June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015
14 Items You Should Never Pack in a Carry-On

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Monday and we hope you had a beary safe and great weekend. Dab the AIDS Bear is just getting home after biking from San Francisco to Los Angeles, California for the AIDS Life Cycle 2015.

The bear and I have to travel on planes a lot as we speak and participate at events around the world. But do you know the things you should never pack on a carry-on?


Homemade gingerbread houses, big or small, bring good cheer–but be wary if you've rigged them with lights, as they'll look less-than-festive after being exposed to X-rays.

Tip: Transport gingerbread artwork in clear Tupperware and make their artistic/emotional importance well known to the screening staff.


Too much frosting is never a problem unless you're in the dentist's chair or at the airport. We've heard reports of too much of the yummy stuff in Wicked Good's cupcakes-in-a-jar. Everyone will love you for bringing baked goods to the party, but if they're over 3.4 ounces you'll need to batter-up and begin again.

Tip: Pre-send, or pack empty mason jars and bake your own at your final destination.

Cranberry Sauce

The Thanksgiving table mainstay tastes great made fresh, but believe me... if it explodes and leaks in your bag you'll be dribbling blood-like ooze on the floor. It won't be pretty, and you'll be flagged by security in no time.

Tip: Stick to canned versions packed in check-in bags.

Dried Sausages

Dried sausages confound X-ray machines–their density is simply too similar to Semtex, a plastic explosive.

Tip: Declare your precious Italian charcuterie as you would a treasured laptop.

Cannon Balls

Bowling balls? Not a problem. Cannon balls from deep-diving in the Bahamas? Not quite. Many remain explosive for centuries.

Tip: Find an empty, perfect conch shell instead. They're less likely to spontaneously blow up in your suitcase, and they weigh much less.


They're licensed to fly on flights within Australia, but not to the U.S., where they're on par with nunchucks and other gear the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would have hand on.

Tip: Wrap tightly, pack, and check them if you're fond of Down Under toys.

Snow Globes

If they're filled with less than 3.4 ounces of dubious liquid (and glitter), and fit in a clear, plastic bag, you're good to go.

Tip: The jury remains out on their giftable nature. Maybe get Grandma a nice scarf instead?


Any booze over 140 proof (70%+ alcohol) is strictly prohibited at high altitude.

Tip: Leave that bottle of Bacardi 151 where it belongs, back on the beach and only in your (somewhat hazy) memory.

Breast Milk

It's your baby. He or she needs in-flight nourishment just like the rest of us.

Tip: Declare formulas, breast milk, and juices for little ones at the outset. It should, soon, be acceptable (look to Europe for new laws regarding this and removal of shoes).

Bear Spray

This isn't your average pest repellent. If you're traveling to bear country (April through November are prime months) it's an absolute essential—but not essential enough to be permitted in your hand luggage.

Tip: Order online and have it shipped as far as FedEx will deliver.

Knitting Needles

Knitting is a great way to make a very long flight seem shorter, but metal needles run a high risk of getting confiscated.

Tip: Pack the bamboo version (made in Japan) or learn how to use circular ones–they're both far less conspicuous and potentially threatening.


Remember, those 3.4 ounce rules apply to liquids and gels. Gel insoles, gel masks, and gel-type candles are all on the "nope" list.

Tip: All of the above are creepy enough to basically leave at home.


Or a double bass? Many musical travelers book extra seats for their beloved instruments, but the tactic doesn't go down so well on packed flights.

Tip: Give your fiddle a name–Joe Stradivarius, for example–and it'll be less likely to be off-loaded and banished to cargo.

Chastity Belts

That's right. This 19th-century contraption sold for a record price at auction, but as recently as 2012 a flyer admitted to wearing a more modern one (sans key).

Tip: They're not technically prohibited, but be prepared for awkward questioning and a couple of phone calls before boarding any flight. And you'd better pray you don't have to use the bathroom.

Hope you got a good laugh and are having a beary great and safe start to your week.

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab