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You’re so excited about your next holiday that there’s no time to lose and packing must commence immediately! But even if you’re a seasoned traveller and have passed in and out of airports many times, you may still have the odd worry over what you can and can’t carry in your hand luggage.
In this short guide we give you the dos and don’ts of what you can and can’t carry. If you are in any doubt then always check with the airport you are flying from.
For the most part tablets will be fine. Even medicine in liquid form will be allowed through at most airports, even if it’s over the statutory 100ml limit on liquids, if it’s accompanied with a doctor’s note. This is especially important if you are taking the medicine for another member of your family such as a child or elderly person and the medicine is not in your name. Just to be safe, if you can carry a copy of their prescription then you shouldn’t experience any problems.
These rules also apply for medicine that needs to be kept cool, such as insulin. As long as your doctor has made that explicitly clear in a letter, carrying a cool bag shouldn’t be an issue.
If you have a medical implant of some description, such as a pacemaker or joint replacement, these may trigger the scanners so if you do have a note from your doctor then carry it with you, otherwise just alerting security staff before you walk through should do the job.
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Again, it may vary from airport to airport where you need to place your electronic devices when going through security, but you shouldn’t find yourself prohibited from taking them on the plane. Check if you need to leave tablets or phones in your bag or in the tray as you are queuing and remember not to pile clothes and coats on top of them but use a different tray to spread them out.
Food and milk for babies are given special status and most airports will allow more than 100ml limit on liquids for expressed milk or made up formula for your child. Please do bear in mind that you can’t carry bottles of water through the security screening, so you’ll either need to make up the milk before you go through or purchase water the other side of the security checks.
Both baby milk and baby food might be subject to more screening but shouldn’t cause you too much of a problem.
Obviously, smoking is not allowed inside the airport but that doesn’t mean you can’t carry your cigarettes with you or on board the plane in either your checked or hand luggage.
When it comes to e-cigarettes like the ones from Aspire e Cig UK, you’ll need to include them in the screening process and make sure any vaping liquid that you’re carrying falls under the 100ml cut off point.
For the most part, lighters and matches aren’t allowed in checked luggage but airports will allow you to carry a lighter or box of safety matches on your person. Please also note that the lighter counts as liquid and will need to go in a clear plastic bag during the screening process. Lighters like Zippos are not allowed on planes at all.
Unless you’re still in the minority of photographers using film then your equipment will be perfectly safe going through the x-ray machines. If you are using film at a speed of ISO 800 and up then, if you let the airport know in advance, you can request that some airports make special arrangements for scanning your film canisters.
In general, solid food is fine to go through security, which is particularly good to know if you’re travelling with younger children who need their familiar snacks. So, fruit, cakes and sweets are all fine in most places. You may encounter restrictions on food (excluding baby food) that has a high liquid content, so things like soups, pasta sauces and stews are out unless under 100ml.
With a little common sense and preparation your travel plans should be stress-free and easy. The best approach, especially if travelling with medicine, is to be prepared. Get your doctor note well in advance and grab a copy of your prescription just to be on the safe side. This should rule out any queries and allow you through security and into the world of Duty Free before you hop on a plane and off to a fabulous holiday.