I’m literally the Mary Poppins of packing. Even in a carry-on.
Seriously. Though I’m pretty good about packing “capsule style” (especially in a carry-on) with lots of layers for making a schload of outfits, I get a tid bit overzealous when it comes to preparation.
What if we want to go out to dinner? (Nice outfit.) And then after that we have some drinks and start feeling adventurous and want to go to a moderately nice nightclub? (Different shoes and maybe a dress.) And then what if we want to go on a late-night hot tub escapade? (Flip flops and a bathing suit.) But also what if we want to lounge around all day in cute leggings and sweaters? (Bulky nonsense.) Do you feel my pain?
Maybe it’s my propensity to overanalyze everything (I’m so type A they call me type A+ …. “they” being myself) but I just want to be prepared, yo! “Failure to plan is planning to fail” is something that pops in my head so frequently it may as well be the Klondike jingle (sorry about getting that stuck in your head).
Because of this, packing has become somewhat of a minorly stressful Rubik’s cube – especially magnified by our lost luggage debacle last May while in Ireland. Since then, I’ve completely sworn off checking any luggage and am trying to stick to 100% carry-on from now on.
When you have worn the same pair of pants (pictured above) for 3.6 days and the world hasn’t come to an end, you start letting go of the ways you were stuck in and realizing carry-on life IS possible.
What the h-e-double-hockey-sticks CAN I bring?
Which brings me to my next pain point – remembering what I can and can’t bring in a carry-on. I can count the number of times on both hands I’ve elected to not bring disposable razors because I can’t remember if they’re allowed and I don’t want to live through the anxious agony of having my bag pulled but then realize that (spoiler alert) they actually are allowed so I buy a whole bag because they don’t sell single razors anywhere. Woof.
Lucky for you, I’ve scoured the interwebs for answers (my nickname at work is Google Girl) and have put together a collection of some of my most-wondered about items related to what’s allowed in a carry-on bag. Bookmark this ish – and bon voyage!
Can It Carry On? 15 Commonly Wondered About Carry-On Items
- Disposable razors – yes. Straight razor attachments? No.
- Hairspray – yes – even though it’s an aerosol. But only if it’s less than 3.4 fl oz
- Laptop(s) – yes – based on my research, there is no longer a ban on laptops, just increased measures for going through security with them
- Liquids of any kind – yes – if under 3.4 ounces, aka 100.55 milliliters (because I always wonder)
- Nail clippers – yep – hello mini hotel-room spa night
- Scissors (any kind) – yes, but they must be less than 4 inches from any pivot point
- Tweezers – yep! No unibrows here.
- Batteries (rechargeable and non-rechargeable) – actually, YES – but there are some restrictions on certain kinds depending on capacity
- Lighters – yes, common lighters that are disposable and without fuel
- Matches – yes, sort of – one book of safety matches is allowed – but weirdly, no matches are allowed in checked bags
- Candles – YASss – get your Yankee Candle on!
- Pepper spray – NO – not in carryons – but you can bring one container 4 fl oz or under provided it has a safety to prevent accidental spraying
- Cash over $10K – outside to the US or vice-versa, no (not without declaring it). Inside the domestic US, yes. But can I have some of whatever you’re doing to get that kind of money?
- Pocket knives – nope. And neither can swords… so spend your money on another pair of Minnie ears instead of that swashbuckling piece of metal at the end of Pirates of the Caribbean
- Drones – yes. But under these conditions: the entire system weighs under 10 pounds, it uses rechargeable batteries (that have a capacity of 100 Wh or less), and is capable of recording and storing media on a portable, removable medium like an SD card.
Same pants, different day. Winning.
Bonus round: is it considered a liquid?
- Mascara – yes
- Ointment – yes
- Peanut butter (this apparently is a common question, you do you) – yes
- Shower and hair gel – yes
- Toothpaste – yes
- Deodorant – yes
Trick question – all of these seemingly solid things are actually considered liquids. However, they have varying levels of success when being brought through and nowadays, many are fine to be left outside of your quart-size zip lock baggies.
*Please note: while I scoured the internet (and the TSA website) to find these answers, all decisions are ultimately those of TSA and could be subject to change (or actually different from what’s listed here). Please contact your local airport to confirm!
I did get new shoes, though, because cliffs. Hiking that would have been near impossible in the stupid boots I was wearing on the plane!