This Ingenious $40 Luggage Accessory Is the Airport Essential Every Traveler Needs

published Feb 24, 2023
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Credit: FabrikaSimf

I’m a notorious overpacker, no matter how long I’m traveling or where I’m going. I fully blame it on my shoes, TBH (four pairs for a weekend trip is NORMAL, OK!?). But with checked bag fees from airlines recently getting ridiculously sky-high, I’ve learned to adjust my packing approach accordingly. Basically, I now try to cram as much as I can into just one carry-on-sized suitcase and my favorite weekender duffel, which fits under the plane seat. It’s a win-win-win: no extra costs, plenty of packing space, and I can bypass baggage claim. Everything’s fine and dandy, though, until I actually have to — rather unceremoniously — drag both luggages around the airport.

Unfortunately, I don’t own one of those nifty bags with the built-in pocket that neatly slides over a suitcase handle. That means I have to weave the straps of my personal item through to “attach” it instead, and it always, always slips down and/or knocks over my carry-on altogether because it’s so top-heavy. The commotion makes everyone around me stare. (This has happened one too many times for comfort.) I also have to awkwardly de- and re-assemble the whole stacked setup going through security and boarding the plane. It’s a whole thing.

I know for certain I’m not the only traveler with this dilemma. But, rather than buying a brand new bag, I actually just came across a smart (and arguably very fun-looking) luggage-securing solve. Buckle up for this one: a travel belt from Amazon. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

The $40 Cincha travel belt is an adjustable nylon band designed to fit around most purses, backpacks, diapers bags, totes, briefcases, and more. Does it slightly resemble an early-2000s-era Carrie Bradshaw accessory? Yes. Is it actually really useful? Also yes. The back of the belt comes with a built-in elastic slip that glides through luggage handles (which means it’s actually connected directly to the suitcase at all times) while hugging your smaller bag and safely buckling it into place. Like a good old regular belt, you can adjust the tightness, too — up to 45 inches. And whenever you need to regroup, just unbuckle, slide the belt off, grab your top bag, and voilà. No more strap-over-suitcase struggles.

Looks-wise, you’re hardly limited here, with 12 different color and pattern options. You can opt for something more discreet that matches your luggage, like all-black or navy. Or, have fun with it (this is basically accessory shopping, after all) and lean into colorful stripes, leopard print, or — my personal favorite — the trendy yellow checkerboard design shown below. It’s definitely guaranteed to turn a few heads at your gate (in a good way!).

Credit: Amazon

At the end of the (long, gruesome travel) day, flying is stressful enough, so if anything can make my airport experience — and life — easier, I’m all in. And for $40, the Cincha travel belt feels totally worth it, rather than investing in an entirely new luggage set (especially if you’re a a fellow overpacker and/or frequent flyer). Which, speaking of, with every purchase, Cincha actually donates 100 airline miles to help reconnect migrant families in need worldwide. Look good, do good, and travel smarter.