Holidaymakers, check before travelling with these 5 everyday items to avoid checks, fines or even jail

By Rich Quelch, Global Head of Marketing, Lifestyle Packaging

Most of us have a pretty good understanding of what we can and can’t take with us when flying, especially with hand luggage.

However, there are some less obvious everyday items which could leave you facing frustrating checks at customs, hefty fines and, in some cases, even jail.

Travelling can be stressful at the best of times, so to help you get where you’re going quicker and stay on the right side of the law, Lifestyle Packaging has rounded up some of the everyday items you should check before flying…and some may surprise you!…

#1 Plastic bags

You may think the UK’s 10p plastic bag charge is strict but globally, plastic bags are completely banned in 32 countries, 18 of which are in Africa.

As a tourist, this means you’re banned from bringing any form of plastic bag into the country. This even includes your airport duty free bag or the mandatory clear plastic toiletries bag.

Kenya has the toughest rules for those caught with a plastic bag, of up to four years’ imprisonment or fines of $40,000 (£31,000). The country takes its ban extremely seriously for those caught ignoring the rules, so if you do find yourself with a plastic bag when you land, make sure to place it in a drop-off bin before leaving the airport.

#2 CBD oil

If you’re one of the estimated 300,000 people in the UK using CBD (cannabidiol) oil, think twice before travelling with it, even if it does help settle your pre-flight nerves.

While CBD is legal here – as opposed to cannabis or its main psychoactive component, THC – rules around the world differ and are constantly changing. For example, in New Zealand and Australia, you can’t buy CBD products over the counter so officials will only let you through if you can show you have been prescribed CBD by a doctor and don’t have more than three month’s supply.

Some CBD oil contains higher amounts of THC than others. Before you travel, review its ingredients (it should be below 0.3 percent) and print out its lab report, in case you need to show officials.

#3 Wrapped gifts

If you’re planning on packing a gift for a loved one, or want to bring back a souvenir, it’s best it isn’t wrapped. That’s because officials may need to open it during the security inspection, causing delays to your journey. 

Place wrapped gifts in your checked-in luggage if you can, although if the item is expensive or has sentimental value, keep it in your hand luggage unwrapped. Alternatively, for peace of mind, you could send it via a shipping service which often includes insurance and tracking.

#4 E-cigarettes

If you’re one of the millions of UK vapers travelling abroad this summer, it’s a good idea to check your airline’s rules and local vaping laws before you go.

Just like smoking cigarettes, vaping on a plane is a no-no! When packing, place small 10ml E-liquid refills in a clear plastic bag for security then transfer to your hand luggage. Vape mods and batteries must also be put in your hand luggage, not the hold.

Don’t presume the country you’re visiting has the same rules as the UK. Many popular holiday spots further afield like Thailand, Philippines, India, Hong Kong and Singapore all have vaping bans.

While many tourists report no issues vaping in countries with bans, if you decide to take your kit be discreet in public places and don’t argue if it’s confiscated.

#5 Alcohol

In many countries with large Muslim populations, like UAE, Saudi Arabia and even The Maldives, alcohol is sold under strict regulations or even banned. If there are exceptions for non-residents, they’re likely to only apply in permitted restaurants, hotels and nightclubs.

If you’re flying to the UAE and are “considered” to be drunk when you land, you could be subject to a blood test and held in a cell. So, think twice about saying yes to any alcoholic drinks on your flight, even if it’s free.

While you can drink alcohol in resorts, if you’re jetting off to the Maldives for a relaxing break, don’t be tempted by the offers in duty-free. Customs officials will confiscate any bottles when you land as it’s illegal to import alcoholic drinks

Stricter rules exist in countries where alcohol is banned completely, such as Saudi Arabia where passengers are checked before boarding for their own protection.