Learning the hard way about International carry-on rules

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My friend, Valerie, called other day. “Donna,” she said, “you really need to write about this on your blog so that other people don’t make my mistake.”

Valerie and her husband took an Alaskan cruise that began in San Francisco and ended in Vancouver. Now, Valerie’s a savvy traveler, aware of what she can and cannot bring on-board an airplane. In the United States, that is. So, she included a pair of cuticle scissors in her carry-on bag. No problem, they aren’t on the “prohibited” list. But, going through security to board the return flight from Vancouver, Valerie was pulled out of line and searched thoroughly. Bringing cuticle scissors through Canadian security is a big no-no. Valerie’s mistake? She assumed that carry-on restrictions were the same in every country.

So, how do you find out what you can and cannot bring onto a plane? Of course, in the United States, check the Transportation Security Administration’s website for the list of prohibited items. But, what about other countries? I wish that I could tell you there’s an easy way to find the information. After researching this topic, my best answer is to check with your air carrier. Then, “Google” the international airport that applies to your travels and look for information on “security” or “prohibited” items.

The bottom line, baby boomer travelers – educate yourself before you go.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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