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      Although going to Baja is probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on, when flying down the process of going through airport security can be a challenge. The good folks at TSA are gradually getting their act together, and it seems like it gets easier to pass through airport secirity with each passing month.

      On your trip to Baja you will experience airport security at you home airport and also when departing Loreto, La Paz or Los Cabos International Airport. If you think the Mexicans will be lax in their responsibilities of airport security...think again. You will probably experience very diligent security efforts at all airport locations. Mexican officials take airport security very seriously.

      When getting ready to pack your bags for your Baja adventure it is a good idea to plan ahead for airport security. As a general rule the good folks at the security checkpoints will not allow you to pass through into the terminal gate areas with anything on your person or in your carry on luggage that could be used as a weapon. They are a little less strict on items that are packed in your luggage that is being checked in. Obviously all types of explosives and flammable items are forbidden in the luggage area and in the main cabin.

      For a list of items that are forbidden and permitted visit the TSA TRAVEL TIPS web site.

      Additional information on travel items includes:

      • Scissors: Metal scissors with pointed tips can not be carried on board, but plastic scissors or scissors with blunt tips are usually allowed.

      • Knives: Knives are forbidden in carry-on baggage but allowed in baggage that is checked in. Round bladed, butter and plastic knives are usually allowed on board.

      • Knitting needles: Usually allowed in carry-on and checked in baggage unless the TSA screener deems that the needles in question may be used as a weapon.

      • Razor blades: Razor blades not in cartridges, box cutters, and utility knives are not allowed in carry-on baggage but are allowed in checked-in luggage.

      • Sports equipment: Items that may be used as a weapon or that may be dangerous are not allowed in carry-on, such as ice skates, hockey sticks, ski poles, baseball bats, etc.

      • Other items: Any item that may be perceived by the TSA screener to be a threat to the security of the aircraft may be forbidden. Pieces of glass or metal, bands of wire, spray paint any many other items that may be seen as dangerous may be confiscated by the officials.


      Baja visitors who are driving to Baja have a one-in-twenty chance of having their vehicle inspected at the Tijuana border on the way down, and about one-in-one hundred when crossing back into the United States.

      While driving in Baja you can expect to be stopped and have your vehicle inspected by young armed soldiers about every 200 miles (on average). These inspections are more common when you are driving northbound. As long as you aren't carrying drugs, guns, ammunition or mangos you will usually be on your way within a couple of minutes.


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