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Disney World

Best Luggage Brands

Looking for new carry-on luggage or need a new suitcase? Just a few weeks ago, the Consumer Reports National Research Center released their survey of nearly 65,000 Consumer Reports subscribers on the best carry-on and midsize and large suitcases. What was the best suitcase of the survey? It was Briggs & Riley, a luggage company that offers a no-strings-attached lifetime guarantee. According to the survey, Briggs & Riley scored higher than most for its ease of carrying, wheelability, ease of packing, and durability. Readers also liked that the brand was easy to stow.

According to, the Briggs and Riley’s Baseline models have a built in compression system that allows you to slightly overpack in expanded mode, then reduce the footprint of your items back to the case’s original size.

Overall, Eagle Creek and L.L. Bean also ranked highly among Consumer Reports surveyors. A whopping 76 percent of respondents were highly satisfied with their midsize or large suitcases.

If you’re looking for new luggage, Consumer Reports also suggests looking at wheelability and durability. Luggage comes with wheels, which makes it easily transportable, but take it for a whirl, or a spin, because the wheels need to stay on and if the ones on your luggage seem wimpy, consider another brand.

Next it’s time to look at the zippers. Imagine closing your suitcase and the zipper comes flying off. You can’t get it closed or open and you’re heading to the airport to catch a flight. You need a reliable zipper. According to this article in Consumer Reports, zippers come in two types: chain and coil. The chain zipper has two sets of interlocking teeth, usually made of metal. Chain is better and stronger than the coil zipper, which slides on two parallel coils usually made of polyester. Chain zippers are much more difficult to break into. Coil zippers can be pulled apart with a ballpoint pen.

Just recently, Damon Darlin, Ask the Wirecutter of The New York Times, put some luggage through its testing, and came out with some favorites. When it came to luggage with great handles, his favorites were the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 22-inch Expandable Rollaboard Suiter for carry-ons and the Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 25-Inch Expandable Spinner Suiter for checked bags.

Before you buy, make sure that the luggage suits your needs. Are you traveling frequently or occasionally? Are you traveling internationally where your luggage will need to be bigger or will you be traveling shorter jaunts where you won’t need as much space? Your needs and, of course, your budget, will also help you to decide your final luggage purchase.

Travel Specialist Group

Best Disney World Resorts for a Family of 5

If you’re a family of four heading to Walt Disney World in Florida, it’s pretty easy to find a place to stay that accommodates all of you. Disney resorts definitely come with two queen-sized beds or a king and a queen, which is perfect for two adults and two children. However, if you have a third child, finding accommodations often becomes more difficult. Sure you can ask for a rollaway bed for the third child, but that can take away valuable walking space in the room. Of course, a simple solution is to book two rooms so there’s ample space for everyone, but that can be a budget buster.

There are Disney resorts that can accommodate your family, so be sure to check these out when searching for the right place to stay.

Contemporary Resort: The name says it all. It’s an ultra-modern hotel with rooms that offer two queen beds and one day bed, so you and the kiddies can all stay together. The resort’s suites include one king bed and queen-sofa as well as one day bed. If your family needs even more space, their Bay Lake view two-bedroom suite includes four queen beds and one queen sofa or two queen beds and one king bed and one queen-size sleeper sofa. In walking distance to the Magic Kingdom, this resort is perfect for families with little ones, who may need a nap break in the middle of the afternoon.

Board Walk Inn: This property also offers two queen beds and one queen-size sleeper sofa and is located within walking distance to both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The best part of staying on Disney property is the ability to use their free monorail to travel between parks. Resort amenities include childcare facilities and laundry facilities, which are just as important to vacationing parents as that extra sleeping space.

Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa Views: For the most part, Saratoga Springs offers the perfect accommodations for the family of four, but if you have a bigger brood, you might enjoy staying in their treehouse villa. It comes to two queen beds and one bunk bed and one twin-size sleeper chair and one queen-size sleeper sofa. This resort’s look is inspired by the historic Saratoga Springs racetrack in New York.

Finding the right accommodations for your family takes time and research. Work with your travel agent to put together the right Disney vacation for you.

Travel Specialist Group

Planning a Disney World Honeymoon

Do you want your honeymoon to be as magical as your wedding day? Then there’s only one place to celebrate and that’s at the most magical place in the country, Walt Disney World in Orland, Florida. Whether it’s the idea that your wishes come true or that Walt Disney World provides a ton of fun opportunities, planning a Disney World Honeymoon is a must for all newlyweds.

If you’re sold on the idea of planning a Disney World honeymoon, here are a few tips to keep in mind and to make the process much smoother:

Plan early: You can book your Walt Disney World® Resort honeymoon more than a year in advance, so you might want to do that while you’re planning your wedding. Once you know you’re having a Disney honeymoon, mark your calendar for six months before your arrival date. That’s when most dining reservations can be booked. Want to see a dinner show you’re your loved one? You can make those reservations up to a year in advance as well.

Have fun: Let the world know that you’re celebrating the fact that you just got married. You can purchase a pair of bride and groom mouse ears before your trip or ask for a set of “Just Married” buttons when you arrive.

Take photos: Sometimes, it’s okay to put the camera down and just have fun on the rides and at the shows and checking out the many shops and restaurants on the property. But a honeymoon wouldn’t be a honeymoon without a ton of photos. That’s okay, because Disney has a PhotoPass® photography service in the theme parks to help document your adventure.

Take advantage: Consider staying on the property at a Walt Disney World® Resort so that you can enjoy an extra hour at the parks. When you’re trying to jam in a ton of fun on your honeymoon – plus some valuable alone time – this is a great way to extend the festivities.

Use a travel agent: Planning a Disney World honeymoon can be overwhelming, especially when you’re also planning a wedding. A travel agent who specializes in Disney can help you to determine your priorities and plan exactly what you want, find you money-saving deals, make sure all your reservations and accommodations are booked and make sure that your honeymoon is one to remember.

Travel Specialist Group