Do My Carry On Liquids Have To Be In A Bag?

Packing can be a chore, especially if you have to make space for toiletries in your bag. A lot of people are often confused and have trouble with liquids during travel, which is why we've researched this topic. In this post, we'll be giving you tips on carrying toiletries and other liquids in your carry-on bags.

For air travel passengers, all liquids must be in bottles and packaging measuring 3.4 ounces (100 mL) or less inside a 1-quart resealable transparent bag. All passengers can carry one bag of liquids in their carry-ons.

The rules on carrying certain items inside carry-ons can be a little confusing. Fortunately, we've listed down all the necessary information you need to know. Keep reading because we'll be sharing some tips on packing liquid items in your carry-on, as well as alternatives that you can use for your travels.

A transparent travel kit on a table, Do My Carry On Liquids Have To Be In A Bag?

Do My Carry On Liquids Have To Be In A Bag?

Traveling is awesome, but the part that most people hate is packing. It can be a hassle trying to fit everything in a bag—your clothes, shoes, and even toiletries! Everything needs to be packed properly and correctly to avoid mishaps and hassles in the airport.

Refillable bottles for a flight

If you're traveling for a short time, the best way to pack your items is to use a carry-on. Unfortunately, carry-on bags have more rules than just having to check them in the airport. Aside from the size and weight limits, carry-ons have rules for liquids, gels, and aerosols that you can carry.

Air travel passengers have to follow the TSA's 3-1-1 liquids rule. This means that all passengers can carry liquids, gels, and aerosols in their carry-on bags as long as they are in travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 mL).

These should all fit in a 1-quart bag and each passenger can only carry one bag of liquids in their carry-on.

The 1-quart bag should be resealable and transparent for ease of checking during pre-departure. Generally, you can bring as many toiletries as you need, provided that they will all fit inside the 1-quart bag without spilling.

A small bag filled with skin care products

While the rules on liquids can be quite strict, there are exemptions. People with medical conditions and disabilities can travel with their medications separate from the TSA's 3-1-1 rule. These items must be declared to the TSA officers at the checkpoint.

If you are traveling with infants and children, you are also allowed to bring in their liquid nourishment, without having to count the 3-1-1 rule. Reasonable amounts of formula, breastmilk, and juice can be carried during travel as long as these are declared to the TSA officers at the checkpoint.

Should I Transfer The Liquids In Smaller Bottles?

A handful of skin care products in preparation for a flight

Based on the 3-1-1 rule of the TSA, all liquids should be placed in a small travel-sized container. These containers should carry only 3.4 ounces or 100 mL of liquid. With this in mind, any liquid items you want to bring should be transferred from their full-sized container to smaller bottles.

When bringing in liquids for travel, make sure that you transfer them in reusable, leak-proof containers. You can get travel-sized bottles that come with funnels and scoopers to make transferring your liquids, lotions, and gels a lot easier.

Get this travel bottle set on Amazon.

What Toiletries Can I Pack In A Carry On Bag?

A small bag filled with cosmetic products on a white background

Packing clothes for a trip can already be exhausting, but with the TSA rules for toiletries, it can be downright overwhelming. Most people want to bring everything they need on a trip, but there are ways wherein you can lessen the liquids you have to carry.

For starters, it's important to note that all liquids, gels, and aerosols should be contained in a clear, resealable quart-sized bag. To keep it simple, you can use any quart-sized ziplock bag you have at home and use it for travel.

Check out these quart-sized ziplock bags on Amazon.

However, if you want something that's more substantially reusable after just one trip, get yourselves a quart-sized clear pouch. These pouch bags are TSA-approved and you can reuse them every time you go on a trip.

Get this clear toiletry bag on Amazon.


Even if you are traveling, you should never forget the value of skincare. Unfortunately, one of the struggles when it comes to skincare is that they tend to have too many products. When traveling, try to pare down your skincare products to the absolute minimum.

You can also look for alternatives like water-activated dry cloths that work as a make-up remover and cleanser. They are easier to carry around plus they won't take over the space of your precious 3-1-1 bag.

Check out these facial dry clothes on Amazon.

If you are partial to a specific brand for your skin care, check if they have available travel-sized versions of your favorite products. It will be easier for you to pack these items, plus they are accurately measured so you know that you won't get held up at checkpoints for these items.

Get these skincare travel packs on Amazon.

Hair Care

One of the things that we typically carry around during travel is hair care products. Most hotels do provide these in their bathrooms, so you can get away by not packing shampoo and conditioner. However, if you are partial to using specific products, do make sure to transfer them in leak-proof bottles.

You can also use alternatives such as solid shampoo bars and conditioners. They are easy to pack and they don't count towards the items inside your 3-1-1 bag. Solid bars such as these also last longer, so you can expect to use them again for your next trip.

Check out this shampoo and conditioner bar set on Amazon.

Lotions and Deodorant

Lotions should be transferred to small travel-sized bottles and should be leak-proof. Creams and other thick lotions might be hard to transfer in bottles, so you might opt to put them inside travel-sized clear jars.

Men cosmetic products on a table

If you are carrying a stick deodorant, you can carry them with you in your carry-on. However, liquid, spray, gel, cream, or roll-on deodorants should follow the 3.4 ounces rule of the TSA. Some of these deodorants can be hard to transfer, so it's better to leave them in your checked-in luggage.

Alternatively, you can also get deodorant wipes to make packing these items easier. Some deodorant wipes are individually packed, but you can also find them in resealable packages. These items are easier to pack inside your toiletry kit without counting towards the 3-1-1 TSA rule.

See these deodorant wipes on Amazon.


Most makeups are powders, so they don't count towards the TSA's rule. However, you should also note that the TSA also has rules on powder-like substances like makeup. These powder-like or powder-based substances can only be carried in 12 ounces or 350 mL in carry-on bags.

For other makeup products like foundation, mascara, or other liquid or gel-type items, make sure that they fall within the rules of the TSA to prevent hassles during the inspection.

Other Toiletries

Aside from the toiletries discussed earlier, there are other items that need to be packed and can definitely fill your toiletry bags. Such items like sunscreen, toothpaste, and mouthwash also count towards the liquid restrictions of the TSA.

If you are using sunscreen lotion, you should definitely transfer it to a travel container. However, newer variants of sunscreen are now available and they are a lot easier to carry during travel. Sunscreen sticks are also easier to apply because you can keep them in your handbag and apply them as needed.

Check out this sunscreen stick on Amazon.

As for mouth care, you can generally get these items in the hotel or at convenience stores in your destination. However, if you prefer packing these items yourselves, you can get travel-sized versions of your favorite toothpaste or mouthwash.

See these travel-sized toothpastes on Amazon.

Get this travel-sized mouthwash on Amazon.

Final Thoughts

A transparent travel kit on a table

Packing carry-ons with clothes and toiletries is easy. Just make sure to follow the TSA's 3-1-1 rule and you can have all your toiletries with you without any issues. Don't forget to organize your bag to make it easy to pack your items, plus it'll keep your cabin luggage neat and clean all the time.