Need to Pack Light for a Long Trip? These Compression Bags Convert Into Backpacks

Packing for a long trip can be quite the puzzle. Even once you figure out what you'll need to bring clothing-wise, the bags you carry through the airport might not be the best option for carrying the necessities around the city once you arrive at your destination, and vice versa. But there's no need to stuff an extra backpack, tote, or fanny pack into your already-loaded carry-on. A new storage solution designed by Revelar Workshop adds room to your suitcase while also converting into a bag you can carry around during shorter trips.

Cubepacks are multi-use travel bags that feature hidden straps that turn them into convertible day packs. You can stuff them with socks, shirts, and other clothing items while packing, zipping the cubes tight to shrink them to a fraction of their original size. Then, once you arrive at your destination, you can unpack your clothes and use the bags as convenient carry-alls.

The three available Cubepack sizes turn into into a backpack, a shoulder pack, and a hip bag (also known as a fanny pack). The large bag has a capacity of about 4.7 gallons, the medium pack about 2.6 gallons, and the small about 1.3 gallons. Each has zip compression, reinforced seams, and mesh for breathability, as well as backpack straps, top carrying handles, and magnetic closures for when you're using them around town.

Cubepacks might useful for all getaways, but could be a major space saver on long journeys, especially if you plan on doing any outdoor activities. They're perfect for any trip where you might end up on a short hike (including week-long backpacking trips when you might not want to lug your full pack around on every outing) or at the beach for the day, as well as for long vacations where you might take a quick overnight trip to another city.

Buy a Cubepack (or several) on Kickstarter starting at $29 for the small size, $39 for the medium size, $49 for the large size, or $89 for all three. They're due to ship in September 2019.

And if you're looking for even more ways to squish as many items into your suitcase as possible, we also recommend Pacum, a travel-sized compression vacuum that promises to double your suitcase space.

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When Should You Book Your Thanksgiving and Christmas Flights? Right Now!

zoff-photo/iStock via Getty Images
zoff-photo/iStock via Getty Images

For many people, paying for distressingly expensive airline tickets is just part of life when it comes to traveling for the holidays. And, while you might think you’ll get the best deal by checking fluctuating prices obsessively from today until the day before Thanksgiving, you’re probably better off booking your flights right now.

“Once you get within three or four months, the chance of something cheap popping up for Christmas or New Year’s is not very likely,” Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, told Travel + Leisure. “Certainly don’t wait until the last week or two because prices are going to be way higher.”

This is partially because airlines devise algorithms based on last year’s ticket sales and trends, and they know many travelers will fork over some serious cash rather than decide not to go home for the holidays—and there are always plenty of people who wait until the last minute to book their flights. In fact, so you know for next year, the absolute best time to book holiday travel is actually during the summer.

Scott Mayerowitz, the executive editorial director of The Points Guy, admits that it is possible to save a little money if you’re extremely diligent about following flight prices leading up to the holidays, but he thinks your mental health is worth much more than the pittance you might (or might not) save. “The heartache and headache of constantly searching for the best airfare can drive you insane,” he told Travel + Leisure. “Your time and sanity [are] worth something.”

If you’re not willing to throw in the towel just yet, you could always track the prices for a little while, and give yourself a hard deadline for booking your flights in a few weeks. Mayerowitz says buying your seats at least six weeks in advance—or earlier—is a good rule of thumb for holiday travel. That still leaves you several weeks to periodically scroll through flight listings and get a feel for what seems like a reasonable price.

To minimize your travel anxiety even further, try to fly one one of these dates, and check out eight other tips for a stress-free holiday trip.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Welcome to Cool, California. Population: 2520

Alan Levine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Alan Levine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

It’s not hard to find U.S. towns with some pretty weird (and sometimes depressing) names, so we shouldn't be surprised that people have the option of settling in the tiny town of Cool, California.

Initially named Cave Valley, due to the limestone formations nearby, the town popped up around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The population eventually grew to 4100 people.

It's unclear when the town went from Cave Valley to being Cool. One legend suggests that a beatnik named Todd Hausman bequeathed the name after passing through in the 1950s, but the veracity of that story is doubtful since the Cool Post Office was founded as early as 1885. According to Condé Nast Traveler, records show that a reverend named Peter Y. Cool came out to pan gold and settled in the town in 1850, possibly serving as the source of the change.

Whatever the origin of its name, the town of Cool has ample branding opportunities. There’s the Cool Grocery Store and the Cool Beerwerks brewery and restaurant, which specializes in Hawaiian-Japanese fusion cuisine. Cool has held the Way Too Cool 50K Endurance Run every year since 1990.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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