Bag It and Tag It

Travel expert Chuck Weisbart shares some thoughts on how to stuff it

Arianna Menon Attractions, Watch & Listen - Attractions 0 Comments


VIDEO: Chuck Weisbart, owner of It’s in the Bag in Palm Desert, demonstrates the use of this latest suitcase technology – the Briggs & Riley Baseline CX bag.


To quote the old song, summertime is when the living is easy. It’s the ideal season for explorations and adventure.

Desert residents, who travel three or four times the national average, understand that well. When the temperature hits triple digits, locals are gone, baby, gone. Chuck Weisbart, owner of It’s in the Bag, has noted this trend since opening his Palm Desert luggage and accessories store 25 years ago.

One of the largest of its kind west of the Mississippi, It’s in the Bag carries a huge selection of roll-alongs, carry-ons, and myriad ingenious travel solutions for weekend getaways or weeks-long vacations. Weisbart offers monthly seminars on travel topics, including how to pack correctly and efficiently.

What’s the latest travel trend among your customers?
People who live here in the desert have traveled to Europe eight or 10 times, so they’re starting to do things that are very exotic, like river cruises. Adventure destinations have become more traveler-friendly. When you’re on a safari in Africa, you’re not staying in a primitive tent. You’re staying in a tent with a wood floor where there are real bathrooms.

What essentials can we leave behind?
Toiletries. If it doesn’t fit in what’s called a 3-1-1 bag — liquids, gels, creams, and lotions, one quart-sized bag, one bag per passenger — leave it at home. You can go shopping anywhere you go. They brush their teeth in Rome. They use deodorant in Paris. The best part of travel is being able to go shopping at their grocery stores and pharmacies. You will find their products are better, their selection is better, and it’s a lot of fun.

How should we pack to maximize space in a suitcase?
Write an itinerary with the things you’re going to do and what you’re going to wear.  Nothing goes in the suitcase until the night before in order to avoid overpacking. The best way to pack is in Eagle Creek containers. If you pack flat, the minute you lift the suitcase, gravity takes everything down. If everything’s in a container, nothing shifts and clothing doesn’t get wrinkled. Plus, if the TSA needs to go through your suitcase, everything’s in a container. They don’t make a mess of it because they can see through the containers.

Do you have any tips to get through security faster?
Think about everything you’re going to have to do at the airport before you get there. Don’t wear buckles or other materials that are going to set a metal detector off. Put anything that could set things off in your carry-on. Make sure you have all your documents ready and in order at all times. If you travel a lot, it’s worth investing in PreCheck. It’s $85; you interview with TSA, and then you are given the pre-check good for a year.

How do I keep my belongings safe?
More bags now have the RFID-blocking pocket (Radio Frequency Identification microchips are embedded in card cards and most passports). Every passport — and by Oct. 15 of this year, every American credit card — will have a chip in it. I can buy an RFID technology reader online for under $100, scan the chip in your wallet of your passport or your credit card, duplicate your card, and be using it in Honduras in 20 minutes. You want to RFID-block your passport and all your credit cards. Thankfully, there’s a whole generation of wallets that are RFID-protected. RFID protective sleeves for a passport and for a credit card are also an alternative.

It’s in the Bag is at 72363 Highway 111, Suite A2, Palm Desert,


VIDEO: Chuck Weisbart, owner of It’s in the Bag in Palm Desert, demonstrates packing a suitcase.


Leave a Reply