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The GO Outdoors Guide To Travelling And Luggage Allowance

It is important to note when travelling what the luggage requirements are. As well as your bag having to contain all you need, you need to adhere to restrictions made by airlines or travel companies indicating what you are able to take.

What's Legal?

Luggage is divided into two main areas, carry on items, which are literally carried onto the plane and stored in overhead compartments, and checked in luggage which is placed in the plane.

In terms of carry on sizes, most companies look at the measurements of your bag. It must be able to fit in the main compartments overhead.
The dimensions that are allowed vary between airlines, but generally:

  • A carry-on bag should be around 40 lbs in weight, maximum, and in dimensions should be no more than  40- 45inches.
  • The main check in bag can be around 50lbs- 70lbs in weight and 60 – 65 inches in diameter.

Additional Storage Ideas

Hip Packs:

Hip packs are ideal when you want to carry essential items, and can be used both whilst travelling to your destination, and as a safe storage solution when touring on arrival. Roomy enough for items such as books and mp3 players as well as other personal items, a hip pack is worn around the waist, so you don’t need any additional holding. This will need to be checked by security as well before you board the plane.

A Digital Pouch:

Digital pouches are relatively new solutions that are designed to carry electrical valuables such as digital cameras and mp3 players. Usually padded internally with separate inner compartments, digital pouches prevent your most expensive and valuable items from getting bumped or bashed in with your main luggage. Usually very slender, these can be worn as well as a travel carry on bag.

Laptop Bags:

Laptop bags are usually designed as shoulder bgas, specifically padded to protect your laptop or notebook from damage. Most airlines allow you to take on additional ‘personal items’ such as a laptop bag as well as your carry-on luggage at no additional cost. The laptop bag is ideal for anyone who is travelling with a laptop as it is built for purpose, often with a separate combination of pockets for storing leads and wires , as well as a fully reinforced strap. Most laptop bags also come with a thief-deterring combination lock.

A Day Pack:

Most travelers opt to take a secure day pack as part of their ‘carry on’ travel gear. The main benefit of a day pack is it’s spacious inner area, designed to be packed to the brim. Most day packs come with additional storage areas and pockets so you can organize items such as documents and valuables. As well as being ideal for carry ons, most day packs are able to be worn when you reach your destination.

Banned Items

Remember that airlines are increasingly stringent with their policy on what can and cannot be taken onto flights.
This varies from airline to airline, so always check before you GO.

The Lowdown- Allowed and Not Allowed!

Camping Stoves: ALLOWED- CHECKED/CARRY ON- Without fuel

Gas Cylinders: ALLOWED -CHECKED/CARRY ON- Empty without a regulator valve.


Safety Matches: ALLOWED- CARRY ON- 1 Per Person

Strike Anywhere Matches- PROHIBITED

Swiss Army Knives: ALLOWED- CHECKED IN


Deep Sea Fishing Hooks: CHECKED


Insecticides: NOT ALLOWED

Insect repellents: ALLOWED CHECKED/CARRY ON 

Fishing Knives: NOT ALLOWED 




Liquids have been the most recent area of change, and since 2006 the capacities of liquid allowed to be carried onto a flight have been reduced.

100ml is now the standard maximum amount of fluid allowed, allowing exceptions for medications and baby feeding, and clear plastic bags are advised for multiple liquids.

These will be checked by the airline.

Typically, liquid products that have been bought after being security checked, such as duty-free items are allowed onto the plane.

Swiss Army Knives/Multi tools:

Technically, a small hand tool with no blade, under 7 inches can be carried on, but as this is limited to features such as screw or a wrench, it is safer to check your multitool in the main body of your luggage.

Ice picks/Winter Climbing Tools:

If you are climbing, any tools should be checked in with your main luggage.


These items are classed as weapons, and should be checked seperately and cannot be carried on to the plane.


TSA Approved Locks

Due to enhanced security in America, flights to and from the US now require you to have a lock that can be opened by the airline if needed.

The TSA or Transport Security Administration may break open your lock whilst checking electronically screened bags if they feel there is a need to check the contents.

If you use a non approved lock, the TSA may be required to simply snap the lock open. 

Your options are not using a lock, using a lock and risking it being broken, or choosing a TSA approved lock.
The latter is the most appealing choice, and the TSA work in a partnership with a variety of companies in order to make these locks easy to purchase.

A TSA approved lock will be marked with a diamond logo, and these indicate they can be opened by the airline using a set of master keys, before being relocked when they have performed their checks.

GO Outdoors stock a number of TSA approved locks for this purpose, including PacSafe locks.

Look for the diamond logo, or if you are in doubt, check with a GO Outdoors staff member in store.