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10 Things You Should Never Pack Into Your Check-In Luggage

Credit: Carlos Barquero

Most people understand the fundamentals of what is and is not permitted in check-in luggage. Even frequent fliers may find themselves in the annoying situation where they realize at the last minute that they need to move an item from their check-in bag to their cabin-bag—cue the hasty search for that tiny gadget or charger deep within the pile of clothes in your suitcase, all while impatient passengers tap their feet behind you at the check-in counter.

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So, when packing for a trip and deciding what to put in your check-in luggage, there are several items you should avoid packing due to potential safety, security, or convenience concerns. Here are 10 things you should never pack into your check-in luggage:

1. Valuables and Important Documents: Items such as passports, IDs, credit cards, cash, jewelry, and valuable electronics should always be carried in your carry-on bag to minimize the risk of loss or theft.

2. Medications: Essential medications, prescriptions, and medical supplies should be packed in your carry-on in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

3. Electronics and Gadgets: Valuable and fragile items like laptops, cameras, tablets, and other electronic devices are better off in your carry-on to avoid potential damage or theft.

4. Fragile Items: Fragile items like glassware, ceramics, and delicate souvenirs are at risk of breaking during the handling process. Pack these in your carry-on or use proper padding if you must pack them in your checked luggage.

5. Perishable Items: Food items that can spoil or leak should not be packed in your checked luggage to avoid creating a mess or attracting pests.

6. Lithium Batteries: Spare lithium batteries, especially for devices like laptops, cameras, and power banks, are prohibited in checked luggage on most airlines due to fire hazard concerns. Keep them in your carry-on.

7. Flammable Materials: Items like lighters, matches, aerosol sprays, and flammable liquids are typically not allowed in checked luggage due to safety regulations.

8. Sharp Objects: Knives, scissors, and other sharp objects might be confiscated if found in your checked luggage. Pack them in your carry-on only if they meet the airline’s regulations.

9. Important Documents: While not necessarily valuable, documents like business contracts, academic certificates, or irreplaceable papers should be kept in your carry-on for safekeeping.

10. Personal Care Items: If you have specific personal care items that you’ll need immediately upon arrival, such as medication, contact lenses, or toiletries, keep them in your carry-on in case your checked luggage is delayed.

Always check the specific regulations of the airline you’re flying with and the transportation authorities of the countries you’re traveling to and from, as rules and restrictions can vary. Packing sensibly can help ensure a smoother journey and reduce the risk of inconvenience or loss.

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