What Items Are Not Allowed In Checked Luggage? And What Can You Take!

So you’ve made the decision to fly taking a checked bag rather than taking only hand luggage.

You now need to decide which items on your packing list go in the checked bag and what items will go in your carry-on bags.

The full list of items that answer the question “What can I take on a plane in checked luggage?” is enormous.,

It’s far better to ask “What items are not allowed in checked luggage?”.

This list is much more manageable and if your item is not on the banned list for checked baggage it’s safe to say you can pack it in your suitcase.

But it’s also important to highlight the difference between what is prohibited from being packed in checked bags and what is not sensible to pack in checked bags. There are things that you can’t pack in your suitcase when flying and things that you shouldn’t pack in your suitcase when flying.

I’ve seen it written that airlines lose 2 bags per 1000 passengers. Or if we assume an average of 100 passengers per flight that means that every 5 flights someone is losing a checked bag.

There is also a risk of theft or damage by baggage handlers.

So if you really don’t want to lose something then you should never pack it in checked luggage and pack it instead in carry on luggage.

So this post also lists items that it’s recommended NEVER to pack in your checked bag in addition to those that are prohibited from checked baggage.

TSA Checked Luggage Rules

The transportation security administration screens over a million checked bags every day. They do this mainly using x-ray scans as they do at the security checkpoint, but if an alarm is triggered they will open your bag for a physical inspection. Around 10% of bags are opened and physically inspected, so you really need to make sure that everything you put in your checked bag is permitted.

If your bag has been opened they will leave a note in your case so you know why and it will look like this:

It can feel like an invasion of privacy to have someone rummage around in your suitcase but the rules are in place for aviation safety. When it comes to checked bags, the FAA sets the rules and it’s the job of the TSA to enforce the rules.

The items that are flat out banned from checked bags almost always related to the risk of fire. A fire inside the cabin is one thing, it can be put out using fire extinguishers. But a fire in the cargo hold is much more dangerous. So checked bags are screened to stop hazardous items and materials from getting inside the plane’s cargo hold.

Things You Can’t Take On A Plane In Checked Luggage

  • Alcoholic beverages over 140 proof or 70% ABV – Strong liquor like grain alcohol is flammable
  • Bang Snaps
  • Arc Lighters, Plasma Lighters, Electronic Lighters, E-Lighters – The battery-powered lighters could start a fire
  • Bear Bangers
  • Bear Spray
  • Blasting caps
  • Butane Gas – Flammable
  • Butane Cordless Curling Irons
  • Camp Stoves – Only allowed if they are cleaned and emptied of all fuel
  • Car parts – Car engine parts may be placed in checked bags only if the parts are packed in their original box and free of gasoline and oil
  • Chlorine for Pools and Spas
  • CO2 Cartridge – you can only carry an EMPTY compressed gas cylinder on a plane, it must be made clear to the TSA that the cylinder is empty by removing the valve.
  • CO2 Cartridge for Life Vest – You may bring a life vest with up to two CO2 cartridges inside, plus two spare cartridges in your carry-on or checked bag.
  • Compressed Air Guns – You can only carry a compressed air gun without compressed air cylinder attached
  • Cooking spray
  • Disposable and Zippo Lighters – Fully empty and cleaned lighters without fuel are allowed. Full lighters can only be
  • Dry Ice – 5.5 lbs maximum
  • Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping Devices, Vape Pens
  • Engine-powered Equipment -The TSA will allow engine-powered equipment if it’s completely purged of fuel however check with your airline
  • English Christmas Crackers
  • Fertilizer
  • Fire Extinguishers and Other Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Firearms – Firearms carried in checked bags must be unloaded, packed in a locked hard-sided container, and declared to the airline at check-in. Check with your airline to see if they allow firearms in checked bags. When traveling, be sure to comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms as they vary by local, state and international government.
  • Firecracker
  • Fireworks
  • Flammable Liquid, Gel, or Aerosol Paint
  • Flammable Paints
  • Flare Guns
  • Flares – We’re talking the burning distress signals not bell-bottomed jeans
  • Gas Torches
  • Gasoline
  • Gun Lighters
  • Gun Powder
  • Laptop Batteries – You can actually pack a laptop with an internal battery in your checked luggage. but spare batteries are not permitted in checked bags and must go in your hand luggage.
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Lithium Batteries – You can pack lithium batteries smaller than 100 watt hours in checked bags. Larger than 100 watt hour can go in carry on bags if under 300 watt hours
  • Medically Necessary Personal Oxygen
  • Parachutes – You can’t pack a parachute inside a suitcase it mi
  • Party Poppers
  • Power Banks
  • Propane
  • Recreational Oxygen
  • Rocket Launcher
  • Safety Matches
  • Small Compressed Gas Cartridges
  • Sparklers
  • Spillable Batteries
  • Spray Paint
  • Spray Starch
  • Tear Gas
  • Torch Lighters
  • Turpentine and Paint Thinner
  • Vacuum-sealed bags – Some people like to compress clothes using vacuum-sealed bags when traveling. These compression bags are not banned in checked luggage but they are not encouraged. The TSA officer may need to inspect your clothes and they will not

Things It’s Not A Good Idea To Pack In Checked Luggage

These things are not banned in checked luggage but are better packed in hand luggage in case they go missing.

  • Anything Valuable – Checked bags do go missing and sometimes
  • All Your Clean Clothes – If your bag was to go missing you won’t have any clean clothes to wear, it’s a good idea to pack at least 1 change of clothes in your hand luggage
  • Boarding passes – You’re going to need them to get on the flight!
  • Cell phones – despite it having a battery you could pack your cell phone in your checked suitcase. For most people the thought of losing their cell phone brings out a cold sweat. Keep it in your pocket or hand luggage for safety
  • Credit Cards – If your suitcase is lost you would need to cancel your credit cards.
  • Details Of Your Hotel Booking – If your checked case was lost would you still know how to get to your hotel? Make sure you have this valuable information when you land
  • Electronic Devices – These are usually fragile and valuable and better packed in hand luggage.
  • House keys – There is no ban on packing your house keys in your checked suitcase but they could be lost if the case goes missing
  • Jewelry – Too valuable to risk packing in checked luggage.
  • Laptops – These are fragile items and are best packed in hand luggage where you can look after them
  • Medication – If you are going on vacation you don’t want to lose any regular medication that you are on. Keep it in your hand luggage for safe keeping.
  • Money – Better kept close at hand.
  • Passports – You will need these
  • Photographic Film – The x-ray scans used at both the security check point or the scanning of checked luggage can damage photographic film

Although it’s safer to bring valuables in your hand luggage don’t assume your bag is safe on the plane. There have been cases of in-flight theft of valuables from within bags during the flight. Remain alert to the possibility that your fellow passengers might try to steal your belongings.

What is allowed in checked baggage for international flights?

Everything else! If the item you are considering isn’t banned then it is allowed in checked baggage for domestic or international flights.

Can you pack food in checked baggage?

Yes. Solid food can be transported in either your carry-on or checked bags within the continental United States. Generally, liquid foods can go in checked bags but not in carry one although there are exceptions for breast milks and juice for kids.

If you are flying internationally you need to check with the customs of your destination country to make sure you are permitted to import the food you want to bring.

The Verdict

There are a few simple rules that will help you understand what not to pack in checked luggage.

If it is flammable or hazardous then it will be banned from checked luggage for safety reasons. Loose batteries are considered flammable.

If there is compressed air or gas it will be banned for safety reasons.

If something has a high monetary value then it’s safer to keep it close in your hand luggage.

If something would be highly inconvenient to replace keep it in hand luggage.

Lastly. it’s a travel document or an identity document keep it handy in hand luggage too.

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The More You Take, The More You Leave Behind. What Am I? Riddle Explained

Travel riddles can be a great way to pass the time during a long journey. Especially if you are mid-flight and there is no in-flight wifi.

This popular puzzler might leave you scratching your head for a while.

The Riddle Explained

The success of this riddle lies in an unusual use of the word “take”.

When we take something in English it usually refers to picking up an object.

So when we first read the riddle “the more you take” we are imagining picking up something. Like taking a book from the table. Taking a handkerchief from your pocket, or taking candy from a baby.

In this case, we are “taking a step”. This riddle really made me think about how we use the word “take” sometimes.

The thing that we are taking, in this case, is “the footstep”. We are referring to “taking a step” like we would “taking a breath”. No objects are picked up. The taking is an action and the thing that moves is your own body.

So could “taking a breath” be an equally valid answer?

I actually think it could.

When we “take footsteps” won’t don’t actually leave anything physical behind.

Sure if we walk on a beach we leave behind footprints. But footprints wasn’t the answer.

So what does it mean to leave behind a footstep?

Not much really. We leave the location where the step was taken behind us as we walk down a path, but we also leave behind the location where the breath was taken when we walk down a path.

Therefore in conclusion… the riddle is a little stupid 🙂

But then riddles usually need to be a little stupid for them to work.

Funny Wrong Guesses

There are a few funny wrong guesses around the internet for this riddle.

  • Time
  • Poop
  • Laxative pills!
  • Breathing
  • Tequila Shots!
  • Love

I propose that everyone on the internet gets together and changes the correct answer to this riddle to “laxative pills”. That would be a fun riddle!

And btw… no cheating next time!

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The Best Wine Bottle Protector Sleeves: Traveling Wine Bags Make Sure Your Clothes Stay Dry

The worst thing about breaking a bottle of red wine inside your suitcase isn’t that all your clothes become ruined with red stains.

It’s that when you open your bag and realize that the unthinkable has happened you can’t even pour yourself a glass of wine to drown your sorrows.

Thankfully, there are products out there that promise to help us avoid this pain.

This post takes a look at the best wine bottle protector sleeves that you can use to stop wine bottles breaking inside your suitcase.

At A Glance: The Best Wine Bottle Protectors

The Best Traveling Wine Bags

Stntus Innovations Wine Bottle Protectors

These inflatable bottle bags store flat so they hardly take up any room in your suitcase when they are empty.

The downside is that you need to inflate them when you use them with the provided pump. It’s a little inconvenient but the result is possibly the most air-cushioned wine bottle protector.

The bags don’t seal so you are not protected against leaks if the bottle breaks. However, the method of inflating the bag with the creates such a well-padded bag that leaks are of little concern.


The air cushioning is superior to bubble wrap.


Not the most convenient option. It’s annoying to need to pack the pump and it can take a minute to inflate the bag.

Overall this style of wine protector is the best. Take a look at what happened to Eric’s checked luggage when he picked it up from the carousel.

The suitcase was destroyed but if you look closely you can see that his wine bottle was still intact inside his inflatable wine sleeve. Just remember that when you are spending a minute to inflate your sleeve and it won’t seem so annoying.

FlyingTrav Travel Wine Bags

The FlyingTrav is a different design of wine sleeve and offers an alternative to the pump style bags.

The inner bag is essentially a wine-bottle-shaped bag made of two layers of bubble wrap to cushion the bottle.

The outer bag functions to protect against spills if there is a bottle breakage. There is a double ziplock seal and a velcro flap to prevent liquids from leaking out if the bottle of wine is damaged during transport.

Since the cushioning is provided by bubble wrap there is no need to inflate these bags using a pump. That’s one less thing to pack and it’s convenient. However, the bubble wrap is a less effective cushion. It maybe be a good idea to use these wine sleeves but to also further cushion your wine bottles by wrapping the sleeves in your most chunky clothes.


Convenient and easy to use.


Protection against leaks if your bottle does break.

Jet Bag Protective Bottle Bags

The Jet Bag bottle bags are made in USA.

While they are billed as protective bags they don’t actually offer much protection against breakages. The unique thing about these bags is the absorbent diaper material inside the bag.

If your wine bottle breaks then these bags should soak up the liquid and prevent your clothes from being soaked.

It’s a pity that they don’t have any cushioning to protect the bottles from breaking in the first place though.


Unique absorbant material


No air cushioning

The Verdict

If you know that you are likely to bring back wine from your next trip it’s a great idea to plan ahead and get yourself some wine protector sleeves.

As you might have guessed we are a big fan of the inflatable variety.

They are a really cheap insurance policy against the damage that you might cause to clothes, shoes, and electronics in the event of a breakage.

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How To Pack Wine In A Suitcase

Travel often involves trying out local products. Often we end up tasting new wines and want to bring back some bottles with us when we return as a souvenir.

Or perhaps you discover a wine at your destination that has a higher quality and a cheaper price than the wine back home.

We’ve written elsewhere about the TSA rules for flying with bottles of wine in the United States. In short, you can bring as much wine as you want in your checked luggage but you need to think about airline weight limits and taxes that you might be obliged to pay when you reach your destination.

The only exception would be extremely strong fortified wine that is over 24 percent alcohol content. Alcoholic beverages that are stronger than 24 percent ABV are limited to 5 liters per person. Alcoholic beverages that are over 70% are not permitted at all.

You might also want to pack a bottle of wine in a suitcase to take it so someone as a gift. If you are staying with friends or family it’s always nice to arrive bearing wine.

This post will teach you how to pack wine in a suitcase correctly whether you are packing just one or multiple wine bottles.

Wrap Your Bottle Of Wine In Clothing

Incorrectly packed wine could break causing damage to your clothes. Baggage handlers are not exactly renowned as being the most gentle creatures. You need to assume they are going to throw your checked bag around and take precautions accordingly.

It could be a real bummer if you arrive at your destination and discover all your vacation clothes have been soaked in chianti.

And Roger’s address book was ruined by a broken bottle of red.

It can happen to you too if you don’t have enough padding!

Protecting your wine bottles by wrapping them in clothes or towels is a beginner’s method. But it’s the best way to pack a wine bottle if you didn’t plan on traveling with a wine bottle and need to come up with a solution at short notice.

Wrapping in clothing works best if you only have one bottle of wine. Multiple bottles of wine are much more challenging to pack since they can knock against each other and knocking bottles risks a breakage disaster.

Here’s how to pack wine in a suitcase using clothes as padding:

  • Step 1 – Pack the wine bottle in a sealed shopping bag.
  • Step 2 – Then place the bag in a pair of socks.
  • Step 3 – Wrap the bottle with the thickest clothing that you have.
  • Step 4 – Place the bottles in the center of your suitcase away from the sides.
  • Step 5 – Use your clothes and shoes to provide support so that the bottle will remain in the center of the bag.
  • Step 6 – If you have multiple bottles make sure they are not touching inside your suitcase.

You will want to center your wine bottle or bottles in the middle of your travel bag. If a baggage handler throws your bag around the impact will be at the edges of the suitcase.

Another option is to put the bottle of wine inside a pants leg or a sweater arms and then stuff the surrounding area with socks and other small garments.

It’s better if your case is fully packed otherwise all your contents could shift and the bottle could move around inside the case.

Package Up Your Wine In Protective Wrapping

If you know there is a good chance you will end up with wine in your suitcase then you can do a lot better than wrapping the bottles in clothes.

Regular wine buyers should at least pack some bubble wrap and some sticky tape. This way you can properly wrap your bottle.

At step up from bubble wrap would be using a wine protector sleeve.

Wine Skin is a popular brand:

These products claim to not only protect your wine bottle from breaking but also to stop leaks from staining your clothes.

But the best way to avoid turning your whites to red is to avoid breakages in the first place.

Here is how the pros do it…

Fly Using A Dedicated Wine Suitcase Or Wine Travel Bag

This suggestion is for the seasoned oenophiles. If you are going on a wine tasting vacation or traveling to a wine-producing region you might be planning to bring home many bottles of wine.

And this won’t be your average cheap supermarket plonk either. Special wine deserves a special wine travel suitcase. VinGardeValise makes a great range of suitcases for traveling with wine.

The Verdict

For completeness, I should also mention that you could pack a tiny little bottle with wine in your hand luggage that is under 3.4 oz and put it in your toiletries bag. This would be only useful as a tasting sample and half a glass of wine isn’t enough to satisfy anyone.

Next time you fly to California, Italy, France, Spain, Argentina, or Chile make sure you at least pack some bubble wrap so you can safely bring some of that delicious wine back home!

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Can You Bring Wine On A Plane In Your Carry On Or Checked? TSA Wine Rules

Wine can make a great gift or souvenir to bring back home from your vacation. Perhaps you have been on a wine tasting experience or visiting wineries and wish to take some wines home on your flight.

Or maybe you just spotted a great deal!

This post is about flying with wine. The rules about alcoholic beverages depend on alcohol content, but wine is low strength alcohol so there are fewer restrictions than you might think.

Let’s get to it!

TSA Wine Rules

Here is a screengrab from the Transportation Security Administration website about traveling with wine on a plane:

The two options are hand luggage and hold luggage. Let’s first look at hand luggage guidelines.

Can You Bring Wine In Carry On On Luggage?

All liquids are restricted in carry-on luggage and are monitored at the security checkpoints. Wine, of course, is a liquid and is no exception. So it falls under the 3-1-1 rule.

You can bring liquids in bottles that are 3.4 oz (100ml) or smaller. All these travel-size bottles must go in 1 quart-size bag. Each passenger is only allowed 1 quart-sized bag.

Even though this is usually called the toiletries bag there is nothing to stop you bring alcohol that is under 70% alcohol by volume (ABV) in your toiletries bag. So you can bring wine in smaller than 3.4 oz bottles in your carry on luggage.

A bottle of wine is 750 ml or 26 oz, and a standard size glass of wine is 5 oz. So 3.4 oz of wine really isn’t much at all.

Still, you might be thinking who needs shampoo… I can decant wine into 2 or 3 little travel size bottles or containers, pack then in my toiletries bag and then pour myself a glass of wine during the flight.

Not so fast…

FAA rules don’t allow you to serve yourself your own alcohol when on a plane and the fines can be pretty steep. At the time of writing only JetBlue has a policy where if you ask nicely, and are sober, their flight attendants will serve your own alcohol to you.

So if you are flying JetBlue you can pack a little wine in your carry on and drink it on the plane. With other airlines, you can pack wine in tiny bottles but you can’t drink them on the plane.

Duty Free Wine In Carry On

If after you have passed through airport security there is a duty-free shop that sells wine. You can buy wine bottles here and carry them on to the plane in your hand luggage. The 3.4 oz limit doesn’t apply to liquids purchased after the security checkpoint.

In theory, you can even bring duty-free wine in your carry on if you have a connecting domestic flight and need to pass through security to board your connecting flight.

Your wine bottles must be packed in a transparent, tamper-evident bag by the retailer and have an original receipt that was made within 48 hours.

I say in theory because it doesn’t always work out as Bob discovered:

The TSA officer always has the final say about what is or isn’t allowed through the security checkpoint.

The TSA recommends that for your convenience you always try to pack your wine in checked bags. So let’s now check out the rules surrounding flying with wine in your hold baggage.

Can You Pack Wine In Checked Luggage?

You might have heard the rule that you are only permitted to take 5 liters of alcohol per person in your checked luggage.

This rule is only true for alcohol that is between 24 percent and 70 percent ABV. In short, it’s a rule for liquor or spirits and not a rule for your average bottle of wine.

The typical strength of wine is somewhere between 11% and 13% percent alcohol. So there are no quantity limits on packing wine in checked luggage since it’s less than 24 percent alcohol by volume. Even port or sherry is around 20% and doesn’t have limitations.

You do still need to be legal drinking age to fly with wine, and you need to think about weight.

Please be aware that wine is heavy and you might risk overweight bag charges if you are not careful.

While airport security will allow you to take a suitcase full of wine the extra weight will possibly mean your airline charges you an additional fee.

A typical checked bag has a weight limit of 50 lbs.

Your empty suitcase will weigh around 10 lbs. Then you need to account for all your clothes and shoes etc. Bottles of wine tend to weigh about 3 lbs. It won’t be hard to go over your 50 lbs weight limit if you go crazy when packing wine so a luggage scale might come in handy.

You also need to consider customs. If you are bringing more than one liter of wine into the US from a foreign country you will need to pay tax. This is true even if you purchased the wine at a duty-free shop before taking an international flight. The “duty-free” refers to the duty due to the country where you purchased the wine. You’ll still be liable to pay duty when you get back to the united states.

If you are flying internationally leaving the US. Then check the import rules of your destination country. The TSA will allow you to pack wine in your checked luggage but you may need to declare it and pay tax at your destination.

How Many Bottles Of Wine Can You Fly With?

As mentioned above. There is no quantity limit on the number of bottles of wine you can pack in your checked luggage. You do need to consider weight and any duty that may need to be paid.

Will Wine Explode On A Plane?

The cargo hold area of planes is pressurized and the temperature is controlled. There is no danger of your wine exploding on a plane due to atmospheric pressure.

However, baggage handlers are not renowned for being the most gentle people. Wine bottles that are not extremely well packed could break inside your case if the baggage handlers are throwing your case around.

The best way to mitigate against this is to use wine protector sleeves. Failing that, try to pack your wines in the center of your suitcase and surround them with clothes for padding.

The Verdict

You can bring wine on a plane in your checked luggage. There are no limitations in quantity, but you need to think about weight and any duty that you might need to pay.

You can also bring tiny little bottles of wine in your carry on toiletries bag but you can’t drink them unless you are flying with JetBlue.

A bottle of wine isn’t much use without glasses and you’ll be pleased to know you can bring wine glasses in carry-on bags or checked bags.

You can pack a corkscrew in your checked luggage or carry on but if your corkscrew bottle opener has a blade you can’t take that in your carry on since it could be used as a weapon.

That’s it! You now have everything you need to transport wine on a plane. Bottoms up!

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