5 Helpful Holiday Travel Tips from the TSA Blog

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The holiday travel season is upon us! To make your trip through security easier, the folks over at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) blog have assembled a list of things to keep in mind when you’re packing. Here are the tips we found most helpful … and amusing. Happy travels!

1. Fruitcake is allowed in your carry-on.


"Contrary to popular belief, fruitcake is a delicious edible and permitted cake, not a WMD," writes Bob Burns on the TSA blog. Fruitcake joins a whole list of surprising things that are allowed on planes, which also include pies, cakes, bread, donuts, and turkeys (theoretically not a live one), though all may be subject to additional screening.

Foods that should be placed in your checked baggage or shipped include “cranberry sauce, creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.), gift baskets with liquid or gel food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings), gravy, jams, jellies, maple syrup, oils and vinegars, sauces, soups, wine, liquor and beer.” Check out a full list of things that should go in your checked baggage here.

Eggnog is also allowed, provided it’s less than 3.4 ounces, fits in the quart-sized bag you put your toiletries in, and doesn’t contain alcohol. (It’s okay—you can just buy some on the plane and combine them in the air.)

2. Snow Globes are now permitted!

At least if they’re about the size of a tennis ball or smaller, and the entire thing, including the base, fits in the same quart-sized bag that holds your toiletries and other liquids. Your Christmas shopping just got a lot easier.

3. ”Double check your bag for guns. Seriously!!!”

Based on the TSA’s Week in Review posts, you should also probably also check for knives, swords in canes, fireworks, stun guns, brass knuckles, grenades (we’re looking at you, Wayne Coyne), and ammunition. TSA officers find all of this, and more, at checkpoints across the U.S. every day.

4. Don’t wrap your gifts.


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Wrapped gifts are allowed, but if a TSA agent needs to inspect a gift, your wrap job might get a shredding like the one the cougar cub in the photo above is giving his presents. “Our officers try their best not to mangle the gift wrap, but it’s not a guarantee, and it also slows down the line for everybody else when we have to do this,” Burns writes in the post. “We’d rather unwrap the gifts that are under our trees.” Make things easier on everyone and use bags instead.

5. Go ahead: Wear that ugly Christmas Sweater.

Bad fashion might be a crime, but it isn't against the law. Just know that any DIY creations that include wires and lights will probably require additional screening.

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December 21, 2012 - 12:00pm
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