Find Out Now The Carry On Luggage Rules: Is This Allowed In Flight?

Find Out Now The Carry On Luggage Rules: Is This Allowed In Flight?

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Can I pack this?

This is a common question I find myself googling before each trip. What are the carry on luggage rules? I figured if I struggle with this, there’s got to be someone else who searches the world wide web for answers too!

The top five items that are asked about prior to flying are razors, batteries, makeup, shampoo, and deodorant. If you are trying to avoid or minimize checking luggage, packing a carry-on bag can be very confusing. We have gathered the information for you in hopes that packing for your next trip will be easier and more straightforward.

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OScar WIlde

Over the past 20 years, airport security rules have evolved and technology has become more advanced. To streamline the process, it is so much easier to make sure you have allowable contents in your carry-on bag.

When Josh and I were flying home from our honeymoon in Costa Rica, I remember packing a large bottle of Aloe in our carry-on bag. I knew better, but I was desperate. I tried to convince the security officers to let us sneak it onboard, but they didn’t care we had sun poisoning and tossed it in the trash can.

The Carry On Luggage Rules: What Is Allowed (And What Is Not)

  • The carry-on size requirements will vary based on the airline. Make sure you check the airline’s website to ensure your bag qualifies as a carry-on item, or else you may be forced to check it to your destination!
  • 3-1-1 Liquid Rule: All passengers who are bringing liquids onboard must carry them in one quart-sized bag and the liquids must be no bigger than 3.4 ounces. Just an FYI: The TSA defines “any substance that is free-flowing or viscous to be considered a liquid, including liquids, aerosols, pastes, creams, and gels.”
  • There are exceptions to the 3-1-1 liquid rule. Prescription medication in large quantities and baby formula/ breast milk do not need to follow the 3-1-1 rule. Make sure to declare them to TSA officers for inspection. They may require these items to be removed from your carry-on bag for additional screening. Other exemptions include medically necessary accessory items, such as freezer packs to cool breast milk/baby formula. Make sure the freezer pack is frozen or partially frozen prior to flying.

Razors

There are several kinds of razors and this can cause confusion about what is allowed and what is prohibited. Unfortunately, this isn’t a clear-cut answer because it is more dependent on which razor you are wanting to pack in your bag.

  • Disposable Razors: There are two types of disposable razors. There is the one where the entire razor is discarded (handle and all), or the kind where the cartridge is discarded and replaced. Both are allowed in your carry-on bag, including the replacement cartridge.
  • Straight Razors: These have no safety mechanism and could be considered a weapon. Put these in your checked bags only!
  • Safety Razors: The blades are very easy to remove on this kind of razor. For this reason, you must check the blades. Safety razors are allowed in your carry-on bag, as long as the blades are removed and placed in your checked bag.
  • Electric Razors: These are permissible in both carry-on and checked luggage.

Batteries

We use batteries for so many things, causing batteries to be a common backup accessory to pack for trips. My husband always packs a “survival” bag, even if we will only be gone for a day trip. I imagine he packs some batteries in this survival bag, but that’s just my assumption. So that begs the question, are batteries allowed in the carry-on bag?

The TSA has put together a list of batteries allowed vs prohibited vs checked bags only. While this list is extensive, I thought it may be easier if I just let everyone know what batteries are completely prohibited and which ones to check. I’ll also link the TSA site below if you want even more details on this subject.

Completely Prohibited Batteries

  • Car batteries, wet batteries, or spillable batteries are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage. Exception!!! If the battery will be used for a power scooter or motorized wheelchair, the battery will be allowed; however, notify the aircraft operator in advance so the battery can be properly packaged for air travel.
  • Spare lithium batteries are prohibited in checked baggage.

Batteries to Check

All batteries allowed in a carry-on bag are also allowed in a checked bag. (Exception: Lithium batteries must be kept in carry-on luggage). It is recommended that you pack batteries in a carry-on bag instead of checking them when possible.

Make-up

We can’t leave home without make-up, especially when going on vacation! Because make-up comes in so many forms, such as solids, powders, liquids, gels, etc., it can confuse some people about what is allowed and what is not allowed in a carry-on bag. When in doubt, just refer back to the 3-1-1 liquid rule!

Make-up that is a solid or powder is allowed in the carry-on without restrictions. If you are carrying any sort of liquid, aerosol, paste, cream, or gel, then it is allowed in the carry-on as long as it is smaller than 3.4 ounces and fits in one quart-sized bag. Worst case scenario…. it’ll have to be checked.

Shampoo + Conditioner

Are you tired of me talking about the 3-1-1 rule yet? Shampoos and conditioners follow this rule so refer above and make sure you follow it so your shampoo and conditioner aren’t discarded at security!

Deodorant

The good news is this follows the 3-1-1 rule too so it should be pretty simple to follow. If you have any solid or powder deodorant, there is no size restriction for these in your carry-on bag. Deodorants that must follow the 3-1-1 rule include sprays, gels, liquids, creams, pastes, and roll-on deodorants.

Other Unique Items

There are so many items that TSA gets asked about; it would be nearly impossible to make an exhaustive list of said items. Take a look at some of the most unique items people ask to carry on board! 

AntlersCarry-on bag: ✅ YES
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Artificial Skeleton BonesCarry-on bag: ✅ YES
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Bowling Ball + Bowling PinsBowling Balls
Carry-on bag: ✅ YES
Checked bag: ✅ YES

Bowling Pins

Carry-on bag: ❌ NO
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Bear SprayCarry-on bag: ❌ NO
Checked bag: ❌ NO
DynamiteCarry-on bag: ❌ NO
Checked bag: ❌ NO
English Christmas CrackersCarry-on bag: ❌ NO
Checked bag: ❌ NO
Ice Packs (Frozen & Gel)Carry-on bag: ❗ YES (See Below)
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Golf ClubsCarry-on bag: ❌ NO
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Fishing PolesCarry-on bag: ✅ YES
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Hand SanitizerCarry-on bag: ❗ YES (See Below)
Checked bag: ✅ YES
Tools (Longer than 7 inches)Carry-on bag: ❌ NO
Checked bag: ✅ YES

For a more comprehensive list, check out the TSA website. To summarize, items that can be used as a weapon should be placed in checked luggage (golf clubs, longer tools, bowling pins, etc.) and explosives should just be avoided overall (Dynamite, English Christmas Crackers, etc.)

Ice Packs (Frozen & Gel)

The thing with ice packs is that they must be frozen in order to be carried onboard an aircraft. If they are not frozen, you risk the liquid inside being greater than the designated 3.4oz…..

Hand Sanitizer

Since the pandemic, there have been some changes in regulating the amount of hand sanitizer that can be carried onboard. Until further notice, the TSA is limiting “one hand sanitizer to 12 ounces per passenger in carry-on bags.” At least that is some good news!

Summary

ItemAllowed In Carry On Luggage?
RazorsCertain Types
BatteriesCertain Types
Make-upComply with the 3-1-1 liquid rule
ShampooComply with the 3-1-1 liquid rule
DeodorantComply with the 3-1-1 liquid rule

What other items do you question prior to flying?

Carry-On Bag Rules FAQ’s

Can I bring 3.5 oz toothpaste on plane?

Toothpaste must adhere to the 3-1-1 rule for liquids and gels. Toothpaste can be carried in a carry-on bag as long as it is 3.4 ounces and fits in a quart-size bag. Larger items will need to be checked.

Can you bring full size deodorant on a plane?

Stick deodorant is fine in any size. Well, almost any size… Powders and crystals are good to go as well. Spray, Gel, Liquid, Cream, Pastes, and Roll-On deodorants need to be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces and placed in a clear quart-sized baggie.

How many 3 oz bottles can I take on a plane?

Each passenger is allowed a 1-quart size bag to be used for liquids, gels, and aerosols. All liquids, gels, and aerosols must be transported in travel-size containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters).

Can I bring a water bottle on a plane?

Yes, you can bring an empty water bottle with you through security. After clearing security, you can fill up at one of the water fountains.

And please do me a little favor and share this article with others, for there’s a good chance that it will help them with their travels!

Sara & Josh

While Sara and Josh may be new to the travel blogging world, that doesn't mean they lack knowledge or experience in booking bougie vacations. With a talent for finding travel deals, Sara and Josh are here to teach YOU some of their tricks to traveling "bougie on a budget." Learn more about their story and please reach out with any questions or comments via e-mail at: [email protected].

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