Here are 15 items that can weigh more than 3.4 ounces but still fit in your carry-on.

2023-01-21 04:19:38 - Drany Macley Drany Macley, the senior editor of, brings extensive journalism background and over eight years of experience in travel writing and editing to the site, offering practical insights and first-hand knowledge through articles on innovative hotels, backed by a BA in Journalism from Ithaca College.
Hand luggage at the airport stock photo image by evrim ertik/Getty Images

You have probably mastered the TSA liquid limit rule by this point. Given that these TSA regulations have been in place for more than a decade All liquids (including gels like toothpaste) and certain foods that are considered liquids must be stored in individual containers with a maximum capacity of 3 ounces each. 4 ounces During airport security, they will be X-rayed and sometimes further inspected, so be sure to remove them from your bag and place them in the appropriate bin. Your helpful TSA agent will confiscate any prohibited items, or you can choose to discard them or return to the gate to check them.

However, did you know that there are some cases where this isn't the case? You should Learn how to get around the TSA's liquid limit restrictions so you can bring them on board with you. But first, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about this subject by travelers, along with their answers.

The 3-1-1 rule for liquids: what is it?

The TSA liquid limit rule that we discussed above goes by this fancy name. Your carry-on can contain up to 3 ounces of liquid, gel, or aerosol, per the TSA's guidelines. 4 ounces Liquids can't be more than three thirds of your total weight, one third of your volume, or one ounce. Each bag must weigh less than 4 ounces (the number 3), fill a single quart (the number 1), and be counted only once (the number 1).

The TSA's restrictions on what passengers can bring on board may seem arbitrary, but they were put into place in 2006 after intelligence agencies uncovered a transatlantic terrorist plot to use liquid explosives on multiple flights. You'll have to squeeze your shampoo, makeup, moisturizer, toothpaste, and some foods into teeny jars and pack them all into a quart-sized bag, and while this is annoying, it's for your own safety. Nothing brought with you that doesn't fit these criteria should be left at home or put in your checked bags.

In what number of 3-ounce bottles can I pack

A 1-quart bag, measuring 6 by 9 inches, is the maximum size that will accommodate all of your 3-ounce bottles. That's the equivalent of nine bottles of wine. It's worth noting that the TSA neither endorses nor condemns any particular type of bag, so feel free to use whatever you like (Ziploc or otherwise).

In 2022, do you still need to use plastic bags for liquids?

The bag rule is still in effect, but the TSA does not specify whether the bag must be transparent. However, if you want to speed things up with the TSA, a clear plastic bag is a must. Not using a bag for your trash probably won't be a big deal, so feel free to toss it all in the can anyway. The TSA liquids limit is the most important rule to follow, but being compliant will save you time at the security checkpoint.

Baby bottles with days of the week on adhesive notes From Getty Images.

Pregnant women and parents of young children have long been concerned about this issue, and you've probably heard horror stories about passengers being forced to abandon such items at airport security checkpoints. The answer to never having to go through that kind of trouble again Possessing intimate familiarity with the TSA's actual regulations and, just in case, printing and toting around a copy of said regulations Baby items such as breast milk, formula, and baby food are permitted in your carry-on regardless of their size and are not counted toward the three-ounce liquid limit imposed by the TSA.

However, the TSA only allows "reasonable quantities" of these liquids and doesn't provide further details. In this case, only bring what you need on the plane and check or ship the rest of your belongings. Bear in mind that a TSA agent will probably swab the container to look for explosives. The swab will not come into contact with the contents, though.

Pill bottles on shelf Getty Images/Tetra Images

No matter how full your carry-on bag is with prescription drugs, the TSA will never remove them. If they pass inspection, "unlimited amounts" of pills and other solid medications are permitted. They can even be out of their packaging. However, if you need to bring liquid medication, you must inform the TSA agent and bring only "reasonable quantities." It is possible that you will be asked to open these containers and further inspect them for explosives. In lieu of an X-ray, a visual inspection can be performed if you prefer. While we're on the subject, here's the lowdown on those body scanners at airports.

Dealing With Pain vitaminix/Getty Images

Do you want to keep your baby's food and drinks cool, or your own medication? As long as it's a "reasonable quantity," pack as much as you like. However, if they are not frozen solid, they will be considered a liquid and you will be allowed only three. 4 ounces (They can melt after the checkpoint.) Before the TSA agent searches your bags, make sure he or she knows you're transporting ice packs. Curious if the TSA liquid limit still applies with Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. The process will be much quicker, but the answer is yes.

packaging wet tissue paper Getty Images/akiyoko

As part of the 3-1-1 rule implemented before the pandemic, a large container of disinfecting wipes was kept on hand at all times. In the wake of the pandemic, however, things have changed. You can now bring as many wipes as you like in your carry-on luggage, as the TSA ended its ban on them in April 2020. When you get on the plane, feel free to chat with your fellow travelers, but please refrain from doing the following!

Duty Free in Changi Airport Terminal 4 ,Singapore Getty Images/MJ_Prototype

Don't know what STEB is. STBs, which stands for "secure, tamper-evident bags," are single-use plastic bags that let you bring liquids from the airport gift shop on your flight. Buy as much as your heart desires from the duty-free shop, including full-size bottles of alcohol, perfume, and more. Following your transaction, your items will be placed in a STEB bag and securely sealed. You can bring on board those full-size liquids as long as you don't open the bag. (And once you're in the air, you won't be able to get it open either.) You'll need to show proof of purchase within 48 hours, so keep the receipt!

Gel Filled Bragettyimages 1253713173 E1597246149816 1024x683 Joyous Nati/Getty Images

Gel-filled bra helpers, also known as silicone inserts, can be worn through security and on the plane even if they are larger than 3 ounces. 4 ounces Tell the TSA agent in a sneaky way that you have "extra baggage," and they might check you more thoroughly. Other than that, however, I don't see any issues. What to wear on a plane, and more details, are below.

Senior man pouring medicine out of bottle, close-up Photograph by Tom Le Goff for Getty Images

Coughing fits Of course you should take a COVID test. If it comes back negative, and you're otherwise healthy enough to travel, you can pack your cough medicine. You may also bring liquid over-the-counter medications in your carry-on. However, you shouldn't just waltz through security bearing a bottle of the good stuff. When checking in, let the security guard know you have a liquid that exceeds the TSA's limit. Even though over-the-counter drugs will make your trip more bearable, the items you pack in your suitcase could end up saving your life.

Water Bottle Backpack Gettyimages 1303219082 Photographer: rbkomar/Getty Images

The TSA says that you cannot bring bottled water onto the plane, but a baby or toddler can. Young children don't seem to have the same level of patience as adults, and they might be impatient for their water to be poured. (This is, at least, what we think the TSA's reasoning is, though they don't specify. Please feel free to pack a bottle for each of them in your carry-on. If a TSA agent inquires, simply say it's for your kid. Bottles can be purchased at stores or you can bring your own reusable container. In general, it's fine so long as the recipient is a baby.

Close-Up Of Goldfish Swimming In Fishbowl At Home Courtesy of Grace Yan/Getty Images

It's true that you can bring fish on board, but they'll need water (and more than 3 of it) to survive. (Only 4 ounces!) Keep the fish and water in any transparent plastic container. However, before you book your flight, you may want to inquire about the policy of your airline regarding live lobsters. While most airlines allow you to board with them, others, like Southwest, do not.

However, exotic animals are a different story and are rarely allowed on airplanes (though that hasn't stopped people from trying).

Case for contact lenses and bottle with solution in woman hands Getty Images/Olesia Bekh

Forget about trying to squeeze your contact lens solution into a 3 Packaging of the 4-ounce variety Just let the TSA officer know you have it because it is considered a nonprescription drug.

Hand Sanitizer Wife Poring Some Hand Sanitizer Into Her Husband S Hands the gilaxia/Getty Images

This TSA liquid limit waiver is another concession made in the post-pandemic era. Flying with a bottle of hand sanitizer that's up to 12 ounces in size is now permitted. However, your hand sanitizer (of any size) will need to go through additional screening, most likely by being swabbed.

Close-Up Of Baby Teethers Against White Background Credit: Gan Boon Hon / Getty Images

We have a baby who is teething. I'd like to avoid hearing that baby cry for the next several hours. And neither does anyone else. It's for this reason that the TSA included it in their list, we imagine. Please bring all teethers, large and small, filled with gel or liquid.

Frozen watermelon on a plastic freezer bag Photograph by: Ana Rocio Garcia Franco/Getty Images

This is shocking, but it's true If you're in a hurry to get your gravy to your house and don't want to bother checking your bag, Maybe Mom made chicken soup and you're afraid it will spill in your suitcase. You can just put it in the freezer. If a liquid is frozen solid at the security checkpoint, the TSA says it's fine to bring it through. They need to adhere to the 3-1-1 liquid requirements or you'll have to eat them right away, throw them out, or check on them if they're partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at all. Be sure to immediately transition from the refrigerator to the TSA checkpoint. Now that you know the liquids you can bring on an airplane per TSA regulations, read on to find out what the flight attendants would like you to know.


  • Liquids must be carried in approved containers, per TSA.
  • CNN: "Why is the airport liquid ban still in place if we have the technology to end it?" ”
  • TSA's Guide to Flying with Kids
  • "Can you pack your medications in a pill case and other questions answered" is a common request from the TSA.
  • Travel Tip: "Bring Duty-Free Liquids into the United States in Your Carry-On Bag"

Published Originally on August 13, 2020

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