Travel blogger’s tips to navigate ‘trickiest’ hand luggage rules on flights

It can often be far cheaper to travel with just hand luggage as many low-cost airlines charge extra to check a bag – and in some cases, that costs as much as the flight.

So, squeezing everything you need for a long weekend, or even a whole week, away is a pre-holiday task that challenges us all.

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One of the most difficult parts is ensuring you have all the liquids you need as there are rules on how much liquid can be in your hand luggage.

According to, you can bring a total of one litre of liquids separated into containers of "no more than 100ml”.

There are items you may think aren’t classed as liquids, which can throw off your plans – be aware that creams, pastes and gels are all liquids too.

That means lipsticks, hair gel, foundation and even foods like hummus are included in your allowance.

All of your liquids must “be in a single, transparent, resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre and measures approximately 20cm x 20cm".

Travel blogger, Jessie Moore, who founded PocketWanderings, spoke about the “trickiest rule” to the Express.

She noted: "The restriction we’re all aware of is the universal 100ml liquid rule.

“It’s one of the trickiest rules to stick with when you’re bringing hand luggage only, as you have to fit everything into one of the provided see-through plastic bags.

"It’s like a game of Tetris trying to work out the most efficient way of stacking your little bottles and pots."

Even more annoyingly the clear bag must be able to be sealed and should not be knotted or tied at the top.

Jess also warns that medications often fall into the liquids category.

She explained: "When it comes to liquid medication, you will be allowed to take medicines over 100ml if it is accompanied by a doctor’s note or prescription." added: "Airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids at the security point."

Jessie added that baby milk, sterilised water and food are allowed through security separately.

Breastmilk can be carried in containers of up to 2,000ml, but must not be frozen.

She said: “Check the requirements for transportation and amount before you travel.”

And, wet wipes can be packed separately as they’re not classed as a liquid!

There’s no limit on the size of power items – like eyeshadow and blusher – but Jessie commented: “Be aware that any large powdered items may be subject to additional checks when you go through security."

You’re also not allowed to bring straight razors or blades for safety razors in your cabin bag, but disposable and electric ones are fine.

Always be careful when bringing items with battery sections or coils such as electric toothbrush chargers as these may cause staff to pull your bag to check it.

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Jessie commented: "You can bring one lighter in your hand luggage, though not in hold luggage, and e-cigarettes are also allowed but only in carry-on luggage.

"The same goes for any spare lithium batteries, for example, those for a GoPro or similar device.

"They must go in your carry-on luggage, not in your hold luggage."

It can be confusing to figure out all the rules that apply to hand luggage.

Always check the airline’s individual rules about dimensions and prohibited items on their website as well as the national rules on the site.


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