Airport security rules – what you can and can’t travel with

Airport security has changed in recent years and many travellers are confused about the rules and what they can and can’t travel with.

Today we’re providing you with a simple overview – check this before you go to make clearing airport security smooth, quick and stress free.

What can travel with:

Liquids in carry-on baggage. Airport rules. Vector icons

In general, any liquid, gel or aerosol in quantities of less than 100ml can accompany you in your hand luggage through airport security.

Each traveller can bring one transparent resealable plastic bag – the size of a freezer or sandwich bag – through security. The combined volume should be no more than 1 litre.

Everyday toiletries

As long as it’s under 100ml you can travel with your everyday toiletries; perfume, toothpaste, shampoo, sunscreen, hairspray and deodorant is all fine to travel. It’s best to pick up travel sizes from your local chemist or get a set of small plastic pots you can decant your essentials into.


Makeup can also travel with you through airport security but make sure you put items like liquid foundation and mascara in your plastic resealable bag, as this will count towards your liquids allowance. Face cream, lotion, shaving foam all count as liquids so consider that you need carefully – pick up the rest once you’re through airport security.


You can bring medications with you when you travel but only in a quantity that will reasonably cover the duration of the trip. If it’s over 100ml it’s still allowed if it’s a prescribed medication – but make sure you have prior agreement from the airline or a doctor’s note proving your prescription and explaining why you need any special medications like insulin.

Baby food

If you’re travelling with a grandchild on family holiday, you’re allowed to take liquid baby food and sterilised water with you to get you through the journey – but expect that you may be asked to taste it.

Hair straighteners or curling wand

Electronic appliances like a hair straightener or curling wand are OK to go through airport security, so feel free to pack them in your hand luggage if you wont have any luggage in the hold.

Cigarette lighter

Surprisingly, you can take a cigarette lighter in your hand luggage through security if you’re a smoker. Passengers are allowed only one – anything additional will be confiscated.

What can’t travel 

Here’s some of the items that aren’t allowed with you in your hand luggage – if you pack these items they will be confiscated and you could be subject to further searching. Most items can be checked however, so if you need to pack any of the below it’s best to check a bag: 

  • Nail clippers and tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Drinks including water and sealed cans of juice or soda
  • Soup
  • Sporting equipment
  • Fishing rods
  • Peroxide – including hair dye




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