While the size of your actual hand luggage can be a minefield to negotiate with different airlines allowing different sizes, weights and even number of bags, thankfully the acceptable contents of said hand luggage is a lot clearer.
Since 2006 we've had strict restrictions on what liquids can be taken onboard a plane in hand luggage. If possible, it's always best to pack your liquids into your main suitcase in the hold, but if you're only taking hand luggage or have essential liquids you need onboard, here are the restrictions:
You can take travel bottles over 100ml through security if they're:
Sprays including shaving foam, hairspray, deodorants etc can be included in your hand luggage toiletries if they're under 100ml.
Yes, tablets and capsules are allowed in your hand luggage. You can also take essential medicines over 100ml and medical equipment if they're essential for your journey.
You'll need to take a letter from your doctor or a copy of your prescription with you and be prepared for airport staff to open the containers and screen the liquids at security. Medical equipment is screened separately.
Yes, you can take your iPad on the plane as well as the following electrical devices:
You need to make sure your devices are charged before you get onboard in case airport security ask you to switch it on; if you can't do that it'll be taken off you.
Since leaving the EU in January 2021, British travellers from England, Wales and Scotland face restrictions on food and drink items allowed into the EU.
POAO – products of animal origin (meat and dairy) are no longer allowed; this extends to cakes that contain fresh cream and confectionery “made with high levels of unprocessed dairy ingredients”.
You're still allowed to take powdered infant milk, infant food and foods needed for medical reasons; they must weigh less than 2kg and be packaged, branded products.
Vegetables and most fruits are also banned – bananas, coconuts, dates and pineapples are the exception.
If you're so inclined, you're allowed up to 20kg of fish.
“Products other than those described above which do not contain meat or milk (eg honey)” are limited to 2kg.
On your return to Blighty there are no significant changes. The UK government says: "You can bring meat, dairy [and] other animal products, for example, fish, eggs and honey.”
With all sales of alcohol and tobacco for UK travellers heading to the European Union now being duty free, prices have dropped but there are now strict limits on what you can take into the EU:
“Other goods” are limited to a total of €430 (£390) for air and sea travellers.