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Rick's Packing List

I love Rick's packing list but am a little confused. He suggests carrying on all of your luggage, but the list contains more liquid items than you can carry on. Can someone clarify this for me? Thank you!

Posted by
3 posts

Oh I didn't see that. That's a good idea for a few things I guess. I just saw the list with everything listed. Thank you

Posted by
4592 posts

Hi, you can bring a quart Ziploc bag filled with liquids that are 3oz. or less. Target has toothpaste in 2.7oz size. I bring one past hotel shampoo, just in case, but usually don’t need it. I bring a small container of concentrated conditioner because many hotels don’t have it. My deodorant is the smallest size. I also bring a past hotel lotion.

For makeup, I add a lipstick, mascara, a lip balm. My liquid foundation is packed in a Clinique sample jar - about the size of a stack of 5 quarters. (It’s also a good SPF). Neutrogena sells a tiny container of sunblock, too.

All of that fits into the Ziploc with extra room, and it easily lasts for my 3-4 week trips.

I use the Olay dry cloth makeup remover wipes. Those don’t need to go into the liquids bag. The only toiletry kit item I have purchased in Europe over numerous trips was a lipstick and a lovely scented tube of concentrated lotion.

Posted by
2742 posts

I don’t know of this is your question, but you can fit a ton of liquid items in the allowed 3-1-1 bag. Get small or more space saving size containers and at least 10+ things can fit. If the bottle is 3oz or less and the bag is the right size, if it fits in the bag it can go. Here’s what I have in mine;
-moisturizer. -eye cream. -toothpaste. -contact lens solution -hair cream #1. -hair cream #2 -hairspray -shampoo -conditioner -body lotion
That’s 10 and there’s a bit of extra room. Lasts 2-3 week trip, if I were gone longer I’d need to refill while there.

Sometimes people see those “kits” with 3 badly shaped 3oz bottles in a weird bag and think that’s all they can bring. Go to the container store or similar and find a better bag and bottles

Posted by
7698 posts

Ahhhhhhh the Container Store for bottles and jars and tubes . . . the assortment I have at home from which I choose according to my trip length must be at least 15 years old and are still going strong . . .

(Gosh I love this forum — where else could one wax nostalgic for one's travel bottles ?!!!! Hahahaha)

Posted by
18 posts

You can also reuse those old hotel shampoo bottles for lotion, conditioner etc

Posted by
3 posts

ok Everyone! Thank you! This is what I didn't realize..... way back in the beginning of 311, you could only have 3 bottles... that was my interpretation anyway. Now I realize from this conversation that you can have as many bottles that will fit in a quart bag! I am sooooo relieved. I can do that!! Thankyou!

Posted by
1381 posts

It was never about being limited to 3 bottles.
It was about 3oz. being the upper limit of the individual bottles going into the 1 quart bag.

Posted by
1250 posts

Frank, I was hoping to pick up some of the IKEA bottles when I was there a few weeks ago but sadly, they are out of stock.

Posted by
808 posts

Everyone gets so focused on the 3 oz limit that they think that is the size to bring. In most cases you can get by with much less. I have a collection of bottles and jars and only bring what I've learned I needed. It's worth experimenting before a trip by filling a 1 oz container and using it at home to see how many days it lasts. My skin doesn't react well to all lotions so that's one item I bring more of. I can cram my quart bag with loads of 1 and 2 oz containers.

Posted by
93 posts

To avoid the 3-1-1 situation, I bring solid shampoo and conditioner bars, solid body lotion bars, solid suntan lotion, solid foundation and eyeshadow, etc. I try to avoid all the liquids that I can. These are easier to store than worrying about bottles leaking.

Posted by
130 posts

In my experience the solid shampoos and conditioner bars are more convenient than liquid in bottles. I cut the bars in half for travel. You can get solid sunscreen too.

Posted by
2784 posts

And I love my laundry detergent sheets, rather than liquid Woolite! Although I wouldn't mind find packaging with fewer sheets in little pouches. Time to search ....

Oh, and don't store things with SPF in "cheap" little containers - lesson learned that those will eat away at the cheap plastic. The Container Store ones made of Nalgene hold up, though I don't have the years of experience that others have, as I only learned about them on this forum! Yes, funny travel nostalgia!

Posted by
2051 posts

And ridiculous, I know but it’s in my head that the “zipper” loc baggies hold slightly more than the actual ziploc bags.

Posted by
2784 posts

And it's in my head that I can make better use of the space if the "zipper" runs along the long side of a rectangular bag, rather than the short side - less bottle "stacking" to make use of the height of a bag, and allowing easier access to more items across the width.

Definition of 3-1-1 bag.
3 = 3 oz bottles or smaller (actually, up to 3.4 oz per bottle is allowed).
1 = 1 quart bag
1 = 1 bag per person.

You can put any amount you wish in the one quart bag just as long as each container does not exceed 3.4 oz. During the pandemic, some airlines allowed people to carry larger bottles of sanitizer on board separate from their 3-1-1 bags. This may no longer be the case.

As others have mentioned - use stick/bar type deodorant rather than roll-on. Then, it does not go into the 311 bag. Disposable razors are solids and don’t go into the bag. Only liquids. Use wet wipes instead of sanitizer gel, etc.. You get the idea.

Posted by
381 posts

The TSA has an app, My TSA, that is handy for checking what is and isn’t allowed. Also useful for checking wait times at TSA checkpoints in airports.

Posted by
26 posts

On the subject of how much you can fit in the quart size baggie, I was reading the TSA site for the requirements and was a little surprised that lipstick or chapstick would count as liquid. The detailed info says any gel, paste, etc.
Also that you can have a separate bag for any medication. Items like eye drops, skin ointment,etc.
Has anyone had any problems with this?
I could probably make it fit if I had to but it’s also just organization.

Posted by
4592 posts

Caryn J, I would assume that if the medications clearly have their prescription label attached, they would be accepted as a separate bagged item from your liquids bag. If it’s eye drops in a small box with no Dr’s label, they will probably say it needs to be within the liquids bag.

Posted by
317 posts

For those of you who wear contact lenses and use the solution in which you put the lenses in a "cage" that is attached to the lid: don't throw those bottles out. You can snap that cage off the lid. The lid has a nice rubber seal, so they are more leak-proof than some other bottles. They hold quite a bit and you've already paid for them.

And yes, convert to dry product from liquid as much as you can.

For long trips I also carried minimal contact lens solution and bought from an eye clinic (Italy) on arrival. (Cataract surgery now, so no contacts. It's a miracle!!)

Posted by
21301 posts

I was stopped by Heathrow security on my return to the US in 2017 because I had a full 3-1-1 bag mostly containing miniature jars of mustard and a separate (not full) bag with medically necessary liquids and ointments. I was told everything had to go in one bag. Most of the medical things were prescription items, but they didn't have prescription labels, because the labels had been stuck to boxes I left at home. Nothing was said to indicate it would have mattered if the prescription labels were present.

I was apologetic, and the security fellow was very nice. He took charge of trying to cram everything into one bag. Not being successful, he let the bag go through the X-ray not zipped closed. Security wasn't very busy at the time all of this was going on; I was probably lucky about that.

Posted by
69 posts

Toothpaste tablets and shampoo/conditioner bars have been a game changer for me. Leaves more space for hand sanitizer in your liquids bag! Also, if you have pre-check, TSA doesn't care if your liquids are in a bag or not as long as they are under 100ml each. You'll have to comply in another country.

Posted by
11 posts

They're getting harder to find for me but I always travel with the pleated bottom Ziploc bags. Seems to make things much easier to fit to me. I also second taking solids and/or buying when you get there. But don't assume you'll easily find all your brands. If it is extremely important to you, bring it.

Posted by
29 posts

I wonder about the clear zipper bags that claim to be quart size -- I'd love to use one since the thin ziploc plastic food bags often lose their zip! But I checked the cubic inch measurements on two that were mentioned and they are significantly more than the 57.75 cubic inches in a quart (per https://www.inchcalculator.com/convert/quart-to-cubic-inch/). Have you found one that is "conforming?"

Posted by
11440 posts

I know that Heathrow, Gatwick and London City have plastic bags available for free at the entrances to security. I like them because they have handles. I usually grab a few each time I go through.

I have also used the ziploc style bags sold in the UK as "small" and have never had a problem. I've never seen a security agent with a ruler. LOL

Posted by
11973 posts

It hasn't been said that Rick's pack list are items to consider packing. Items on the list aren't mandatory. Feel free to decide what you need to bring. Cross out items that don't make sense for you. This trip sunglasses and sunscreen might make sense. The next trip a warm scarf might be needed.