If you’re traveling, chances are you have several liquid items that you want to bring with you, but if you’re not a frequent traveler, you may not know where to start! As a general guideline, you’ll want to follow the 3-1-1 rule when it comes to packing liquids in your bags and keep your liquids to a maximum of 3.4 ounces. Let’s dig deeper into what that means for you.

What are the Liquid Requirements?

The 3-1-1 rule only applies to liquids in carry-on luggage. If you plan on checking a bag, you don’t have to limit the amount of liquids in your bag. If you are carrying on, here’s everything you need to know.

  • 3: Each liquid item must be 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less. Even if your item only has that amount left in a full-sized container, it could still get confiscated, so play it safe and buy a travel-sized version or transfer to a travel-friendly container.
  • 1: All of your travel-sized liquid products must fit in a one-quart-sized plastic bag that zips at the top. There are no limits to the amount of limit you can carry as long as it’s 3.4 ounces or less and can all fit in a single bag.
  • 1: Only one bag is allowed per passenger.

As long as you follow the 3-1-1 rule while traveling, you shouldn’t have any issues with your carry-on luggage. It’s best to remove all items from your bag unless otherwise stated. This will prevent your bag from being accidentally flagged by security.

What is Considered Liquid?

The definition of a liquid is broad when it comes to traveling, so you’ll want to apply the 3-1-1 rule to traditional liquids, like fragrance or water, as well as any gels, creams, pastes, and aerosols. All of these should be packed in your quart-sized bag while traveling.

Many of these containers are bigger than 3.4 ounces, so you can either buy travel-sized versions of your favorite products or simply purchase travel-friendly containers that you can manually refill as needed.

Makeup, personal hygiene products, water, and more are all considered liquid and should be packed with care lest you get your items confiscated by airport security.

Are there Exceptions?

There are a few exceptions to this rule. For example, nursing mothers can carry more than 3.4 ounces of breast milk and other products that are a medical necessity. The amount you can carry is not specific. Instead, it says within a reasonable amount, so that’s left to you and airport security to understand what that may be.

If you have any items that exceed the approved threshold, it’s important to remove them from your bag and notify airport security prior to going through the check so that your items can be treated with care. If not, you run the risk of having them discarded, even if they are a medical necessity.

So, How Much Liquid Can I Bring on a Plane?

The amount of liquid you can bring on a plane really depends on how you plan on handling your bags. If you are checking a bag, you have no limits, though your bag could be flagged for search if something looks suspicious. If you are carrying on a bag, you need to adhere to the 3-1-1 rule.

All of your liquids can be no bigger than 3.4 ounces and fit in one quart-sized bag per passenger. There are some exceptions to the rule, though they are mostly in the case of medical necessity.

If you take the risk and overpack your liquids, they will likely be confiscated by airport