How to Fly With Liquids Using the 3-1-1 Rule

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Everything you need to know about bringing liquids on planes.

To keep everyone safe in the sky, the TSA’s 3-1-1 limit for carry-on liquids (3.4 oz bottles or less; 1 quart-sized clear plastic bag; 1 bag per passenger) requires passengers to pack smartly and keep it light. Here are a few tips to fitting all of your lotions and potions when you travel.

Recycle, Reuse

You don’t have to hit the travel-size section of the drugstore for overpriced shampoo each and every time you plan a trip. Keep reusable plastic bottles with your luggage that you can refill on each trip. When you buy 3-ounce squeeze bottles at drug stores or online, make sure the mouth of the bottle is wide enough to easily refill.

Shape Matters

Conserve space in your bag by doing away with round bottles, which often don’t fit snugly next to each other. Instead, invest in small, rectangular tincture bottles with square edges for perfume, mouthwash, essential oils, and other liquids. Not only will they conserve space in the plastic bag by slotting in right next to each other, but they will also bring out your inner Victorian alchemist.

Solid Alternatives

Bar soap, dry shampoo, and stick deodorant are all suitable alternatives to liquids and won’t take up precious space in your 3-1-1 bag. And if you’re bringing pain relievers, make sure to pack solid pills rather than gel capsules so the pills can disappear into the rest of your luggage.

Carry-on, Not Carry-everything

If you’re on a longer journey, chances are you’re checking a bag, too. Remember you probably don’t need to keep your entire bathroom routine with you while you fly, so pare down to the basics: lotion, hand sanitizer, toothbrush, and toothpaste – just what you need in the air, not everything for your trip. Secure the rest of your liquids inside a checked back and proceed hassle-free through security.