I recently came through 2 international airport security screenings with my carry-on bags. What I saw could help you on your next trip.

The United State Customs and Border Protection in Houston line was VERY long fyi.

International Travel Tip 1

Google that country’s rules for any medicine you are packing. If you need a lesson of bringing prescription medicine in carry-on bags, be sure to watch the whole video.

International Travel Tip 2

Prescription shampoo, eye drops, or other medicinal liquids can be packed in containers larger than 3.4 ounces BUT usually they need to be screened extra.

What does extra airport screening involve?

My tip is to have that larger than normal liquid prescriptions in a baggie, inform the airport security officer that you have prescription liquids, and be prepared to put them in the conveyor belt bins.

Why do airport security officers need to see the containers of liquid?

Inside suitcases, the containers can look like illegal size amounts or travel essentials could be blocking what those items are. Screening them in a bin gives the officers full scope of what the item is…without taking extra time for your bag to be pulled out of line and sifted through by hand by an officer.


International Airport Security Tip for 2024

Maybe the international airports have streamlined the need for bags to be screened. Before the shutdown our bags would be screened in conveyor belt style twice in Paris and twice in London.

But now in both Brussels, Amsterdam and Zurich, our bags were screened only once.

But we had to show our passports twice throughout the airport and once before boarding the airplane back to the United States.

How to pack cheese from other countries

Cheese that is vacuum sealed is the fail-proof way to bring cheese back into the United States. The clerk at our local cheese shop in Amsterdam said that she heard the cheese has to be pasteurized.

Here is what I did:

1. I had my cheese easily accessible in my tote bag in the Amsterdam airport. Two wedges of Dutch cheese fit in the body of it and one flat piece fit in the laptop/journal pocket.

2. I informed the airport security officer and the one by the conveyor belt that I had cheese but it was shrink-wrapped and that I had prescription shampoo. They both said to not worry and to not bring them out.

3. When I arrived in the United States Border and Customs area, the guy who you show your passport to asked, “Did you bring anything back or do you need to declare anything?” That is when I said that I had 3 slices of cheese (didn’t tell him that they were the size of books) but that they were shrink-wrapped.

Then he asked,
“Did you bring back any meat?” And when I said no, he said, “Then go ahead. Welcome back to the US.”


How to Pack for an International Airport’s Security Screening:

  1. Follow the liquids rule. If you need a walk through airport security, I show you what to do.
  2. Inform the officers if you have anything persnickety.
  3. Allow for long, slow-moving lines because of the passport checks and arrive 3 hours before your flight.

Travel Tip:

Our river cruise told us to arrive 4 hours prior to our flight. Do not forget to pack these items for your river cruise.

Need to pack outfits for Europe for a trip lasting 10 days? Watch this video for ideas.


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