Travel Gear: Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale

Overweight suitcase

Overweight suitcase

The overweight baggage tag is no doubt a Scarlett Letter for the modern era. It’s bad enough that you have to pay the fee, but then you must endure the public shaming. I understand that extra weight means extra fuel costs, and I know my heavy bag is taxing on airport employees, but I used to find it unavoidable on occasion.

Those days are over. Introducing my favorite new travel gadget, the Tarriss Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale. There are hundreds of similar products, so why this one?

  • It is small in size and weighs only 3.3 oz.
  • It is ergonomic. It feels comfortable to hold, which is important when you’re lifting a heavy awkward object with one hand.
  • It is accurate to within 0.2 lbs.
  • It displays both kg and lbs, and it’s easy to switch between the two.

Tarriss Jetsetter

The best way to avoid overweight baggage fees is to fly first class, because most US carriers give you a 70 lb baggage allowance. However, sometimes a smaller weight limit is required, especially for smaller aircraft and low-cost carriers. Why not pack this along and be prepared for the next time you check your bag?

Luxury Travel Works tested and approved!

Travel Tip: How to get a hotel upgrade

Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba

Who doesn’t love getting an upgrade? Have you ever wondered the best way to ensure upgrade success, without having any hotel status, or having to resort to bribery?

First of all, you should always select a room in the minimum room category that will make you happy. Not just the minimum acceptable room category, but the one that you will be happy with even if you do not get an upgrade. You will commit time and money to this trip, don’t gamble these expenses in hopes of saving a few dollars.

Once you have determined your preferred room category, get in touch with your travel advisor to make the reservation. Check to see if they participate in the preferred partner program for that hotel. Not every hotel has such a program, but for the ones that do this step can give you an edge over other guests attempting to upgrade. It can also offer you special rates not available through any other channel.

For example, my preferred partnerships include:

  • Four Seasons Preferred Partner (FSPP)
  • Belmond Bellini Club (formerly Orient-Express)
  • Ritz-Carlton STARS
  • Starwood Luxury Privileges
  • Rosewood Elite
  • Peninsula Pen Club
  • Relais & Chateaux
  • and others

Next, let your advisor know your anticipated arrival time at the hotel. Will you need an early check-in? Will you be arriving late in the evening? This information helps the hotel plan for your arrival. If you show up unannounced at 10:00 AM after a redeye flight, the hotel is going to do their best to find you a room in your category. It may be the room next to the elevator. It may be the smallest version in the category. It may be an upgrade. Give yourself the best chances for it to be the latter by helping the hotel prepare for your arrival.

Along these same lines, consider the math. Do you need a room with two queen beds? Then do not expect an upgrade into a room category that only has king beds. Are you trying to upgrade from a category with 20 rooms into a category that has 5 rooms? This will be very challenging. Finally, upgrades from one category to the next are also difficult. For, example from a regular room to a suite.

Are you traveling during a peak time? Upgrades are hardest when the hotel is at full occupancy. This is typical during school vacation weeks, the festive season (last two weeks of December, beginning of January), and other major holidays. If you have flexibility with your dates, let your travel advisor know. We can steer you away from these busy periods which will help increase your upgrade potential.

Do you have specific requests for your room? If it must have a fireplace, or a balcony, or any other item that limits the number of available rooms, your chances of an upgrade decrease. If your require special bedding or a child-proofed room, or similar work that must be done to your accommodations prior to your arrival, then there can be less flexibility when you arrive.

Of course everyone has preferences. I recommend communicating them to your travel advisor, no matter how complex. What’s most important to you about this reservation? What items are must haves, and what are just preferences? We can talk through the options, the pros and cons of the room categories and help you make the best selection for your trip.

What are your best upgrade tips? Any favorite upgrade stories? Share with us in the comments!



Travel Gear: myCharge Summit 3000 Rechargeable Power Bank



Have you ever wished that you had a battery backup for your phone? After losing power at home on a number of occasions last winter due to snowstorms, I decided to invest in a rechargeable battery that I could use for my cell phone.

I selected the myCharge Summit 3000 because I liked the integrated cables, fold down AC adapter, and USB charging capability. It’s also small enough at 4.9 x 3 x 0.8 inches that I can travel with it when needed. This is a versatile product and reasonably priced at around $40.00.


  • Up to 13 hours talk time
  • Built-in Apple® 30-pin and Micro-USB cables
  • 1 built-in USB port
  • Charge up to 3 devices at once
  • Built-in USB charging cable
  • Wall prongs for ultra-fast recharging
  • Battery level indicator
  • Tone and voice notifications


  • Battery: 3000mAh Lithium Polymer
  • USB Input: 5VDC, 1.8A
  • Apple 30-pin Output: 5VDC, 2.1A
  • Micro-USB Output: 5VDC, 1.0A
  • USB Output: 5VDC, 1.0A
  • Wall Charger: 100-240VAC


Do you travel with backup battery power? Do you have a favorite travel gadget? Let us know in the comments!