6 travel items you can't afford to not have

Posted at 6:17 AM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 09:17:48-04

Traveling the country or globe can be one of the greatest adventures in a lifetime, but there is nothing worse than unexpected expenses on a trip.

AAA travel experts recommend six travel items that will save you money:

1. Stay hydrated without draining your wallet. Avoid paying high prices for water. Take an empty water bottle and fill it up once you are past security.

Cost: $2 - 4 per bottle.

Potential savings: Bonus savings, keep the bottle during your trip. Example: 7-day trip X 2 bottles per day = 14 water bottles at $3 per bottle = $42 savings

2. Keep valuables safe. A money belt, neck wallet, backpack or purse with RFID blocking and anti-theft straps can help keep your money, credit cards and passport safe. Losing your cash, credit cards or passport will cost you time and money, so plan ahead and keep your valuables secure while you travel.

Cost: $12.99 for a neck wallet (AAA price)

Potential savings: A lost or stolen passport can cost you $110-$135 plus expedited fees. If you lose cash on a trip, the potential loss depends on how much remaining cash you have and availability of funds to replace it. Replacing your credit cards is slightly easier, once reported to your bank they will expedite another card to you and your responsibility for unauthorized charges should be limited.

3. Know your weight. Before you go, invest in a travel scale and keep your bags under the weight limit to save airline fees.

Cost: $7.99-$18.99 (AAA price)

Potential savings: Charges for overweight bags can add $25-200 per one-way trip. Scales are not all calibrated exactly the same so be sure to stay a couple of pounds below the weight requirement to account for the difference.

4. Travel with backup. Consider purchasing travel insurance. Medical insurance most likely will not cover you when traveling outside of the United States. In some countries, you will need to pay out of pocket before you can receive care, so having travel insurance that pays hospitals directly is important.

Cost: Travel insurance costs depend on the cost of the trip, what you are insuring and your age. Another factor is if the trip cancelation comes with medical, or if you elect medical only.

Potential savings: Priceless, if you need it. Policy pricing is based on age and the amount that will be insured (medical and trip cancelation).  The cost will also vary based on the amount of trip cancelation coverage and the type of trip cancelation protection.

5. Leave dirty laundry behind. Packing light? Plan on bringing travel laundry detergent sheets, which will help you save on expensive laundry fees in hotels or on ships.

Cost: $4.99 (AAA price)

Potential savings: On cruise ships or in hotels you will pay per piece of laundry $1.25-$6 per item. Example: 7-day trip X 5 pieces of clothes = 2 washes at $3 per item = $20 savings

6.Find my stuff. Bring a Homing Pin and attach it to your luggage, phone, iPad, wallet, camera, etc. This will help you quickly locate your item if you leave it somewhere or it is stolen.

Cost: $15.99-$24.99 (AAA price)

Potential savings: Hundreds of dollars to replace your lost phone, iPad and camera. If you’re traveling domestically and have insurance, you can get them replaced at the nearest store where you have your plan. Internationally – you will end up needing to buy something locally or do without it while you travel, which means no selfies, no Facebook, no Instagram, no pictures.

As a travel resource, AAA sells travel necessities at its office locations. To find the location nearest you, visit