If I say international travel to you what comes to your mind?
The rapidly shrinking seats or the tacky mid-air dinners? The checked luggage charges or the preferred seating gouges?
Let's face it, modern air travel is rubbish. So how to fight back? Well, that part's easy. Create your own luxury travel perks and bring them out on the road.
Let's start with what you wear in the air.
Our ideal travel wear brand of the moment is the Swedish luxury menswear brand Asket, who specialize in high end basics. Their tag line says timeless, sustainable and affordable and we are here to tell you that they really mean it.
Let's start with the Asket Chino. Developed with a near obsessive pursuit of perfection over 31 months, they are tailored from a mid-weight Italian cotton-satin weave with just a hint of stretch. They're ideal both in the air and on the ground, finding the sweet spot between smart and casual.
On a recent flight to Rome I found them comfortable, cool and sturdy, looking and feeling good from the first hour to the final approach.
Cabins can get cooler when it's sleep time over the Atlantic so although I was traveling to a warm climate I packed an Asket Merino Sweater in my carry-on. This turned out to be a wise move as I stayed warm when the temperature dropped. The piece is layerable and lightweight, an ideal travel companion.
For longer flights I also recommend the Asket Zip Hoodie. It's cut from the same mid-weight Egyptian cotton as their crewneck sweatshirt, complete with a generously sized double lined hood and it became my go-to layer in the air and on the ground (it did a fine job along the San Francisco Bay too, where the temperature changes faster than any place I've ever been).
Let's move on to luggage. Carry-On's still travel for free on most airlines, with the added benefit that you don't have to wait at the sluggish carousel for your big checked bag to arrive.
Take our advice, skip the checked bags.
But Carry-On's are too small, you say. I'll never fit all my stuff. Nonsense, meet the Away Travel Carry On. Featuring an unbreakable polycarbonate shell, an ejectable battery that charges your phone, a TSA-approved combination lock, sturdy 360 degree Hinomoto wheels (they took on those Roman cobblestones with no problem) and a really useful hidden laundry bag, this case is unbeatable.
For my money, the Away brand is the smartest smart luggage in the air. Although recent TSA changes have insisted that wired battery charging cases (which all Away cases boast) must now be removable or they won't fly, Away solved this dilemma by making its batteries ejectable.
You can just pop your battery into the screening bin until you have cleared security, then it pops back into the case. That simple. When coupled with the new Everywhere Bag you have two ideal travel buddies.
We also reviewed the NoviConnected 4 Wheel Hubless Travel Roller this summer. It's the ideal combination of form and function, a workhorse boasting a polycarbonate shell, removable, smooth glide wheels, a TSA approved lock and comes equipped with an app controlled, battery bank.
The power bank can simultaneously charging USB-C and USB devices, transforming every terminal, station or port into a personal power hub. Also it looks outrageously beautiful, which is why it won the Design Award 2018.
Arm yourself with all these essential travel buddies and make 2018 travel happier by air and land.