Airplane Carry On Tips, Rules and Regulations

Avoid Bad Surprises With Airplane Carry On Items

When I think about airplane carry on items, I think... mosquitoes and sunburn!

I know, it's a strange mix. And I guess you wonder what makes me link together airplane carry on, mosquitoes and sunburn?

The answer: Air travel rules and regulations

This Could Happen to You Too...

Back in 2003, my girlfriend and I were embarking on a trip to Mexico, Belize and Guatemala. Our goal: discover the fascinating beauty of the Ruta Maya and the Yucatan Peninsula.


Knowing our trip would bring us to do some hiking in lush tropical forests, we made sure to buy a few bottles of high-concentration DEET mosquito repellant before leaving home (by the way, we all know now organic repellant is better than DEET for health and environment but that's another story...).

Airplane carry on mosquitoe repellent Mosquitoes usually love lush tropical forests
like this one we explored in Guatemala


Since we knew we would be exposed to the strong tropical sun, we also bought a fair amount of sunscreen. We choose a serious brand providing a 35 SPF (sun protection factor) and hypo-allergic properties.

Airplane carry on sunscreen You can get pretty bad sunburns exploring
Tikal National Park without sunscreen

We were good to go!... At Least, We Thought We Were...

We stood in line at the airport and... surprise!

We were told that no liquid, aerosols or gels over 125ml is allowed in airplane carry-on bags. Since we had already checked our baggage we were could not do anything... We had to leave all our mosquito repellant and sunscreen bottles at the airport.

No need to say we were rather unhappy. First we had wasted over 50$ of products (these things aren't cheap!). Second, we knew it would be hard to find good repellant and hypo-allergic sunscreen where we were heading.

This was not a good start for a vacation.

We were looking for adventure, but not at the airport!

The Moral of This Story...

Make sure you know what airplane carry on items are prohibited and use checked baggage to store them before getting on board.

Regulations may change depending of the airline and the destination. Be sure to check it before you fly.

To prepare your Maui Hawaii carry-on bag with confidence, see the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) website. You will get complete up-to-date guidelines about prohibited items and more.

Travelers returning to Canada can check specific regulations on the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority website.

You may already know about these rules and regulations. Then it's time to book your flight tickets to Maui.

Does That Mean You Can't Bring Any Liquid in Your Airplane Carry On Bag?

You CAN bring liquid in your airplane carry on bag. But there are restrictions.

Here are the main rules as explained by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

They call it the 3-1-1

3 ounce - 1 quart-size - 1 bag

Make Your Trip Better Using 3-1-1

Air travelers may now carry liquids, gels and aerosols in their carry-on bag when going through security checkpoints.

With certain exceptions for prescription and over-the-counter medicines, baby formula, breast milk, and juice, and other essential liquids, gels, and aerosols, the following rules apply to all liquids, gels, and aerosols you want to carry through a security checkpoint.


All liquids, gels and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce (100ml) or smaller containers. Larger containers that are half-full or toothpaste tubes rolled up are not allowed. Each container must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller.


All liquids, gels and aerosols must be placed in a single, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag. Gallon size bags or bags that are not zip-top such as fold-over sandwich bags are not allowed. Each traveler can use only one, quart-size, zip-top, clear plastic bag.


Each traveler must remove their quart-sized plastic, zip-top bag from their carry-on and place it in a bin or on the conveyor belt for X-ray screening. X-raying separately will allow TSA security officers to more easily examine the declared items.

Sharp Objects


  • Box Cutters
  • Knives - except for plastic or round bladed butter knives
  • Razor-Type Blades - such as box cutters, utility knives, razor blades not in a cartridge, but excluding safety razors


  • Scissors - metal with pointed tips and blades shorter than four inches

NOTE: Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Flammable Items


  • Aerosol (any except for personal care or toiletries in limited quantities)
  • Fuels (including cooking fuels and any flammable liquid fuel)
  • Gasoline
  • Gas Torches
  • Lighter Fluid
  • Common Lighters - Permitted in checked baggage only
  • Torch Lighters
  • Strike-anywhere Matches - One book of safety (non-strike anywhere) matches are permitted as carry-on items, but all matches are prohibited in checked baggage.
  • Flammable Paints
Other Gels and Liquids


  • Gel-type candles
  • Gel shoe inserts - Gel shoe inserts are not permitted, but shoes constructed with gel heels are allowed and must be removed and screened
  • Flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint
  • Snow globes and like decorations regardless of size or amount of liquid inside, even with documentation


  • Non-flammable liquid, gel, or aerosol paint - 3.4 ounces (100ml) or smaller container

Got Problems With Airplane Carry On Items?
Share YOUR Story Here

Getting on the plane knowing what carry on item is allowed is not a simple task. We all experienced a stressful situation at Customs...

Share YOUR STORY here so people can learn from it and go through check points without stress.

Enter the Title of Your Airplane Carry On Story
(ex.: "How I Lost All My Sunscreen")

Read and Comment Other Airplane Carry On Stories

Click on the links below to see some great reviews about Hawaiian Airline. They were all written by other visitors to this page.

Airplane Carry On - How I Lost My Yarn 
When I went to board a flight back from Guatemala, I had my knitting with me. All my yarn was taken because of "una regla", including a 4 inch piece of …

Click here to write your own.

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