"" Writer's Wanderings: Helpful 411 For Your 311 Bags

Monday, July 23, 2012

Helpful 411 For Your 311 Bags

It's not going away. TSA and other airport security around the world is sticking to the 3-1-1 rule. For that rare person who has never heard of the rule, when you carry liquids on a plane they can be no more that 3 ounces in each container and all must fit into a 1 quart see-through plastic sealed (Ziploc) bag and no more than 1 bag per person. Here are some tips that might help you out with that.

  • Check out the samples area of your local pharmacy. Most of the big pharmacies have an aisle that sells samples or travel sized deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hand/body lotion, etc. 
  • Buy small plastic travel bottles (be sure to label them well) and fill them with your own favorite brand toiletries.
  • Around Christmas time, many perfume/colognes come in small purse sizes. 
  • There are actually some online sites that sell the perfect 3 ounce sizes of toiletries: http://www.3floz.com/; Minimus; Travel Toiletry Kits 
  • Your dentist will be happy to give you and extra tube or two of sample toothpaste if you ask.
If you don't want to bother with the 311 bag, you can always hope the hotel where you are staying has the toiletries you need or is near a pharmacy or convenient store where you can pick them up quickly.

Cruisers! Be very careful when you are disembarking and remember to repack your liquids into your checked luggage before checking in at the airport. I lost a new $20 bottle of cologne that way on one trip. I'm just glad my tastes in fragrance don't run to the extreme end of the price range.

International travelers! Remember when you are re-entering the country you will be required to go through customs and immigration even if you have a connecting flight. You will need to pick up your luggage to go through customs. Your airline will have a re-check spot just beyond customs where you deposit it again for your next flight. Then you will need to go through security again. Be sure you haven't picked up any more liquids along the way like a bottle of soda or water.

If you're traveling with children, you might want to check out some of my suggestion for getting them through security. Just remember not to give them a full sippy cup or any kind of drink in a container before you enter security. I remember a howling child who was devastated when he had to give up his drink before going through security. It didn't make it pleasant for the child, his family, or the TSA agent who was only doing his job.

Traveling is a whole lot more pleasant if you just remember to plan ahead and be a little organized.

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