how many pieces of luggage are OK to bring as a tourist?


Aug 13, 2009
How much luggage can I bring through security without them getting suspicious? One-way plane ticket from the US, getting the 90-day tourist stamp. I could fill two big suitcases + carry-on, but I worry that so many pieces would be a red flag. (I plan to stay in BA indefinitely, renewing every 90 days.)

If they ask about my one-way ticket, I'm planning to say that I'll go to another country in South America next. But, for example, Buquebus allows only 2 pieces of luggage.

So what do you think -- bring only 1 suitcase and 1 carry-on, or is there a good excuse that will get me past security smoothly? I don't want to get taxed or sent back to the US or whatever. :)

(My suitcases will mostly carry clothes, personal items, a few books, etc. but I'll also bring used electronics -- laptop, a couple of harddrives, camera, phone, printer, etc. I can claim those are needed because I am a freelancer, I guess, and I need to do some work while on vacation?)

As always, thanks for answering my questions. You guys are the best.
Airlines in the USA won't sell you a one-way ticket to Argentina unless you have a permanent residency stamp in your passport.

I arrived in BsAs with ten boxes, two suitcases and a printer in 1999. I paid the equivalent of another plane ticket in extra baggage charges. Customs wanted to know the contents of the boxes and why I came with it. Be prepared for the same.

You have more research to do. This forum is a good place to start.
I would bring a new laptop + one big external hard drive, phone, ipod,camera etc...

Forget the printer as they are reasonable down here... too heavy and bulky..!.

2 suitcase will not be a problem, I have never been asked about anything I have brought in ever... ( within reason, ie. 5 laptops might raise an eyebrow or 2..!!!):rolleyes:
Thanks for the fast response jantango. I already have my one-way ticket (on American Airlines) and they did not ask about permanent residency. Based on other threads here, I don't think it will be a problem for me as long as I can tell them how/why I'm exiting Argentina.

If you came with a permanent residency stamp in your passport I think you & I are in different situations and it sounds like customs has gotten a lot stricter in the last year or two, too! But thanks for your feedback.

I still look forward to hearing how those of you who are 'tourists' deal luggage when you travel back and forth especially with one-way tickets.
Thanks, Neil! I'll have to look into those printers, is toner cheap too?... but if I can fit it into my luggage, free is still better than cheap. Unless *that* will raise a big red flag, of course.

And FWIW it'd be three pieces total (2 suitcases and a big backpack that just barely qualifies as a carry-on ;) -- you still think that's OK?
Where this will bite you is at the airport, where you will be most likely denied boarding unless you can demonstrate an ongoing passage out of Argentina (preferably on another carrier). I ran into this problem frequently in the past when I was returning to Argentina on a round trip originating in Argentina. This is an airline regulation, not a governmet one, and is essentially to prevent the airline from being responsible for you if you are denied entrance into your destination country.

The quick fix is to buy a one-way fully refundable ticket (preferably on another carrier) to somewhere else (I suggest Montevideo as the cheapest) and get it refunded after you are safely here. That was what I did for several years before I got a residency, and I just kept changing the date on the ticket before it expired.

BTW, good advice on not bringing a printer (besides the hassle of 220v.), and several phones I brought down don't work right here as well, I don't know why.
Both Inkjet + Laser are cheap to refill here....!
hepdoll said:
How much luggage can I bring through security without them getting suspicious? .

BTW, suspicious of what? There is no reason they will care that you plan to stay here indefinitely, as long as you do it legally.

Don't be nervous about this (or anything!)

Good luck!

captdave, thanks for the encouragement. :) So you think that the US officials here in the airport won't let me board if I can't prove a way to leave Argentina, but that the EZE officials will have no problem letting me through on a one-way ticket no matter how much luggage I have? (As long as everything in the luggage is used, OR I pay a tariff on anything new?)
American airlines will sell you the ticket, but that doesn't mean they'll let you fly. I have friends who've been refused boarding with AA. Check with them before you fly, could be a costly mistake.