Stuff You Should Never, Ever Pack

What should you leave behind on your next trip? Here are six ideas on stuff that deserves to stay home.

LISTEN: Packing is a pain but FareCompare’s Rick Seaney makes it fun. No kidding.

6 Things You Should Not Pack

If you have more ideas, we’d love to hear them – in the comments section below or on Facebook.

1. Uncharged electronic devices

Random security checks of electronic devices will be performed on passengers traveling to the U.S. this summer. If these devices can’t be powered up, they won’t be allowed on the plane.

  • Tip: Even if you’re traveling domestically, be sure to charge your iPad or Samsung or any smartphone, tablet or laptop the night before departure so you can enjoy it on the plane.

2. Weapons or replicas of weapons

Hard to believe but people “forget” they have guns in carry-on bags all the time. Or they’ll pack a cute replica (fake grenade, a realistic-looking toy gun). Don’t do this because it will be confiscated.

  • Tip: Do not try to hide weapons either like the fellow who had a knife secreted in his shoe at the Detroit airport or you will be arrested.

3. Liquids or gooey stuff

We all forget this one, so it bears repeating: No liquids greater than 3.4 ouncesthrough security or that item will be thrown away (but yes, there are some exceptions for baby food and more). The term liquid has an elastic definition so it includes gooey stuff like souvenir or homemade jams and jellies, even a jar of peanut butter for snacking.

  • Tip: When in doubt, run it by the TSA’s “Can I Bring My?” app, or pack it in your checked-suitcase. Note: Have you ever seen the inside of a suitcase after a bottle of wine breaks? Not pretty.

4. Expensive stuff

Jewelry, watches and high-tech items can be lost or stolen and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get them back. If you cannot part with the items, wear them or keep them on your person or in a carry-on that you don’t let out of your sight.

  • Tip: If you do put valuables in a carry-on, be aware of the possibility that a gate agent may say your bag’s too big and it’ll have to be checked. Take out your valuables and keep them with you.

5. Gifts or wrapped stuff

Don’t go to the trouble of wrapping a gift since the TSA might have to unwrap it.

  • Tip: Don’t pack any gifts at all – mail them or go the gift card route – since the weight of the package could put you over an airline’s bag limits and overage fees are steep.

6. Bad Attitude

Look, we all get sick of being herded like cattle but don’t let the your frustration boil over because anger only makes it worse. Remember, the gate agent is not responsible for your weather-delayed flight and the TSA agent is obligated to pull you aside (and maybe arrest you) if you joke about a bomb.

  • Tip: Do unto – oh, you know what to do. Be nice.

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Published: July 9, 2014