Monday, May 18, 2009

Bargain traveler

In a couple of weeks, I need to take a trip to attend some training. I've noticed a propensity for hyperbole in the training industry. Initially, I was supposed to get this training in Burlington, MA. The training center advertises itself as being in Boston. Huge humor. Not only is the training center about 30 minutes outside of Boston, it's a good deal further than that from the actual airport.

The training I am now signed up for advertises itself as being in Chicago. Though I despise traveling, I was a little psyched since I've wanted to see Chicago for quite some time. In this instance, I still won't be seeing Chicago. The training is actually in Schaumburg. The upside is that I actually have a friend who lives in Schaumburg. We're planning on getting together for dinner one night.

I haven't traveled for work in a few years. The last time I traveled I used my personal laptop bag. That laptop and bag now belong to my son. I could borrow the bag back from him, but I decided to get a new one as part of a personal bribery system for putting up with the travel. So, I picked up a nifty Mobile Edge ScanFast pink and brown case from Amazon. It was a buck or so pricier than the same bag at eBags, but I get free shipping at Amazon.

After the laptop bag came, I started thinking that I wanted a nice piece of luggage to go with it, a piece that would serve me for trips longer than a weekend but no more than a week. I am a pretty efficient packer, especially for someone who hates to travel. I did a lot of research and poking around on eBags. I decided that I would do some real world shopping to get an idea of how big some of the bags I was seeing online really were. I checked out a few local Walmarts, but I was underimpressed with their selection. On a whim I stopped at Building 19.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Building 19, imagine your local dollar store, on steroids, in a large dark and dreary warehouse-like space. Imagine all sorts of off-brand crap that even K-mart would have been too embarrassed to sell. Mostly it's a disappointing experience, but sometimes you can stumble on real bargains. Yesterday, I found a great little bag that I thought would do the trick. It was tagged as 'blemished', though I could see nothing wrong with it initially. However, on closer inspection I did notice that one of the side snaps was dysfunctional. Grendel was with me. I shrugged and decided to hit the restroom before we left. When I came out he was holding (what I thought was) the bag. He said he found another one in the pile of bags while I was in the restroom. He said all the snaps and zippers appeared to work. So we bought it for $39.99. This turned out to be a pretty good bargain, since even eBags sale price for this Liz Claiborne 20" city bag is around $76.

Gosh, I love feeling like I snagged a good bargain. Plus, I love that my usually grumpy teen found enough energy and initiative to help me in my quest.

1 comment:

Summer said...

Don't you just love a bargain? That sounds like a catch phrase for a store.