has lots of fancy apps and you can play all sorts of games, however the applications for business use are seriously lacking. Yesterday I experienced the last and final straw with this device which pushed me over the edge to toss my iPhone and go back to BlackBerry.  However, before I get to that, I’ll share the other primary reasons why I find the iPhone inferior to BlackBerry for business use.

  1. Keyboard (touch vs QWERTY)

blackberry-classic-QWERTY.0

In business, most of us are used to typing on a computer on a daily basis.  For me, typing out emails on a touch screen keyboard is completely aggravating. Even more so is the autocorrect feature which consistently seems to add the most inappropriate words and makes it difficult to use the words you intended to use.  Furthermore, as a woman who likes to have nice nails, you can’t have them if you intend to use the touch screen keyboard since the screen will not respond to nail tips.   I realize this sounds girly, but I never thought I’d have to choose between being able to use my phone and having a nice manicure.  I suppose I could have invested in a stylus, but I’m sure I would have misplaced that in less than 24 hours.  So, bye-bye manicure it was.

  1. Email Access

nowifiOn my iPhone, in order for me to access my work email (which is an IMAP account), I had to manually disable my wifi and use my cellular data to send and receive email.  Apple apparently has no solution to this problem and nicely told me that if I want to use this “old” email set-up (which I obviously have no say in) that I must routinely disable my wifi to check if I received any new email.  Furthermore, if I sent an email while out of a wifi zone and then my phone picks up a wifi network without me noticing, my sent email could sit in my outbox until I leave the wifi area.  How ridiculously inconvenient is that??? I never experienced this issue on a BlackBerry.

 

  1. Available Travel Apps

BBTravelNotificationI was spoiled by BlackBerry’s Travel Manager app.  With zero effort on my part, this app picked up all of my travel arrangements, put them in my calendar, gave me notifications (some of which were even before the airline itself would announce them) and provided timely reminders for anything I could think of.  When I switched to an iPhone, I was extremely disappointed that there wasn’t and app that was even remotely close to being as efficient as the BlackBerry Travel App.  Tripit, I was told was the “closest” and that is a long shot! All travel arrangements have to be manually inputted into this app. If you are lucky, when you manually forward email your reservation to the app, it will acknowledge it 25-50% of the time.  The other 50-75% of the time it doesn’t understand the reservation and you have to enter ALL of your travel info MANUALLY!!! Who has time for this??? Sometimes I have over 20 days of reservations booked for flights, hotels, car rentals etc. and to have to enter this data manually? Forget it! Even worse is that it will only notify you of a flight change or delay if you pay for the premium version. Did I mention that BlackBerry Travel was FREE?

  1. Battery Life

iphone-LOWbatteryThe iPhone is also seriously lagging in this department.  I have to charge it 1-2 times daily whereas my BlackBerry would last at least one full day if not more. This is extremely inconvenient when travelling where you don’t always have access to a power outlet.

  1. Security

How to lock files and folder with password

To date, I was willing to accept all of these faults I mentioned above and managed to live with them for almost a year, but yesterday I had my last straw with this device.  Yesterday morning I unlocked my phone only to discover that someone was remotely browsing through old files and photos that I had “permanently deleted” on my device. They also accessed my Facebook account (which I could see) and who knows what else!  If this hacker had access to that information, they clearly had access to all of the other information on my device including where I live.  How scary is that? So much for confidentiality! In business, confidentiality is of utmost importance, so why put all of that at risk?  There is a reason the government uses BlackBerry.  All of the information is secure and can be easily encrypted.  The security on a BlackBerry is unbeatable.

BACKUP

The only place to back-up your iPhone data is on the iCloud or on  iTunes. If your account has been compromised, what is the point to putting it back in an unsecure zone? There is no direct secure way to back up files to a PC or encrypt files securely.  This is a very serious flaw!

VULNERABLE APPS

Recently in excess of 25,000 iPhone and iPad Apps have vulnerabilities that allow hackers easy access into your iPhone and your iCloud. You can read more about this massive security flaw here.

To check if any the apps you are using are vulnerable go check this website by clicking here . I realized that I had quite a few vulnerable apps on my phone including but not limited to:

  • Yahoo mail
  • Skype
  • Soundcloud
  • Find my iPhone <-Yes seriously!!! Thanks Apple!
  • Battery Doctor

So, all of that being said, I got rid of my iPhone yesterday and switched back to a BlackBerry which I love.  Sure it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles but it is a workhorse and it is secure.  Like most business professionals, I need to do work on my phone, not play games and the BlackBerry is the best device on the market for that purpose.

If you are a business professional using an iPhone, make sure to either delete your cloud account or at minimum change your Apple ID and all other passwords weekly, otherwise you run a very high risk of all of your data being compromised.

I hope that you found this information helpful and have an opportunity to make the appropriate changes before your phone and consequently your data is compromised.

The iPhone is a toy.  The BlackBerry is a Business tool.

Keep your data safe fellow business men and women.

 

TSW

Listening to a little Back in Black

Back-in-Black

 

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