Smart tips for packing your hand baggage

Are you allowed to take your favourite shampoo in your hand baggage? What are the size and weight restrictions for hand baggage? Can you take your nail scissors and your laptop? As we often take hand baggage when flying, it’s good to know which items you are allowed to take and which rules apply. Follow these tips for packing hand baggage and make sure your journey gets off to a good start!

More baggage means more checks

At Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, you have to go through a security check before every flight. We check your hand baggage and your clothing to make sure you aren’t carrying any dangerous or prohibited items. The more you want to take on board, the longer this security check will take. It’s a good idea to pack items you won’t need during the flight in your hold baggage, and to keep your hand baggage to a minimum. For more handy tips visit

Small backpack or large trolley?

The maximum size and weight for hand baggage varies per airline. You should always check the hand baggage size and weight restrictions for the airline you are flying with. Are you also taking hold baggage? It’s a good idea to fit as much as you can in your suitcase and to just take a small bag as hand baggage. With just a small bag, you’ll be able to go through the ‘Small Bags Only’ lane at security. The queue is shorter because this lane is only for people who aren’t carrying a lot of hand baggage and therefore do not have to take everything out of their bag at security.

Pack liquids last

As soon as you know which bag you are going to use, you can start packing your hand baggage. Pack the usual things first, such as clothes, clean underwear and your toothbrush. Don’t pack your liquids just yet. You first need to check if the creams, gels, toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant and other liquids you want to take are all in containers holding 100 ml or less. They then need to be placed in a clear, resealable bag. You are allowed to take up to 1 litre of liquids - that’s a maximum of 10 items. Pack your bag of liquids last, so that it’s easy to take out of your bag at security.

What may and may not be taken on board?

Most items are allowed in your hand baggage, as long as they are not on the list of prohibited items. You are allowed to take a small pair of scissors, a nail file and tweezers with you, provided the blade is no longer than 6 cm. Weapons, blunt instruments capable of causing injury when used to hit, and large objects with a long, sharp point or edge are, of course, prohibited. Medicine and dietetic and baby food may be carried in hand baggage. Make sure you have a medical certificate for your medicine, and if you’re taking baby food, don’t forget your baby! Electronic devices such as laptops and tablets should also be placed at the top of your hand baggage so that you can remove them easily. All packed and ready to go? Have a good trip!

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