The $9 Device That's a Travel Game-Changer

Writer Zach Frechette on the little gadget that makes a big difference.

The #NotAnAd Chronicles

In our #NotAnAd series, smart people sound off on the smart devices that have changed their lives. No legal tender, free swag or other forms of currency have been exchanged for these ringing endorsements.

My favorite technology I purchased last year was a time travel device. It allows me to peer into the future, see that the piece of luggage I'm planning to check is overweight, and adjust course before I'm on the floor of a crowded airport trying to reallocate rolled up shirts to my carry-on. The best part? It only cost $8.99.

A digital luggage scale is simple: wrap the strap around the handle of a bag and lift. When the display stops blinking, that's your weight. You can also weigh your dog this way, if your dog has a handle (mine does). I used to stand on a bathroom scale with and without the bag, and subtract the difference. This new way is better, and less math.

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"You can also weigh your dog this way, if your dog has a handle (mine does)."

Before you come at me for checking luggage, remember that 1.) Bourdain did it, and 2.) not caring what boarding zone you're in is the ultimate luxury. I walk through the airport like a Zen master, knowing my bag is underweight and I won't have to fight anyone for overhead space. Travel is stressful enough, I'll take any tool that reduces uncertainty and has a civilizing effect. That's more than most technology can offer, at any price. - Zach Frechette

Zach Frechette is the cofounder of GOOD Magazine and Quarterly Co. He is a writer and entrepreneur in Los Angeles.