If you’re a follower of our site, you know we are huge advocates of always packing your belongings into a carry-on and never checking a bag when traveling.
While this is the general rule, there are obvious exceptions, including certain things you should never bring with you on the plane.
Trust us – the last thing you want to do is be detained in El Salvador for having loose bullets in your carry-on (true story).
So before you hit the runway, make sure you keep these items out of your carry-on at all times.
We get it – you’re hungry. But please do not be that guy who brings a tuna sandwich on the plane or indulges in a can of sardines.
Airplanes are small enough as it is and they already have enough natural bad scents penetrating through the cabin…
… like restroom stenches, dirty diapers, the odor from the dude who wants to walk barefoot, and the mysterious smell from the stained fabric seats.
No one wants to be forced to smell your 6-hour old salmon or your garlic toast.
It’s cool if you want to eat – pack some snacks – but be mindful of your selections.
Yes, it should go without saying, but make sure your carry-on doesn’t have a firearm.
I was traveling with a group one time, and instead of packing his gun in checked luggage, one of the guys with us actually put it in his carry-on bag by mistake!
Thankfully airport security (surprisingly) didn’t make too big a deal of it and just made him check his bag and still let him fly.
He was extremely lucky as airport officials have the power to impose hefty fines and even arrest individuals for attempting to fly with a gun – even if it’s unloaded or an honest mistake.
But in addition to making sure your firearm is checked – double check that you don’t have any lingering ammunition in your bag.
A few years back I was coming home from a trip to El Salvador, and one of the girls I was traveling with had her carry-on bag flagged by security.
We knew she didn’t have a gun in her bag, but they started making a big commotion about her bag being dangerous and wouldn’t let her through security.
The language barrier was tough, and none of us knew what was happening.
As it turns out, after taking out ALL her personal items in front of everyone and sifting through them – we’re talking underwear and all – they found a few loose bullets in the deep corners of her bag under some fabric.
Turns out her husband had used the bag to go shooting – and a few bullets were left behind!
They didn’t care about the reason… and called the police who were about to detain her, until one of the guys traveling with us (who happened to be from El Salvador) was actually able to communicate in Spanish and calm down security.
Moral of the story – other countries have laws that could throw you in prison for any perceived threat – so make sure you keep your firearm, bullets, and anything else that could be considered a “weapon” out of your bag.
We know – the TSA’s rule of prohibiting liquids over 3.4 ounces is not only annoying, but inconvenient.
However, nothing is worse than having a TSA agent throw away your expensive bottle of perfume because it doesn’t meet the ounce requirement (another true story).
Just suck it up and put your liquid items in small silicone bottles that are under 3.4 ounces and stick ‘em in a clear bag.
Your goal is to make it through security with as little harassment as possible – don’t give the TSA a reason to make an example out of you.
Bonus Tips – Research The Rules In Your Country Of Destination
Other countries have even stricter rules than the U.S.
When a group of us were coming back to the States from El Salvador, a few of the girls I was with wanted to bring back coffee beans and actually purchased some at an airport booth after they went through security.
But when heading back to the States from El Salvador, not only do you go through security once, you go through a second time.
And as it turns out, even though the coffee beans were purchased at the airport, officials claimed full-size bags weren’t allowed to go through, so they confiscated the bags of expensive, unopened coffee!
Make sure you don’t get played and you know the rules of the local airport.
While there are still items you should never bring with you in a carry-on – we are still huge proponents of not checking a bag.
Not only is it an unnecessary expense, but it’s also a major time-zapper as you are forced to wait for your now busted up bag to make its way to the baggage carousel (if it actually does) and then fight with 100 other passengers to identify your bag and get it off.
Not to mention, it’s obnoxious to have to carry around a bunch of extra bags.
But if you need to travel with a firearm, sports equipment, or anything else that will get you flagged – don’t try to push your luck and throw it in your carry-on bag – it’s just not worth the hassle.
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(h/t Proud American Traveler)