…and the last item never to pack in your checked bag, No. 10: Food and drink

Packing the wrong thing in your checked bag has the potential to ruin your trip—especially if that bag gets lost, broken, or roughed up by baggage handlers. A simple rule of thumb: Pack anything of value or importance in your carry-on bag, in case your luggage gets lost by the airline. But there’s more to keep in mind. Here, in no particular order, are 10 things that you should always leave out of your checked bag:

No. 10 Food and drink

According to the TSA, flyers should avoid putting food and beverages in checked bags. Passengers aren’t prohibited from storing chow in checked bags, but it’s a wise suggestion nevertheless. Bottled drinks are likely to explode or crack in transit, thus ruining the cashmere sweater tucked in your bag.

And if your flight is delayed or your luggage gets lost for a while, your packed food might spoil.

If you’re traveling internationally, you may be prohibited from bringing food to your destination. Each country has its own rules about what kinds of foods can be brought across borders. Check the embassy website of the country you’re visiting for more information.

This article first appeared in Smarter Travel in December 2012

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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