Flying with Gifts: What To Bring and Not To Bring

One of the most exciting things about traveling during the holiday season is buying souvenirs or presents that you can bring home to your loved ones. However, flying with gifts domestically or internationally may put them at risk of being confiscated. Here’s how to can get through airport security without compromising your holiday presents:
  • Bring a gift bag instead of wrapping presents. Unless it’s fine with you that someone else will open the present before the person you’re planning to give it to. If your pretty wrapped gift gets flagged during the screening process, chances are TSA can and will unwrap it. To save you time and spare you from all the screening, simply bag it instead of wrapping them prior flying.
  • Avoid liquids and powder. Though you are allowed to have a quart-sized bag of liquids, gel, creams, and aerosols in 3.4 oz containers (100 ml) or less, it’s best to have these checked. Jams and jellies fall under the gel category and therefore should be contained in a quart-sized zip-top bag. Ideally, non-essential powders greater than 12-oz should be checked in as those weighing 12-oz will already be subject to screening.
  • Avoid toy guns and weapons (Nerf guns, toy sword, any toy that resembles realistic firearms) even if they're just toys as these can still pose as a threat.
  • Despite wanting to celebrate the holidays with a bang, it’s best not to bring home any English Christmas Crackers. Wrapped in a colorful paper is a cardboard paper tube with a banger inside that pops when the strip of silver fulminate reacts to the friction from pulling. While this and party poppers are both low-level explosives, it’s best to leave them behind or simply buy them when you get back home.
  • While they are wonderful presents to give, snow globes that are bigger than tennis balls should be left behind or checked in.
  • Baked goods should be packed in “clam-shell” food containers.
  • Ship instead of flying your presents to the destination. Some items might be tossed away if it doesn’t pass airport screening.
  • Apart from knowing the proper containers needed, be in the know of basic prohibited items: No liquids more than 3.4 ounces, plant material, magnetic items, weapons of any kind, flammable articles, pressure containers, poisons/corrosives, cannabis, illegal drugs, radioactive materials, etc.
Nobody likes having to have their pretty package wrapped a second time around or worse, spending for a new item if it gets tossed away or confiscated. In a nutshell, always be updated with what to carry and what not carry when flying, regardless you’re bringing home souvenirs, food, or a gift.