Now that spring is officially here, I’m starting to make summer travel plans. So far, I have our annual pilgrimage to Coachella booked, and our Memorial Day jaunt to Malibu on lock with a few more work and family trips that are TBD. While I love to travel, it does inevitably end up having some stressful moments (like navigating the TSA line – or any line – with kids in tow). Thankfully, tech is keeping up with the game.
Last year, I shared some of my favorite apps for making travel easier. Since then, smarter travel products have been taking the stage – especially high-tech luggage, which can literally make or break your entire experience (if you’ve ever lost a suitcase or have had one show up broken on the baggage claim carousel, you know what I mean).
I’m jonesing for a new carry-on, so here are six high-tech brands I have my eye on for this summer’s travel. Have you tried any of them? If so, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments!
BBC called Bluesmart ($449) “the iPhone of luggage,” and it’s easy to see why. Just download the app to remotely track and lock your suitcase from anywhere in the world, check its weight, and plug in your devices for up to six charges while you’re on the go. Sweet.
A travel blogger favorite, Away ($225) offers top-quality design and break-resistant polycarbonate construction at a pretty affordable price. The carry-ons have device-charging capability, while the larger models have an interior compression system (great for over-packers) and come with a laundry bag (great for kids).
Think of Raden ($295) as a combination of Bluesmart and Away – and right in the middle price-wise. All models can be tracked via Bluetooth and have a built-in device charger that provides up to four charges. The handle doubles as a weight scale. Have a hard time spotting your luggage at baggage claim? It comes in a variety of colors, too.
The real standout feature on the Trunkster ($305) is the innovative roll-front door design. Not only does it look cool, it’s water resistant and eliminates the need for zippers all together. Another bonus? The mobile device charger and luggage-tracking device are removable, so you can take them out if you want to lend your Trunkster to a friend or family member.
Space Case 1
The Space Case 1 ($750) is definitely more pricey than the other brands here, but worth it for frequent travelers who want complete control of their travel experience. In addition to the basic smart specs we’ve covered so far (built-in weight calculator, power bank for devices, sturdy construction), the Space Case 1 also has a fingerprint-enabled lock, an app-connected proximity sensor that alerts you of your suitcase’s movement, and a virtual concierge for tracking flights and booking hotels and rental cars, available via the Planet Traveler app.
Rimowa Electronic Tag
If you’re prone to running late to the airport, Rimowa’s Electronic Tag (coming soon) will make sure you never miss the luggage check-in cut-off again. While the suitcase itself doesn’t include built-in device charging or tracking functions, the fact that you can check your luggage in entirely via app and just drop it off when you get to the airport (instead of waiting in line to get a paper baggage claim tag) eliminates so much stress, you may opt for it over other smart suitcases. The Electronic Tag is only connected via select airline partners for now, but let’s hope this becomes the universal norm soon.