September 15


Guide to packing gadgets and electronics for your flight

By Team TGP

September 15, 2023

As a beginner traveler, packing can be an overwhelming and stressful experience. And, if you're anything like us, your gadgets and electronics are probably some of the most important items in your luggage. 

But, packing them for flight travel can be a bit tricky, especially if you don't know what's allowed or how to properly protect them during transit.

In this blog post, we'll cover everything you need to know about packing gadgets and portable electronic devices for flight travel, including what's allowed in checked and carry-on luggage, and how to protect your gadgets during transit.

What electronic devices are allowed in carry-on baggage (hand carry)?

When it comes to carrying electronics on a flight, you're generally allowed to bring items such as smartphones (cellphones), cameras, laptops, tablets, e-readers, and portable gaming systems in your carry-on luggage.

It's important to note that some airports may have restrictions on the size of electronic devices you can bring with you, so it's a good idea to check ahead of time.

In addition, airlines may also prohibit certain items from being brought onto the plane in your hand luggage, such as large electronic devices or anything that could be considered a potential security risk.

It's also important to note that certain gadgets such as drones, hoverboards, and battery packs may need additional approval from the airline (or country of arrival) before they can be taken on board.

What electronics are allowed in checked baggage?

Certain items such as large electronic devices, such as TVs and large gaming consoles, are not allowed in carry-on luggage and must be placed in checked baggage.

It's also important to remember that batteries must be disconnected from all electronics when packing them in checked baggage. This will help prevent accidental fires due to short-circuiting.

What electronics are not allowed in checked luggage?

According to TSA regulations, any lithium batteries with more than 100 watt-hours (Wh) are not allowed in checked luggage. This includes items such as laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other large electronic devices.

It's important to note that these devices are allowed in carry-on luggage, but they must be removed from their cases and placed in separate bins during security screening.

Can you put electronic devices for grooming in checked luggage?

The answer is yes, you can bring grooming tools such as electric shavers, curling irons, and hair dryers in your checked luggage.
However, these items must be turned off before being placed in your bag and all of the batteries must be removed from them.

Can I put my laptop computer and laptop charger in my checked bag?

The answer is yes, you can put both your laptop and its charger in checked baggage. However, we recommend that you put your laptop in your hand carry instead.

In addition, you should also consider purchasing a laptop bag or hard case to protect your device during transit. Laptop bags are designed with extra padding and cushioning to provide additional protection against potential damage caused by bumpy rides or rough handling.

You can also bring your laptop in your carry-on bag. However, you have to remove it from your bag and place it in a separate bin (with nothing on top of it) during X-ray screening.

Where should I put my power bank and cell phone battery charging case when traveling internationally?

If you're traveling internationally, it's best to place your power banks and cell phone battery charging cases in your carry-on luggage. This is because many countries have restrictions on the size and type of batteries that can be brought into their country.

For example, some countries may not allow lithium battery packs with more than 160 watt-hours (Wh) or 100Wh in size to be brought into the country. So, it's always best to check the regulations of your destination before packing any electronic devices.

Are gadgets with lithium-ion batteries allowed in a plane?

Yes, gadgets with lithium ion batteries are allowed in a plane. However, the battery must not exceed 100 watt-hours (Wh) or 160 watt-hours (Wh) for some countries.

However, please check the rules of the country you're traveling to for the list of consumer electronics that are not allowed such as drones or electronic cigarettes.

Where to pack spare batteries (non-lithium) for flight travel?

According to TSA, you can pack spare dry batteries in both your carry-on and checked bags.

Non-lithium dry batteries typically include alkaline, nickel metal hydride, nickel cadmium, etc. and come in common sizes such as AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, etc.

However, it's important to make sure that the batteries are completely protected and insulated from contact with any other items in your bag.

How to Pack Gadgets and Electronics for Flight Travel

When packing your gadgets and electronics for your flight, it's important to take a few extra precautions to ensure their safety and prevent damage. Here are a few tips for packing your electronics:

  • Use Protective Cases: Always use protective cases, hard shell cases or padded sleeves for electronic devices such as laptops, tablets, and cameras. These can help to prevent damage during the journey.
  • Keep Batteries Safe: If you're packing spare batteries, make sure they are properly insulated to prevent them from coming into contact with other items and causing a short circuit.
  • Follow Airline Guidelines: Always adhere to the airline's guidelines about the size and type of electronic devices that can be packed in your carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Check Local Regulations: If you're traveling internationally, check the local regulations (as these change frequently) for electronic devices and batteries for the country you're visiting. Some countries may have restrictions on certain types of devices or batteries.
  • Pack Wisely: Always pack your electronic devices in such a way that they are easily accessible. This is particularly important for devices that you might need to take out at security checks, such as laptops and tablets.
  • Use Travel Organizers: Consider using travel organizers or packing cubes to keep your devices and their cords and accessories neat. This can help to prevent tangled cords and make it easier to find what you need.
  • Label your Electronics: If you're traveling with multiple devices, consider labeling them and their cords and accessories. This can help you to quickly identify what's what, particularly if you're carrying similar-looking devices or cords.

Additional tips

  • Consider getting a power strip with surge protection to protect your gadgets from any sudden electrical surges or spikes in voltage. This will ensure that your devices are well-protected from any unexpected power issues when you travel. 
  • It's always important to make sure you back up all of your data before traveling since there is always the possibility of lost or damaged electronics.
  • To make sure you never forget anything, it is important to create a packing checklist of all your gadgets and electronics. This will help ensure that nothing gets left behind and that all items are properly protected for flight travel.

Cover image: Photo by Oleksandr P (Pexels)

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