The world is huge

Don't miss any of it

Travel news, itineraries, and inspiration delivered straight to your inbox.

By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.


Olympics Bound? Beware of Carry-On Restrictions

Your bags are packed, your binoculars are polished, and your temperature is rising, a sure sign of Olympic fever. But Canada’s current carry-on baggage restrictions on flights to the U.S. mean that you’ll need to pack light and smart to not run into problems on the way home.

As a result of the attempted attack on Christmas Day, Canada instituted a one-carry-on policy on all flights to the U.S. And that presents a particular challenge, particularly for travelers who don’t want to check baggage.

Carry-ons include large purses or bags, suitcases, large laptop bags (see below for details about what constitutes large). So what doesn’t count as a carry-on? The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority has the full list, but here are some of the things you can take onboard in addition to a carry-on:

  • Little things: Eyeglasses, cell phones that fit in your pocket, wallets, mp3 players, e-books, newspapers, hats, jackets, travel pillows, small snacks, stuffed animals, prescription meds
  • Pets: Airline-approved pets in carrying cases.
  • Small purses: Purses/pouches/man bags/etc. smaller than 10 inches by 12 inches by 5 ½ inches. Anything larger than that counts as your one carry-on.
  • Laptop bags: “Regular” laptop bags, those over-the-shoulder jobbies, are exempt from carry-on status, but anything larger than that, say, for instance, a rolling laptop bag.
  • Medical devices: Crutches, canes, walkers, and other medically necessary devices won’t count as your one carry-on.
  • Other: Musical instruments and cameras (still and video) in “purpose-designed carrying cases.”

The carry-on restrictions are only part of what you need to consider for your return journey to the U.S. If you’re flying home, you’ll need a U.S. passport, and if you’re driving or cruising, you’ll need an approved form of enhanced identification. Read the Headed to the Olympics? Not Without a Passport blog post for details.

We hand-pick everything we recommend and select items through testing and reviews. Some products are sent to us free of charge with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions and do not accept compensation to review products. All items are in stock and prices are accurate at the time of publication. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Top Fares From