Taking travel toiletries through security

Do I have to take out my liquids when I have TSA Pre-check? Reader T asks….

I’ll be traveling next week for a conference. I have TSA Pre-check but haven’t flown in a while. Do I need to put my lipsticks in my liquids bag? Do I need to take my liquids bag out when I go through security? How do I make sure everything will fit? Thank you!

The great news about TSA Pre-check is that you don’t have to take out your liquids when traveling. In fact, you really don’t need a liquids bag at all. I have lipsticks scattered throughout my travel purse and it’s never been an issue.

It’s probably good to have a quart-sized Ziplock tucked in your suitcase just in case there’s a random rogue agent. But honestly I haven’t had to pull out my liquids bag when traveling domestically since even before I had Pre-check–maybe five years.

Now, when traveling internationally you definitely want to have your liquids in a separate bag. On my travels through multiple airports in the last few years, specifically LHR and NRT, they’ve been very particular about how your toiletries are packed.

Here is a list of the travel toiletries I pack for each trip into my hanging EMME Petite bag:

*I don’t pack contact solution anymore since I use daily contact lenses or my glasses each day.

Remember–just because 3 oz of each liquid is allowed doesn’t mean you need to bring that much! I currently have 1 oz or less of all of my liquids, and only have to refill them every 5-6 trips. For a full list of ways to be strategic about your travel toiletries see this post.

Readers, do you have any questions about taking travel toiletries through security? Any tips?


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  1. I find Gatwick is the absolute worst for being sticklers for the rules, but then the agents – gate and security – are so nice, they usually just let me through even when something is a little over the limit. Still, it takes too much time to go through all the rigmarole, especially for nothing. So I won’t fly out of there anymore. I don’t find Heathers bad at all.

    I do love PreCheck SOOO much, tho. I did have to take my boots off the other day, even tho they are very plain, no buckles or trim. They have just a very tiny wedge, and I guess there’s enough metal to set off a sensitive detector. I’ve worn them through other detectors in the same airport with no problem.

    I find most countries are way more worried about electronics than liquids. Morocco makes you take everything out, even tiny cameras and external batteries.

  2. Like you, I use and pack hotel products; I even use the hair products. Great way to travel light. I also focus on using powders and solids, when possible, to avoid having too many liquids.

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