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Locked out of your luggage? This $6 master key is a life-saving travel must-have

Stand in line for TSA to help, or grab this affordable and easy-to-use gadget — we know what we plan to do.

From zipperless luggage to the resurgence of the trunk, our luggage is getting more secure. While we can feel more relaxed that our belongings are safer, if you're like me, that comes with a whole new set of anxieties. I can't be the only one who always seems to forget their lock combination ... can I?

Anyway, assuming you've locked yourself out of your suitcase and forgotten your combo code — or that you have a back-of-the-mind fear that you might — this master luggage key is for you. Think of it as a $6 travel insurance policy!

Some of us aren't great at remembering combo locks. We aren't here to judge — this may be the best $6 you've ever spent. 

$6 at Amazon

So, here's what happened. Years ago, after setting the combination on my brand-new luggage for the very first time, I almost instantly forgot the combo code. I also forgot to write it down — I locked myself out of my suitcase. Thankfully I packed a few days early and realized my error before I boarded a plane.

After doing a quick Google search, I noticed that I wasn't alone (phew!) in this embarrassing scenario. I quickly ordered this $6 master key on Amazon and, since I had an Amazon Prime membership, it arrived at my doorstep the next day. It swiftly unlocked my suitcase, and I was able to reset my luggage code. (Don't worry, I've written it down for safekeeping, in the event that I forget it again.) Now, every time I travel, I won't leave without this handy little safety measure.

Before purchasing this key, be sure to check if it's compatible with your luggage lock. To do so, check the area where the keyhole is located. There, you'll see three letters and three numbers. The most common is "TSA007," but you may also see "TSA002." Be sure to purchase the key that corresponds with what you see on your luggage and you'll be good to go! If you purchase a key that doesn't match up with the code on your luggage, it won't fit into the keyhole.

master luggage key amazon
After accidentally locking myself out of my suitcase, this master key was the only way I was able to get back in. (Amazon)

Hundreds of shoppers, like me, swear by these affordable master keys with several saying it's the ideal and only option for unlocking your luggage if you've forgotten your code.

"I had a bunch of free-standing locks as well as locks built into my luggage that I could not remember the codes for," one five-star reviewer wrote. "These keys worked like a charm to unlock and lock my luggage for a recent international trip."

Another shopper also noted that, without these keys, your only solution to getting into your locked luggage is to take it to the airport for the staff to unlock it or break it yourself at home. Luckily, they didn't have to go that route. "[These keys] saved me from having to drive to the airport to have them do what I could do at home," the shopper wrote.

One reviewer admitted to not even bothering to learn their luggage combination code since they now own this key. "No need to remember your combination," the impressed reviewer wrote. "Just set it and lock it."

A few shoppers pointed out that they were upset to find that they purchased the wrong key for their luggage, but admitted that this was due to them not matching up the codes, as I advised. Once the codes are the same on both the key and your luggage, you're good to go.

Keep in mind that this key opens any TSA-approved combination lock, so only use it on your own luggage. Opening others' without their permission is a criminal offense.

Take note that these keys come in different sizes. If you aren't sure which size to buy, this set features one of each — still for only $6.

$6 at Amazon

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.