Can You Put A Tablet In Checked Luggage? A Detailed Guide

Traveling can be stressful enough without having to worry about your electronics getting damaged or stolen. If you’re getting ready to fly and want to bring your tablet along, you may be wondering if it’s safe to pack it in your checked luggage.

The quick answer is yes, you can put your tablet in checked luggage if you take the right precautions.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know about bringing your tablet in checked baggage. We’ll discuss how to properly pack your device, tips for preventing damage, if tablets are allowed by TSA regulations, and summarize the pros and cons of checking your tablet vs. carrying it on the plane.

How to Properly Pack Your Tablet for Checked Luggage

When traveling, it’s important to properly pack your tablet to ensure its safety during transit. Here are some tips to help you pack your tablet for checked luggage:

Use a padded case or sleeve

Invest in a quality padded case or sleeve specifically designed for tablets. This will provide an extra layer of protection against any accidental bumps or drops your luggage may experience. Make sure the case or sleeve fits your tablet snugly to prevent any movement inside the bag.

Wrap in clothing for extra padding

For added protection, wrap your tablet in soft clothing items such as t-shirts or sweaters. This will provide an additional layer of padding and help cushion your tablet from any potential impact. Avoid using bulky items that could add unnecessary weight or take up too much space in your luggage.

Use a luggage insert or organizer

If you’re concerned about your tablet getting jostled around in your luggage, consider using a luggage insert or organizer. These handy accessories help keep your belongings organized and secure, reducing the risk of damage during transit.

Look for one with a padded compartment specifically designed for tablets.

Place near the top of your bag

When packing your tablet, try to place it near the top of your bag. This will help minimize the chances of other items putting pressure on it or causing damage. Placing it in a separate compartment or pocket can also provide an extra layer of protection.

Avoid packing anything heavy or sharp nearby

To further protect your tablet, avoid packing any heavy or sharp objects near it. These items can potentially damage your tablet if they shift or move during transit. Keep your tablet isolated from any potential hazards to ensure its safety.

Remember, even with proper packing, there is always a risk of damage during transit. If your tablet is particularly valuable or fragile, it may be best to carry it with you in your carry-on luggage to ensure its safety.

For more information on packing your tablet for travel, you can visit Travel + Leisure or TSA.

Tips for Preventing Tablet Damage in Checked Bags

Turn off and charge the tablet before packing

Before packing your tablet in your checked luggage, it is essential to turn it off and ensure that it is fully charged. This is important for two reasons. Firstly, turning off the tablet will prevent any accidental activation during transit, such as notifications or software updates which could drain the battery.

Secondly, a fully charged tablet will be more resilient to power fluctuations during the journey, reducing the risk of damage.

Enable flight mode

Another important tip for preventing tablet damage in checked bags is to enable flight mode. Flight mode disables all wireless connectivity functions, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular data. This not only conserves battery life but also prevents the tablet from attempting to connect to networks or searching for signals.

By enabling flight mode, you reduce the chances of any potential interference or damage caused by network connectivity.

Back up data before traveling

Prior to packing your tablet in checked luggage, it is advisable to back up all your important data. This includes documents, photos, videos, and any other files that are valuable or irreplaceable. By creating a backup, you can ensure that even if your tablet gets damaged, lost, or stolen during transit, your data remains safe and accessible.

There are various cloud storage services available that can simplify the backup process, ensuring your data is securely stored and easily retrievable.

Bring chargers and cables in carry-on

While you may be tempted to pack your tablet charger and cables in your checked luggage to save space, it is strongly recommended to carry them in your carry-on bag instead. This way, you have immediate access to them in case you need to charge your tablet during your journey or at your destination.

Additionally, keeping your chargers and cables with you minimizes the risk of them getting lost, damaged, or stolen, which can be inconvenient and costly to replace.

Insure expensive devices

If you own an expensive tablet or any other electronic device, it may be wise to consider insuring it before traveling. Travel insurance policies often provide coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged electronic devices, including tablets.

This can give you peace of mind knowing that even if your tablet gets damaged or goes missing during transit, you will be financially protected. Be sure to read the policy terms and conditions carefully and consider the coverage limits and deductibles to ensure you have adequate protection for your valuable devices.

TSA Regulations for Tablets in Checked Luggage

Traveling with electronic devices, such as tablets, can sometimes be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the rules and regulations set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Here is a detailed guide on the TSA regulations for tablets in checked luggage.

Tablets are allowed in checked bags

Good news for tablet owners! The TSA allows tablets to be packed in checked bags. This means that you can safely stow your tablet in your suitcase without having to carry it in your carry-on bag. However, it’s important to note that there are still some guidelines and restrictions to be aware of.

No size or quantity limits

Unlike with liquids or certain other items, there are no specific size or quantity limits for tablets in checked luggage. Whether you have a small 7-inch tablet or a larger 12-inch one, you can pack it in your checked bag without any issues.

You can also bring multiple tablets if needed, as long as they are properly packed and meet the TSA’s guidelines for electronic devices.

Must clear security screening

Although tablets are allowed in checked bags, they still need to go through security screening. This means that your suitcase, including the tablet inside, will be subject to X-ray and other security checks.

It’s essential to ensure that your tablet is easily accessible to the TSA officers, so they can properly inspect it if necessary.

May need to turn on device at checkpoint

In some cases, the TSA may ask you to turn on your tablet at the security checkpoint. This is part of their efforts to ensure the safety of all passengers. If your tablet is out of battery or unable to power on, you may be required to undergo additional screening or even have your tablet confiscated.

To avoid any inconvenience, make sure your tablet is fully charged before heading to the airport.

For more information on TSA regulations and guidelines for traveling with electronic devices, you can visit the official TSA website at www.tsa.gov. It’s always a good idea to stay updated on the latest regulations to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Pros and Cons of Checking a Tablet vs. Carrying On

Pros of checking:

  • More room in carry-on for essentials: When you check your tablet, you free up valuable space in your carry-on bag for other important items such as clothes, toiletries, or even another electronic device.
  • Avoid gate lice by checking bags early: By checking your tablet early, you can avoid the hassle of competing with other passengers to find overhead bin space. This can save you from the stress of dealing with the “gate lice” who rush to board and claim bin space.
  • Don’t need to remove during security screening: When you check your tablet, you don’t have to worry about removing it from your bag during the security screening process. This can save you time and make the security process more convenient.

Cons of checking:

  • Higher risk of damage or theft: When you check your tablet, there is a greater chance of it getting damaged or stolen. Baggage handling can be rough, and there have been instances of theft from checked luggage.
  • No access to tablet during flight delays: If your flight gets delayed, you won’t have access to your tablet if it’s in your checked luggage. This can be frustrating, especially if you were relying on your tablet for entertainment or work during the flight.
  • Can’t use tablet during flight for entertainment: If you have your tablet in your carry-on bag, you can use it for entertainment purposes during the flight. However, if it’s in your checked luggage, you won’t have access to it until you retrieve your bag after landing.

Ultimately, whether to check your tablet or carry it on depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. If you have limited space in your carry-on bag or prefer not to deal with the hassle of removing your tablet during security screening, checking it might be the better option for you.

However, if you value having immediate access to your tablet during flight delays or want to ensure its safety, carrying it on is the way to go.

For more information on airline policies and restrictions regarding tablets and other electronic devices, you can visit TSA’s official website.


We hope this guide gave you all the details you need to decide if you want to check your tablet on your next flight. While checking a tablet does come with some risks, you can minimize the chances of damage by packing carefully.

For many travelers, the convenience of freeing up carry-on space and avoiding airport security hassles makes it worth checking their tablet in luggage when flying.

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