What Can I Carry In My Purse On A Plane

Are you wondering what items you can bring in your purse when traveling by plane? Well, the answer may surprise you because there are actually quite a few things you can easily pack in your trusty handbag. From the essentials like your phone, wallet, and travel documents, to small personal care items and even a good book to keep you entertained during the flight, your purse can certainly hold more than you may think. In this article, we will explore the list of items that are typically allowed in your purse when flying, ensuring you have a stress-free and enjoyable journey. So, let’s get ready to pack smartly and make the most of your in-flight experience!

Prohibited Items

Sharp Objects

When packing your purse for a flight, it’s important to remember that sharp objects are generally prohibited for security reasons. Items such as scissors, knives, and razors should be left at home or placed in your checked baggage. However, small nail clippers or rounded-tip scissors with blades shorter than four inches are usually allowed in your carry-on.

Flammable Items

To ensure the safety of all passengers onboard, flammable items are strictly prohibited from being carried in your purse or any other carry-on luggage. This includes items like lighters, matches, and flammable liquids. If you need to bring these items with you, it’s best to pack them in your checked baggage or leave them behind.


It goes without saying that explosives are absolutely forbidden on airplanes. This includes fireworks, dynamite, and any other explosive materials. For the safety of everyone onboard, it is crucial to refrain from carrying any such items in your purse or any other carry-on bag.


In order to maintain a secure and peaceful travel environment, firearms are strictly prohibited in the cabin of an aircraft. This applies to both loaded and unloaded firearms, as well as any type of firearm replica or starter pistol. If you need to travel with a firearm, it must be properly declared and stored in your checked baggage, following specific regulations set by the airline and local authorities.


While a small multitool might come in handy in various situations, they are generally prohibited in carry-on luggage due to their potential to be used as weapons. If you need to bring tools with you, it’s best to pack them in your checked baggage or consider shipping them to your destination.

Chemicals and Toxic Substances

For safety reasons, chemicals and toxic substances are not allowed in your purse or carry-on luggage. This includes bleach, gasoline, paint thinners, and any other potentially dangerous or hazardous materials. If you need to transport such substances, it’s crucial to follow proper protocols and adhere to airline regulations by packing them in your checked baggage or shipping them separately.

Permissible Items


One of the most important items to carry in your purse while traveling is your identification. This includes your passport (when traveling internationally), driver’s license or government-issued ID (for domestic travel), and any other necessary identification documents. Ensure you have these readily available, as you will need them for ticketing, security checks, and other travel-related requirements.

Money and Wallet

Carrying money and your wallet is essential, whether you’re traveling near or far. Make sure to have enough cash or a credit/debit card to cover any expenses you may encounter during your journey. It’s always a good idea to keep a backup card or some emergency cash in a separate location, just in case.


To keep yourself entertained and connected during the flight, bring along your favorite electronic devices. These can include items such as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, which can provide a variety of entertainment options, from movies and music to games and e-books. Just be mindful of any size or weight restrictions imposed by the airline for carry-on baggage.


If you require medication on a regular basis, it’s crucial to have it with you in your purse. Make sure to pack enough for the duration of your trip, as well as any necessary prescriptions or documentation to prove the legitimacy of your medication. It’s advisable to keep medications in their original packaging to avoid any issues during security checks.

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No one likes being hungry during a flight, so consider packing some snacks in your purse to keep yourself fueled and satisfied. Non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, trail mix, or individually wrapped treats are ideal choices, as they won’t spoil during the journey. However, it’s important to check any restrictions on fresh fruits, vegetables, or other food items imposed by the airline or the destination country.

Books and Magazines

For those who enjoy a good read, carrying a book or a magazine in your purse is a perfect way to pass the time during a flight. Whether you prefer fiction, non-fiction, or even a puzzle book, having some reading material with you can help make the journey more enjoyable and entertaining.

Liquids and Gels

3-1-1 Rule

When it comes to carrying liquids and gels in your handbag or any other carry-on, it’s essential to understand and follow the 3-1-1 rule. This rule mandates that all liquids and gels must be in containers of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less, and all containers must fit into a single, clear, quart-sized plastic bag. Each passenger is allowed only one plastic bag.

Liquid Medication

If you need to carry liquid medication, such as cough syrup or eye drops, it is generally allowed in quantities exceeding the 3.4-ounce limit. However, it’s advisable to inform the security officers at the checkpoint beforehand and have the medication properly labeled to avoid any potential issues during the screening process.

Baby Formula and Food

Parents traveling with infants or young children are allowed to bring a reasonable amount of baby formula, breast milk, or baby food in their purse or carry-on. These items are exempt from the usual liquid restrictions, but they must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint.

Breast Milk

Breast milk is considered a vital necessity for nursing mothers, and as such, it is permitted in your purse or carry-on. However, it must be presented for inspection at the security checkpoint. To ensure a smooth screening process, it’s recommended to inform the security officers in advance and have the breast milk labeled appropriately.

Gel Products

Gel products such as toothpaste, hair gel, and body wash fall under the liquid and gel restrictions imposed by the 3-1-1 rule. Make sure to transfer these items into travel-sized containers of 3.4 ounces or less and place them in your quart-sized plastic bag. Be mindful of any specific rules or restrictions imposed by the airline or the destination country.

Liquid Cosmetics

Liquid cosmetics, including foundation, moisturizer, and mascara, must also adhere to the 3-1-1 rule. Transfer these products into travel-sized containers or purchase them in travel-friendly packaging. Always place them in your quart-sized plastic bag and be prepared to present them for inspection during the security screening process.

Electronic Devices


Laptops are commonly used by travelers for work or entertainment purposes. They are generally allowed in your purse or carry-on, but be aware that you may be required to remove your laptop from its case during the security screening process. Consider investing in a TSA-approved laptop bag for convenience and efficiency during the security check.


For those who prefer a lighter and more portable option, tablets are a great choice for traveling. Whether it’s an iPad, Android tablet, or any other brand, tablets are generally permitted in your purse or carry-on. Remember to comply with the airline’s size and weight restrictions for carry-on baggage.


Your trusty smartphone is a must-have item, especially for keeping in touch with loved ones or accessing important travel information. Keep your smartphone safely tucked in your purse, and make sure it’s easily accessible when needed. Don’t forget to download any necessary airline apps or offline maps before your flight.


If you’re an avid reader, consider bringing along your e-reader. Whether it’s a Kindle, Nook, or any other device, e-readers are a lightweight and convenient way to carry multiple books in your purse. Just like tablets, e-readers are generally allowed in your carry-on, so you can enjoy your favorite books while traveling.

Portable Gaming Devices

For gamers on the go, portable gaming devices such as the Nintendo Switch or PSP can provide hours of entertainment during a flight. These devices are generally permitted in your purse or carry-on, but be mindful of any size or weight restrictions imposed by the airline.

Headphones and Earbuds

Whether you prefer to listen to music, watch movies, or simply drown out the noise during your flight, headphones or earbuds are essential accessories. Keep a pair in your purse for easy access, and make sure they are compatible with your electronic devices. Noise-canceling headphones can be particularly beneficial for a peaceful travel experience.

Travel Documents


For international travel, your passport is an absolute necessity. It’s crucial to ensure that your passport is valid for the entirety of your trip. Keep your passport safely stored in your purse and easily accessible for any security checks or immigration procedures.

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Boarding Pass

Your boarding pass is the document that allows you to board the airplane. While many airlines now offer digital boarding passes, it’s always a good idea to have a printout or a saved digital copy in your purse to avoid any unexpected technology issues or network connectivity problems.

Driver’s License

If you are traveling within your own country, your driver’s license or government-issued ID is usually sufficient for identification purposes. Carry it with you in your purse, as you might need it for various travel-related processes, such as renting a car or confirming your identity at certain checkpoints.

Global Entry Card

For frequent international travelers enrolled in the Global Entry program, it’s important to keep your Global Entry card in a safe place in your purse. This card enables you to bypass the regular customs and immigration queues, allowing for a smoother and quicker entry process.


If you are traveling to a country that requires a visa, it’s essential to have the appropriate visa documentation in your purse. Make sure to double-check the visa requirements for your specific destination well in advance to avoid any last-minute complications.

Membership Cards

If you are a member of any loyalty or rewards programs, it’s a good idea to keep those cards in your purse. Whether it’s an airline frequent flyer card, hotel chain membership, or any other program, having these cards readily available can ensure you receive the benefits and perks you are entitled to during your journey.

Essential Personal Items


Carrying your keys in your purse is a convenient and secure way to keep them close at hand throughout your journey. Make sure not to pack them in your checked baggage to avoid any potential issues if your luggage is lost or mishandled.


Protecting your eyes from the sun’s rays during your journey is important, especially if you’re traveling to a sunny destination. Keep a pair of sunglasses in your purse for easy access when needed. Consider opting for a protective case to prevent any damage to your sunglasses during your travels.

Prescription Glasses

If you wear prescription glasses, it’s essential to keep them in your purse, especially if you need to wear them during the flight or quickly switch to them upon arrival. Be sure to have a protective case to keep them safe from any potential damage.

Contact Lenses

Contact lens wearers should always have a contact lens case and solution in their purse, particularly for longer flights or overnight journeys. Having a spare pair of contact lenses can also provide peace of mind in case of any mishaps with the ones you are currently wearing.

Sanitary Items

Personal hygiene is crucial during travel, so it’s essential to have sanitary items readily available in your purse. Items such as tissues, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer can be lifesavers, especially during long flights or journeys with limited access to restrooms.

Hand Sanitizer

Maintaining proper hand hygiene is more important than ever, especially during a pandemic. Keep a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse for easy access whenever you need it. Remember to follow the guidelines provided by health authorities regarding the most effective way to use hand sanitizer.



Carrying a book or two in your purse is a classic way to stay entertained during a flight. Whether it’s a gripping novel, a non-fiction piece, or even a travel guide, books provide a fantastic escape from the monotony of travel while keeping your mind engaged.


If you prefer shorter reading material, magazines are a great option for easy entertainment. With a variety of topics to choose from, including fashion, travel, or hobbies, magazines can keep you entertained and informed while en route to your destination.

Portable Music Players

For music lovers, a portable music player is a fantastic way to enjoy your favorite tunes during a flight. Load up your device with a playlist of your favorite songs or discover new artists to enhance your travel experience.


In addition to offering access to books and magazines, tablets can provide a wealth of entertainment options. From streaming movies and TV shows to playing games or catching up on your favorite YouTube channels, tablets offer endless possibilities for in-flight entertainment.


Carrying an e-reader in your purse allows you to carry an entire library with you. With countless books at your fingertips, you can enjoy a range of literary adventures without the bulk and weight of physical books.

Playing Cards

Playing cards are a great way to have some fun during a flight, especially if you’re traveling with friends or family. Compact and lightweight, a deck of cards can provide hours of entertainment, whether you’re playing a traditional game or learning a new one.

Cosmetics and Toiletries


For those who enjoy wearing makeup, having a small makeup bag in your purse allows you to freshen up your look during the journey or upon arrival. Keep your favorite cosmetics, such as foundation, lipstick, and mascara, at hand for quick touch-ups.

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Lip Balm

The air inside airplanes tends to be dry, which can leave your lips feeling chapped and dry. To keep your lips moisturized and comfortable, carry a lip balm in your purse. Opt for one with SPF protection for added sun protection, especially if you’re traveling to a sunny destination.


Traveling can be physically demanding, and it’s important to maintain personal hygiene and freshness. Keep a travel-sized deodorant in your purse for quick touch-ups or to freshen up after a long journey.


Carrying a travel-sized perfume or a small sample-sized vial in your purse can help you feel refreshed and confident throughout your journey. Be mindful of any restrictions on carrying liquids, and ensure the bottle is securely sealed to prevent any leaks.


Maintaining dental hygiene is important, even during travel. Having a travel-sized toothpaste and a toothbrush in your purse allows you to freshen up and maintain a clean mouth during or after a long flight.

Face Wash

If you have a long flight ahead of you, or if you simply prefer to refresh your face upon arrival, carrying a small bottle of face wash and a cleansing cloth in your purse can work wonders. This allows you to remove any dirt and oil accumulated during the journey and leave your skin feeling refreshed.

Valuables and Electronics


While it’s generally safe to carry small amounts of jewelry in your purse, it’s advisable to leave behind any expensive or sentimental pieces that could be lost or damaged during your travels. Instead, consider wearing the jewelry or storing it securely in your carry-on baggage.


Watches are a practical and stylish accessory for travelers. Keeping a watch in your purse allows you to stay punctual and keep track of time during your journey. Whether it’s a classic timepiece or a functional smartwatch, having a watch readily accessible can be greatly beneficial.


If you’re a photography enthusiast, carrying a compact camera in your purse ensures you’re always ready to capture those special moments during your journey. Ensure your camera is securely packed in a protective case or pouch to prevent any damage during transportation.


Laptops not only fall under the electronics category but also are valuable possessions. While they can be carried in your purse or carry-on, it’s important to take additional precautions to keep them safe. Consider investing in a laptop bag with added padding or using a laptop sleeve to provide extra protection during your travels.


Similar to laptops, tablets are valuable electronic devices that should be protected while traveling. Be mindful of their size and weight restrictions imposed by the airline, and consider using a tablet case or sleeve to safeguard it from any potential damage.

Portable Game Consoles

Gaming enthusiasts can bring their favorite portable game consoles such as the Nintendo Switch or PlayStation Vita in their purse or carry-on. These compact devices offer entertainment during layovers or long flights and can provide a much-needed diversion during your journey.

Food and Snacks

Non-Spoilable Snacks

Carrying non-spoilable snacks in your purse is a great idea to keep hunger at bay during your flight. Opt for items like granola bars, nuts, or individually wrapped snacks that won’t spoil or melt during the journey.

Sandwiches and Wraps

If you prefer something more substantial, packing a sandwich or a wrap in your purse is a convenient way to have a satisfying meal during your flight. Just be aware that some fresh ingredients, such as deli meats and certain cheeses, may be subject to specific restrictions imposed by the airline or the destination country.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables can be a healthy and refreshing snack option while traveling. However, it’s important to check the regulations and restrictions regarding the transportation of fresh produce, as some countries have strict rules to prevent the spread of agricultural pests or diseases.

Candy and Chocolate

For those with a sweet tooth, carrying a small bag of candy or some chocolate in your purse can provide a delightful treat during the journey. Just make sure to pack them in a way that prevents melting or damage.


While you may not be able to bring large quantities of beverages in your purse due to the liquid restrictions, carrying an empty water bottle can be immensely useful. Once you have cleared security, you can fill it up at a designated water fountain or request to have it filled by the flight attendants during the flight.

Baby Food

For parents traveling with infants or young children, carrying baby food and snacks in your purse is essential. Pack non-perishable items such as baby cereal, pouches, or snacks that are easily accessible and can keep your little one satisfied throughout the journey.

In conclusion, when packing your purse for a flight, it’s important to be aware of the restrictions on prohibited items and ensure you comply with them. Remember to pack essential items like identification, money, travel documents, and necessary medications. Bring along entertainment options, such as books, magazines, or electronic devices, to stay occupied during the flight. Maintain personal hygiene with toiletries and cosmetics, and keep valuables secure. Finally, don’t forget to pack snacks and beverages to keep yourself nourished and hydrated throughout your journey. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. Safe travels!


Mila Brooks

My goal for Go Girl Bags is to provide all of my site visitors with a trusted quality experience. Going down the rabbit hole of frustration trying to find the perfect bag for all you needs is not any fun. My researched information not only about bag looks, but also quality of materials and other aesthetics you may not have thought about will help you make a better informed decision. Thank you.

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