HAVING to take medicine should not stop you from travelling and exploring new countries.
But is it allowed to take medication in your hand luggage, and if yes how much?
Can you take medication in your hand luggage?
It is recommended that you put any medication in your hand luggage, the main reason being that if the luggage in the hold gets lost, you would still be able to take the necessary medicine.
Before travelling, you should check the airline's regulations, but most of them will allow it.
Make sure to pack your medicines and any equipment such as needles, syringes and others in their original and correctly labelled packages.
You should also carry the prescription from your doctor, just in case you are questioned about the medication.
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Some airlines may also ask for a letter from your doctor with details of your medicine.
It is recommended that you pack some extra medicine in your suitcase, just in case.
You never know whether you might miss your flight and have to stay longer in another place – you wouldn't want to run out of necessary drugs.
Before packing your medication make sure that the expiry date will be valid for as long as you're abroad and also check how it needs to be stored.
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And be sure to check that your drugs are not banned in the country you are travelling to.
Most of them, need to be kept at room temperature but if you're travelling to a warm country, you should get advice from your pharmacist on how to store the medication.
You might need to store it in an ice bag or a thermos flask.
In UK airports, you can also carry medication that exceeds the 100ml limit, but be aware that airport staff might need to open the containers to screen the liquids at the security point.
You will need to have a cover letter from a medical professional.
The UK government website states that if you're taking oxygen cylinders in the hold or hand luggage, you must contact your airline before travelling.
Do different airports have different rules?
In the UK, all airports allow the carrying of medication in your hand luggage but in other countries, rules may differ.
Always check the regulations on that country's government website or the airport's page.
What can I take in my hand luggage?
There are some items which are allowed to be carried in your hand luggage, even though they exceed some normal limitations on liquids.
If you are travelling with a baby, you can carry:
- Breast milk in containers up to 2,000ml
- Formula or cow's milk
- Sterilised water for the baby
- Soya milk for babies
- Baby food
- Cooling gel packs
You can place a pushchair in the hold or bring it on as hand luggage.
If you're carrying a musical instrument or a mobility aid, you should let your airline know beforehand and they would need to be screened separately.
Here are some other items you're allowed to carry with you on a plane:
- Small scissors with blades no longer than 6cm
- Round-ended or blunt scissors
- Disposable razor blades
- Nail clippers or nail file
- Knitting needles
- Sewing needles
- Walking stick or cane or an aid
- Safety matches
- Contact lens solutions with a limit of 100ml
You can also carry any electronic devices with you.
Your phone, laptop, tablet or MP3 player can be used on the plane, as long as it is in flight mode.
Hairdryers, straighteners, travel irons and electric shavers can also be carried in hand luggage.
E-cigarettes must be in hand luggage and cannot go in the hold.
These are prohibited from being used on the plane.
However, some airlines may have different rules and you should always check with them as well as the rules of the airport in the country you are travelling to.
When carrying such equipment, make sure that it is fully charged before boarding because airport staff have the right to ask you to turn it on.
You can also carry camera equipment with you, although there might be restrictions on special equipment which you should check with your airline about.
If you are carrying batteries for some of your devices, you should also contact your airline about them, as there might be some restrictions.
Some sports equipment can also be carried onto the plane, such as:
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- A sports parachute
- Tennis racquets
- Snooker, pool or billiard cue
- Fishing rods
However, there are also some items, which are not allowed to be in your hand luggage, such as chemicals and toxic substances or frozen food.
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