TSA Liquids Rule: What is the 3-1-1 Rule?

TSA Liquids Rule: What is the 3-1-1 Rule?

Hello, fellow travelers! As you all know, this TSA agent approached me as I was going through security check-in for my flight to Bali. They took my full-size shampoo bottle, which saved my hair on bad hair days, and left me in a mess. Then I realized, “Yes, it was a heartbreak coming true.” The TSA Liquids Rule is not a joke.

At this point, I’m a strong supporter of the 3-1-1 Rule, and I’m telling you this so you don’t have to go look it up yourself.

Think about this: Even though you have packed everything you need for your trip, security stops you because your favorite lotion is not allowed. – sigh!

Don’t worry, though; I know how to pack gels and liquids.

Let’s break this rule down so you can swan down security like a swan. If you follow these tips, your travel-sized toiletries will be the last thing on your mind when you fly around the world.

Important Things You Should Know.

  1. I am aware that the TSA Liquids Rule, which includes the 3-1-1 Rule, aims to enhance the safety of airplanes. It tells me that most liquids, gels, and aerosols I want to bring on board must be in containers that are no bigger than 3.4 oz/100 milliliters. I must remember this every time I prepare for a flight to adhere to the rules and prevent confiscation of my stuff.

  2. You could put containers that meet the size requirements in a clear quart-size bag. Each passenger gets one of those bags, so I have to be careful about how I pack my liquids. Buying travel-sized or multi-use versions of my basics helps me stick to these rules without affecting how I take care of myself while I’m away.

  3. I learned that things look good too, not just how big they are. When you go through security, the TSA should be able to see everything in this bag. I learned that how you look and your size are both important. During a security check, TSA officers must see the items in this bag. To expedite the process, I take the bag out of my carry-on and put it in a bin. 

  4. The 3-1-1 Liquids Rule lets some people off the hook, which I think is great for medicines, baby formula, and breast milk. These important things can only come in a quart-sized bag and can’t weigh more than 3.4 ounces. 

  5. If I buy drinks or duty-free items at the airport, I know that I can usually bring them on a plane after going through security. Most of the time, TSA agents lock and screen them, but I always check the most recent rules or call them to confirm; this depends on the country or airport.
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Learn the basics of the TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.

When I pack for a trip, I always keep the TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule in mind. That is, travelers can bring liquids in clear, quart-sized bags that are no bigger than 3.4-ounce (100-ml) bottles.

Additionally, for security and screening reasons, each passenger can only bring one bag with them.

TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rules - security screening

Items that comply with the 3-1-1 rule.

According to my experience, the 3-1-1 Rule works for a wide range of things, from gels and aerosols to creams and pastes. I can bring my toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and liquid makeup as long as they are in a travel-sized container and I don’t fill it up too much.

For travelers to avoid problems at security checks, it’s important to make sure that these personal items are TSA-approved.

Traveling with medicines and other special items.

I know that up to 3.4 ounces of medicine, baby formula, or breast milk is a reasonable amount, but it doesn’t have to be in a zip-top bag.

Let’s assume that the checkpoint will inspect these items. According to the 3-1-1 rule, we should pack foods like jams and salad dressings instead of checking if they come in larger quantities.

Packing liquids for airport screening.

I like to put my liquids near the top of my carry-on bag so they are easy to get to. At the checkpoint, security wants to see your quart-sized bag of liquids on its own.

There are a lot of travelers who skip this step and unpack when they get there, which can be stressful.

What Happens to Items That Don’t Follow the Rules at the TSA Check?

During one of my trips, officials confiscated my non-compliant items due to their excessive liquid content. Follow the 3-1-1 rule to avoid delays or damage to your personal items.

liquids bag for a flight
liquids bag for a flight

Purchasing Liquids After Security Screening.

When I had to, I often bought water, drinks, or even full-sized toiletries after going through security. When I get there early, I don’t have to worry about that because I can bring any liquid I buy in the secure terminal area on board without having to call 3-1-1.

International Travel and the Liquids Rule.

When I go on trips outside of the United States, I know that the TSA 3-1-1 rule applies to flights into the US, but other countries may have their own rules. Check the airport security rules of the place you want to go to avoid problems on the last part of your trip.

These TSA 3-1-1 tips will help you follow the rules.

Over time, I’ve learned some expert tips on how to follow TSA 3-1-1: Buy good containers that are the right size for travel, and never assume something is exempt without checking.

At the same time, in order to avoid confusion among these liquid containers, you can put Logo Stickers on them so that you can better distinguish these liquids, and don’t have to worry about these liquids giving you a headache after arriving at your destination.


custom logo stickers to use on liquid bottles

Before you leave for the airport, check your bag again, and always bring your liquids bag to the checkpoint to keep them separate.

Can TSA 3-1-1 change the rules?

Security rules are always changing, so I check the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) website or talk to people who work for the TSA to get the most up-to-date information.

Since rules can change, the best way to ensure a smooth screening experience is to stay up-to-date.

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TSA Liquids Rule What is the 3-1-1 Rule (1)

Are you ready for a TSA check? Here’s what you need to do.

  • For gels, aerosols, and liquids, use containers that are small enough to carry and hold 3.4 oz or less.

  • Place each jar into a clear, quart-sized zip-top bag.

  • Each passenger can only bring one liquid bag with them, and they must bring it to the TSA checkpoint on their own.

  • During the screening, inform the security officers of any exceptions you need to make for medications or baby fluids.

  • To get around limits, buy more liquids or even bigger items after you get through security.

Last thoughts on the TSA Liquid Rule.

I like trips that are easy, so knowing the TSA rules about liquids has been very helpful for me. It appears that these rules are in place to keep people safe and speed up security.

We can get through checkpoints and get our trip off to a good start if we pack smart and follow the 3-1-1 rule. Before your flight, check the TSA website or give them a call if you’re not sure what you can bring. Have a safe and smart trip!

caroline taze before TSA security checks


What is the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule?

TSA 3-1-1 is the general rule for passengers bringing liquids in their carry-on bags. It states that each traveler can bring liquids in clear, zipper-top plastic bags that are 1 quart or smaller and hold 3.4 ounces or less. Each passenger can only bring one of these bags. This speeds up security checks and makes flights safer.

Can I bring drinks through airport security?

You may be salivating over that lovely latte on the plane, but hold on! The TSA says that you can go through security with liquids that are up to 3.4 ounces in size. You should finish and leave behind larger drinks before the movie begins. Drinking water is very important, so bring an empty bottle that you can fill up after going through security.

What about medicines and baby food? Will they follow the 3-1-1 rule?

Good news for parents and people who need medical help! You can buy baby food and breast milk, medicines, and some other things in reasonable amounts of no larger than 3.4 ounces, and they don’t have to come in a zip-top bag. Declaring them at the security checkpoint ensures their inspection.

Does the 3-1-1 rule cover toothpaste and deodorant?

The TSA 3-3-1 rule for liquids actually covers toothpaste and deodorant. The TSA does not limit stick deodorants, but it does limit sprays and gels. When you pack your carry-on, it’s best to get items that are the right size for travel.

When it comes to 3-1-1 liquids, how strict is TSA?

The TSA will not budge on how they enforce the 3-1-1 rule. The security guards will ensure that all liquids are correctly sized and packaged. Be careful when packing to ensure you don’t lose your favorite shampoo!

What about makeup? Can I bring it in my carry-on?

If you like makeup, you’re in luck! Powdered makeup doesn’t have to follow the 3-1-1 rule, but lip gels, liquid foundations, and other similar items do. To carry on, choose amounts that are 3.4 ounces or less. Your checked luggage is in a safe place to store the rest.

What should I prepare so that the TSA can quickly check my liquids?

Keep your 1-quart bag of liquids in your carry-on so it’s easy to get to during security checks. Put it in an outer pocket and stack it on top of other things. This will make it easier for you to show up for the screening, which is good for you and the agents.

Is there a 3-1-1 rule for liquids on international flights?

On domestic flights, the TSA enforces this rule, but security groups around the world agree with the 3-1-1 fluid rule. Before you pack your bags, you should always check the rules of the country you’re going to and the airline you’re flying with to avoid problems.

Can I buy drinks at airport stores after going through security? How do I do that?

Yes! You don’t have to worry about your size when you buy drinks and cosmetics after going through security. You can carry these items on a plane because they have already undergone separate checks.

What if my liquids don’t meet TSA rules?

If you bring a full-size lotion, it might be taken away at the checkpoint. To avoid this, check your liquids and make sure they meet the TSA 3-1-1 size requirements. If your items don’t meet the rules, you might be able to check them out as luggage or, if you have time, mail them home.



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