The essential carry-on

woman giving thumbs up while carrying on her luggage

Whether you're going on a business trip or traveling to visit family members living in big cities, deciding what items to place in your carry-on luggage is important for making the most of your flight. Oftentimes, travelers realize what they've forgotten when it's too late, making for a seemingly unpleasant airline experience. To prevent this unwanted occurrence, voyagers who are getting ready to fly to their destinations should consider the following travel tips concerning their carry-on luggage:

Recognizing the regulations

Frequently, travelers pack items that are not permitted by the Transportation Security Administration. Because of this, they lose valuable possessions or are stuck in a new location without their things. Prior to flying, passengers should examine the organization's website to discern which items are permissible on an aircraft. TSA agents typically allow fliers the opportunity to check items that cannot be brought aboard, but this only applies to a few. Some of the most common things that do not make it through security checkpoints include: 

  • Scissors, pocket knives: The TSA requires that any blades must be shorter than 4 inches.
  • Matches: One box of nonstrike anywhere matches is allowed in carry-on, but none may be placed in checked baggage.
  • Snow globes: If the item has less than 3.4 ounces of liquid, it may only be allowed on the plane if it is stored in one plastic bag.

Picking the right size 

Depending on the airline, the plane may have limited amount of space for passengers' carry-on bags. Many companies have small baskets next to ticket counters that allow voyagers to check if their luggage will physically fit in the overhead compartments. Prior to boarding, travelers should take advantage of these containers, but those that are still concerned about their bag size would benefit from checking the airline's website and measuring the bag's dimensions. Airline officials may ask the passenger to check the item if its too large, which may cost the traveler extra money and time. 

Carrying the essentials

The contents of one's carry-on bag are as unique as the individual his or herself, but there are some staple items that would benefit travelers of all kinds. They include:

  • Snacks: Most airlines distribute small packets of goodies during the flight, but for passengers with food allergies or those who are unsatisfied with a small handful of crackers, bringing additional food is a good idea.
  • Water bottle: Tourists will not want to fill their water bottles until they've passed through security, but these items will help them to stay hydrated throughout the flight.

Electronics: Whether it's a phone, tablet or laptop, these are great ways to quickly pass the time. Airlines have recently amended their rules concerning electronic items, so they are now permissible during the majority of the flight.

Wherever your travels may take you, a great trip requires planning, reliable information (like Travel Guard Travel News articles) and a little bit of luck. And seasoned travelers know that when you travel, no matter how much you plan, sometimes things happen. When you run into unexpected issues, Travel Guard travel protection plans are here for you. If you're new to travel insurance, we have several pages that can help you compare plans and provide examples of why you should buy travel insurance for your upcoming trip.