I travel a lot, and I’ve learned the expensive way how to cope with the ever changing carry-on rules imposed by airlines and security services. I now pack like a ninja.
I have a perfectly sized carry-on bag which can easily store my laptop and a few days worth of clothes and supplies, even when I’m flying somewhere cold. When I flew to Cambodia and on to rural Laos for a wedding I lasted a week on just hand luggage, even with a fairly heavy duty medical kit for emergencies.
Packing Liquids For Flight Carry On
The rules for carry on liquids are straightforward and the same all over the world. You can have one 1 litre (1 US Quart) clear resealable plastic bag per person. That bag can contain multiple liquids containers, but each must be 100ml (3.4 US oz) or smaller. You can’t take a half full 6oz tube of toothpaste – the original container must be no bigger than 100ml. That can be annoying as it’s not always easy to find travel sizes of my favorites, and some officials at rural US airports struggle with converting millimeters into ounces.
Better Than A Zip-Lock For Travel
I’d previously used a food storage zip-loc bag, but found that they tore and popped open and things came out which was frustrating, particularly when they chose to do it in a busy security line. I’ve had no such bother with this bag. It’s a thick plastic and will not rip.
Making Travel Sizes For Yourself
The TSA Compliant bag is ideal as it is not only the right size, it comes with three perfectly sized travel bottles and a natty little funnel to fill them. This allows me to use my regular shampoo, shower gel and body lotion, so I don’t have to worry about allergic reactions to hotel bottles, and I don’t have to hunt around for travel sizes. I use an old hotel sized shampoo bottle that I’ve cleaned out to fill with sunscreen using the little funnel.
Packing The Rest
A stick deodorant, my eye drops, one lipstick, mascara, foundation and toothpaste all fit in around the gaps, with anti-histamine and antibacterial gel when needed.
I take make up remover in wipe format so it doesn’t count. You can also get mosquito repellant in wipe format, again that’s a real boon as it’s not something you want to skimp on if you’re going somewhere in a malarial zone, and I like to have a brand that I know works and that I’m not allergic to, so shopping locally for insect repellant is high risk for me.
If you’re super efficient you can use solid shampoo and powdered toothpaste, but they’re both horrid, so I don’t unless I absolutely have to.
I’ve traded mascara and foundation for antiseptic liquid in the past. If you’re going somewhere where you can’t rely on medical care, it’s a fair trade, along with some local anesthetic in gel form. It won’t kill pain dead, but if you’ve ever lost a tooth in a country where sterile dental instruments are a novelty, you might want to treat it yourself before getting on a flight out.
These little squeeze top open tubs are perfect for holding your (prescription) drugs when travelling. They don’t need to go in your liquids bag, but the small tubs can take up less room and are easier to handle than regular pill bottles.
I use one for jewelry too as it keeps it safe and secure without taking up room.
The little bottles from HumanGear are great, not cheap, but perfect if you travel a lot, and if your lotions and potions are all white. You will only know their true color-coded value when you’ve attempted to wash your hair with sun block.
Don’t waste your valuable carry-on space on carrying air from one destination to the next. Use compression bags to minimise space.
They’ll also keep your dirty underwear secure just in case you bag gets opened at the security desk.
No-one enjoys seeing their used underpants being tossed around on a security desk, it’s just undignified.
It’s a world wide ban. China brought in the liquid rules long before the EU and US.