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Is it time to bring Smart Luggage on Safari

As travelers are starting to demand increasing functionality and convenience from their luggage brands, I decided to take up the opportunity to use a G-RO bag on a recent luxury Safari to South Africa.

An essential part of the Rothschild Safaris ethos is keeping our fingers on the pulse of the small details that will enhance the adventure for our travelers. We are continually investigating better ways to travel and when we hear of something new and worthwhile we volunteer to try it out.

And this is my review:

The G-RO Carry-On Classic
with 23 K Power and Luggage Tracker

 Thumbs Up

 👍 The GravityRoll™ Technology Wheels are incredible.
They claim to conquer steps, wet surfaces, and even snow. While I did not find any snow on Safari, I’m pretty sure if you can get there on foot this bag will follow you. The G-RO easily rolls over any terrain with effortless ease of motion. It is tempting to compare it with the all-terrain accessibility of African 4×4 game drivers (considering my destination of choice), but as an added plus and unlike the rough Safari vehicles: the elegant G-RO is equally at home in an upscale Travel Lounge.

 👍 You can pack a tiny elephant in it (if you can catch it⬇).
Everyone knows I travel light. After decades of travel for work, I have my packing routine down to an art, and the G-RO, at 36cm wide x 56cm long x 23cm deep, is a dream come true for any traveler who enjoys the speed and ease of having no checked baggage. I had no problem packing for my entire stay in Africa (including Cape Town, the Winelands, and my Safari) but I don’t think you need to be a master packer to find this bag easy to use. And it also has an expansion sleeve so you can add a bit more at the end… or if you are very disciplined and organized, you can use this for gifts on the way back. And then there is a luggage strap which allows you to attach your laptop etc. to the bag so everything can be carried by that GravityRoll Wheel Technology instead of your muscle power.

Little Elephant running

 👍 Having a dual charger on the go is fabulous.
Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, Murphy seems to spend all his time ensuring that phones, tablets, and laptops are out of power mostly when you really need them to be charged. With the G-RO this problem goes away. Bliss. It has a removable 10,000 mAh Power Bank that is easy to disconnect when you are not using it.
(The bag is entirely compliant with the latest airline policies concerning smart-bags requiring removable lithium-ion batteries—like the ones in your laptop.)

Lion spotted on Game Drive

 👍 The Tile Bluetooth tracker is very reassuring, especially in Africa.
One of the main reasons I only fly with carry-on when I travel is the risk of losing my luggage. At Rothschild Safaris we spend enough sleepless nights finding lost luggage for clients, making sure they have everything they need while waiting for the bags to be located and then hopefully getting their bags to meet up with them somewhere along their Safari.
It would be fabulous if everyone had trackers on their bag. Preferably ones that work with a handy App, so we could simplify the exercise of reuniting people and bags. And get back to sleeping at night.

Elephant family bathing

Thumbs Down

👎The front of the bag takes up a lot of space.
On Safari, space is always an issue. You have to travel on smaller aircraft and in game-drive vehicles. For years I have always only brought soft-sided bags with me, so it is very new to have a bag with hard sides and this took quite a bit of getting used to. I especially found myself a little frustrated with the front of the bag which I could not fit into the spaces I was used to getting my soft side bags into easily.

👎The G-RO is heavy.
Again, I’m used to soft side bags that weigh nothing when they are empty and when I have tried the occasional hard side bag I have been impressed by how light they were. The G-RO comes in at 9.3 lbs (4.2kg) which is on the heavy side. You have to consider that your onboard allowance on some airlines is only 15 lbs (6.8 kg) going up to 18 lbs (8 kg), or 22 lbs (10kg). And, Africa often runs on the lighter end of the scale here.

👎Finally. And very sadly. It can’t be taken on Safari in remote regions due to the hard sides.
Tiny aircraft rules are stringent and only allow soft-sided bags.

African Safari - picnic at sunset

I have been talking to G-RO to put our wish for a soft-sided, intelligent Safari bag on their To-do list and they have promised to design one with me one day!

Until then… Would I travel with the G-RO again?

In November I will be taking the G-Ro further into the wilds of Kenya on a Private Safari. Watch this space…