Showing posts with label Peace Love.Travel Light. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peace Love.Travel Light. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On Luggage Review

Best Carry On Luggage!

Since I'm on an around the world tour I decided to buy new carry on luggage for it.  All the airlines have changed the size of allowed carry on luggage in the last year or so, making it a necessity anyway, and besides, I wanted to start my trip with cool luggage. 

*All of the following suitcases are available at Amazon.com by clicking on the photos. 


Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On Luggage

One thing that I found out is that all the airlines have different standards though, so what one airline will accept as carry on luggage is not necessarily what another airline will accept. So I had to look at my itinerary first and get a list of the allowed sizes and go from there. I took the maximum allowed sizes in all directions for every airline I would be using and used the smallest allowed ones as my maximum to be sure my carry on bag would be okay no matter what.


carry on suitcase
Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On Luggage

Next I went shopping on Amazon, one of my favorite things to do. What a dizzying array of choices though! So then I went to a couple of local luggage outlets to have a look at the newest innovations in luggage. Wow, I love the new design of the wheeled luggage! Instead of fixed wheels, they spin so it's easy to move your baggage in all directions! 

carry on suitcase
Interior, Rockland Melbourne Carry On Luggage

This made it much easier for me to handle my own luggage on all the trains and airplanes. In fact, instead of wheeling them behind me, I can set them straight up, pull out the handles and wheel them along beside me with my purse sitting on top of one. So easy!  And much easier on my back too! 



carry on suitcase
Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On Luggage

Why is Rockland the Best Carry On Luggage? 


In the end I went with a Rockland 20 inch Expandable Abs Carry On Suitcase, because it fits the guidelines of all the airline companies I have flown on, and it came in my favorite color: blue. But not to worry if you have a different favorite color, as the suitcases come in 19 colors! (Some of them are shown here in my review.)


carry on suitcase
Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On 


So here's what I like besides the spinning wheels and blue color. It expands about an inch for the airlines that allow it! You might not think that would be a lot, but trust me, it really is when you are packing a carry on suitcase! (Incidentally, if you need a carry on suitcase packing list, I have one for you at my site, Peace, Love, Travel Light.com

carry on suitcase
Interior, Rockland 20 Inch Carry On 

The material is extremely lightweight and durable so it only weighs 7.3 pounds! The handle is an internal chrome telescoping one with a push button mechanism.  Inside there is a zip pocket on one side and elastic straps for the other side. It comes with a 3 year warranty too, but I doubt it will come close to needing repairs.  It's strong!  



carry on suitcase
Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On Luggage

I love my Rockland Melbourne 20 Inch Carry On Luggage so much that I've decided to get a matching large suitcase too! So if you need  a new carry on suitcase, I highly recommend a Rockland Melbourne 20 inch one with spinning wheels.

 Bon Voyage!




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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Review of Canon PowerShot SX 130 IS~Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera!

Canon PowerShot photo of Venice
Basilica in Venice, Italy

My Review of the Canon PowerShot SX 130 IS Point and Shoot Camera

I used to hate taking photos because it was so hard and most of the time my pictures didn't come out that well. In fact out of a roll of film I would keep only one or two. I solved the problem years ago by buying postcards everywhere I traveled. After all, a photographer already got the perfect shot and it was cheaper than developing all that film and then throwing away most of the photos anyway.  So I would just buy the coolest postcards everywhere I went and always have great photos. But none of the photos had me or my family in them and that's a problem when you are doing scrapbooks.

Canon PowerShot photo of building in Rome, Italy
Old building by the Colosseum, Rome, Italy

So a few years ago when digital cameras came out, I thought maybe I could try again, because now when the photos are bad I can just delete them! No more wasted film and money. So I took the plunge. What I did was ask some of my photographer friends for suggestions and based on those, and my preference for a point and shoot camera,  I bought a Canon PowerShot SX 130 IS and I couldn't be happier!


Canon PowerShot photo of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, from Victoria Peak on a Misty morning

Now if you are a technical person who wants all the specs and that kind of stuff, you might not want to read my review of this awesome camera because what I love about it is that even someone like me who hates all that stuff and doesn't even know where to begin to talk about that can use it and take great photos! But I will say a few things about it anyway, for the non techie crowd.

Features of the Canon PowerShot SX 130 IS


 It has an auto setting and I just leave it on there and voila, good shots most of the time. It has a built in zoom, so I just adjust the zoom and it refocuses itself instantly! How cool is that? Now for those of you who understand the F stop settings and the like, it has those available too, but I never use them; I keep it on auto all the time. It has a built in flash and it tells you if you need to activate it! That just means raise the flash. (no light bulbs to buy either) And the thing I really like is that even when it says I need the flash, if I'm in a church or museum where they prohibit flash, I still am able to get a great shot most of the time. More coolness! It also has a huge viewfinder, basically the whole back of the camera is the viewfinder! The photo below was taken in a church where no flash is allowed. Can you believe that?


Canon PowerShot photo of Carcassonne
Rondele, Cathedral in Carcassonne, France

My husband has a Nikon top of the line digital camera and he even thinks some of my shots are better than the ones his camera takes. (He likes to play with the settings though, so that's probably the reason. I tell him to just put it on auto, but no, he has to be all fancy.) I have an iPhone and it has a camera, but the photos from this camera are way better so I will always carry it. ( It's not very heavy.) It was not an expensive camera either considering all its features and the quality of its photos; I got it on sale for less than $200!



Canon PowerShot photo of Sydney Harbor
Sydney Harbor Opera House, Australia


Another thing I like is that it takes regular AA batteries, not those lithium expensive ones that are hard to find. Just pop into any grocery or drug store and you are set to go. Really, it's been so fun to finally take photos that I'm happy to keep and can actually have some fun family shots too. So if you want a camera that takes great shots without having to know all the technical details of cameras, I highly recommend the Canon PowerShot SX 130 IS!

All the photos on this page are from my little digital camera so you can see the variety possible. 

Here are more of the photos I took on my trip around the world, 2014-2015 which I'm still enjoying! You can see more photos and stories at Peace, Love, Travel Light.


Canon Powershot photo of Albi France
Mary and Jesus, St. Cecile Cathedral, Albi, France


Canon Powershot photo of Albi street in France
Lights in Albi, France, Christmas 2014

Canon Powershot photo of Australia
Blue Mountains, Australia


All Photos © Heather Burns, 2014. Please do not copy.









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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Guide to France and a Review of It...Well, More Like a Love Letter!

Why I Love France! 

I'm traveling in Europe, and decided to spend a while in France. It's just as awesome as everyone says! Well not everyone thinks so, of course, and France has a reputation for being unkind to Americans, but my husband and I wonder why. Everywhere we go we are met with kindness and people go out of their way to help us.  This is a welcome change from our Italian experience!


Colosseum Rome
Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Yes we loved Italy;  the ruins, the food, the art, the beauty, and everyone at all our hotels. But the average Italian on the street? Not so much. They all seem in a hurry, and not interested in helping anyone, let alone Americans who don't speak Italian. In fact they seem sort of angry. 

If we hadn't had our guidebooks, and my Google translator app for my phone, I think we would have been lost a lot more than we were. (We were totally lost several times in Florence and walked miles out of our way!) They are sort of rude, even to each other. Just not what I expected at all.

Like I said, the people in hospitality are generally nice. But don't get me started on the people at the train stations! (The ticket office people I mean.) At restaurants they can be either really nice, or really snotty. It's a toss up!

Florence Italy
Florence, Italy


We Love France Even More Than Italy! 

But we love France! Everyone here seems generally happy and nice and they go out of their way to help, not just the hospitality people, everyone on the street. I had 4 different men try to help me with my luggage at the train station even when it meant they might miss their own train! And the station employees are also very nice and helpful. 

Our train to Lyon broke down so it was unavailable; a train employee cheerfully informed us they would find a solution, and they did!  20 minutes later a bus arrived to take us to Lyon and he drove like a madman to get us to the station on time to make our connection. (We barely made it!)  We were not even able to get to our correct car or we would have missed the train.  

I was worried after our Italian train experiences, but not to worry.  The French ticket agent just smiled and said no problem, you're on the train and that's what counts. So refreshing! All the people around us smiled and smiled. They even tried to talk to us and since I speak some French it was totally enjoyable. 


Toulouse France
Saint Sernin Basilica, Toulouse, France

So here we are in Toulouse which is sort of like a mini Paris. It's called the Pink city because many if not most of the buildings are constructed from pink bricks. And it's breathtakingly beautiful too.  Since it's Christmas time, there are lights everywhere, and everyone seems to be in a great mood.  

But the difference between France and Italy  is that when French people hear us speaking English, they stop and tell us where to go for good food!  Ah, the French and their food. All I can say is the reputation is deserved. We love it! 


Palm Tree Cathedral Toulouse France
Jacobins Convent ceiling, Toulouse, France also known as the Palm tree ceiling

Before we left the USA, I checked out several travel books, and after my research I decided that the Fodor's ones are not only tried and true, but they are the most helpful for the kind of traveling we are doing; we don't have a schedule or a plan other than to stay where we like the vibe, and move on after we're done exploring. So if you're going on a trip, I highly recommend the Fodor's guides! We are using this one: Fodor's France 2015 (Full-color Travel Guide).

But there are older ones available too, and of course guides for any country you can imagine.  So far every recommendation has been totally helpful and thorough. I don't think you can go wrong using a Fodor's Travel guide!

For more stories and photos about my travels, follow my travel blog: Peace, Love, Travel Light!  More countries coming up! Do you have a favorite European country? Let me know, as we are open to seeing new ones! 

All photos,© Heather Burns




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