Pack Your Essentials Wisely
Your family trips will always be memorable, but the journey may not be. There are times when you can't pack everything you need for yourself and the kids because it may not be permitted. But if you plan ahead and pack accordingly to the TSA guidelines, your screening process will be a breeze. Here are some tips to guide you so you're better prepared for air travel.
The 3-1-1 Liquids Rule
When flying, make sure that your toiletries meet the 3-1-1 rule. Store any liquids in containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or smaller. They must then be placed in a one-quart resealable bag. If any items are larger than 3.4 ounces, pack them inside a bag you'll be checking in, or they will be confiscated at the security checkpoint area. Creams, gels or aerosol products are considered to be liquids, so pack the toothpaste or face cleanser wisely.
Maximize Space and Save Time
Each traveler is allowed one quart-sized toiletry bag. When you're packing the essentials, consider distributing the items between everyone in the family so you don't go over the weight limit. If you place the toiletry bags in the front pocket of a backpack or carry-on, you can have easy access to it and save time when unloading in the security bin.
Non-liquid items are also an alternative option to the TSA-approved liquids. You can find just about anything in solid form: sun screen, soap, shampoo, you name it. Not only will packing solid toiletries instead of liquid save time during the screening process, their compact size will give you more space to pack other essentials.
If you're planning to book a hotel, you're likely to have complimentary shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lotion available during your stay. Check with your hotel just in case, and if they do offer the essentials, forego packing anything that will be provided to you.
Exceptions for Infants and Toddlers
There are some exceptions for packing liquids for the little ones. If you plan to bring juice, formula, breast milk or liquid medicine on your trip, containers larger than 3.4 oz are allowed but inform the TSA officer before the screening process. Bringing ice packs to keep items cool is fine, as long as they have not melted or turned into mush, because then it will be considered liquid. You can also pack teething rings and enough packaged baby foods necessary for the trip, but you will also need to remove them from your carry-on to be screened separately.