Preparing for a trip can be a daunting experience. You want to streamline your stuff for light travel, but you also don’t want it to be so bones that you end up shopping for essentials you’ve forgotten about when you should be enjoying your trip.
Increasing your carry-on baggage allowance is a great way to make sure you’re packing light without cutting down on things you actually need, but you’ll want to make sure you’re packing items that won’t cause you to stop at a TSA checkpoint. There are some TSA rules and regulations that you should be aware of when packing your carry-on, such as how much liquid you can do Bring it on the plane or if a disposable razor is allowed.
If you’re hoping to improve the way you pack your handbag, you’ll need to read on. We’ve outlined everything you need to know about what’s allowed in hand luggage – and the best handbags to consider on your next trip.
Carry-on luggage ranges in styles and sizes – from hard-shell suitcases to soft-sided weekend bags to travel backpacks. But the bag must fit the size regulations of your airline. In fact, the travel allowance is not determined by the TSA but instead by the individual airlines. In general, most airlines have a maximum size policy of 22″ x 14″ x 9″, including wheels and handles.
Your baggage allowance can also depend on your ticket type. Some basic economy tickets allow the purchase of only a personal item, such as a handbag, instead of a handbag. When it comes to bag weight, you want to make sure that you can comfortably lift your bag up and into the overhead compartment efficiently. However, some airlines—particularly budget airlines—limit the amount of baggage weight.
Ultimately, if you plan to bring a hand baggage on the plane, be sure to check your airline’s policies. Once you have determined your carry-on baggage allowance, you will then need to pack it with the items permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
If you want to avoid the checked baggage fee, you can often get away with traveling with only hand luggage. Here are some noteworthy items that you can put in your hand luggage without worrying about stopping at airport security. You can find the full list of allowed items on the TSA website.
Alcoholic beverages are allowed in hand luggage as long as they are less than or equal to 3.4 ounces. Small bottles of alcohol in your handbag should also be able to fit comfortably into one quart bag. However, keep in mind that airlines’ alcohol policies are strict, and the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits passengers from consuming alcohol on a plane unless it is served by a flight attendant. In other words, alcohol that you can pack in your carry-on baggage cannot be taken on the plane.
Baby food and equipment
Baby food, infant formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in reasonable quantities. Formula, breast milk and juice should be removed from your bag and checked separately. In addition, ice packs, freezer packs, frozen jelly packs and other accessories needed to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in your hand luggage. Extra items such as baby carriers and baby car seats are also allowed as long as they fit in the overhead bin of the plane or under your seat.
Cooked meat, seafood, vegetables and other prepared foods
Cooked meats, seafood, vegetables, and other prepared meals and dishes are allowed as long as they do not exceed the 3.4-ounce liquid limit. If you’re traveling from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, note that most raw vegetables are not allowed into the mainland United States due to the risk of invasive plant pests.
Single-use razors are allowed in carry-on baggage. However, loose razors, such as box cutters or those not in a cartridge, are not permitted in carry-on baggage.
Most personal electronic devices, such as hair care products or mobile devices, are allowed in hand luggage. Adult games are also allowed in hand luggage.
Lighters and matches
Passengers are allowed to pack disposable lighters in their carry-on baggage. In addition, one safety book matches (no strike anywhere) as portable items are allowed. However, strike matches anywhere are prohibited.
Non-flammable liquids, gels, and aerosols (such as shampoo or deodorant) are allowed in hand luggage as long as they follow the TSA 3-1-1 rule for liquids. This means that you can bring one liter bag of fluids limited to travel-size containers of 3.4 ounces or less per item.
The TSA allows larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols, but you must declare them to TSA officers at security and expect to be withdrawn for further examination.
Only power banks and portable chargers are allowed in carry-on baggage. However, it should have a rating of 100 watt-hours per battery or less. You can bring two larger spare batteries (up to 160 watts per hour) if you get the airline’s approval.
Vitamins and Supplements
FDA-approved vitamins and supplements are allowed in carry-on baggage.
There are obvious fly-away items – like weapons and full water bottles – and then there are forbidden things that might surprise you. Here’s what you want to put in your checked baggage or leave at home entirely. You can find a full list of prohibited items on the TSA website.
Self-defense items, ammo and sharps
Self-defense items, including ammunition, are prohibited from carry-on and in some cases from checked baggage as well. This also includes most martial arts equipment, pepper sprays, firearms, chef knives, keys and other sharp tools.
Inflammable or explosive items such as fireworks, torches and replicas of explosive materials are strictly prohibited not only from hand luggage but also from checked baggage.
Sports Goods and Equipment
Certain large sporting goods and equipment, such as golf clubs or hockey sticks, are not permitted in carry-on baggage. However, basketballs, soccer balls, and other small sporting goods are usually allowed.
Knowing what’s allowed—and what isn’t—in hand luggage is the first step to getting around security, but you’ll also want to make sure your carry-on bag allows you to simplify your travel for convenience and luxury. A stress-free trip. Here are some of our favorite handbags that will make your journey smoother.
$275 at Away
Luggage bags have become far from loved in the travel world due to their streamlined aesthetic and heavy-duty design at an affordable price. The rolling handbag features “Rolls-Royce luggage wheels,” according to our tests. In fact, this bag has been ranked number one in our books for the best small hard handbag.
$299.99 at Amazon
The Delsey Paris Hardside collection was our second choice for the best hardside bags, thanks to its elegant design and affordable price. A sleek portable device may look subtle and sophisticated, but this hard-shell rotor can take a beating. We’ve checked out this bag with both international budget airlines and domestic flights, and it’s held up well the whole time.
$139.99 $79.93 at Amazon
Are you looking for a basic design that will last for the long haul? The American Tourister Belle Voyage Hardside Luggage Bag offers a lightweight design that offers ample storage space. The feather light design also comes with four large, multi-directional spinner wheels that make racing through the airport a breeze.
$89 at Amazon
The Amazon Basics 21-Inch Hardside Spinner offers surprising elongation at its budget-friendly price point, but it can be a struggle for those looking for a handbag with ample space and organizational pockets. The basic design is aesthetically pleasing enough, but you’ll want to avoid checking out this bag at all costs. We found the ABS casing to be prone to scuffs and scratches.
$98 at Beis
If you’re in the market for a weekend bag to store all your carry-on essentials, the Weekender bag from Beis is a good choice. Not only does it have a separate shoe compartment, but it also has the versatility of being carried in any number of ways – via handles, a shoulder strap and a zip pocket that can become a stroller sleeve.
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