Liquid + Luggage: Get the Lowdown on Bringing Liquid On A Plane

What is the maximum amount of liquid I can take in my carry-on?

3.4 ounces is the most liquid you can have in a single container in your carry-on. It’s important to note that it must fit in a quart-sized bag and you should separate the bag from your carry-on luggage when it comes time to go through screening.

How many liquid containers can I bring in my carry-on?

You can bring as many containers as you can fit in your quart-sized bag.  The bag must be able to close.  Only one bag is allowed per passenger.

Are there any exceptions?

There are two exceptions. Medications and child nourishment such as formula are permitted in reasonable amounts.

Can I bring more liquid in my checked luggage?

Yes, you are allowed to pack larger containers with liquid in them in your checked luggage. The TSA does not restrict the size of containers in your checked luggage.

What if I have a container that is larger than 3.4 ounces but only contains a small amount of liquid?

You would still have to pack that container in your checked luggage. The size of the container determines whether or not it is allowed in carry-ons, not the amount of liquid.

Where can I find the official rules about liquids on planes?

The information above was current when this was written but the best place to find all the rules related to carry-on luggage is the TSA website.

How To Measure Carry On Luggage The Right Way

Measuring your carry-on luggage to ensure it meets your airline’s specifications is easy – just follow these simple steps to figuring out your luggage’s height and width.

Step by Step Guide to Measuring Your Luggage

Step 1:

To determine your luggage’s height, measure the luggage standing upright. If your luggage has wheels or a handle these should be included in your measurement. Measure from the bottom of the luggage to the top. Do not measure diagonally. Write this measurement down.

Step 2:

Measure the length of your luggage. Write this measurement down.

Step 3:

To determine your luggage’s width, make sure it is fully packed and lay your luggage on it’s side. Measure the width of the luggage and write this measurement down.

Step 4:

Determine your airline’s luggage measurement allowance by visiting their website.

Step 5:

If your airline uses a total measurement allowance (you will know this if they only give one number for your allowance), add the length, width and height together to find your total measurement.

If your airline uses a total measurement allowance (you will know this if they only give one number for your allowance), add the length, width, and height together to find your total measurement.

If your airline gives you specific dimensions for length, width and height, check the measurements you wrote down to compare them with your airline’s allowance.


Do I need to include the wheels and handle in my measurement?
Most airline’s do require that you include the wheels and handle in your measurement.

Why do I have to measure the width fully packed?
Luggage dimensions can change dramatically depending on how many items are in them. The airline will be using the fully packed luggage when determining the measurements so to be safe, you should do the same.

My Secret To Getting Quality Luggage Way Cheap

Walking past luggage in a store gets me dreaming.  You can’t help but be seduced by the bright colors, 360 degree spinners and infinitely expandable suitcases.  There is so much promise in those cases and so much cost too.

I actually would never recommend cheaping out when buying luggage. Having lived through wheels that won’t roll and handles that won’t pop up, I now will only buy quality luggage – it really is worth it (and you’ll thank me when your running to catch that flight or trying to juggle everything after security checks).  The quality of the luggage you purchase has a direct effect on how you experience the travel portions of your vacation.

So what is one to do if they are not so lucky to have the budget to buy that awesome set of fancy luggage that’s making them drool as they try not to look at it one more time?  I will let you in on my secret to finding high quality luggage at next to nothing prices.

The Secret to Getting High Quality Luggage For Low Prices

Next time you purchase luggage, buy it from an estate sale.  Estate sales are an awesome way to get so many things for low prices and if you do your research it’s easy to find higher end sales that are held by people who have traveled extensively.

I’ve paid anywhere from 50 cents to 20 dollars for luggage – yes those are real prices and in store they would have cost me 100s of dollars.

Tips For Purchasing Luggage From Estate Sales

  1. Do your research ahead of time.
    Estate Sales can be found online and typically have pictures of all the items available.  I personally like to find my estate sales on They have great photo galleries that really allow you to look at the items available easily.  (Warning – this part can be addictive).
  2. Shop estate sales in the richer areas of your city.
    I love to go to estate sales all over the place, but if I’m looking for luggage I shop at estate sales that are being held in the richer areas.  People in these areas are more likely to have traveled, to have extra luggage they haven’t used much and to have high quality items.
  3. Don’t be put off by the age of the luggage.
    Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad.  In fact, sometimes the older luggage is more durable then what they make today.  I would stick with items from the 80s or newer unless your into retro styles.
  4. If you really want a deal shop on the last day of the estate sale.
    Most estate sales heavily discount items (usually around 50%) the last day of the sale.  If your looking to really save money, this is the ideal time to shop.  One issue with waiting is that someone else may buy the luggage first, but if your a true deal hunter, you can stand that risk!
  5. If you REALLY want a set of luggage you found get to the sale early and on the first day.
    If you really found something special head to the sale early.  People get to estate sales early just to stand in line and make a bee line to their wanted item when the doors open.  If you are worried about loosing out on something go early!

If you really love estate sales and want to buy more then just luggage you can create a user account on and follow sales and companies.  It’s an awesome way to shop!

Have you purchased any travel accessories from an estate sale?  What did you get?

Passport Photos

Everything You Need to Know About U.S. Passport Photos

Getting a passport is a good thing! It means lot’s of fun in the future, but dealing with the technicalities of passport photos can be a little confusing. We’ve put together this guide to help answer all your passport photo related questions. If you are looking for a quick way to make sure your passport photo is okay check out the State Department’s examples of acceptable passport photos.

General Passport Photo Requirements and Information

How many passport photos do I need?
You only need to submit one passport photo with your application.

It’s a good idea to get extra passport photos taken to bring with you on your trip. If you lose your passport while traveling, you will need passport photos to apply for a replacement passport and having them on hand will simplify the process.

How old can my passport photo be?
You should take or have your photo taken within 6 months of your application submission. The reason for this is to ensure that your appearance in the photo reflects your current appearance.

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Hotel Tipping

Hotel Tipping Etiquette – When & How Much to Tip For Hotel Services in the United States

Hotel tipping is something that can confuse even the most experienced travelers. While tipping at hotels is not mandatory In the United States,  it typically is a good idea to tip if you are happy with the quality of service.  So how do you know what to tip?

The amount you tip for services really depends on the level of the hotel. For self-service hotels where travelers typically bring their own suitcases up to their rooms tipping is less of an expectation.  At more upscale hotels, it is customary to tip for certain services. If you want great service it never hurts to be generous, especially if you plan on coming back and we are a big fan of including a tip budget when you are doing your travel planning. Read More

50 Essential Phrases and Words You Need to Know When Traveling Abroad

A few key words and phrases are all you need to learn in order to travel easily in a foreign country.  We’ve always thought that you could get by with just the words hello, this, and sorry, but that  would be taking the hard road and we don’t want that for you!

If you want to travel better, learn this list of 50 key words and phrases that will help you travel with ease in a foreign country.


  • Hello
  • Goodbye

Basic Phrases

  • Thank You
  • I’m Sorry
  • Excuse me
  • I need help
  • I do not speak (language)
  • My name is _________
  • I am looking for _________ (restaurant, building, landmark, etc)
  • I want to go to __________
  • The bill please
  • I don’t understand
  • I don’t know
  • I need a doctor

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How to Accurately Estimate the Weight of Your Luggage

Want to save money while traveling?  Make sure you don’t bring an overweight bag on your next trip!  Fees on airlines can be incredibly high if you go over the allowed weight limit for luggage.  As of writing this, your oversized bag could cost you between $100 to $200 dollars on an American or United flight and on Delta you are looking at $90 to $175.

So what is the best way to estimate the weight of your luggage?  Here are two options that can help:

1. The DIY Luggage Weighing Method

It might be tempting to just put your luggage on a scale, but depending on the size and structure of your luggage, you might end up with inaccurate results.  The best way to estimate the weight of your luggage using a personal scale is:

  1. Weigh yourself
  2. Weigh yourself holding your luggage
  3. Subtract your weight from your weight holding the luggage

The one con of this method is that it really only works before your trip.  Unless you have access to a scale while traveling, you will have to guess what your take home luggage weight is and depending on how much you bring back, this can vary a lot.

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Can We See the World Without Destroying It? The Need for Sustainable Travel

Guest post by Laura of Tutus and Tiny Hats

Lately, I’ve found myself torn between wanderlust and concern about global warming. I want so badly to see the world, but I don’t want to harm it — especially since we’re terrifyingly close to the point of no return.

As much as I might wish otherwise, it seems pretty clear that air travel is unsustainable. It’s unlikely that airplanes will become more efficient in the near future, and carbon offsets aren’t particularly helpful in reducing emissions–they might even make it worse by encouraging people to fly more. Luckily, though, air travel is not the only way to see the world. Read More

How to Be Mindful While Traveling


I don’t know about you, but sometimes my trips turn into a blur. My itinerary dominates the vacation and I start worrying more about where I need to be next and not where I am. One cure for this type of vacation overload is to be mindful during your trip.

What is mindfulness anyway?
There are varying definitions of mindfulness, but I like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

(If your interested in learning more, I highly recommend reading How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness. It’s an amazing life-changing book.) Read More

Wild with Impatience: How to Travel Like Mark Twain

“I am wild with impatience to move, move, move”


– a young Mark Twain

By Underwood & Underwood [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Underwood & Underwood [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I’m a Missourian and as a Missourian it is my duty to like two things: the Mississippi river and Mark Twain. And I do, I adore them both. While pondering blog post ideas, I thought wouldn’t it be fun to write a post about places you can visit that Mark Twain visited?

Yes, but…there are a lot of them…a lot…

Mark Twain wasn’t only a unique writer, he was a unique traveler. At one time he was better known as a travel writer than a fiction writer.  He traveled far and wide throughout his life.  Researching his travels, I came to realize that the magic didn’t lie in the places he visited, but in his attitude during his travels. Thus this post was born… Read More