Helpful packing tips for Spring break travel

Travelling can be stressful, but packing doesn’t have to be. If you’re flying, find out what’s allowed in your carry-on bag – before you leave the house.

You can check out the “What Can I Bring?” online search tool from the Canadian Air Transportation Authority to find out if an item is permitted in your carry-on or checked bag or not at all. You just type in the name of the item (such as skateboard, video game console or baby formula), hit “search,” and it will tell you if it’s permitted and if there are any quantity restrictions.

For example, liquids, aerosols and gels can be packed in your carry-on luggage as long as they respect the 100 ml rule. Remember to place them all in a one-litre clear, re-sealable plastic bag and have it ready to be put in a bin when you get to the security checkpoint. Anything that doesn’t fit in your one-litre bag won’t be allowed, so additional travel-sized containers and items larger than 100 ml must go in your checked baggage or be left at home.

Here are some important exceptions:

  • The size restriction doesn’t apply to items for children under two years old. This includes liquids like milk, breast milk, baby food, formula, juice and ice packs to keep these items chilled.
  • Both prescribed and over-the-counter medications can be in larger containers, but it is advisable to leave them in the original manufacturer’s packaging or with pharmaceutical labels intact so they can be easily identified.

Pack these items in an easy-to-access area of your carry-on bag and be ready to take them out for the screening officer to inspect.

If you’re flying internationally and considering some duty-free shopping, all purchases must be properly sealed in an official security bag and accompanied by an itemized receipt if you have a connecting flight in Canada on your way home. Official security bags are used in several – but not all – countries around the world, so always check to make sure your duty-free bag has the proper security features:

  • a checkmark;
  • a circular arrow; and
  • a red border.

Find more tips to help you and the kids navigate security screening like pros at catsa.gc.ca.

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