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3 travel hacks to save time, money: HotelTonight, Balanzza, LugLoc

Three simple new hacks are designed to save you time, money and hassles during this busy travel season: HotelTonight, Balanzza and LugLoc.
/ Source: TODAY

It's one of the busiest travel weeks of the year — and with hotel costs, airline fees, and the risk of lost luggage, it can get expensive and time-consuming.

On Monday, TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen and the Rossen Reports team spotlighted three simple new hacks designed to save you time, money and hassles during this busy travel season:

HotelTonight, a free phone app, is designed to find discount deals at hotels across the country, including luxury hotels, as long as your trip is within the next week. On the official website for the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the cheapest room Rossen found for the same night was for $305.15. But using HotelTonight, he found a room for $219: an $86 savings. He found similar savings with the app at the Langham Hotel in Boston and a New York City hotel.

Balanzza is a little portable luggage scale that costs just $25 and can save you money on overweight bag fees. You clip it onto your luggage, pick it up, hover it above the ground, and wait for the beep. Rossen weighed a bag with the device, then checked its accuracy by taking it to the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs' Weights and Measures Division to have it weighed on their official scale. The measurements matched.

RELATED ROSSEN REPORT: These 3 off-season travel destinations offer luxury for less

LugLoc, a tracking device to help you locate lost luggage, can tell if your luggage never left your original airport or if it ended up at a different airport in a different city. Simply place the device, smaller than a phone, in your luggage and pair it with an app on your phone. The Rossen Reports team tried it out by sending producer Lindsey Bomnin to Chicago, but sending her bag, carried by another producer, to Washington, D.C. When Bomnin arrived in Chicago, she checked the app, and sure enough, it showed her bag was at the D.C. airport. The LugLoc device costs $69; its free app comes with 1-month ($4.99), 6-month ($19.99) or 1-year ($29.99) service plans.

To suggest a topic for an upcoming investigation, visit the Rossen Reports Facebook page.