This blog's a must-read for those planning an air trip soon. Knowing what you are allowed to bring in your carry-on (hand baggage/ cabin baggage, call it what you want) is essential for your safety during the air travel. For the beginning, let’s explain what a carry-on is. In fact, it is a bag that you are allowed to take on board. And, there is a regulation for any type of baggage you would take, including a carry-on. These rules are required, as they ensure that every passenger can travel safely, and without any impediment.

If you already booked your flight, then you should decide on the bag you would use as your carry-on. The dimensions and the weight of your bag are the key factors that you need to take into consideration. The numbers for these two may vary depending on the airline you chose to fly with. It means that you can check these numbers on the airline’s website before you buy, or use the bag. IATA (International Air Transport Association) established a guideline regarding the dimensions of the carry-on baggage. All the airlines push off these guidelines, consequently, it was set that the carry-on should be 56x45x25 cm (22x18x10 inches) and no longer.

As we previously said, some things are prohibited from being carried on board. And some of those can be brought on the plane according to some strict guidelines. We gathered these items together and decided to divide them into categories, to make your reading easier.


Every airline has one thing in common. And these are restrictions on liquids, whose amount and type are regulated by TSA (Transportation Security Administration). On 26 September 2006, the regulation named "3:1:1" came into effect, which has its impact on liquids. The name contains three numbers that are relatable to the restriction itself. “3” stands for 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) - the volume of a container that holds liquids. “1” represents one quart-size clear bag (a little less than 1000ml) to put the container in. And last, but not least, “1” implies that one person is allowed to keep in the cabin luggage only one bag of liquid contents.

As always, there are exceptions that can play a significant role in what you can bring with yourself on board. Therefore, you can keep in your carry-on bag:

  • Medicine of any size that is prescribed;
  • Baby formula, breast milk and other items needed for infants;
  • Nutrition for a special diabetes diet.


Now that we cleared up the regulation regarding liquids, we can move onto other categories of items.

Let’s begin with the food that you can take on board.

There are restrictions on food as well. When boarding a plane, you are allowed to take only solid food. So you’d want to put your yogurt, jelly, ketchup and other gels or liquids in checked baggage. On the other hand, there is food that can be passed through the security check without any restrictions, like:

  • Firm food as cakes, burgers, bread, and others;
  • Snacks like potato chips, cookies;
  • Nuts and fruits.

We suggest you keep all the food that you take well-wrapped. You would also want to wrap them in a clear plastic bag to decrease the checking time. We also recommend checking with the airline's allowances what food you can bring on the plane.


Other items that have some restrictions on them are cosmetics. You definitely want to look good when landing, so you’d want to bring the makeup with you. As a consequence, you need to pay attention to what you want to take in your carry-on luggage, so you pass every item you had with you through the security check.

It may be a surprise to you, but the liquids rule applies even to the makeup. This is due to the fact that cosmetics in liquid or gel form are distinguished as liquids and gels. So, sprays, gels, and liquids should have less than 3.4oz in volume, and these containers should be packed in a 1 quart-sized plastic bag. Cosmetics like solid deodorant, any type of pencil, lipstick, blush and other powder cosmetics don’t fall under this restriction.


Items that are not less important are medications. You would prefer to keep these items handy, in case there's an emergency. To be able to take them on board, you should be informed about what, how and how much of medications you can pack in your carry-on baggage.

Liquid medicines fall under the liquid restrictions, too. So, watch out to take less than 100ml or 3.4oz of liquid medications. Pills, medical equipment, and special food can be kept in your carry-on baggage without restrictions. In case of trauma, bandages can be taken on the plane, too.

Technical Equipment

Laptops, digital cameras, phones, and other small technical equipment can pass through the security check-in your carry-on luggage. The only condition is that it should fit in your cabin case, and the phone should be turned-off once onboard, as it can influence badly the plane’s electronics. Electronics that are too big should be kept in your checked luggage.

Documents and Precious Items

We know you’d want to keep your treasures at hand, so we are happy to inform you that you can bring with you documents and precious items on the plane. Do not forget about your travel documents, as these aren’t less important. You wouldn’t want to land in a foreign country without your passport.

Clothes and Toiletries

Usually, airlines allow to bring on board outwear, clothes, shoes, umbrellas, and toiletries, but you’d want to check with your airline, the restrictions on them because they exist. As long as your umbrella’s dimensions and weight fit in the airline’s hand luggage guidelines, you can take it in your cabin bag during your air travel. You should pay attention to your toiletries as well. Sprays, liquids, and gels fall under the “3:1:1” restriction.

We advise you to look on TSA’s website what you can bring with you on board. Make sure to follow these guidelines in order to have a smooth air trip.

Last Updated on December 23, 2019.