The Office of Transport Security (OTS) maintains a system of rules for transporting carry-on items and checked travel bags on flights. OTS prohibits some items on planes. A rule of thumb is to pack anything of value in your carry-on bag, but there’s more to keep in mind.
Here are objects that you should never pack in your checked luggage:
Laptops and Electronics
Pack your electronics in carry-on bags, as these are valuable, fragile, and prone to breaking if transported in checked baggage. No matter how many beach towels or clothes you’ve wrapped around your laptop, you can’t avoid the risk of bumpy flights while airborne.
All Your Medications
Don’t just pack what’s enough for your flight in your carry-on bag; put all your medicines in there. If you only have a day’s worth of medicine, and your checked bag gets lost for four days, you would be in big trouble. If your medication is liquid or you need to bring needles, get a certificate from your physician. This avoids problems taking restricted items on the plane in your carry-on bag.
Undeveloped Film Rolls
Never store undeveloped rolls in your checked bags. The X-ray machines used to screen bags can damage the film. Put it in your carry-on and ask the OTS agent at the checkpoint to inspect your film by hand. OTS recommends packing film in transparent canisters or plastic bags to speed up the inspection process.
All of Your Clothes
If you can’t live securely without it, don’t put it in your checked luggage. If it vanishes in a sea of missing checked bags, you’ll thank yourself for putting a pair of socks and underwear in your carry-on. An outfit enough to get you through a day is better.
Know what other items you should exclude in checked bags by browsing online for travel guide. Regulations often change, so check the OTS, airline websites, and the embassy site of the country you’re going to visit. Before you pack, check the airline’s carry-on size restrictions and use it as a guide. Be realistic on what you need to take on your trip.