Travel Advice - Packing with security checks in mind
Checked luggage will be subject to inspections for the foreseeable
future. Follow our guidelines to eliminate some of the
inconvenience of luggage searches.
- The TSA suggests that you secure your baggage with plastic cable or
- The ties are of use if your luggage features lockable zippers:
instead of using a lock, secure them with a "zip tie".
- These will be broken off if your bag is inspected, so bring
several sets, in case you need to replace broken ties.
- See our article on
TSA Approved Locks, for information on lock types that can
be opened without damage during the TSA inspection process.
- We suggest that you pack your toothbrush, toothpaste and other
personals in a clear plastic bag so inspectors can see what is inside
but do not have a need to handle items of personal hygiene, if your
luggage is opened and checked.
- Requirements announced in August 2006 prohibited boarding planes
with any liquid items. All liquid items must now be packed in
checked luggage. If you must take liquid items, (e.g. liquid
prescription drugs) be sure to pack them in sealed plastic bags to
prevent damage should these liquids leak.
- Food and beverages should not be packed in checked luggage as
they may set off scanner sensors used during the inspection process.
- In addition, these products may leak or ooze during the inspection
process, damaging other contents of the luggage.
- If you still use a film camera, a rarity, note that scanners now
being used will seriously damage film (exposed on unexposed) carried in
the increased adoption of digital media for cameras, film exposure is no
longer a significant problem for most travelers.
- Finally, travelers are urged to pack shoes on top of your clothes to
speed the search of checked luggage tagged for inspection.
- In other words, shoes are an inspection target and if they are in
the bottom of the luggage, all other clothes will be removed to
- Removing the clothes is not the problem: we can guarantee that
your clothes will not be repacked with the same care they were
Find up-to-date information on this topic and lists of what you can and
cannot pack in carry-on or checked luggage at
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