Global Traveler: What qualities should a frequent traveler look for in a new piece of luggage?
Jim Lahren: Understanding who you are and how you like to travel is the best place to start. Most seasoned business travelers already have their travel system down — they know what works for them and what doesn’t. It’s about identifying a bag that complements, enhances and eases that process. Some want light weight; others need more versatility; and all frequent business travelers need a bag that can withstand the punishment of traveling, from baggage handlers to airport taxis and perhaps the occasional angry bellhop. Selecting good luggage is about more than just buying a bag. It’s a long-term investment that will provide enjoyment and comfort over many years.
GT: How do you incorporate the needs of a business traveler into your designs?
JL: We do extensive research to ensure that our bags meet the evolving needs of frequent business travelers and the changing realities of travel. Some key needs are:
Durability — In addition to engineering our bags to withstand a million miles worth of abuse, we have always backed that engineering with our lifetime warranty. Our unique warranty states that if your bag gets damaged for any reason, we will repair it.
Wrinkle-free Packing — Whether you travel one hour or 20 hours to reach your business destination, you can’t afford to arrive with wrinkled clothing. That’s why we have introduced innovations like our Outsider Handle, which ensures a flat packing surface in the bag.
Expandables That Protect — Expandable bags are a great benefit to travelers who return home with more than they packed for their trip. I make a habit of leaving my bags unexpanded, so I have the flexibility to expand for more space on my return. Briggs & Riley takes this benefit a step further. Unlike soft, zippered expandables, our bags expand with sturdy sides for enhanced protection.
Simple Innovations — We are always adding new innovations to our bags based on customer feedback. Examples include SmartLink for easy coupling of a computer case to your upright; SpeedThrough pockets to expedite security checkin; and quiet, easy-glide wheels.
GT: Describe some of Briggs & Riley’s community outreach programs.
JL: Community involvement is an important part of the company mission at Briggs & Riley. We give back in many ways, one of which has been our ongoing support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. This year, in an effort to expand our JDRF fundraising effort and draw even greater attention to their mission, we have enlisted high-profile celebrities — Ray Romano, Kelly Ripa, Morgan Freeman, Tony Hawk, Ivana Trump and others — to join us in the Briggs & Riley Design For a Cure Online Auction. Each star has personally decorated and signed a Briggs & Riley 22-inch Upright Baseline bag to be auctioned online in mid-June. We invite everyone to join in and visit http://.briggsriley.com to find out more and view all the celebrity bags.
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.
Without visiting, it’d be easy to throw Chicago into any number of categories. Everyone thinks they know Chicago; after all, it’s the third-largest city in America, the most prestigious foodie city in the country, the city of jazz, a comedian’s playground, an architect’s dream, a writer’s paradise. The list goes on. Only when walking the streets themselves do you realize there’s nothing categorical about the Windy City, especially as it continues to evolve.
PHOTO: © ADRIAN OLSTAD
Discover why Global Traveler readers named Cunard® the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for seven consecutive years. For a limited time, book your voyage during Cunard’s Explore with More promotion and take advantage of lower fares*, up to $1,200 Onboard Credit†, Free Specialty Dining for Two^, 50% Reduced Deposit††, and more. Choose from an array of exciting journeys, including Transatlantic Crossings and voyages to Alaska, the Caribbean and Canada & New England.
The Lanesborough, one of London’s most luxurious properties and part of Oetker Collection, offers a romantic afternoon tea experience alongside a hotel stay just in time for Valentine’s Day. Available Feb. 11, 12 and 14, Valentine’s Afternoon Tea features Rosé Champagne and a rose cake to share with that special someone.
Nashville’s once-modest skyline continues to evolve as its luxury market grows. Lavish hotel properties are added to the landscape while acclaimed chefs stake claim in the robust culinary scene and premier cultural offerings round out the city’s repertoire.
A deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Türkiye and Syria Feb. 6, with more than 11,000 fatalities thus far reported. That number is expected to grow as rescue operations continue.