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Bringing only a backpack or small, carry-on hand luggage will save you money when traveling overseas. Keep in mind that some items are not allowed in your carry-on bag for security reasons such as expensive perfume. Check out this article for a list of items that you should be aware of before traveling.

what can't you take in hand luggage

It is not difficult to find travel information but making sense of it can be another story. If you’re the type who wants to know what’s allowed and what’s forbidden when flying, this post will help you get started!

There are always things we are not allowed to carry on board, but sometimes we just don’t know it for a long time until they’re confiscated at the airport security check. This is why you have to do your research before packing and make sure that the things you will be bringing along aren’t part of prohibited items when flying.

10 Things Not Allowed in Hand Luggage

  1. Alcoholic beverages
  2. Firearms, explosives, and other weapons
  3. Pets or animals (unless it’s a service animal or small pet in a carrier)
  4. Any material that could be used to commit an act of violence
  5. Sexual paraphernalia
  6. Narcotics and illegal drugs (including prescription drugs not in the original container)
  7. Sharp items and tools with blades or points (including scissors), except for safety razor blades in a sealed package
  8. Containers with more than 3oz of liquids or creams aerosols
  9. Paintings, sculptures, carvings, goods made from wood, ivory, coral, bone or pearl shell
  10. Items intended for trade, such as antiques (items more than one hundred years old)

Hand luggage must be x-rayed in the security scanner. If your hand luggage contains any of the 10 items above, you are not allowed to travel with them because they may cause danger during the flight. In this case, you have to check it in or buy it from the airport.

You are not allowed to bring onboard any other items as well, even if they do not pose a threat of danger or harm to others such as:

  • – Large amounts of currency (US$10,000 and above)
  • – Electronic guns and weapons can be activated by radio waves, liquids in excess of 3oz, any sharp or pointed objects.
  • – Check the airline’s website for more detailed information on what you can bring and what you cannot bring in your hand luggage during the flight.

You might also like our recent review of Best Affordable Carry on Luggage for Men and Most Durable Luggage Brands available on a separate page.

Why These items are prohibited in Planes?

The main reason why airlines are strict with these items is their safety. They do not want passengers to bring weapons and dangerous materials onto the plane for security reasons and keep all other items out of hand luggage so they won’t clutter the plane, making it difficult to store cargo on board or get in the way while walking through aisles.

Carry-on bag restrictions may vary depending on the airline you’re flying, the location (a domestic flight has different rules compared to an international one) or even the time of year (a big event or celebration will likely have extra safety measures). For example, an adult signature required is a form of carry-on bag restriction that asks travelers who are 18 years old and above to sign when checking in.

Airlines know that most people who travel frequently tend to put liquids in their carry-on bags, so they require passengers to buy select items through the flight. Bottled water and juice are a few that come to mind.

Seems like you have to do quite a bit of research before getting ready for your next trip! However, if you make preparations beforehand, it’s going to be much easier during check-in time at the airport. 

The best way is to ask about these things directly from your airline or even better: contact the airline staff ahead of time (before booking your ticket). The worst thing that can happen is that you will have liquids confiscated or be questioned by an angry security person at the airport because you brought something prohibited onboard.

As mentioned above, there are different rules for domestic and international travel. Some items considered dangerous when flying overseas may not be prohibited on flights within the United States, so be sure to check with your airline.

If you’re planning to take part in an upcoming big event that might require additional security checks and restrictions on hand luggage (i.e.: the Olympic games), make sure to inform yourself about new regulations and find out what can or cannot be taken into stadiums or arenas.

Overall, knowing what is actually allowed while traveling by air helps you avoid unnecessary problems at airports and other locations where security is tight (train stations, bus terminals…)

Carry on Luggage Rules

Carry only what you need for the whole journey. Arrive early at the airport and give yourself plenty of time to take care of security screening.

Your hand baggage should include:

  • Your identity documents;
  • Money and credit cards, if necessary;
  • Essential medication
  • Spare clothes (the fresher they are, the better!)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste;
  • Towel or bathrobe (depending on distance)

One suitcase and/or one handbag is allowed per person. The combined dimensions of these items may not exceed the following: 45 cm (17.7 inches) x 56 cm (22 inches) x 25 cm (10 inches).

Your hand luggage must not contain the following items:

  • Weapons of any kind, including firearms and ammunition
  • Explosives (including fireworks)
  • Flammable liquids or solids like matches, lighter fluid, coal, etc.
  • Toxic substances like poison gas (chlorine), noxious liquid substances (methyl naphtha), acids

Listed below are the specific items that will not be permitted in your carry-on or checked bags and require pre-clearance. To reduce wait times, please pack these items in your checked luggage.

You may only bring small amounts of liquids, gels, creams, and pastes into the airport checkpoint (less than 100 ml) that are placed in a single re-sealable bag no larger than 7” x 15” x 3” (7x15x3 cm) per liquid item container regardless of volume.

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