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. 5 Lighters, matches and flammable items
The TSA has a handy checklist of prohibited items on its website. Some of the objects on the list are as obscure as they are obvious: gun powder, hand grenades, tear gas, vehicle airbags (packed to protect a checked laptop, perhaps?).
But items of note include lighters, matches, and flammable objects, which anyone going on a camping trip (or travelers who smoke) might need to pack.
Lighters without fuel may be packed in checked luggage. However, lighters with fuel may only be packed in checked luggage if they’re in a Department of Transportation-approved case; an example of this is the Zippo Air Case.
Matches are prohibited in checked baggage, and flammable items, such as paint or liquid fuel, should be avoided as well.
Tomorrow No. 6: All your clothes
This article first appeared in Smarter Travel in December 2012