3 Easy Tips for Safely Stowing Liquids in Your Carry-On Luggage

When the Department of Transportation passed a set of new rules governing carry-on luggage in early 2013, it seemed like the traveling public would be faced with a difficult choice: either follow the new rules or face an expensive fine.

But many wondered whether there was a way to follow both sets of rules.

Fortunately, it turns out you can. Here are three easy tips for safely stowing liquids in your carry-on luggage without being forced to throw them out and buy them again at your destination.

Use Storage Bags

While some travelers have opted to store their liquids inside their checked luggage, most have decided this is too much of a risk. Instead, they are storing their items inside plastic bags and then placing them in one of the side pockets of their carry-on luggage.

The biggest advantage to this method is that it allows you to quickly remove all your liquid items when you are going through security lines. This also makes it easy to see exactly how many ounces you have stashed away in your pockets so that you do not accidentally exceed the 3-ounce rule.

Look for Travel Bottles

Most people will be able to fit all their toiletries into a 1-quart storage bag without any real problem. But if you find yourself struggling with this

Traveling with liquids in today’s security-conscious world is a must for all air travelers. To get started, you’ll need the 3-1-1 rule. This rule states that you can only bring 3.4 ounces of liquid per bottle, you can only bring one quart-sized clear plastic bag of liquid, and only one bag per passenger.

Here are three easy tips to keep your liquids safely stowed while traveling:

1. Keep it together

All liquids must fit into one quart-sized clear plastic bag. This includes travel sized toiletries, shampoo, cosmetics and other beauty products, as well as drinks and food items (such as applesauce or peanut butter), gels, foams and pastes. It’s best to put all liquids together in the top of your carry-on luggage for easy access when going through security.

2. Put it away

Once you’ve gone through security screening at the airport, make sure to pack all your liquids back into your carry-on luggage. Also, don’t pack your medicines with your liquids. It’s always better to carry them on board with you just in case something happens to your luggage during transit.

3. Pack it right

When packing your quart-sized bag of liquids

One of the most frustrating things about TSA’s 3-1-1 liquids rule is that it doesn’t allow for the most common types of toiletry containers. If you buy a shampoo or lotion in a container bigger than 3.4 ounces, you can’t take it on your carry-on luggage. And when you travel, you’re likely to encounter many more toiletries that are over 3.1 ounces but under a quart.

Fortunately, there are ways to sneak your toiletries through security without checking your bag. Here are three tips for stowing large liquid containers in your carry-on luggage:

Buy small plastic funnels

The most convenient way to transfer liquids from full-size bottles into smaller containers is with a small plastic funnel. They cost just a few dollars, and they’re available at most major grocery and drugstores.

Take caution when packing powders

Powders such as baby powder and talcum powder can be packed in either checked luggage or carry-on bags — but they might get messy if they break open while traveling. To prevent this, put each powder container inside a resealable plastic bag before packing it. This will also keep powder off your other belongings should the container burst during transit.

Pack perfume safely

First, make sure that you only take liquids that comply with the Transportation Security Administration’s requirements. According to the TSA’s website, this means that all liquids must be placed in a single one-quart plastic bag before being brought through security screening. This bag should be clear and resealable.

Second, make sure that your bag is organized for easy access. The best way to do this is to store all of your liquids in the same part of your carry-on luggage. You’ll want to keep them close by so that you can easily remove them when you are asked to do so at screening points. Remember: A well-organized traveler is a happy traveler!

Third, keep all of your liquids in their original packaging as much as possible. This means that if you bought a travel-sized bottle of shampoo or conditioner, and it came with its own travel-sized bottle, don’t put it into another travel-sized container. If a TSA agent needs to open up your liquid for inspection, the original packaging will give the agent an easier time and will require less inconvenience on your part. Happy travels!

1. Buy your liquids at the airport

The TSA is extremely vigilant about enforcing the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, so you can expect to be screened frequently and thoroughly. If you want to travel with liquids and save yourself some hassles, buy them in the airport.

2. Don’t give your liquid shampoo or lotion to the TSA agent

When going through security, the TSA agents will ask you to remove your liquids from your bag and place them in a bin on their own. If you fail to do this, they may confiscate your items if they cannot verify that they are safe.

3. Use a clear plastic bag

If you’re carrying more than 3 ounces of liquids, keep them separate from the rest of your things by using a clear plastic bag. This way, it’s easy for the TSA agent to verify that you are following guidelines without having to take out each item individually.

The FAA allows a quart-sized (9″ x 9″) clear plastic bag with your travel-sized liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes (3.4 ounces or less) in it. A good rule of thumb is to get all of your liquids together and place them in a one quart plastic bag before you get to the airport security checkpoint. Then when you are walking through security all you have to do is take out the plastic bag out of your carry on luggage and put it in the bin for screening.

This will save you time and hassle!

Once at the screening checkpoint, TSA officers may need to open your bag for additional screening. If this happens, make sure that you remove ALL electronic devices from your bag including laptops and tablets first so that they can be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

If traveling with a companion, each person may only have one quart-sized (9″ x 9″) clear plastic bag with travel-sized liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes (3.4 ounces or less) in it. For example if you are traveling with a spouse or significant other, you may each have one quart-sized bag but not two between the two of you

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to take a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.

Any liquid, aerosol, gel, cream or paste that alarms during screening will require additional screening.

Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. Officers may need to open them to conduct additional screening.

Common travel items that must comply with the 3-1-1 liquids rule include toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash and lotion.

You may want to place gifts that are not wrapped in carry-on baggage. If a wrapped gift alarms during security screening, officers must unwrap it to take a closer look inside. You can also place gifts in your checked baggage.

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