Packing Electronics for Your Upcoming Vacation

Unlike clothes and shoes, our laptops, tablets, e-readers, and most other electronic devices require some extra consideration when we are packing for our next great getaway. Join us for a few handy tips on how to simplify our experience at an airport security checkpoint when packing electronics in our carry-on.

Please note that in addition to the following tips the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and individual airlines may have further restrictions. In all cases, the final decision on whether an item is or is not admitted through an airport security checkpoint remains at the discretion of the TSA officers. With that in mind, it is important to pack our electronics as smartly as possible.

Verify if you are packing a potentially prohibited item.

Packing Electronics for Your Upcoming VacationIf you aim to pack an item which may be questionable, whether in your checked bag or your carry-on bag, call Holiday Vacations! As one of America’s most reputable guided tour travel operators, we know TSA policy and can help you determine the best course of action. Most typical devices (laptops, tablets, and e-readers) pose no problem with getting on an airplane.

Note that the TSA will treat lithium batteries differently than dry cell batteries. They must be packed in your carry-on and are not allowed in checked luggage. Lithium batteries should also be placed in their own container or properly secured within the carry-on bag.

If you want to investigate on your own, we invite you to visit the TSA’s What Can I Bring? webpage and browse a detailed list of what is and is not permissible, plus any special instructions for when things are not so black-and-white.


Pack electronics larger than a mobile phone on the topmost layer of your carry-on.

This modest tip can provide some peace of mind at the security checkpoint! Save yourself the trouble of rifling through your carry-on to find your electronics by simply organizing them in easy-to-reach areas or laying them on top of everything else.


What to do when it is time to lay your carry-on onto the scanner’s conveyer belt.

Packing Electronics for Your Upcoming Vacation 1When it is time to lay your carry-on onto the scanner’s conveyer belt, remove all electronic devices larger than a mobile phone and place them on the belt in their own TSA-provided bin. Each device will need their own individual bin. This may also be the case for Nebulizers, CPAPs, BiPAPs, APAPs, and other necessary medical equipment. If the device comes in a case, remove it from the case before putting it in the bin. Don’t forget about your devices as you re-pack your items on the other side of the checkpoint. We wouldn’t want you leaving your tablet at the airport before your big trip!


Protecting Cameras & Film

Cameras will also need to be removed from your bag and placed in its own bin. A good rule of thumb is to remove any detachable lens from your camera and use the body cap to cover the camera’s sensor. This will avoid damage if the camera is nudged as it passes through the scanner. If you are using traditional film, pack it in your carry-on bag. The TSA’s scanning equipment can damage film, so we recommend storing it in a lead-lined film case or asking the TSA to check your film by hand.


Consider TSA Pre-Check

Packing Electronics for Your Upcoming Vacation 3If you want to save yourself some time and hassle going through security, signing up for TSA Pre-Check allows you to skip the lines and bypass most of the TSA’s screening process. First you apply, then pay a fee, participate in a face-to-face interview, furnish fingerprints, and pass a federal background check. Upon completion the advantages of TSA Pre-Check are yours for the next five years. Apply for TSA Pre-Check here.

Posted on July 15th, 2019 in Travel Tips

Stay Informed

Be the first to know about exclusive opportunities or departures from your area.

Stay Connected