Surprising Things You Can Take On A Plane

Packing for a trip—especially when it involves either kids or sporting equipment (or both!)—can be a daunting task. And stricter restrictions by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) since 9/11 have made it even more difficult, making you second-guess what you're even allowed to bring—empty water bottle? Nail clippers? Disposable razor? (The answer to all of those is yes, by the way). Don't let the fear of packing keep you from taking a trip or going on the adventure of a lifetime.


OK, you probably knew that you could pack those bottles of Napa Valley wine in your checked baggage to bring home—technically, as far as the TSA is concerned, you can bring an unlimited number of bottles of alcoholic beverages in your checked bags if the alcohol percentage is 24 percent or less (you're limited to 5 liters if it's 24–70 percent). But did you know you could bring mini alcohol bottles in your quart-sized zip-top bag in your carry-on too? Do us a favor, though, and don't be that drunk guy on the plane.


Your favorite techy toy is technically allowed past the security checkpoint, says the TSA; you'll have to check with your own airline on its policies before you fly with it though—either in your carry-on or checked bags. Other considerations include deciding on a soft case or hard case; making sure to keep the drone's rechargeable lithium-ion battery in your carry-on; and researching the types of lithium-ion batteries you're allowed to bring on a flight.

Axes and hatchets

You can actually bring a wide variety of sharp tools, such as axes and hatchets, in your checked baggage (never your carry-on)—just make sure they're properly sheathed and securely wrapped so a TSA officer doesn't get injured when examining your bag.

Ice skates

If properly sheathed, you can bring your ice skates in either your carry-on or your checked bags. (The same is true of rollerblades, if you're into that sort of thing.)


As long as you follow your specific airlines size and weight restrictions for skateboards, you can bring them as a carry-on item, or they can always be placed in your checked suitcase.

Cremated remains

Bringing home the remains of a loved one is a somber task, and airlines aim to make the experience as headache-free as possible, which is why you can carry the remains on-board (depending on the airline, cremated remains might not be allowed in checked bags). To make it through security, though, the remains need to be in box made with a lighter-weight material (like wood or plastic) that TSA officers can examine without opening the container, or else it won't be allowed through the security checkpoint.

Fishing poles and tackle

Going on a fishing trip? The TSA allows fishing rods in both your carry-on and checked bags, as long as they fit within the size limitations for carry-on items. You can bring fragile tackle, like small flies (as long as it's securely wrapped) and that fancy reel in your carry-on, but keep larger, sharp fishing tackle, like large fish hooks, sheathed and securely wrapped in your checked bags.

Bows and arrows

The TSA isn't standing in your way of your outdoorsy hobbies—if they fit in your suitcase, you can bring your bows and arrows in your checked luggage.

Drills and drill bits

You are always allowed to bring your drill and drill bits in your checked bags, as well as most other tools. Smaller tools, such as a screwdriver, wrench or pliers, can actually be packed in your carry-on—as long as they are less than 7 inches in length, measured from end to end when assembled.

Sewing machine

You're allowed to bring a sewing machine on a plane (or checked)—the biggest limiting factor is whether it'll fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you. This is also true of several household appliances like coffee makers (with glass parts properly wrapped), espresso machines, waffle irons and standing mixers.

Safety matches

You can never bring matches in your checked luggage (or really anything flammable for that matter), but you are allowed one book of safety matches in your carry-on bag, as long as they aren't the "strike anywhere" type of match.

Live fish

Want to bring your pet goldfish on your flight? You actually can—as long as you transport your gilled friend in a clear, plastic, spill-proof container, you can bring him on the plane (but never in your checked bag).