What Can You Actually Bring?
With many airlines charging $25+ per checked bag, more and more people are choosing to carry their bag on instead. I personally love flying Southwest because you can get free bags, but it’s always nicer to not have to wait for your checked bag!
Check out this list below of the 7 surprising items you can bring on a plane that will help you get ready for your next trip. Please note that these are based on the TSA guidelines for America-based airlines. Pro tip: use these free apps to help you pack and get TSA Precheck to speed through security lines!
This is one that causes a lot of confusion! According to the TSA, these are the ones that are allowed:
- Safety Razors: Because the razor blades are so easy to remove, safety razors are not permitted in your carry-on luggage with the blade. They’re fine to pack in your carry-on without the blade. The blades must be stored in your checked luggage. The same applies to straight razors.
- Disposable Razors: Disposable razors come in two types. The kind that is completely disposable (handle and all), or the kind where you replace them with cartridges. These are permissible in carry-on luggage with the blade and replacement cartridges.
- Electric Razors: Electric razors are permitted in both checked and carry-on bags.
Alcohol (In Little Bottles!)
Yes, you can BYOB. The TSA says that you can bring little bottles less than 3.4oz/100 mL that can fit comfortably into a single quart-sized bag.
In case you were wondering, you can check it too. Checked bag rules:
Alcoholic beverages with more than 24% but not more than 70% alcohol are limited in checked bags to 5 liters (1.3 gallons) per passenger and must be in unopened retail packaging. Alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or less are not subject to limitations in checked bags.
Believe it or not, you can actually bring scissors on-board a plane! The catch is that the blades must be 4 inches or shorter. I love to bring scissors when traveling (I brought them to Thailand!) because they always end up being super useful, so I was pretty happy to find this one out!
Yes, you can bring that liquid Tylenol on the plane! You’re safe under 3.4 oz, but for more than that, there are specific requirements. Make sure the medicine is clearly labeled and in the appropriate bottles, especially for prescriptions.
You can bring a corkscrew with NO blade on the plane! Corkscrews with blades are not allowed for obvious reasons.
You can bring your board as long as it fits the airline’s size/weight standards! Just make sure it can fit comfortably in the overhead bin so it doesn’t roll around the whole flight.
Carrying on batteries may seem like a crazy idea, but read on because there are very specific rules.
- Batteries Allowed in Carry-on Bags:
- Dry cell alkaline batteries; typical AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt, button-sized cells, etc.
- Dry cell rechargeable batteries such as Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) and Nickel Cadmium (NiCad).
- Jump starters with lithium-ion batteries.
- Lithium-ion batteries (a.k.a.: rechargeable lithium, lithium polymer, LIPO, secondary lithium).
- Consumer-sized lithium-ion batteries [no more than 8 grams of equivalent lithium content or 100-watt hours (wh) per battery]. This size covers AA, AAA, 9-volt, cell phone, PDA, camera, camcorder, Gameboy, and standard laptop computer batteries.
- Up to two larger lithium ion batteries (more than 8 grams, up to 25 grams of equivalent lithium content per battery) in their carry-on. This size covers larger extended-life laptop batteries. Most consumer lithium-ion batteries are below this size. Lithium-ion batteries that are between 101 – 160 wh are allowed in carry-on bags with airline approval.
- Lithium metal batteries (a.k.a.: non-rechargeable lithium, primary lithium). These batteries are often used with cameras and other small personal electronics. Consumer-sized batteries (up to 2 grams of lithium per battery) may be carried. This includes all the typical non-rechargeable batteries for personal film cameras and digital cameras (AA, AAA, 123, CR123A, CR1, CR2, CRV3, CR22, 2CR5, etc.) as well as the flat round lithium button cells.
- Batteries Allowed in Checked Bags:
- Except for lithium batteries, all the batteries allowed in carry-on baggage are also allowed in checked baggage; however, we recommend that you pack them in your carry-on bag whenever possible. In the cabin, airline flight crews can better monitor conditions, and have access to the batteries or device if a fire does occur.
- Prohibited Batteries:
- Car batteries, wet batteries, or spillable batteries are prohibited from both carry-on and checked baggage unless they are being used to power a scooter or wheelchair. If you need to pack a spare battery for a scooter or wheelchair, you must advise the aircraft operator so the battery can be properly packaged for air travel.
- Spare lithium batteries (both lithium metal and lithium ion/polymer) are prohibited in checked baggage.
- Battery Chargers:
- Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer batteries are the most common rechargeable cell types found in Portable Chargers. Portable chargers are allowed in carry-on bags only.
- External battery chargers/Power banks/Uninstalled or spare lithium-ion batteries must be packed in carry-on bags.
Get Ready to Pack!
I hope this list made your life a little easier! It’s reassuring to know my batteries, razor blades, scissors, and other favorite things to bring are safe in carry-ons. Check out my favorite travel backpack (the perfect carry-on!) and tips for traveling internationally. Don’t forget to decide if you need travel insurance before your trip, and to look for local events!