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Traveling with Electronics: Easy Tips For Smooth Flying

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We live in the incredible age of electronics, so when traveling, these devices naturally they need to tag along with us. But how can traveling with electronics be made easier? Forgetting one charger or device can make or break a vacation or business trip. And what is the best way to pack everything one needs to feel safe and secure away from home?

When I began flying, I would inevitably forget one thing each time I flew. Not to mention, I never knew how to get through airport security effectively. Now, I have it down to an art, and have everything I need at my destination.

In this article, we will cover the TSA rules for traveling with electronics by air, how to pack electronics for safe travel, and what electronics are a must have on the best vacation ever.

Together let’s dive right into the best way to pack electronics.

Navigating Airport Security with Electronics

Let’s say everything is packed, and the airport security screening is just up ahead. What now?

The TSA has rules and regulations for almost everything when flying, and it’s no different for devices. It is best to carry a laptop in your carry-on bag to keep it safe. When traveling with electronics, the size and type do make a difference. Larger items, such as laptops and iPads, will need to go in a bin when passing through security. Security wants to scan these devices individually for a clearer picture of the battery.

Sometimes, an iPad and cell phone are fine left in the carry-on bag. If in doubt, look at the signs leading up to the scanners and ask the TSA officer for clarification.

An exception to these rules is Pre TSA. I have my Pre TSA and do not need to remove any items from my bag in most airports. However, some TSA personnel require that I remove my laptop. With Pre TSA, I went through a deep dive background check to get my KTN. So, at the scanners, they know that I am a safe person. Someone with a record or prior offenses will not be granted their Pre TSA.

Be Prepared

When traveling with electronics, keep everything organized in your carry-on bag. As you approach the security checkpoint, know where your items are in the bag so you can easily remove them and put them in a separate bin for screening.

A word of caution: do not leave your devices. You will go through the body scanner and be on the receiving end of your belongings. Be sure to stand where you can see your electronics coming out of the scanner to retrieve them safely. More than likely, no one will mess with your things, but it is best to be safe.

Choosing the Right Bag for Your Electronics

When choosing a bag for all your electronics, focus on both protection and accessibility.

I always carry a laptop scan smart backpack because it has a padded laptop sleeve, multiple pockets, and is easy to use.

TSA says that some bags are acceptable for leaving a laptop in when going through the scanner. A scan smart bag is one of these. The area where the laptop sleeve is located will fully unzip and lay flat. This allows an unobstructed view of the laptop and is a more convenient way of traveling with electronics.

If you are traveling with electronics as a tech-savvy person and your volume exceeds what most of us carry, there are some other options. Yes, throwing all the cords into one large bag is an option, but not one I would suggest. That bundle of conglomerated cords will be difficult for the scanners to decipher and may trigger a deeper search of your gear.

Instead, try a large cord organizer bag that will fit into your carry-on or travel well in a checked bag. Amazon has a few options that range from 10 to 12 inches in width.

Packing Your Electronics Safely and Efficiently

Once you’ve chosen the perfect bag when traveling with electronics, it’s time to focus on packing. The following are just a few quick tips to ensure the safety of your gear.

If the electronic equipment is a high-tech camera, investing in a protective case with individual pockets will help improve safety. Some camera cases are hard shells, which will go the extra mile to prevent damage. Neoprene and leather are also durable outer shells for protection.

If you are like me and travel for fun but need all of your devices and cords with you, a smaller organizer will suffice.

As mentioned above, organization is the key to smooth travel through airport security. To keep everything in order, wrap cords and chargers neatly with cable organizers, Velcro straps, or even twist ties. If a carry-on is all the luggage needed, designate an area in the bag for electronic items. It will be easier for the scanners to see what is in the bag and for you to locate each item if the TSA requests they be removed to a bin.

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Tips for Using Electronics During Your Trip

Once you’ve successfully navigated airport security when traveling with electronics, there are a few things to consider when flying.

  • Airplane Mode: Airlines still require all devices, such as cell phones and iPads, to be in airplane mode during flight.
  • Power Bank: Pack one fully charged power bank just in case the devices die in mid-flight. Most airlines allow one and maybe two power banks in a carry on bag.
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth devices such as headphones will work when a phone is in airplane mode.

When traveling with electronics, remember the travel adapter and, if necessary, a voltage converter. These will be lifesavers in foreign countries, to keep all electronic equipment charged.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Traveling With Electronics

We know that traveling with electronics can raise some questions and concerns. To help you feel more prepared and confident, we’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions related to traveling with electronics, along with their answers.

Can I pack spare lithium batteries in my checked luggage?

Spare lithium batteries, such as those used in laptops, cameras, and smartphones, are not allowed in checked luggage. They must be carried in your carry-on baggage with the terminals protected to prevent short-circuiting. For more information, visit the FAA’s guidelines on batteries.

How can I keep my devices secure from theft while traveling?

To minimize the risk of theft, never leave your devices unattended in public spaces. Store your electronics in hotel safes or lockable luggage compartments when not in use. Consider using a theft-resistant bag or backpack with anti-theft features such as slash-resistant materials, locking zippers, and RFID-blocking compartments.

Can I use my electronic devices during the flight?

You can use your electronic devices during the flight as long as they are in airplane mode. However, you must follow the airline’s specific policies and instructions from the flight crew regarding when you can use your devices, particularly during takeoff and landing.

Additional Resources

If you are looking for more tutorials, walkthroughs, and troubleshooting on TSA, here are some additional posts about TSA:


Traveling with electronics doesn’t have to be a hassle. By following these tips for packing, protecting, and using your devices, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. For more expert travel advice, check out our article on how to get through TSA smoothly and make your next trip a breeze.

Happy travels, my friends.

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Laura Fuller

Hello, I am a luggage and travel fanatic. With a vast knowledge of TSA regulations, I am here to assist you on your journey. Please join me, and together, we will navigate the world of travel. From TSA and air to cruising the high seas, we will explore the best accessories and tips for smooth travel.

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