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Travel Tip #33

Put Your Liquids Into 100 ml Bottles To Avoid Checking Your Bag

Always Carry On. This mantra makes for a high speed, low drag trip through airports. With airlines charging fees to check your bag, it’s in your best financial interest to carry your own luggage onto the plane. However, airport security seems to make it harder and harder to carry your luggage on. Since 2006, travelers carrying any liquid with them through security are subject to the so-called “3-1-1 Rule.” This means that all of your liquids must be in 3 oz (or less) containers and all of your containers must be in 1 sandwich baggie that is 1 quart. How they decided that this is the threshold of safety is anyone’s guess, but I suspect it is more arbitrary than they let on.

Stories of overzealous TSA agents can be found everywhere, so it is best to forget common sense and just follow the rules. Most of the liquids you are going to bring through security are either a beverage or a toiletry item. Sorry, those bottles of beer from a that tiny brewery can’t be carried on, but the TSA has come to their senses regarding breast milk and baby formula. As for toiletries, you want them to be small anyway so they don’t take up valuable space in your luggage. For shaving cream, sunscreen and toothpaste (free from your dentist-just ask!), the travel size is perfectly suited. For shampoo and other cosmetics that are not your run-of-the-mill brands, pour some of your supply into an empty hotel-size shampoo bottle. If you don’t have one of those, head down to your local independent pharmacy (you don’t go to Walgreens, do you?). If you have a good a report with the staff there and you ask nicely, they will give you some empty medicine bottles for your $35 shampoo. And remember, put those 3 oz bottles in your 1 quart baggie because any strays get tossed.

Know Before You Go

With a little planning, you can make sure to have all of your specialty products your unique hair requires with you while you travel. Just remember, if you don’t follow the rules, that shampoo will end up in the trash. The TSA agent will not care how much you spent on it.

Bottom Line

There is no sense arguing with the TSA. We’ve all been there and it is like arguing with the Umpire: sure you are going to get mad, make some valid points and get a lot of people watching on your side, but ultimately, you cannot win. The call was made and it is irreversible.


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