I thought about writing a list about what you SHOULD pack when you travel, but flipped it upside down and today’s list is about things you should NOT be packing in your checked suitcase. Here are five things you should NEVER pack in your checked luggage.
All Your Clothes! Sometimes bags get lost or delayed and it would be no fun to not have any clothes when you get to your destination. It’s also really nice to have a change of clothes on the plane – just in case! When I went to Peru my suitcase was 2 days behind me and I was so glad that I had added a clean outfit to my carry-on just before I left. It didn’t leave me with a huge wardrobe to choose from, but at least I had clean clothes and looked presentable for my meeting. My family usually packs an outfit for each person in our carry-on bag – along with a bathing suit if we’re going to a great pool or beach. It makes it so much easier to wait for your suitcase if you get to enjoy your destination while you wait!
Your Passport and Money, including cash, credit cards, and traveler’s checks. Your passport, money, etc should all be in your carry on bag with you the entire time. Basically, you need to make sure that you have your passport and money when you get to your destination – and the only way to do that is to carry it with you. Another great thing to make sure you keep with you are your travel documents!
Medications. If you’re bringing medications with you, it’s probably because you need them, and if you NEED them when you get there, the best thing to do is put them in your carry on. It’s always advisable to bring a copy of the original prescription label from the pharmacy with you in your carry on as well – just in case. Some medications also require special treatment and screening at TSA. It’s better to plan ahead for these things and know before you get to the airport – TSA Cares has a hotline you can call or email 72 hours before your flight for helpful information.
Anything flammable, including hand grenades, gasoline, lighters, and dynamite. TSA and the FAA have a list of prohibited items in very easy to understand formats on their websites – things like sporting goods, food, and sharp objects are ok in your checked bag (but don’t try to carry them on!), but they also have a list of things that are not ok, even in your checked bag. Some of the more interesting things on the list you can’t pack are vehicle airbags (and also self-inflating avalanche rescue vests), matches, dynamite, anti-static spray, liquid starch, and vaping devices.
Anything Valuable. Different theory here – if you can’t replace it, don’t put it in your checked bag. This includes jewellery, laptops, electronics, your tiara, the ring you’re about to propose with, expensive anythings. Your suitcase goes through a lot of places and people to get to your destination with you and you don’t have your eyes on your bag at all times. Another good thing to know is that if your bag gets lost, or something goes missing, airlines will only replace items up to a certain amount. The best thing to do is leave the extremely valuable stuff at home, but if you need to bring it, carry it on with you.
TSA and FAA have lists of prohibited items for checked bags and carry-on – if you’re questioning how you pack something – check their websites and make sure you put everything in the right place or leave it at home! You can see a great infographic here too that shows some of the more interesting things TSA says yes and no to! Contact me to start planning your next vacation now!