What NOT to Pack in Your Carry-On Bag: What is Not Allowed on a Plane (2023)
Are you confused about what is not allowed to carry on a plane? I get questions about what you can and can’t bring on a plane all the time, and I get it, it can be really confusing. So I’ve put together the most comprehensive list of what items are not allowed on a plane in hand luggage, and a few surprising things that are allowed.
This article will help you pack a better carry on bag so you don’t end up getting things confiscated at security. You’ll find answers to questions about what items are allowed and not allowed on an airplane, how much liquid can you take on a plane, and more.
What is not allowed on a plane in carry on bags
I’m a big advocate of traveling with only carry-on luggage. It means you have less stuff to lug around, you avoid having to pay baggage fees, and the airline can’t lose your luggage if it’s not checked.
But you should know what not to pack in your carry-on bag. If you were thinking of bringing any of these, you’ll either need to leave it at home, find an alternative, or deal with checking luggage.
Note: This post is written referencing TSA rules for travel from airports in the USA. Some countries may have different rules, so if you’re flying from an airport in another country, please look up the rules for the authority in that country.
What is not allowed on a plane in carry on baggage: the short version
There’s no way to compile a list of every single thing that is not allowed in your carry on bag. Restrictions vary from country to country, and unfortunately some things are in a gray area and up to the whims of the security agents.
If have tons of info about what you can and cannot bring on a plane in carry on bags, including info about liquids rules, things you are allowed to have that you might not realize, and much more, after this quick list.
Here’s a short list of things that are not allowed on the plane in cabin bags:
- Liquids over 3.4 ounces (100ml) or liquids that do not fit in your one permitted liquids bag
- Sharp objects
- Flammable liquids or other flammable items
- Self defense items
- Safety razors or straight razors
- Toys that look like weapons
- Sporting equipment that could be used as a weapon, such as bats
- Tools over 7 inches long or tools that could be used as a weapon, such as saws or hammers
Keep reading for more details and answers to all your questions about carry on luggage rules.
How much liquid can you take on a plane?
The liquids restriction is pretty universal nowadays, though enforcement may vary. In case you need a refresher, this is the TSA liquids rule:
If you want to bring liquids on a plane in your carry on, all of your liquids must be in containers that are no bigger than 3.4 ounces or 100ml. Plus all containers must fit in a clear, one quart sized zip top plastic bag, and each passenger is only allowed to have one liquids bag.
You are not allowed to use a bigger bag for your liquids. Containers that are bigger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) are not allowed even if they aren’t full.
Read more about How Much Liquid Can You Bring on a Plane?
TSA is currently allowing containers of hand sanitizer that are up to 12 ounces. One bottle is allowed per passenger and will most likely be screened separately.
Please note that some posts contain links that earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Buy travel sized containers and fill them with shampoo, shower gel, and any other products you want to bring on your trip.
Buy things like toothpaste in travel sizes. Try these really small ones if your trip is short, or these bigger ones that come in just under the limit if your trip is a little longer.
Or try these solid toothpaste tabs so you don’t have to worry about the liquids issue.
There are special rules for medications, but these vary by country. Check with the country you will be flying out of for their rules, but in most cases you will need to let the screening agents know that you have liquid medication in addition to one quart bag you are allowed.
Take note of these items passengers often forget about which are considered liquids: peanut butter, mascara, snow globes, aerosols.
>>Check it out: Can you bring makeup on a plane and can you bring a hair straightener on a plane, as well as a hair dryer and curling iron
What toiletries can you take on a plane?
You can take toiletries or other liquids that are in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml), and they must all fit in a one quart (one liter) clear zip top bag.
This includes liquids, gels, and aerosols. If you must pack more toiletries than these allowances, you will have to pack them in checked luggage.
Read more about what toiletries you can take on a plane.
My favorite solid toiletries for travel
Solid toiletries are great for travel since they won’t count against your liquids limit. here are what I consider the best solid toiletries for travel. They’ll save you space in your quart sized liquids bag, and they work just as well – or sometimes better! – than their liquid counterparts.
- Ethique Eco-Friendly Solid Shampoo Bar: Wonderful solid shampoo that comes in lots of different variations for different hair types. I use this and the conditioner bar (next) at home as well as when I travel because I love them so much.
- Solid Conditioner Bar: I love this conditioner bar more than any liquid conditioner I’ve ever used.
- Hello toothpaste tabs: These are solid toothpaste tabs that come in an environmentally friendly tin and are made with natural peppermint.
- Neutrogena solid sunscreen: A great alternative to liquid sunscreen, and I’ve been using it for years.
- Murphy’s Naturals Mosquito Repellent Balm Stick: This solid bug repellent is a life saver, so much better than the horrible smell of the spray variety.
- Travelon Laundry Soap Sheets: A friend bought me these non-liquid laundry detergent sheets years ago, and I’ve been traveling with them ever since.
You can also read my full post about solid toiletries for travel.
Can you bring shampoo on a plane?
Yes, shampoo is allowed on a plane in both carry on baggage and checked baggage. The difference for your carry on bag is that your shampoo must comply with the TSA carry on restrictions for liquids.
This means your bottle of shampoo must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller, and it must fit in your liquids bag.
A great way to avoid the problem of too many liquids is to replace your normal liquid shampoo with solid shampoo. I switched years ago, and now I love my solid shampoo and solid conditioner so much, I use them even when I’m not traveling.
What’s the deal with the TSA powder rule?
As if the liquids rule wasn’t enough of a hassle, now we have to wrap our heads around this new TSA powder rule. The first thing to know is that powdered substances are still allowed in both carry on baggage and checked baggage.
The TSA powder rule states: “Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened.”
If you have powders in quantities larger than 12 ounces (350 ml) you are encouraged to pack them in your checked luggage. TSA isn’t requiring you to pack them in you checked bag, only encouraging it. So that’s your call.
My experience with the TSA powder rule
I once flew with store bought salt and pepper shakers, clearly smaller than 12 ounces, and the security screener still pulled my bag aside. He took out the salt and pepper shakers, and tested the salt and pepper for whatever it is they look for with those tests.
It was all fine, and I was allowed to take my salt and pepper with me. But it’s worth knowing they could inspect your powders more closely even if they’re smaller than 12 ounces.
Also, I’ve seen quite a few airline websites that state that powders larger than 12 ounces (350 ml) are NOT permitted in carry on bags. This contradicts what is stated on the TSA website.
I tend to go by TSA rules since they are the security authority and they are the ones inspecting my bags, and there really isn’t a point at which the airline would even know if I had large amounts of powder. But this is a judgement call you’ll have to make.
Can you bring sharp objects on a plane?
This one should be self-explanatory, but sharp objects are prohibited in carry-on luggage because they could be used as a weapon. If you simply must bring a knife, box cutter, or sword on your trip, it must be packed in your checked luggage.
Scissors in cabin bags
Scissors that are less than 4 inches long, like nail scissors, are generally allowed by TSA. But since the final decision rests with the agent, just be aware that they could confiscate it.
Rules in other countries can be different from those in the US, so check it out before you fly from somewhere else. I’ve had my nail scissors confiscated in other countries, so it does happen.
For example, many countries state that scissors are only permitted if they are shorter than 6 centimeters from the pivot point. That’s only 2.36 inches, which is shorter than what TSA allows in the US.
What about knives in hand luggage?
Knives are not allowed in cabin bags, although TSA does say that plastic or round-bladed butter knives are permitted in carry-on baggage. But metal knives, pocket knives, and Swiss army knives are not allowed.
If you want to bring one of these, pack it safely in your checked baggage. It should have a sheath on it so that it can’t accidentally cut through your bag and injure a baggage handler or baggage screener.
Can you bring glass on a plane?
I get a lot of questions about bringing glass on a plane in carry on luggage, and I can see the concern. Glass can be rather sharp and potentially dangerous when it’s broken.
However, according to the TSA website, you can take glass on a plane in hand luggage.
They specifically mention that glass picture frames and glass vases are permitted in both carry on and checked baggage. So as long as the glass item fits in your bag, and your bag fits within the size and weight restrictions for your airline, you’re good to go.
Always wrap glass and other fragile items to prevent them from breaking during the journey. Whenever possible, pack glass items in your carry on bag since checked baggage can get banged around quite a lot.
Can you take knitting needles on a plane?
For those of you who like to knit, especially as a way to pass the time, the answer is yes, you can bring knitting needles on a plane in your carry on bag. TSA also allows crochet hooks in your hand baggage.
I’ve read that plastic or wooden knitting needles are preferred over metal ones, and circular knitting needles are preferred over straight ones, however the TSA website doesn’t mention this.
As always, the TSA agent on duty has the final say, and other countries may have different rules.
Can you bring a razor on a plane?
Taking razors on an airplane can be a little confusing. Straight razors and blades for safety razors are not allowed in your carry-on luggage.
However, you can take a razor through security if it’s a disposable razor. That means the actual blade is attached to a handle, like the kind most of us use to shave. Electric razors are also allowed in your carry-on.
Read more about taking a razor on a plane.
Baseball bats, ski poles, pool cues, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and pretty much any other sporting equipment containing the words stick, pole, bat or club cannot be brought on the plane as carry-on. That’s because they could be used as a weapon.
If playing sports will be part of your travels, consider renting equipment at your destination.
For those of you who are quite attached to using your own sports equipment, you’ll probably need to check it.
Roller skates and roller blades are allowed in carry on baggage. Oddly enough, the TSA website states that it’s ok to bring ice skates in your carry-on. I’m not sure I want to test this one though.
Guns on planes
Obviously a gun is a weapon, and they don’t want you bringing it on an airplane in your carry-on bag. Most guns are permitted in checked luggage as long as they are empty, and they must be in a locked, hard-sided container.
Check with your airline about other restrictions and/or fees they might have. Some items, such as flares and gun powder, are not even permitted in checked luggage.
Before you travel, research the gun laws in the state or country you’re going to. Different states throughout the US have different laws, and many other countries heavily restrict or prohibit personal gun use and ownership.
Anything else that is considered to be a weapon is not allowed on a plane in carry on luggage.
Can you take self-defense items on a plane?
Self-defense items, like pepper spray or mace, are not allowed in carry-on luggage. These could be considered a weapon by TSA, so leave them at home.
If you really want to bring it along for your trip, the TSA website says you are allowed to have one 4 ounce container of mace or pepper spray in your checked luggage “provided it is equipped with a safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge.”
But always check with your airline since they might have stricter regulations on this.
Are tools allowed on a plane in carry on bags?
Most, but not all, tools are prohibited in carry-on luggage. If you’re planning on bringing your tools with you, you will most likely need to put them in checked luggage.
You might not think of a hammer or drill bits as weapons, but TSA’s opinion differs.
Tools that are 7 inches or less in length are permitted, but not sharp tools. I think you’ll find that most tools are unfortunately longer than 7 inches, sharp, or something that could be considered useful as a weapon.
It’s best to pack tools in checked baggage or simply leave them at home.
What about bringing flammable items on a plane?
I think we can all agree that starting a fire on the airplane is not a good idea.
Please leave all flammable chemicals and items at home. If you feel you must have fireworks, bleach, chlorine, or paint thinner on your vacation, buy them when you arrive.
These and other flammable and explosive items are things you can’t take on a plane in either carry on or checked baggage.
Camping gear used for fires and cooking, such as a camping stove, is considered flammable as well.
TSA does say camp stoves “are allowed in carry-on or checked bags only if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned so that no fuel vapors or residue remain.”
Remember that their standards for “cleaned” might be stricter than yours, so if they detect even the tiniest amount, your camp stove could be confiscated.
Check with TSA and the airline for rules and restrictions. If possible, get the equipment you need once you arrive to avoid the hassle.
Are lighters or matches allowed on airplanes?
You can bring a lighter on a plane in your carry-on, though usually only one is allowed. Lighters can only be checked if they have no fuel in them, but they have to be seriously 100% empty, AND in a DOT approved case.
TSA does allow one book of safety matches in your carry-on, but matches are another one of the prohibited items in checked baggage.
Read more about taking matches and lighters on a plane including certain types of lighters that are not permitted.
Can you bring e-cigarettes or vaping devices on a plane?
Yes, you can take e-cigarettes or a vape on a plane. In fact, TSA requires you to pack your e-cigarette/vaping device in carry-on, not checked luggage.
The liquid you need for it must also fit within the liquid allowances. Read more about bringing a vape on a plane.
And of course remember that you are not allowed to smoke cigarettes or use a vaping device at all while on an airplane.
Bringing meat, fruit, vegetables, and other agricultural products in carry on bags
When traveling internationally, most countries prohibit you from bringing in meats, fruit, vegetables, plants, and other agricultural products.
If you want to bring an apple as a snack, just make sure you eat it on the plane. Otherwise it will be confiscated on arrival, and you could find yourself facing an angry border agent.
Certain countries, like Australia and New Zealand, are even more strict and won’t allow things like wooden souvenirs you may have picked up somewhere else.
What can you carry on a plane but maybe shouldn’t?
These are some items that are allowed on an airplane in carry on luggage, but out of respect for other passengers, you probably shouldn’t pack these in your carry-on. Or simply refrain from using some of these items while in flight.
I know airline food is notoriously bad, or often not even offered, so it makes sense to bring your own occasionally. But please be respectful of your neighbors and leave the fish and other stinky food at home.
But in general, can you bring food on a plane? Yes, normally it is allowed, but some airlines might be more strict than others.
Also remember that any food that can be considered a liquid is not allowed if it is more than 3.4 ounces (100ml). So leave your peanut butter at home, it counts as a liquid.
Can you bring nail polish on a plane?
Ok, bring the nail polish (in your liquids bag) if you want, it is allowed in your carry on bag.
But please don’t paint your nails in flight. This falls under the disrespectful smell category. Plus can you just imagine what happens if you hit unexpected turbulence while painting your nails? Yikes!
>>Learn more about traveling with makeup in your carry on.
Perfume on a plane
We’re all glad you care about how you smell, but perfume can be unpleasant and bothersome to many people. Some are even allergic.
So even though perfume and cologne are allowed in carry-on baggage, as long as they comply with the liquids rules, please wait until you reach your destination to spray on the perfume. That way your seatmates can breathe easy during the flight.
Guidebooks can be really helpful, but chances are you don’t need to bring that heavy book with you on the trip. Either rip out the pages you think you’ll need, photocopy them, or take pictures with your phone of the pages you need.
Better yet, buy digital copies for your Kindle or other e-reader.
FAQs about carry on luggage rules
Some topics about what is not allowed on a plane in carry on luggage are quite detailed. Here are some frequently asked questions about which items are allowed on a plane, including links to full articles I’ve written with more details to help you avoid problems at the airport.
How much liquid can you bring on a plane?
In general, you can take one clear quart sized (liter sized) zip top bag as your liquids bag. Each container in that bag must be 3.4 ounces or smaller.
What counts as liquid on a plane? What other rules are there about flying with liquids? Learn more here: How Much Liquid Can You Bring on a Plane?
Can you bring food on a plane?
Understandably, many people want to bring snacks or even a full meal on the plane with them. Learn which kinds of foods are allowed and which ones aren’t. Read more here: Can you bring food on a plane?
Can you take alcohol on a plane?
There are rules about flying with alcohol in both carry on and checked baggage, so make sure you know what’s allowed. No one wants an expensive bottle of wine confiscated!
Plus you’ll find tips for packing these bottles to minimize the risk of breakage. Learn more here: Can you bring alcohol on a plane?
Can you take makeup on a plane?
Some makeup is liquid, some isn’t. Then there’s that weird new powder rule to figure out.
Read my tips for taking make up on a plane here: Can you bring makeup on a plane?
Can you bring disinfectant wipes on a plane?
Understandably there is some confusion about whether wipes count as liquids and whether or not you can take them on a plane in your carry on. Disinfectant wipes, makeup wipes, any kind of wipes you’re thinking of, it’s all in here.
Plus I’ve included some important tips to help you rid your airplane seat from germs. Learn all about it here: Can you take disinfectant wipes on a plane? Plus how to disinfect your airplane seat!
Can you take hand sanitizer on a plane?
The world is a dirty place, and you might not always have access to soap and water to wash your hands. Learn the rules about flying with hand sanitizer and how much is allowed: Can you bring hand sanitizer on a plane?
Can you take aerosols on a plane?
Aerosols are considered liquid, but there’s a little more to it than that, especially if you’re putting them in checked luggage. Learn the rules for bringing aerosols on a plane in this post: Can you take aerosols on a plane?
Can you bring hairspray on a plane in carry on bags?
What about bringing hairspray on a plane in checked bags? Is hairspray considered a liquid?
Find answers here about flying with hairspray: Can you bring hairspray on a plane?
Can you bring deodorant on a plane?
Is deodorant a liquid? Can you pack it in your carry on bag? Get all the answers to your questions about flying with deodorant: Can you take deodorant on a plane?
Can you bring sports equipment on a plane?
If you like to do sports when you travel, you might want to bring your own equipment. But some items are not allowed in carry on luggage, so read up on the rules and tips before your flight: Can You Pack Sports Equipment in Your Carry-On?
Can you take batteries on a plane?
With so many different types of batteries, it’s no wonder there are lots of different rules about bringing them on a plane. Learn which ones are allowed and the differences between packing batteries in hand luggage and checked baggage: Can you take batteries and power banks on a plane?
Can you bring a drone on a plane?
Lots of people like to travel with their drones these days.
Each airline has slightly different rules about flying with a drone, so it’s important to know what your airline says. Read more about taking a drone on a plane, including rules from popular airlines and other FAQs about traveling with a drone.
Can you take a mobility scooter or wheelchair on a plane?
If you have a physical disability and require a mobility device, you might have some questions about traveling with your device. Check out these expert tips for flying with a mobility scooter or wheelchair: Can You Bring a Mobility Scooter on a Plane? Plus Flying With a Wheelchair
Can you bring a lighter on a plane?
Lighters and matches can start fires, so obviously there are restrictions about bringing them on a plane. Surprisingly it’s not a flat out no, make sure you know the rules ahead of time: Can you bring matches or a lighter on a plane?
Can you take your vape on a plane?
Vaping has gotten more popular in recent years, so if you use one, it’s important to pack it properly to avoid getting it confiscated: Can you take a vape on a plane?
Should you pack a hair dryer?
I understand the temptation, but should you even bring your hair dryer on your trip? Read this post before your trip to decide if you really need to pack that hair dryer: Should You Pack a Hair Dryer?
Can you bring a hair straightener/hair dryer/curling iron on a plane?
If you’ve decided to bring your hair dryer, hair straightener, or curling iron on your trip, you need to know the rules about packing them and tips for how to pack them. And if you use a cordless hair appliance, you’ll definitely want to read this: Can you take hair straighteners in hand luggage? Plus hair dryers and curling irons.
Can you take a razor on a plane?
Razors can be tricky since they’re sharp, but certain types are allowed in carry on luggage. Read the rules here to avoid packing the wrong kind: Can you bring a razor on a plane?
Can you bring toothpaste on a plane?
Toothpaste stumps a lot of people when packing for a trip. Is toothpaste a liquid? Can you pack it in your carry on? Get the answers to your toothpaste travel questions in this post: Can you bring toothpaste on a plane?
How many ounces can you take on a plane?
To answer the question, how many oz can you fly with, you have to understand that each container of liquid, cream, gel, or aerosol must be 3.4 oz (100ml) or smaller, and each container must fit into a clear 1 quart (1 liter) zip top bag for the airport.
You’re only allowed one liquids bag per passenger, so whatever you can fit in that bag is as much as you can take on the plane in hand luggage.
Can I bring lotion on a plane?
Yes, you sure can. Lotion is allowed on a plane in either carry on or checked luggage, but if you’re packing it in your carry on bag, make sure it complies with the TSA rules for liquids.
How many carry on bags are allowed?
The number of carry on bags allowed for each passenger is controlled by each airline individually. Most allow one carry on item that goes in the overhead bin and one personal item that must fit underneath the seat in front of you.
However, not all airlines are the same. Some strictly permit only one bag. Others, especially some low cost airlines, allow one personal item and make you pay to add a carry on item.
Check out our comprehensive carry on luggage size chart for size and weight restrictions by airline, including how many items each airline allows.
This list of what not to pack in your carry-on bag is not all inclusive. Regulations change often, so please check the TSA (or other countries) and the airline websites before you fly so you know what you can’t bring on a plane.
Despite the long list above, it’s still pretty easy to travel carry-on only. Be realistic about what you need to take on your vacation, buy restricted items you need once you arrive, and enjoy your trip!
Read more about packing:
- Carry-On Luggage Size Chart
- What to Pack in Your Carry-On Bag
- How to Pick the Best Carry-On Luggage
- What to Pack for a Day Trip
- Packing Light With Liquids
- Or check out all of our luggage and packing tips posts here
November 7, 2019 @ 8:23 pm
Hi. I am travelling by KLM. Can I pack a NEW toaster n kettle in my carry-on? Ur advise wl be much appreciated.
November 8, 2019 @ 11:45 am
As long as the toaster and kettle fit in your carry on bag and don’t cause you to exceed KLM’s weight limit for carry on luggage, that should be fine. Also remember that if you’re traveling from one part of the world to another, like from North America to Europe as an example, the plug won’t fit and these kinds of appliances might not even work properly. If you’re just flying from Amsterdam to Munich or whatever, then that’s nothing to worry about.
November 7, 2019 @ 7:29 pm
Can I take canned foods with me from canada to Cuba? It would be for my consumption.
If I want to take shampoo, conditioner and body wash in regular size bottles, they have to go in my checked luggage correct?
I need to take my medications with me. They will be in the original pill bottles, do I need a list from my pharmacist of all the meds I take.
Sorry last question, am I okay to wear my medic alert bracelet into Cuba?
Thanks for all your hard work. You rock!
November 8, 2019 @ 11:42 am
Hi Lynn! I don’t see any issue with the canned food, but you should check the Cuba customs and agriculture department to make sure. And you probably can’t pack it in your carry on since the cans probably have liquid in them which would most likely exceed the limit.
Full sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, etc. must be packed in your checked luggage since they are bigger than 3.4 ounces/100ml.
Your prescriptions should be fine, no need for a list from your pharmacist. The only thing is if you take something that’s more of a controlled substance, like something with codeine in it (just one example) you should check the regulations in Cuba to make sure it isn’t banned/illegal, and you should get a letter from your doctor explaining what you take, how much, and why. But most “normal” medications won’t be an issue.
Medic alert bracelet…that’s just a piece of jewelry that notifies people you have a health issue, right? Like it says you have a peanut allergy or epilepsy or whatever? I see no reason why that would be a problem.
Have a great trip!
November 7, 2019 @ 1:58 am
Can I bring a garage door opener with a 9 volt battery in my carry on? I’m not checking a bag.
November 7, 2019 @ 10:50 am
Hi Joyce! Yes, that should be fine. In fact, batteries are usually better off in carry on bags since certain types are not allowed in checked luggage. You can read more about flying with batteries here.
November 6, 2019 @ 2:20 am
I am flying out of the country next month on American Airlines. I always check in luggage but this trip I am bringing a carry on to avoid luggage getting lost. What are their rules with perfume? I use a perfume in a gold type can so you can’t see the liquid and it’s a spray. Will they allow this? It’s actually 3.4 oz exactly but the can looks more than that. It won’t show the size on the can.
Also, how strict are they on bringing only one quart size ziploc bag. Thank you!
November 6, 2019 @ 11:03 am
Hi Karen! They are very strict about bringing one quart sized bag for your liquids, you can only have one per passenger. There aren’t any different rules for perfume vs other liquids, they just need to be 3.4 ounces or smaller. If the bottle looks bigger than that, you might want to bring the packaging or something else that shows it’s only 3.4 ounces. Or consider bringing a different kind of perfume so you don’t have to worry about that one getting confiscated or even just the fact that it’ll take up so much room in your liquids bag. I’d also recommend trying to switch some of your toiletries over to solids for this trip, you can read more about non-liquid toiletries for carry on travel here. There are even some solid perfume sticks you could try!
November 6, 2019 @ 5:26 pm
November 5, 2019 @ 8:24 pm
Confused about phone chargers? When did they stop letting you carry them on?
November 6, 2019 @ 10:54 am
Hi Lynne! I don’t know where you heard that, but phone chargers are absolutely allowed in your carry on luggage, and I’d highly recommend packing them there, not in checked bags, in case your bags get lost. And if by “charger” you’re talking about a power bank, definitely pack it in your carry on luggage. You can read more about taking batteries and power banks on a plane here.
November 5, 2019 @ 7:13 pm
hi i have a qestion about carry on… could i take wit me the electric drill for nails?
November 6, 2019 @ 10:50 am
Hi Emilia! The TSA website says drills are NOT allowed in carry on luggage.
November 6, 2019 @ 3:27 pm
And what about uv lamp ?
November 7, 2019 @ 10:49 am
I can’t think of any reason why TSA would have a problem with that. Electronics are allowed in your carry on bag, so as long as it fits in your bag and doesn’t exceed the size and weight restrictions from your airline, I think it should be fine.
November 5, 2019 @ 11:48 am
I’m flying from the US to Mexico. Can I bring my clear blue fertility monitor? Should I put it in my carry on or suit case? Are there rules on how big your carry on can be? Thanks!
November 6, 2019 @ 10:48 am
Hi Alex! I can’t think of any reason security would have a problem with that. I’d pack it in your carry on bag just in case your checked luggage gets delayed or lost. TSA has some info about traveling with medical devices and related topics here, and if you’re worried you could ask TSA through their Facebook or Twitter profile. But there’s nothing that would cause a security concern with a fertility monitor.
Yes, there are rules about how big your carry on bag can be, and they are set by the individual airline. Please find your airline on our carry on luggage size chart.
November 5, 2019 @ 8:49 am
I am taking a decorative metal lantern with glass sides. Miniature Christmas decorations inside. Is this allowed on carry on?
November 5, 2019 @ 11:37 am
Hi Maria! It doesn’t sound like a problem. TSA is looking for sharp objects, things that could be used as a weapon, that kind of thing. Glass is allowed. So unless any of that is sharp or blunt like a bat, I think it should be fine. If you’re worried, you could take a picture and ask TSA on their FB page or Twitter account, they’re usually pretty responsive.
November 4, 2019 @ 9:17 pm
I have many prescriptions and vitamins: can I take the bottles or just put them in daily containers?
November 5, 2019 @ 11:14 am
Hi Pat! If you’re just flying domestically (I’m guessing within the US) it shouldn’t be a big deal to put your pills in daily containers. TSA isn’t really concerned with pills, they’re just looking for things that are a security threat. But if you’re traveling to another country, it might be better to leave your pills in their original containers because sometimes rules are different in other countries. That said, I travel a LOT and no one has ever questioned me about my medication.
November 4, 2019 @ 4:17 am
I have to use disposable catheters which requires a lubricant that comes in a tube that weighs 4 ounces. Can I carry the catheters and the lubricant in my carry on bag.
November 4, 2019 @ 11:53 am
Hi Al! Medically necessary items are allowed in carry on luggage, even liquids that exceed the 3.4 ounce/100ml rule. If the catheters and/or the lubricant are not prescription items, you might want to talk to your doctor about getting a note that explains that they are medically necessary, in case TSA questions you. If they are something you need a prescription for and your name is on the label, that should be enough for TSA, though you still might want to consider getting a letter from your doctor. TSA has info about special procedures with medical conditions here.
November 3, 2019 @ 4:55 pm
I have a 8 pound stained glass lamp I want to return to my SIL. I am traveling from RDU to MDW on Southwest. Can I take it in a carry on bag?
November 4, 2019 @ 11:46 am
Hi Linda! Southwest’s carry on luggage policy doesn’t indicate a weight limit, so as long as you can fit the lamp in your carry on luggage and lift it yourself into the overhead bin, there shouldn’t be any problem with taking it.
November 2, 2019 @ 12:20 pm
Can i bring flashlight and two rechargable batteries on my carry on luggage
November 4, 2019 @ 11:36 am
Hi Manny! Yes, flashlights and rechargeable batteries are allowed in carry on luggage. Read more about taking batteries on a plane here.
November 2, 2019 @ 5:25 am
What’s the deal with flying out of lax with cannabis
November 4, 2019 @ 11:35 am
Hi Matt! I’m not an expert on cannabis, but from what I’ve read, it’s technically not legal to fly with cannabis. Since it’s still illegal at a federal level, even if you’re just flying within a state where it’s legal, you’re still under federal jurisdiction when you’re at the airport. TSA isn’t specifically looking for marijuana since it’s not a security threat, but if they are examining your bags and find it, they’re supposed to report it. So it’s really not recommended that you fly with it.
October 31, 2019 @ 8:01 pm
We bought some posters and a painting and the dude that sold it to us package it in long plastic tube. It’s longer than a suitcase so I was thinking of bringing it on as a Carry-On. Do you see an issue with this?
November 1, 2019 @ 11:26 am
Hi Kevin! Unfortunately I think you’ll need to contact the airline and ask about that. I would hope that they would allow it in carry on since it’s so small, despite being pretty long. You can call the customer service number and see if they’re any help, and you might want to consider going to the check-in counter (even if you’re checking in online and don’t have checked bags) and see if they can give you a sticker or tag for it to show that it’s approved as carry on. Sorry I can’t give you a definite answer on this one, but I imagine each airline might have a different view on it.
October 31, 2019 @ 4:51 pm
My husband is diabetic and requires medication that needs refrigeration. Any suggestions on how to keep it cold traveling by plane ?
November 1, 2019 @ 11:24 am
Hi Stacy! TSA has info about traveling with medications and supplies here: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures. There’s a section that talks about bringing ice or ice packs if you need them for medical reasons, so if it’s a short flight, an ice pack might be sufficient. Otherwise you should talk to the airline. I’ve definitely heard of people getting a flight attendant to put things like insulin in the fridge while in flight, but rules vary by airline, so you should check with them first. And set yourself some kind of reminder to get the medication back at the end of the flight!
October 31, 2019 @ 3:21 pm
I’ve purchased a paper mache figurine in Mexico. I heard of a possible problem with carrying on paper mache objects into the US. Do you have any insight on this?
November 1, 2019 @ 11:19 am
Judy, you have me stumped! I did some searching, and I see a few places that talk about pinatas being confiscated due to copyright violations (like if the pinata is a Disney character or something) and a few places that talk about them being confiscated and/or destroyed by customs agents because they suspect people are trying to smuggle in drugs in them. But I can’t find anything concrete from the US customs agency. You might have to take a chance or maybe see if mailing it would be a reasonable option. Sorry I can’t help much on this one!
October 29, 2019 @ 8:53 am
I am from the Netherlands, and I am currently going to college in the USA. However, I am returning to Amsterdam for winterbreak in December. Because I am leaving, I really want to take something that remembers my time here. It may sound weird but I think I have found the perfect souvenir concerning college. This guy makes bongs out of vodka bottles, I thought it was really cool. I haven’t used it yet though (maybe its good to leave it that way). But I was wondering if i’d get into any trouble if I carry it with me back home.
I hope you could help me out!!
October 30, 2019 @ 11:55 am
Hi Julius! Bongs are legal in the US by themselves, so I don’t think there’s any issue with buying it and bringing it back with you. Of course, check the legality of them in the Netherlands, but I imagine they’re legal there too. It’s the weed that could cause problems, so I agree that you probably shouldn’t use it before getting on the plane. It wouldn’t surprise me if having a bong in your luggage prompts TSA to inspect your bag and belongings closer, but as long as you don’t have anything illegal or dangerous, it’s just a hassle and a little extra time.
October 29, 2019 @ 4:18 am
I had a total knee replacement 8/15/19 and am flying to my nephews wedding. Can I bring my walking cane with me for balance?
October 30, 2019 @ 11:52 am
Hi Karen! Yes, canes are allowed. You should also check with your doctor if there are any issues with you going through the metal detector if there are any metal pieces in your knee now.
October 28, 2019 @ 5:13 am
Can I take corned beef packaged in tin in my hand luggage
October 28, 2019 @ 2:50 pm
Hi Jestina! Is there liquid in the tin? The biggest hurdle with bringing food through security is any liquid content. If there is liquid in it, it’s a tough call to determine if it’s within the liquids limit, and it would need to fit in your liquids bag. If there’s no liquid in it, I shouldn’t be a problem. The only other thing to look into is if you’re flying internationally, some countries have strict rules about the types of food you’re allowed to bring in, so you should research the customs and agricultural rules for the country you’re going to. If you’re flying domestically, don’t worry about it. You can read more about bringing food in hand luggage here.
October 27, 2019 @ 9:46 am
Can I bring seashells home with me? Also, I use a cane. Will I have any problem with that?
October 28, 2019 @ 2:47 pm
Hi Eileen! There’s no security issue with bringing seashells in your carry on, but you should probably research the rules surrounding shells. Some countries don’t permit you to take shells and/or sand away from their beaches, while other countries have strict customs rules that could prevent you from bringing them into the country.
Canes are fine, TSA or any other country’s security agency should not have any issues with you bringing your cane with you.
October 26, 2019 @ 12:41 am
Can I bring ground coffee or coffee beans in my carry on traveling from Hawaii to Michigan
October 26, 2019 @ 12:17 pm
Hi Rosa! Yes, that’s allowed. My only concern would be if TSA considers ground coffee to be a powder, which means you need to know about their powder rule. It basically says that any powders in carry on luggage that above 12 ounces (350ml) needs to be taken out of your carry on bag to be screened separately, just like you would do with your laptop. But it’s still allowed in your bag, so I wouldn’t worry about it. Maybe just ask the screener if they want you to take the coffee out of your bag to go through the xray.
October 24, 2019 @ 6:25 pm
Hi – can I carry alcohol markers in a carry on? I know you answered the question about regular markers – I just wasn’t sure if there were different requirements for alcohol based markers.
October 24, 2019 @ 9:15 pm
Hi Denise! I still think those would be fine. It’s still such a tiny amount of liquid that I believe TSA would treat them just like any other kind of markers or pens and not care. I can’t make you any guarantees, but I would be very surprised if TSA had a problem with them or even saw them as anything other than “not dangerous” on the xray.
October 24, 2019 @ 1:24 am
Can I bring quilling tools in my carry on bag? It’s like needles for needle point.
October 24, 2019 @ 2:32 pm
Hi Mary! TSA allows knitting needles and crochet needles in carry on luggage. But if you’re flying in another country, you should check with their security agency in case they have different rules.
October 19, 2019 @ 11:02 am
Hi! Thank you for this post and the constant responses in the comments. This is very helpful! I’m thinking of bringing tea strainers/infusers in my luggage either the ones in ball or with a long handle. Will that be allowable?
October 21, 2019 @ 11:02 am
Glad to help, Anna! I can’t think of any reason why security would have a problem with tea strainers or those tea balls. They’re not sharp, they’re not liquid, they’re not dangerous in any other way. I wouldn’t worry about it.
October 18, 2019 @ 5:23 am
I moved and had to make a change of address on my license and my old address is on the old one DMV punch a hole in the old way can I still use for ID because my old address is on my flight ticket?
October 18, 2019 @ 11:32 am
Hi Dee! I’ve never seen a person’s address listed on a plane ticket before. And if you were to use a passport as ID, that doesn’t even list an address on it. I think you’d be fine to use your new license, though if you want to bring the old one just in case, it can’t hurt. If you’re concerned, I’d recommend calling the airline and asking.
October 17, 2019 @ 2:19 pm
Please can you tell me if a small travel kettle can be taken in hand luggage?
October 18, 2019 @ 10:41 am
Hi Eric! Yes, kettles are allowed in hand luggage.
October 17, 2019 @ 5:57 am
I have unsightly hairs that grow on my chin, I use tweezers to pick them. Are tweezers allowed on the plane?
October 18, 2019 @ 10:40 am
Hi Kim! TSA says tweezers are allowed in carry on luggage.
James L. Hendershot
October 16, 2019 @ 2:26 am
I have to take medications that are prescribed by my doctor. Am I allowed to bring them in my carry on bag?
October 18, 2019 @ 10:39 am
Yes, in fact I highly recommend that you do pack them in your carry on bag, because if your checked bag gets lost and your medicine was in it, you’d have a huge problem.
October 15, 2019 @ 12:46 am
Can i bring a thermal flask in carry on (It’s empty)? To make coffee on trips for sightseeing.
October 15, 2019 @ 11:23 am
Hi Vincent! Yes, a flask or other type of bottle is allowed in carry on luggage as long as it’s empty before you go through security.
October 14, 2019 @ 6:16 pm
I have 2 license plates I need to bring with me. Rounded edges, but metal can be sharp.
October 15, 2019 @ 11:15 am
Hi Randall! Your license plates should be fine in carry on luggage.
October 14, 2019 @ 5:54 pm
Do u know if you are allowed to pack cases of pop in your check in . Cans or plastic bottles…Canada to Cuba,
October 15, 2019 @ 11:15 am
Hi Jeremy! That’s allowed in your checked luggage, but I might be a little worried about the pressure changes and how that might affect the aluminum or plastic. Definitely make sure you put them in a plastic bag or something to protect the rest of your stuff in case the sodas leak.
October 13, 2019 @ 12:48 pm
I bought a gift of tealight candles for a friend, and now I’m wondering if I can safely bring them in my carry-on.
October 14, 2019 @ 11:40 am
Hi Darlene! Yes, candles are allowed in carry on luggage. They just don’t want you to light them in flight.
October 13, 2019 @ 5:47 am
Can I bring a small compact travel size umbrella in my carryon? And also my liquid prepackaged insulin and a cool pack?
October 14, 2019 @ 11:39 am
Hi Diane! Yes, umbrellas are allowed. Your insulin is allowed too, but make sure you read TSA’s guidelines. Go to this site https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all and type “insulin” into the search box. It’ll come up with a few different entries relating to diabetes supplies, so you can read the ones that apply to you.
October 12, 2019 @ 11:40 pm
I am going to the Dominican
Can I bring my hempzilla CBD oil 1200 mg for pain.
October 14, 2019 @ 11:37 am
Hi Cindy! I don’t know all the rules and laws about CBD, especially in other countries, so you’ll need to research that.
October 11, 2019 @ 1:18 am
I was needing to know if you can carry PVC pipe in sections in a carry on bag. I use a 48 inch piece to exercise with and thinking if i cut it down to sections that will fit in a carry on bag and use connections to put it back to the normal 48 inch length. I normally fly Southwest and American Airlines.
October 11, 2019 @ 12:52 pm
Hi Jacob! I think you have me stumped. I would be a little worried about TSA thinking it could be used as a weapon, similar to a bat. But then it’s probably not very heavy, so unlikely to be very dangerous. Honestly, you might want to ask TSA directly on this one to be sure. Try them on their Facebook or Twitter account. You could try taking the PVC pipe with you and just know that it could possibly be confiscated, which would just mean having to replace it at your destination. Which I know isn’t fun, but it’s at least something that’s easy to replace. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful on this one!
October 10, 2019 @ 7:37 am
I will be traveling to Mexico from the US and want to know if I can bring a 3 inch yarn needle on board to work on a craft project during flight?
October 11, 2019 @ 12:47 pm
Hi Sherry! TSA allows knitting needles in carry on bags, so if that’s what you’re talking about, you should be fine. Have a great trip!
October 8, 2019 @ 9:28 am
I an travelling to Krakow, Poland by Easyjet shortly. Can I take electric hair rollers im my carry-on Bag? Thank you
October 8, 2019 @ 11:05 am
Hi Frances! Yes, electric rollers are allowed in your carry on bag. And have a great trip, there are so many great things to do in Krakow!
October 8, 2019 @ 5:42 am
Can I bring an empty metal insulated sport bottle on board?
October 8, 2019 @ 11:02 am
Hi Pamela! Yes, metal water bottles are allowed in carry on luggage, just make sure it’s completely empty before you go through security, and then you can fill it up after security.
October 6, 2019 @ 4:52 pm
Can I pack my Fitbit charger in my carry on bag?
October 7, 2019 @ 4:36 pm
Hi Deni! Yes, you can pack your Fitbit charger in your carry on luggage.
Carlos A Disdier
October 5, 2019 @ 11:54 pm
I am going on a guided fishing trip and wanting to take frozen clean fish fillets on board a flight from the USA to Puerto Rico and wondering if that is permitted. It will be frozen & pack on dried ice.
October 7, 2019 @ 4:28 pm
Hi Carlos! TSA has some guidelines here about taking dry ice on a plane, but it also states that you must have airline approval, so you should contact your airline to find out more. Also, even though Puerto Rico is a US territory, there are customs procedures when leaving Puerto Rico to go back to the US, and there are restrictions on what you can and can’t take out, so I imagine there are restrictions on what you can and can’t bring into Puerto Rico, but this is definitely outside of my area of expertise, so just make sure you research and find out of you’re allowed to bring fish into Puerto Rico.
October 3, 2019 @ 6:02 pm
For those of us who wear contact lens, the smallest container is 4FL OZ or 118ml. You allow crochet needles but not contact cleaner of the size mentioned. You should re-think this measure.
October 4, 2019 @ 11:02 am
Hi Arnold! To be clear, I am not the one making these rules. I’m just a woman running a travel site explaining the rules and helping people pack better.
I wear contact lenses too, and that is not correct. There are travel sized bottles of contact solution in many, many different stores, and they’re a standard size of 2 ounces. I’ve been using these bottles to travel for over a decade. Here are some on Amazon, or try the travel aisle at Target, CVS, Walgreens, or if you’re not in the USA, try your local optical boutique or drug store.
August 9, 2022 @ 9:55 pm
Thanks so much for the link!
August 10, 2022 @ 4:05 pm
Glad to help!
October 3, 2019 @ 5:22 pm
I woud like to pack a set of 8, gold trimmed dishes in carry on, is it allowed(china plates, soup bowls and saucers)
October 4, 2019 @ 10:56 am
Hi Sharon! Yes, plates, bowls, etc. are allowed in carry on baggage. Just make sure they are all properly cushioned/wrapped up so they hopefully don’t break while in transit. The only other thing to take into consideration is the weight. Most airlines have weight limits for carry on bags, and since dishes can get heavy, that could put you over the limit. You can find your airline on our carry on luggage size chart.
October 2, 2019 @ 8:19 am
Hi i tend to pack leaving my clothes (shirts etc) on the metal hangers is this ok??
October 3, 2019 @ 11:43 am
Hi Danny! Yes, that’s allowed, but you won’t fit nearly as much in your bag that way.
September 30, 2019 @ 2:24 pm
can i bring my Roland Cube Street Amp its within the size dimentions but im not sure if i can carry the amp as hand luggage.
October 1, 2019 @ 2:20 pm
Hi Rosa! I don’t see any security issue with bringing an amp in your carry on bag. Security often wants to screen electronics separately, so they might want you to take it out of your bag to go through the xray. But also, how much does the amp weigh? Many airlines have weight restrictions on carry on baggage, so you should check that. I have a chart with carry on size and weight limits for 170+ airlines where you can look for your airline.
September 30, 2019 @ 8:33 am
Can I bring biscuits with a cream/liquid centre in my carry on. I’ve purchase quite a few packs as gifts and not keen for them to be in checked luggage as I want to avoid the packaging getting crushed.
September 30, 2019 @ 12:52 pm
Hi Caterina! I can’t give you a completely definite answer on that one, but if it were me, I’d chance it. Bringing food on a plane can be tricky when it comes to liquids, but I’ve found that, as an example, a jar of peanut butter is not allowed while a peanut butter sandwich is allowed. So the cookies seem similar in my mind. Yes, they have some liquid, but it’s part of the cookie, so they might overlook it. I think it’s up to you which risk you’re willing to take, either packing them in checked luggage where they might get crushed or packing them in carry on where they might get confiscated.
September 30, 2019 @ 3:00 am
Hi, I have an electric water pump which the weight is 8 kls. is it okay to bring? i have checked baggage allowance…
September 30, 2019 @ 12:49 pm
Hi Denz! I can’t think of a reason why you wouldn’t be able to pack that in your checked luggage, but you might want to verify with the airline to be sure.
September 29, 2019 @ 2:08 am
Can I take a gallon size ziplock bag of beer bottle caps on the plane in my carry on luggage. It’s for an art project
September 30, 2019 @ 12:37 pm
Hi Jody! That should be fine, can’t think of any reason why bottle caps would be a problem.
September 26, 2019 @ 11:01 pm
Hi, can you put a butane cartridge in your checked baggage? Like the ones used for a mosquito repellent.
September 27, 2019 @ 1:44 pm
Hi Bev! I can’t find a definite answer on this one, but my gut says no. When you look up butane on the TSA website, it says no for both checked luggage and carry on bags. There is a separate entry for butane curling irons, which is the closest I can find, and it says:
“Cordless curling irons containing a gas cartridge and butane fueled curling irons are allowed in carry-on bags only.
A safety cover must be securely fitted over the heating element. The device must be protected from accidental activation.
Gas refills (spare cartridges) are not allowed in either checked or carry-on bags.”
So based on this, I wouldn’t chance taking it on the plane, definitely not in checked luggage, and probably not in carry on either. You’re better off packing normal insect repellent for your trip or buying the butane cartridge once you arrive.
September 26, 2019 @ 8:47 pm
Hi Ali! I have a 120ml vape juice and i will put it in check in luggage, is it okay?
September 27, 2019 @ 1:39 pm
Hi Jan! Yes, liquids over 100ml must go in checked luggage. I suggest packing it in a bag of some sort in case it leaks while in transit.
September 25, 2019 @ 9:33 pm
Can I bring a Roll -On Biofreeze Pain relief bottle for Arthritis 25 fl oz on my carry on
September 26, 2019 @ 10:12 am
Hi Benny! I’m not familiar with that product, but 25 fl ounces is too big to bring in your carry on. Liquids must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller, and all containers must fit in a one quart clear zip top bag. There are exceptions for medically necessary liquids, but normally that’s just prescription medicine. Here’s what the TSA website says about traveling with medication: https://www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures. It’s not really clear whether they’d be ok with your medicine if it’s over the counter, not prescription. You could ask TSA through their Facebook or Twitter account, or if this is something you could buy once you arrive at your destination, that could be a good option too.