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I'd like to put a filled backpack in my suitcase (for check-in luggage) along some other items -- this is to protect the items inside the backpack from damage.

Is this allowed/any other potential issues I should know about?

  • The inner bag isn't woven from hemp is it? – smci Sep 18 '18 at 11:16
  • If you try to put all bags that don't contain themselves in your bag, you'll likely get into trouble. – Acccumulation Sep 19 '18 at 17:35
  • @Acccumulation I'm not sure what you mean -- what's a bag that doesn't contain itself? – Abhimanyu Pallavi Sudhir Sep 20 '18 at 3:09
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Yes. A bag is not a restricted item and so you can back as many bags in your suitcase or another bag.

This something I often do to carry specialty bags. I have used this to pack camera bags that I will use at my destination, backpacks to use for hiking or as day pack, beach bags, etc. My wife often packs some purses that match different outfits in too.

There two things to be mindful about with regards to security, since they can open bags for inspection:

  • Make sure the inner bag can be opened too. If you lock you bags using TSA locks, either do not lock the inner bag or use a TSA lock there too.
  • If you have items that are likely to be inspected, then better put those in the outer bag directly. It will avoid them disturbing the contents of the inner bag and making a mess or simply leaving the items in the suitcase without putting them back in the inner bag. From my experience, repacking after an inspection is not done very carefully. Items with tubing, wiring, batteries are like to be inspected, so usually I place those in a different bag than fragile items. I carry a tripod, for example, that almost always gets the bag inspected, so I put it so that it is easily visible when the suitcase is opened.
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    I've used this method in the past to bypass the "one carry-on bag" rule when I had 2 bags (the bigger one was half empty) – RozzA Sep 16 '18 at 22:20
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    That works too. In fact, last year I've also used it on some connections that did not allow personal items, so I place it inside the carry-on. – Itai Sep 16 '18 at 23:54
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    I have packed small suitcases inside bigger suitcases more than once and I have packed an empty daypack inside suitcases more than once. It didn't even cause an inspection. – Loren Pechtel Sep 17 '18 at 2:08
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    Just make sure you don't pack a bag of holding inside another bag of holding, it causes quite a mess. – RozzA Sep 17 '18 at 5:13
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    I did that once, and forgot that I had a portable hole in the innermost bag od holding. Hilarity ensued. – Mawg Sep 17 '18 at 14:31
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It's quite common.

You can find plenty of questions on this site with recommandations to do so, e.g. to have a bag for dirty clothes to separate them from the clean clothes.

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    Sure, but for that you just need a good plastic bag or similar, not a standalone backpack. – Rup Sep 17 '18 at 9:51
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As others have said, yes, it is perfectly fine to do so. Last time I did this was only a couple of months ago, coming from Tbilisi to London. I left London with two bags, as I was taking quite a bit of stuff there and had to pay for the second bag. On the way back I only had a few personal items, so put them in the smaller suitcase and put the smaller one into the larger one. It was still within allowed weight, so nobody asked anything.

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    I've done the opposite - taken two nested bags outbound, brought them back as two separate and full bags for the homeward bound flight. – Jim MacKenzie Sep 17 '18 at 3:56

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