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I'm a chronic overpacker, but this $12 luggage scale saves me from baggage fees (and embarrassment) at the airport

More than 37,000 5-star fans agree: This tiny luggage scale will spare you from so much stress when flying.

I'm an avid traveler, yet somehow l always manage to overpack (yes, I'm working on this). A few years ago, the habit got me into a bit of a pickle at New York's JFK airport when my checked luggage was overweight. If you've been in this situation, you know what comes next: I had to open my suitcase in front of other fliers and take items out to lessen the weight.

After that self-inflicted case of public embarrassment, I vowed to never let such a thing happen again and invested in a luggage scale to keep me in line. It ended up being a complete game changer — and it only cost me $12!

VERDICT: This is easily the best $12 I've ever spent and has saved me so much on overweight baggage fees. To use it, simply wrap the strap around your luggage handle and pull up to apply the weight. Then just give it a moment for the instant weight reading to appear.

Pros
  • Extremely affordable
  • Portable and doesn't take up much space in bag
  • Wireless and comes with a battery
  • Instant weight reading
Cons
  • Must manually lift suitcase to receive the reading
$12 at Amazon

The popular Etekcity Luggage Scale is a customer-favorite travel product on Amazon with a whopping 37,000-plus five-star reviews. Seeing how widely and wildly loved it is influenced me to hit Checkout, and it's been my best travel accessory ever since.

As previously stated, I'm a habitual overpacker. No matter what packing techniques I employ (I've even tried packing cubes), my luggage tends to run just a couple of pounds over the allowed limit every single time. Also, when traveling with my spouse, mother or friends, some of whom are extremely nervous fliers, I enjoy having one less thing to worry about. This luggage scale gives me so much peace of mind and lowers the stress of my traveling experience.

If you're familiar with the old-school method of propping your suitcase up against a standard weight scale, you already know that that method can be unreliable. Etekcity Luggage Scale gives you the most accurate reading at all times so you'll always know what to expect, which is what I love most about it.

I also appreciate that the reading is instant, so you won't be standing there for minutes waiting for the results. There have been a couple of times when I was rushing out for a flight and needed to know the weight of my luggage ASAP. Since it measures so quickly, I wasn't stressed out or late.

This clever luggage scale also has an auto-off function, an overload indicator, a low-battery indicator and even a temperature sensor. Probably the best $12 I've ever spent.

To use it, simply hook your suitcase's top handle to the luggage scale's strap and pull up to apply the weight. Then just give it moment for the reading to appear. Using it couldn't be simpler, but folks with physical limitations may need some help lifting their suitcase.

For reference, this luggage scale supports up to 110 pounds, and since it's highly unlikely that anyone's luggage will reach even close to that max limit, you can rest assured that it will always give you the best reading. And, in turn, you'll guarantee that you're under the 60-pound weight limit set by most airlines!

etekcity luggage scale
This is the travel accessory I honestly can't live without. The small gadget fits easily in your pocket or purse. (Amazon)

The story that shows the true worth of the Etekcity Luggage Scale involves my mother, who's the most nervous flier I know. One time she was so shaken when asked to lessen the weight of her suitcase (the problem runs in the family, clearly) that her hands shook uncontrollably — and, to be honest, I get it. Traveling, especially internationally, can be a bit anxiety-inducing.

But this past Christmas, when my mother saw me use this scale to weigh her luggage at my apartment before returning her to the airport, she was immediately intrigued. I showed her how it worked and pointed out that her suitcase was — once again — overweight. She was so relieved to be spared from embarrassment.

At the airport, we double-checked the weight of her edited-down suitcase at baggage drop-off and confirmed that everything was within the allowed limit. She was able to get to her gate and relax before her flight. When I got home, I ordered another one to be sent to her house (shoutout to Amazon Prime!).

Whether you're an overpacker like me or a nervous flier like my mother, the super-affordable Etekcity Luggage Scale is a simple piece of travel tech that you'll be glad you bought — and you'll be reminded of this every single time you fly.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And, by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)