Travel accessories designed as baggage tools are a natural outgrowth of what's happening in the airline industry.
Baggage fees started as an answer to dwindling airline revenue. When the corporate bean-counters began to see how much money was available through such fees, they were established forever. The costs trend ever upward, with more layers and requirements of increasing complexity.
In short, airlines have discovered a gold mine of revenue, and travelers often feel helpless as they try to avoid the charges. It's not always possible or practical to avoid the fees, but strategies exist to minimize these pesky costs. The goal of bringing only one light bag on any trip should be every budget traveler's focus. It means packing as little as possible, and maximizing every square inch of space in your one bag.
The following accessories will help with that second spatial goal. To avoid fees for over sized or overweight baggage, consider putting some of the following products to work with your packing strategies.
01 of 07
Large suitcases often fail the airlines' dimension tests and incur added fees. What if you could fit more of your belongings into a smaller piece of luggage? With Eagle Creek's Pack-It(R) Compressor Set, you place bulky items inside plastic bags and roll them into a smaller finished product -- the claim is up to 80 percent smaller. It works well for dirty clothes on the return trip. Cost: $20 USD.
02 of 07
Charge your iPad® or tablet and iPhone® at the same time with this Dual USB Charge and Adapter Plug Set. It's 3.1 Amp and dual voltage. The kit includes adapter plugs for U.S., U.K., European and Australian plugs. Cost: About $35, although sale prices come in as low as $25..
03 of 07
Just fold your clothing using the special folding board, slip the neat stack inside the mesh Pack-It, close snugly and stash in your suitcase. Pack-It holds your largest items, such as suits, sport coats, and sweaters without a separate bag. (20 x 14"; 20 oz.) Cost is about $30 USD.
04 of 07
In addition to size requirements, airline impose weight limits on baggage. It's important to carry luggage that weighs less than the airline limits. Never be charged for overweight baggage again. Compact device accurately weighs and measures your luggage before you leave for the airport. Cost: about $20Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Here's another hand scale with a bigger price tag and additional features. This one measures up to 100 lbs. and projects readings on a large digital display. It also weighs just 8 oz. and operates on a pair of AAA batteries. Let's hope you never have a bag weighing 100 lbs. But if you think it could happen, this is the scale you'll need to buy. Cost: about $20 USD.
06 of 07
One of the drawbacks to tight packing is the risk of liquids becoming squeezed out of containers and into your suitcase. Some people use zip-lock plastic bags, but those are not always durable enough for a long trip. Available in two colors. Cost: about $30 USD, but sometimes on sale for as little as $18.
07 of 07
Dual-buckle tie-down straps secure clothing to discourage wrinkling. There is an adjustable and detachable shoulder strap, along with multiple zipper pockets and a fully lined interior. Dimensions are 44" x 22" x 4" and bag weighs 3.4 lbs. Cost: about $40 USD.