1st time flyers, need help!

I haven’t flown since I was a teen and for my husband and three children, this will be their first. I’ve never checked luggage so I need advice as to what to put in my carry on vs my checked bags. All the kids will be taking a back pack as carry on. I was planning on filling one checked bad with snacks/food: cereal and granola bars and such. Advice?

Anything you need immediately such as prescription medications etc. should be carried on. If you planned on swimming day one, swim suits would be a good idea. Beyond that, I usually carry on my valuables like a camera/iPad and check the rest. If your luggage got lost, you can replace your clothes and buy new toothpaste etc. We always pack an extra suitcase with snacks for the trip and then buy a gallon of milk at Disney.

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Which airline are you flying? If you will need to pay for checked bags, I would recommend just ordering groceries to be sent to your hotel room instead of paying upwards of $50 round trip for snacks!


Check out the TSA guidelines for what you can pack at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening


Welcome back to flying! Damavs got it right with the response! Keep the “non-replaceable” stuff with you and check the rest of it! Don’t forget to wrap any liquids in your checked bags with used plastic grocery bags which can be re-used for dirty laundry bags in your hotel! Also, there is usually a weight limit on bags, so check with your specific airline to see what it is. I know SouthWest is 50 lbs and there are always scales near the check-in areas so you can redistribute weight in bags, if you need to.

Happy Traveling! :slight_smile:

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Check with TSA first off to see what the new rules allow as far a carry-on. Now I fly Delta and use a Skymiles card which gives each passenger that I book one free checked bag per flight. 50lbs is the general weight allowed per bag. With Delta Skymiles American Express, you also get priority boarding which is nice so that you can board before others to make sure you get overhead space for your carry-on. Delta Sky Miles American Express card is what gets you these things at the cost of $100 per year. If you take into consideration that baggage check is generally $25 per bag per flight, your talking $100 for two passengers per round trip. We fly at least once a year so it works out great for us. Many other airlines have similar programs. Also if you wish to make such your bag is less than 50lbs get a digital hand held scale. Also remember that you may have to haul things you have bought at WDW back in your checked baggage. With a Hand Held Scale you can distribute everything you have between checked baggage. One other thing. When taking a carry-on of Carry-on size, remember to take things mentioned by previous posts and a set of clothing in case your checked baggage does not show up.

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I would always carry a change of clothes and shoes and large ziplock baggies in my carry on. My DD was sick at the airport while we were waiting for our connection and having a change for her and something to contain the soiled items was very helpful in a stressful moment. I would carry the same for myself because when kids are sick you may end up needing to change too.

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Make sure you measure ALL your bags, and be sure to check the allowed dimensions for both personal items and carry on bags. We have one backpack that is too big to be a ‘personal’ item (under the seat storage) and must count as one of our carry-ons. We like Southwest where you get 2 checked bags for free, plus free carry on and personal items… but this differs a TON airline-to-airline so know your brand.

Since it’s been a while for you and is a first for the rest, I would suggest giving yourselves even more time than suggested at the airport, especially if you are flying out of a large airport. The lines for checking in, checking luggage, then security security security… they can all be stressful. I also like to review the map of the airports we will be in to have a general idea of how to get from point A to point B. I typically find airports to be well-marked, but once again, you don’t want to be feeling rushed and find that your airport is unclear.

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A site change of clothes for everyone should be in carry on. You don’t want a bag to be delayed or missing.

One of ours was! And after 33 hours of travel wearing the same clothes, I really didn’t want to send my kids ANYWHERE in those clothes the next day! Fortunately we had spares in the carry on.

Yes, Airlines do compensate if you need to buy more clothes (we did) but it’s not a quick process. Our refund is still in progress from Dec 23.

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I put any liquids in my checked luggage, but in individual ziplock bags (one mess doesn’t get everything else messy) and in an old or dollar store lunch bag to protect them from breaking, as well as protect my clothes from a spill.

Carry on - jewellery, electronics, including cameras, meds, even if you don’t need them right away (what if there’s a delay or lost luggage), book for the plane, snack or sandwich for the plane (not liquid), HEADPHONES (as airlines don’t give you these anymore), spare glasses (because my broke once in my checked luggage), bathing suit and shorts (if I’m wearing jeans on the plane). Small travel pillow, if you or the kids are going to want one, as they don’t provide those any longer.

Remember, if you don’t have assigned seats (they often cost extra, but are worth it) to sign in exactly when the airline allows, so you can try to get seats together. If you can afford it, buy the seat selection ahead of time or you and your family might all be in middle seats in different rows.

If you’re going Southwest, I’m told buying the early bird check-in is the way to go, as they don’t have early seat selection, but you will be able to get a boarding number and the earlier you get, the better chance to sit together.

Also, if you’re planning on purchasing anything on the plane, many airlines take credit card only, so you might want to check that out.

Oh yeah, don’t forget to double check your purse before going through security for things they won’t allow, like pocket knives and some tubes of blistex, I think. Maybe others can help with that list.

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Yes! With the flu, I’m kind of panicked.

I did not know that about credit cards. Thank you for your list. This is really helpful!

Yes! Security is my fear. I feel like we are going to bring something that we shouldn’t without knowing!

Thank you! I’m going to TSA tonight

That sounds so not fun!

The main culprits are really liquids/gels and anything sharp. Worst case you get caught with a chapstick in your purse and you have to toss it. Just try and go through backpacks/purses for anything you “forgot that was in there” type of thing.

Also, another tip, put all your electronics (phones, tablets, etc) together or at least know where they are in your carry on. You will have to take them out and place them in their own bins.

Wear easy on/off shoes and make sure people have socks on underneath. Nothing worse than walking barefoot in an airport! Makes me cringe when people wear flip flops through security in the summertime.

So chapstick is a no no?

I never have trouble with chapstick, but I’ve heard the tube blistex. Maybe it’s agent specific?

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It’s a grey area in my opinion! It is definitely one of those “it depends” scenarios. I put everything remotely liquid (vaseline, lip gloss, mascara) into my zip loc bag just to avoid problems. Someone once gave me a hard time about baby wipes! But I have never had an issue with wipes since.

I would NOT stress about this. It might take an extra 3-5 minutes if they get hung up on something, but it certainly isn’t going to make you miss your flight.

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I believe I heard recently that the TSA is getting new scanners that will detect items that may be harmful. According to what I read, this will eliminate the need for carrying liquids in small quanities check. I don’t know if this is just an upcoming feature or it is in place in some airports.

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