8 things you can't take in your hand luggage

September 25, 2018

Travelling with hand luggage only is often a more economical way of setting off on holiday. However, it’s important to be aware of what exactly you can and can’t take in your carry-on bag. After all, there’s nothing worse than packing that expensive bottle of perfume and then having to leave it behind at the airport.

Here’s a rundown of eight things you can’t take in your hand luggage.

1. Liquids

Most of us know that you can’t take bulk liquids in your hand luggage. Liquids of 100ml or less are permitted on the basis that all containers you're carrying can fit into a single transparent and re-sealable plastic bag.

However, there are some exemptions to this rule. Baby food and milk, for example, is permitted. You are allowed to take as much as your child will need for the duration of the flight, though you may be asked to taste it before you are allowed through security.

Similarly, essential medicines of more than 100ml are allowed, but you’ll need evidence from a medical professional such as a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription.

2. Sports equipment

Hoping to get fit while you’re on holiday or indulge in your favourite sport? We have some bad news for you.

Most sports equipment cannot be taken on board as hand luggage. The general rules mean items from badminton racquets and bats to skis and walking poles are forbidden on board. Equipment like fishing rods and martial arts equipment also have to go in the hold.

The one exception is a sports parachute, which can be classed as hand luggage if it's within your airline's weight and size allowances.

3. Musical instruments

You will have to contact your airline before you travel if you are planning to take a large musical instrument on board. You may have to pay for an extra seat for it.

If you've left sorting this out until the last minute, your instruments may end up in the hold. Ensure you're prepared with a hard case, however, as you may have to leave it behind if it's not properly protected. British Airways, for example, will not accept a guitar in a soft case as they do not want to be liable for any damage.

Smaller instruments, such as clarinets and violas, are permitted on board as part of, not in addition to, your regular hand luggage allowance.

4. Corkscrew and other personal items

Dreaming of a delicious glass of wine when you get to your villa? You’ll have to put your corkscrew in your hold luggage – it’s simply not allowed in your hand-luggage. Similarly, knives, large scissors and non-safety matches are forbidden on board.

You can still travel comfortably with just hand luggage, however, as personal items such as nail clippers and tweezers are a-okay.

5. Work tools

Why anyone would want to do D.I.Y while on holiday is beyond us, but work tools are another item you are not allowed in your hand luggage. This includes screwdrivers, pliers and drills as well as more obvious forbidden items like saws and blowtorches.

6. Fireworks

If you’re planning a hen party abroad, forget taking party poppers, toy caps and fireworks. These items are seen as dangerous and can’t be carried in either your hand luggage or the hold.

7. Multiple lighters

You may be tempted to buy novelty lighters while you are on holiday – they're the ultimate fun souvenir, after all! However, you will have to leave them all behind if you put them in your hand luggage.

You are allowed to keep one lighter on your person as part of your carry-on liquid allowance. It must be kept in the re-sealable plastic bag.

8. Tent pegs

If you are heading off to a festival abroad, you may end up sleeping al fresco if you try to take tent pegs in your hand luggage! It's not the most helpful rule as poles are usually allowed.

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