Traveling by the TSA 3-1-1 Rule

Full Size Toiletries

How to Pack using TSA's 3-1-1 Guidance for Carry-on Toiletries 
(and how to downsize toiletries even if you are not flying carry-on)

Feel free to watch TSA's fun video tutorial on the topic, but basically, the rule is as follows: 

  • you may carry up to 3.4-ounce containers of liquids and gels
  • you are allowed 1-quart size, clear plastic zip-top bag (all liquids must fit in bag)
  • and only 1 zip-top bag per passenger.

**Exceptions for essential liquids, such as baby formula and medicines are allowed.

Packing to the rule is relatively simple.

  1. Find a quart sized plastic, or plastic like clear zippered bag. (Stay tuned for PAKT's official role out of BIODEGRADABLE clear "plastic" kits!)
  2. Fill with important toiletries all sized 3.4 oz or less
  3. Try to keep it to one bag. Remove items like hairbrush, comb and toothbrush to save space for your liquid and gel items. Brushes, razors and other non-liquids can ride separately from your clear bag. 

The TSA rule is in place for your, and everyone else's safety, but it also helps to prevent us from over-packing and from losing a shirt to an exploded bottle of shampoo. The quart-sized clear plastic zip-top bag, though not fashionable, will protect your suitcase from imminent bottle leakage. If you have never had the pleasure of wiping lotion, hair gel, or toothpaste from the inside of your suitcase, count yourself lucky. 

Avoid losing toiletries in the security line at the airport and adhere to TSA's guidance on flying with liquids, commonly known as the 3-1-1 rule.

Regardless of whether you are flying carry-on only or not, consider the amount of stuff you are bringing along. Toiletries can be take up a lot of space and be quite heavy in your bag. Avoid traveling with full size toiletry items at all, and consider substitute packaging or products that are conducive to travel.

Try substitute products:

For instance, try using a travel size shampoo bar (coming soon to PAKT!) instead of a liquid shampoo. Not only are shampoo bars better for the planet (no plastic packaging, many uses per bar) but they weigh significantly less than traditional shampoo liquids in plastic bottles. 

Use singles and alternative packaging:

Single use plastics deservedly have a bad wrap (pun intended)! But single use products do not necessarily deserve to be lumped in with them. Consider using biodegradable, responsibly packaged wipes. Deodorant, hand sanitizer, face and body wipes, perfume and more now come in the form of convenient and space saving wipes that are not packaged in bulky plastic packaging. Stay tuned for a future post regarding the environmental considerations of beauty product packaging. 

Bring only the necessities:

Do you really need two kinds of hair styling cream or gel? If traveling only for a short time, bring a dry shampoo powder or spray instead of a shampoo and a styling cream.  

Traveling with toiletries is a pain:

Let's face it. Traveling with toiletries is not all that great. You can't get your product in travel size. You can't or don't spend the time transferring product to small bottles. TSA will not allow you to bring your entire collection on the plane. The list goes on.

Travel PAKT was started with all those reasons and more, in mind. PAKT strives to curate great products that are also travel friendly, and guarantees that any PAKT you order will fly through TSA. Check out our growing selection.

Do you have tips for traveling with toiletries? Leave us a comment below so we can share it!


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