Stress Free Cheer Travel
The holiday hustle is behind us just in time for cheer travel season! We love it and hate it at the same time. Traveling is stressful enough but competition season just adds to the anxiety of travel.
One of our biggest fears with travel is the dreaded lost luggage. We are petrified to hand over our precious cargo because all of our cheer gear for competition is in that bag! Not only can they lose our luggage, but most airlines now charge a bag fee to check a bag.
Packing for a 2 day cheer competition is a challenge when we plan to carry-on our luggage. We are left with cramming everything into a carry-on bag and heading off to the airport, and we all know cheerleaders don’t travel light!
All airlines have a luggage policy so be sure to check the requirements before you get to the airport. Airlines usually allow a carry-on and a personal item. Each airline has its own strict requirements due to the size restrictions on the plane. Here are some typical guidelines.
- Carry-on bag -The maximum dimensions for a carry-on bag are 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches (22 cm x 35 cm x 56 cm), including handles and wheels.
- Personal item – The maximum dimensions for your personal item, such as a shoulder bag, backpack, laptop bag or other small item, are 9 inches x 10 inches x 17 inches (22 cm x 25 cm x 43 cm).
Making it through security is always a plus, but I know first hand that my cheerleaders end up throwing out half of their liquids because they did not know how to measure them. With the onset of TSA regulations in 2006, we all must comply with the regulations for carry-on baggage. They implemented the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.
You are allowed to bring one small bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces or less per container. Consolidating these containers in the small bag separate from your carry-on baggage enables TSA officers to screen them quickly.
3-1-1 for carry-ons. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.
Be prepared. Each time a TSA officer stops to physically screen a carry-on bag, it slows down the line. Practicing the 3-1-1 rule will facilitate the checkpoint experience.
Declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula/food and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces, and they don’t have to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. TSA officers may need to open them for additional screening.
If in doubt, put your liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes in checked baggage or plan to buy them at your destination.
Inbound international flights
You may now carry liquids more than 100 mL in your carry-on bag if:
- You are traveling internationally into the United States with a connecting flight;
- they are in transparent containers;
- you bought them at a duty-free shop, and
- the store packed them in a secure, tamper-evident bag.
If your liquids are not in a secure, tamper-evident bag, you must pack them in your checked bag.
If the liquids alarm during screening, TSA will need to screen them further and possibly ask you to dispose of the liquids if they do not meet the TSA rules.
Save yourself the frustration. Be sure if you are carrying on your luggage you have planned for the airline luggage size requirements and the TSA liquids requirements. Purchase a carry-on, and personal item that you know meet the guidelines. Also, a TSA Compliant Liquid Carry On Kit will take the guess work out of measuring your liquids.