What never to pack in your checked bag No. 7: Medications

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. 7 Medications

There’s a theme here. If you can’t live comfortably without it, don’t pack it in your checked bag. That old cliche, “better safe than sorry,” should be lingering in the back of your mind when you’re organizing your luggage. Accordingly, prescription drugs are best kept on your person.

Passengers are permitted to bring liquid medications onto planes, even if they exceed the 3.4-ounce limit for carry-on liquids. But you’ll need to officially declare your oversized liquid medications when going through the checkpoint.

Tell a security officer stationed at the checkpoint that you’re carrying liquid medications, and hand them over for inspection. It helps to have a doctor’s note or a medical ID card, but it’s not required. The TSA also suggests that travelers label medications to facilitate the screening process.

Be mindful that if you do have medications in a carry-on bag, and then that bag has to be checked, you should remove them before checking in case that bag gets misrouted.

Tomorrow No. 8: Breakable items

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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