Keeping in compliance with TSA airline travel regulations is a seemingly never-ending challenge. Add to that the always-changing rules imposed by airlines regarding carryon and checked luggage, packing for a trip can prove to be a frustrating experience.
Understanding this background airline travelers face at this juncture in the 21st century, there are some strategies you can employ when it comes to preparing your carry on luggage for a flight. Keeping in mind all prevailing regulations, there are some items you should always pack in your carry on bag to ensure you have the smoothest trip possible.
You may be like more than a few people, you may not realize that medications are exempt from the TSA 3-1-1 rule. The TSA 3-1-1 rule applies to liquids, but not liquid medications, whether the be prescription or over-the-counter. The 3-1-1 rule limits other liquids to 3-ounce containers, than will all fit into a clear 1-quart bag. With this in mind, you should pack your prescription medications and a reasonable amount of over-the-counter medications that you use with regularity.
Interestingly enough, many travelers place some, but not all, crucial documents into their carry on bags. You can always make a copy of your passport and keep that in your carry on, but the reality is that you must keep all important documents “on you” while traveling. These documents include:
- reservation information for lodging
- loyalty club materials
- travel insurance information
Make sure you print out a full copy of your airplane documents, even if you are using a digital boarding pass. There are times when a digital boarding pass doesn’t process. This reality underscores the importance of having a hard copy of these types of travel documents in your carryon luggage.
Full Change of Clothing
Travelers often pay lip-service to including a full change of clothing in their carryon luggage, and oftentimes never follow through. You do need to include an appropriate change of clothing in your carryon luggage. When packing clothing in a carryon, consider what activities you will be involved with during your first 24 hours at your final destination. For example, if you are going to a conference where business casual is the order of the day, include that type of clothing in your carryon luggage – just in case.
You need to keep abreast of the discussions that are ongoing about electronics brought on board airplanes. There currently is some variation in what can be brought on board when it comes to electronics depending upon where in the world you will depart. To keep yourself entertained, it’s great to have earphones or head phones, a tablet or books on kindle.
In any event, assuming regulations permit doing so, you should place your electronics in your carryon luggage whenever possible. Although it does not happen often, there are incidents in which electronics have disappeared from checked luggage.
Another type of items you should include in your carry on bag is essential toiletries. Liquids that are part of this category are subject to the TSA 3-1-1 rule previously discussed. Also bear in mind that there are certain types of toiletries that are prohibited in carryon luggage no matter the quantity. Rules regarding what can and cannot be brought on changes with some regularity. Therefore, you will want to double check the current status of what is permissible to carry on before you begin packing your basic toiletries before flying.
Something to Keep You Warm
A good number of people find airplane cabins uncomfortably chilly. Therefore, if it all possible, and if you are prone to being a bit chilly when traveling, consider packing a small jacket or little blanket as well as socks to assist in keeping you comfortable while flying.
Always carry electronic charges in your carryon bag. You can try to consolidate as much as possible in this regard. For example, you might be able to use the same charger with a tablet and your smartphone. You will want to have chargers handy if you face a flight delay. Moreover, if your checked luggage goes astray, even for a day, you will face the dilemma of being disconnected until your chargers appear or you will need to purchase replacements.
You may be like many people and rely heavily on your electronic devices for just about everything. As part of what you stow in your carryon luggage, you should consider include a book, newspaper, or magazine. Depending on the purpose of your trip, how long you will be on an airplane, and other factors, you may find yourself pleased to have traditional reading material included in all of your other carryon items.
In order to make sure you don’t overlook anything packing your carryon bag, you might want to create a checklist that you can hold onto and use whenever you prepare to fly. Nine times out of time, you will need to pack the same types of things in your carryon bag as you prepare to fly.