What you can and can’t take on the plane – a complete list

What can and can’t be taken on board

Requirements for hand luggage are not understood by all passengers. In addition, there are many nuances even in the simplest rules. Let’s understand what, how and under what conditions you may take on board the aircraft.

What weight is allowed for hand luggage

Airlines set limits on hand luggage weight, and the size of bags and suitcases that can be taken with you. Important! Different companies have different requirements for hand luggage. “Normal” are more democratic, but the low-cost airlines may set very strict criteria. Be sure to study all requirements before packing. If your carry-on baggage is too heavy or too big, you will have to check it in (and possibly pay extra money). The average weight limit is 5-10 pounds.

Do they check the things you take on the plane?

Yes, of course they do! Often you do not need to open your bags – they will be scanned with a special scanner. But if an employee sees something prohibited or suspicious, he will ask to open and show it. If it turns out that the item is really prohibited by the rules, you will have to leave it, put it in the luggage (most often this does not work, because the luggage is checked out earlier), or ask someone to come and get it.

Can you take liquids and medicines in your hand luggage?

In theory yes, but there are restrictions.

  • Liquids, gels and aerosols (except for dangerous ones which you can’t take on board at all) may be carried in containers with a maximum capacity of 100 ml, which must be packed in a soundly closing transparent plastic bag with a maximum capacity of 1 liter.
  • Expressed breast milk (in the amount necessary for the flight) may be taken on board.
  • Medicines and liquids required for taking them are allowed on board. But a medical reason (prescription, diagnosis, etc.) may be required.
  • You can take special dietary requirements or baby food with you if you are travelling with a baby.
  • Perfume and toilet water can be carried if the volume does not exceed 100 ml. Perfume bought at Duty Free can be carried without restrictions.
  • Alcohol can be carried either in containers of 100 ml or in large quantities if they are purchased in Duty Free. Keep in mind that in the latter case and in the case of perfumes the containers should be packed in a securely sealed (sealed) plastic bag that provides identification of access to the contents of the bag during the flight, which has an authentic confirmation that this purchase was made exactly in the Duty Free store on the day of travel.

Electronics on the plane – you can take them with you.

Electronics are allowed on board. Most prefer tablets, laptops, cameras and other fragile devices do not put in the luggage, and take with you. But keep in mind that you will be asked to present such equipment separately for inspection (take it out of bags and suitcases), and in some cases, you may be required to remove batteries or equipment from its cases.

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Sharp Objects

Sharp metal objects are usually not allowed in carry-on luggage. The material is sometimes of fundamental importance. For example, some companies will not allow metal (steel) spokes in the carry-on baggage and will allow wooden, silicone or bamboo spokes. Knives and scissors may or may not be allowed in depending on their size.

Important: If you want to carry sharp objects in your hand luggage and you are not sure if they are allowed, contact the airline in advance to find out if you can take such things on board.

Souvenir weapons (swords, daggers, axes) must be checked in luggage. Small appliances can be taken into the cabin, if they do not have sharpened metal parts, and must be turned in luggage, if they have them (multicooker is allowed, blender is not).

Often controversial is the issue with other “potentially dangerous” items, such as fire sources. Matches must be checked in the luggage. A lighter is sometimes allowed on board, but no more than one per person.

What food items may you take on board as hand luggage?

What food can be taken on board? Solid food products are allowed on board without restrictions. The main thing is that your hand luggage must not exceed the permitted volume and weight limits.

You may carry liquid and gel-type products in packages of max. 100 ml – as well as liquids. Important! Such products may include, for example, brie cheese.

To sum up!

When packing hand luggage, remember to consider the requirements of the carrier. Make sure its size and weight meet the requirements.

If there is an opportunity to pack all “questionable” items in the luggage, it is better to do so. If you have liquids, cosmetics, or food with you, make sure you pack them in a way that does not violate the rules.

Different airlines may have slightly different rules regarding carry-on luggage. If you are unfamiliar with them, study all the nuances beforehand. Remember that in all ambiguous situations it is always better to pack a controversial item in your luggage.

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What you can and can not take on the plane

Even if you’ve flown tens of thousands of miles, sometimes the question arises whether you can take some thing in the cabin. Let’s find out what you can and can’t take on the plane – both in hand luggage and in luggage. We answer the most pressing questions!


What you can’t take on board

Liquids weighing more than 100 ml. This means that you can’t carry 100 ml of shampoo in a 200 ml bottle. The total volume of liquids may not exceed 1 liter per person. Exceptions are baby food, diet food and medicines. You need a doctor’s note for the last two. Read more about liquids rules.

Edged and sharp objects. As a precaution, leave all sharp objects in the luggage! Exactly you can take in your hand luggage disposable razors, razors with interchangeable cassettes and electric razors. Some allow you to take tweezers, clippers and nail file, a knife and scissors with a blade shorter than 6 cm – check with the website of your airline. For example, we have never been asked to remove tweezers, wire cutters, and nail scissors from our carry-on baggage, and friends accidentally carried a knife in their carry-on baggage.

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Weapons and imitation weapons. You’d have to be crazy to try to smuggle a weapon into the cabin-even a toy sword would have to be checked into the luggage. I once saw a water pistol taken away from a child at customs and thrown away. All of these things are checked in the luggage only. You have to have a permit for a real gun.

Alcohol. You can only take it with you if it is in bottles of up to 100ml. If you bring grandmother’s tincture or bought homemade Georgian wine, you must take it in the luggage. But some airlines allow carrying on board duty-free alcohol, but only in a sealed bag with a receipt. We once carried liquor as a gift from Istanbul in a sealed bag.

Explosive and other dangerous items. Neither luggage nor carry-on baggage should contain such items. Petrol Zippa lighters, self-defence gas cans or travel torches are also not permitted. A disposable lighter, on the other hand, may be carried in your hand luggage or pocket.

Lithium-ion batteries are a special item, as they may explode if heated. It’s better to clarify everything with the airline, but in general the rules are as follows: if the capacity is small (up to 100W⋅h), then take it in your hand luggage and put it in the luggage only inserted into the device. If the capacity is between 100-160W⋅h, then airline permission is required. If more than 160W⋅h, they are carried as dangerous goods and a permit is required.

We carry a 20,000 mAh power bank, which is equivalent to less than 100W⋅h. Plus we carry three drone batteries whose contacts we tape together. We put them in a case and take them in our carry-on luggage.

You should be aware of that:

Sharp objects are better left in your luggage. Photo: Miles Burke / unsplash.com.

What you should take in your carry-on luggage

Here I’ll list those items that not only can you take on board an airplane as carry-on luggage, but you should.

Mask. It’s a must-have these days!

Gadgets. All fragile and expensive technology must be taken in hand luggage: laptop, camera, tablet, player, e-book. In addition, it will brighten up your flight! But with the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 not all airlines will let you on board and even not accept it as luggage – the phone battery may explode.

Documents and money. There should be no questions here, keep them with you. :)

Warm clothes. I always take a lightweight scarf and shirt, and on long flights a light sweatshirt. During the flight I often sleep and freeze under the air conditioning, especially Asian airlines like to freeze passengers.

What to take on the train

Medications. In my hand luggage I always take a mini kit with medicines for emergencies – for allergies, motion sickness, citramine. If you have a cold, you need drops and medications for a sore throat. About what medications you can take on the plane, read below. Also read about how to pack a travel kit.

Wet wipes or antiseptic. The thing that really comes in handy. They can be used to freshen the skin, wipe something dirty or dusty, disinfect your hands.

A pillow under your neck only comes in handy if you have a multi-hour flight. On short flights it only gets in the way.

Food. You can take food on board. In hand luggage all liquid and soft things must be in containers under 100 ml: drinks, jam, honey, and – unexpectedly – Brie and Camembert cheese! And you can take as many solid items as you want. There are no restrictions for baby food.

Some countries prohibit bringing food of animal origin. Also not allowed to bring strong smelling products – fish sauce, durian.

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It’s a good idea to bring food on board for a light snack. Photo: Charles Deluvio / unsplash.com.

Rules for carrying liquids in your carry-on baggage

This is probably the most common question travelers ask. And I see shampoos, sprays, lens products, just water being taken away at customs all the time. Needless to say, they took away our water too, but sometimes they don’t notice. Once they let us through with a large lens lens fluid half-full – but I would not advise you to take that risk.

In general, remember once and for all, how to carry any liquids in your hand luggage:

  • All liquids must be in bottles of no more than 100 ml.
  • The total volume of all liquids must not exceed 1 liter per person.
  • All bottles must be sealed in a clear ziplock bag measuring approximately 20 cm x 20 cm.
  • Liquids include: drinks, gels, shampoos, toothpaste, creams, lotions, perfumes, foams, aerosols and sprays (such as deodorant), medicines (syrups, lotions, ointments), even mascara and lip gloss.

If you really need water, buy it in duty-free shops or take an empty bottle with you from home. It can be filled with drinking water in the clean area (although not all airports have this option). You can also ask the flight attendant to fill the bottle with water.

Where do I get travel-size bottles? You can buy them in stores, but I use the old ones from hotel shampoos, makeup samples, and little bottles of soy sauce.

Where do I get a clear ziploc bag? They are sold in the stationery departments or beauty supply stores. I buy them at Ashan or use the old ones left over from gift baskets for March 8 and February 23 – you probably have similar ones. By the way, it doesn’t even have to have a zipper fastener. I have zippers and buttons, no one is picking on me.

All liquids must be in bottles of no more than 100 ml. Photo: Miguel Andrade / unsplash.com.

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What medicines can be taken on the plane

Let’s talk a little more about medication. What kind of medications can you take on the plane? Yes, anything you need, as long as it meets the conditions. The standard tourist first aid kit will not cause any questions. Learn how to pack a first aid kit for travel.

It is desirable that the drugs were in their original packaging with instructions, but I always carry them to save space in blisters, stapled with a rubber band – no questions from customs officials do not arise.

The rule about carrying liquids also applies to medications – i.e. you can take no more than 100 ml in the hand luggage in the plane. Exceptions are for medicines of vital importance, but you need a doctor’s note. Read more about this in the section on liquids.

If you take medications containing psychotropic and narcotic substances, and fly abroad, find out what medications you can bring into the country. Get a doctor’s prescription with the name of the drug in Latin. Remember that such drugs must be declared.

If you need needles for injections, also have a certificate, otherwise you will have to put in the luggage.

Ordinary drugs do not raise questions at the inspection staff. Photo: Anna Shvets / pexels.com.

What it is strictly forbidden to take on the plane

This is a standard list of things that are strictly forbidden to take on the plane – in the suitcase of an ordinary traveler you won’t find such things. Here’s what you can’t take either in hand luggage or carry in your luggage:

  • magnetized materials
  • explosives
  • Arms and ammunition
  • Poisonous or poisonous substances.
  • Flammable liquids.
  • flammable solids
  • radioactive materials
  • Compressed and liquefied gases
  • toxic materials
  • caustic and corrosive materials
  • oxidizing substances and organic peroxides.

7 Rules for the Responsible Traveler

To avoid worrying about luggage, carry-on luggage, excess weight, or prohibited items, follow these simple rules:

  1. Read what you can’t take in or out of the country, and in what quantities. For example, you can’t take coral out of Egypt and some other countries, unless it’s store-bought.
  2. Be sure to read the rules of luggage and hand luggage of the airline you fly – for example, the low-cost they are very different. Probably everyone knows about the strict rules of Pobeda.
  3. If you’re afraid of excess weight and don’t want to pay extra for luggage, weigh your bag beforehand on a scale or find a measuring counter at the airport.
  4. If you are not allowed to carry your baggage in the hold, you may check it at the weigh-in counter or find a weigh-in counter at the airport.
  5. In most cases, carry only the essentials in your luggage.
  6. Do not put valuable or fragile items, documents and equipment in your luggage.
  7. If you have oversized and irregular luggage, pets or other exceptional cases, contact the airline staff.

It’s always better to take technical equipment and gadgets in hand luggage, rather than trying your luck by letting them into the luggage. Photo: Alex Gruber / unsplash.com.

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Frequently asked questions

Can I take food on the plane? Take solid food safely. But keep in mind that loose and strong smelling foods are not welcome. Chicken and garlic will be looked at askance, but sandwiches, chocolate, nuts and other snacks are fine. :) Soft and liquid foods (Brie, Camembert) and drinks must be in containers not exceeding 100 ml.

Can I take water on board? You can take water in a bottle not exceeding 100 ml. You can buy it after customs or fill an empty bottle with drinking water in the clean area.

Can I take perfume on board? Yes, you may take perfume in your hand luggage, but no more than 100ml. In your luggage – any amount.

Can I take my laptop on board? Yes. However, it is prohibited to bring to Vietnam an Apple MacBook Pro with a 15.6-inch screen from 2015-2017 due to battery fires.

Can I take cigarettes on the plane? Yes, but carrying cigarettes is restricted. Check with your host country to see how many packs you can bring in.

Can I bring e-cigarettes on the plane? Vape, icos and other electronic smoking devices can be carried in your hand luggage and with you, but cannot be checked in luggage. Please note that some countries have banned the import of e-cigarettes – India, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lebanon.

Can I take deodorant on board? Yes, you may take it in your hand luggage provided that it does not exceed 100ml.

Can I bring my own razor on board? Disposable razors, razors with interchangeable cassettes and electric razors are allowed in your hand luggage.

Can I take pills on board? Take medication, but there are some details. Read above in the section about them. A mercury thermometer is controversial, you should check with the staff. It is better to take an electronic one.

Can I take a thermos flask and a thermos cup on board? No problem, as long as they are empty.

Can I take shampoo on the plane? Yes, you may, as well as other toiletries and cosmetics: toothpaste, shower gel, spray, etc. However, they must be no larger than 100 ml. If more than that, check it in your luggage.

May I take a baby carriage on board? A stroller for a baby is allowed. If it does not fold up, you may be asked to put it in your luggage.

Can I take a power bank on an airplane? Up to 100W⋅h – no problem. So a 20,000 mAh power bank won’t attract attention, which is exactly what we take on trips.

Can I take alcohol on the plane? In hand luggage – in bottles of no more than 100ml. If bought in duty-free shops, it must be in a sealed bag. Check this in advance with the airline.

May I take a lighter on board? A disposable one, yes, in hand luggage or in the pocket. A gasoline-powered Zippa may not be allowed, nor may lighter fluid.

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A razor can be brought on board the plane. Photo: Maxim Ryzhkin / unsplash.com.

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