7 weird things you might not know are illegal to fly with - including tent pegs, steak pie and hair dye

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If you have a holiday booked for 2023, it’s worth checking just in case - experts have revealed seven items you may not have even considered are illegal to bring onto a flight abroad.

It can be tricky to keep up with all the changes that come in on a regular basis when it comes to airport security and travelling to international countries.  For example, last year it was announced that restrictions on liquids and removing electrical items from bags would be scrapped, despite the rules being in place since 2006.

But there are still plenty of things you won’t be able to bring with you on a plane without breaking the law - and some of them might surprise you. If you have a holiday booked abroad and are puzzled about what you are and aren’t allowed to bring, the team of experts at BPP University Law School have revealed seven items you may not have even considered are illegal to bring onto a flight abroad.

7 of the weirdest items you might not know are illegal to fly with

Tent pegs

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Are you thinking about flying abroad for a music festival this year, but planning on only taking hand luggage? If the answer is yes, you might want to think twice about taking camping gear with you on board the plane.

It’s actually against the law to carry tent pegs or poles in your hand luggage. If you’re planning to pitch a tent while you are away, then you might want to consider packing it into a hold luggage case or buying one when you get to the destination - or you might just find yourself sleeping under the stars.


While you can pack food in your hand luggage, there are certain rules about what you can and can’t take with you on a plane and that includes soup. You might think a tub of cream of tomato poses less of a threat to your safety than carrying a lighter, but it does technically count as a liquid, so anything above 100ml is not permitted to be in a carry-on.

The same goes for items such as clotted cream.

Badminton rackets

Are you an avid sports lover, who can’t resist a game of badminton on the beach when you go abroad? As it turns out, badminton rackets are actually off-limits when it comes to flying abroad and it might not be for the reason you think.

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Simply put, the rackets can’t fit in a carry-on because they are too big. So, if you are planning a game while you are away, it’s best to put the rackets in checked-in luggage or buy a set when you arrive at your destination.

Hair dye features on the list of items that are illegal to bring with you on a plane.Hair dye features on the list of items that are illegal to bring with you on a plane.
Hair dye features on the list of items that are illegal to bring with you on a plane. | BPP Law School

Steak pie

Like with carrying soup, weirdly enough you cannot have steak pie with you aboard a flight, unless it is stashed away in your checked-in luggage - but why? Any pie lover will know that a good steak pie will be filled with gravy to complement the meat and pastry.

While it might not be something you may even consider, gravy actually counts as a liquid and under flight regulations is banned. So, if you’re planning a trip to the Highlands & Islands at some point, it’s best to steer clear of stashing one of their famous pies in your carry-on to tuck into on the plane home.


Though it might be a bit more of an obvious one, carrying drills is not permitted on flights as they are considered dangerous and a risk to passenger safety. If you are an overseas plumber or handyperson, you will need to pay for checked-in luggage to take them abroad with you.

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In fact, the same goes for all tools such as saws, cutting mats, hammers, and paint thinners. Therefore if you are planning on doing a little DIY while abroad, you’ll need to pay and pack them into hold luggage or buy them when you are out there.


Drones are becoming a popular piece of equipment among adventure seekers, to help them capture memories that they would otherwise not be able to do so on a camera. But while you might think it is a good idea to pack one into your hold luggage to keep it safe and avoid any damage, you might want to think again.

Drones often contain lithium batteries, which are required by law to be placed in your hand luggage, so that if something goes wrong staff can intervene and prevent it from causing any further issues. Before packing a drone you should check the laws in the country you are travelling to, such as in Nicaragua where flying drones are banned if you don’t have a permit.

Hair dye

Thinking of giving your roots a going over before hitting the town? You might want to do it before heading to the airport.A lot of hair dye actually contains a chemical peroxide, and any form of toxic substance or chemical is a big no when flying abroad. So, unless you want to have it confiscated before reaching your destination, you may have to do your hair before you go or wait until you touch down on holiday. 

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