I don’t know about you, but I’m always extremely confused about traveling with liquids! What is allowed into my luggage and what needs to go in my suitcase? Here are the latest rules around this topic to prevent you from having to part with your beloved toiletries!
Please note that all airports have their own rules when it comes to liquids in luggage so make sure you double check these before you travel.
How much liquid is allowed in hand luggage?
You are only allowed small individual containers of liquids with a maximum capacity of 100 ml each in your hand luggage. These need to be packed in a durable, transparent, resealable plastic bag (e.g. a Ziploc bag) that is no more than 20cm x 20cm in size and no more than 1 litre in capacity. There you have it!
Note: You can bring as many small containers as you want as long as they fit into the resealable plastic bag.
Is there a limit to the amount of liquids in checked luggage?
There are no limits to the amount of liquids that are allowed in checked luggage apart from alcohol. However, you will need to take certain precautions:
- There are a list of restricted items, make sure your stash does not include any of these.
- Make sure all items are properly sealed or repackaged in a leak-proof container as air pressure might cause containers to pop.
What is considered liquid?
Any substance with a fluid, free-flowing or ‘gooey’ consistency is considered liquid. This includes items such as aerosols, creams, pastes, and gels.
Sauces (e.g. salsa, gravy etc.)
Canned food with high liquid content (e.g. sardines, tuna etc.)
Liquor (e.g. wine, beer etc.)
Soft cheese (e.g. brie, camembert etc.)
Gel-filled tablets (e.g. fish oil tablets)
What items are exempt?
As with most rules, there are exemptions to the 100ml rule. Items that are exempt from this ruling includes:
- Breast milk, baby formula, baby food, and baby juice (note: only when traveling with a baby!)
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Liquids or liquid nutrition for people with disabilities or medical conditions (note: you may be required to prove the necessity and authenticity of these items)
- Frozen items (if they’re frozen solid)
- Cosmetic or medical items with saline or liquid
Note: These items will need to be declared for inspection at the security checkpoint. You may also need to provide a doctor’s letter for certain medications.
You can find a comprehensive list of prohibited items here.
Can you put alcohol in luggage?
Alcohol in carry-on luggage must comply to the rules mentioned above, while the amount of alcohol you can pack in checked luggage depends on three things:
- It must be unopened or packaged in a sealable bottle.
- There are no restrictions on liquor with an alcohol content of less than 24% (e.g. beer and wine)
- Liquor with an alcohol content of between 24% and 70% is restricted to 5 litres per passenger
Remember, luggage is tossed onto conveyor belts, trucks, and planes, so be careful when putting glass bottles in your luggage.
Note: Every country has its own rules regarding alcohol. The amount of liquor you are allowed to pack can vary from country to country and from airline to airline.
What about duty-free items?
This is where things can get complicated.
These items can generally be taken through checkpoints if they are sealed in the ICAO tamper-evident bag that is provided at the time of purchase (be sure to ask for one of these). If the seal is broken or any items are removed they may be subject to liquid restrictions.
However, this is not the case with all countries so it is better to wait until the last leg of your trip before you make any purchases.
- Resealable bags will need to go through the x-ray machine separately. Ensure they are packed on top of your clothing to avoid having to unpack your luggage at the airport.
- Buy a travel kit or travel containers and repackage liquid toiletries. These containers usually come in 100 ml sizes and are designed to fit neatly together.
- Buy travel-sized items (e.g. mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo etc.)
- Go for two-in-one items such as shampoo and conditioner combos to save space.
- Lush, a popular cosmetics shop, sells products such as solid deodorant, deodorant powder, and shampoo bars that have an array of benefits and will go through security effortlessly.