Can you take wrapped presents on a plane? Holiday travel tips from the TSA

(WETM) – The holidays can be both a wonderful and stressful time of the year and knowing what holiday staples you can and can’t take on a plane can make the difference

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are offering up these holiday travel tips for those flying with wrapped gifts, food and drinks, decorations, and candles.

Can I fly with a wrapped present?

While wrapped presents aren’t prohibited, the TSA says they “highly encourage you to keep your presents unwrapped” just in case an officer needs to inspect them.

Liquid gifts such as colognes or perfumes must not exceed 3.4 ounces in your carry-on bag.

Can I fly with holiday beverages or alcohol?

Favorite holiday drinks such as sparkling schnapps, mulled wine, buttered rum punch, and peppermint chocolate martinis can travel in checked bags. If it’s between 24-70 percent alcohol the items need to be 5 liters or less and in their “original unopened packaging”

You can pack as many alcoholic beverages as you want as long as they contain less than 24 percent alcohol.

If your corkscrew has a blade, place it in your checked bag and make sure that it’s securely sheathed or wrapped.

Can I fly with holiday food?

While it’s not required, the TSA says travelers should consider removing food from carry-on bags and placing it in a separate bin during the security screening process.

If you are planning on packing your holiday meals on ice, or if you’ve decided that this is finally the year to present the family with the ultimate iconic ice sculpture for the holiday table setting, the ice needs to remain frozen so it sticks to the 3-1-1 liquid rules.

The FAA rules allow up to 5 pounds of dry ice in a package properly marked and vented. However, the airline has the final say, so make sure to check with them to see if they will allow this icy item in either your carry-on or checked bag.

Can I fly with poinsettias, holly, or other plans?

Plants can be brought on a plane as a carry-on as long as the plant fits in the overhead compartment or under your seat.

Can I fly with holiday lights?

According to the TSA, strings of holiday lights can be brought onto a plane either in a carry-on or checked bag as long as they can’t get tangled through the security checkpoint.

Can I travel with holiday candles, menorah oil?

The TSA says you can “consider your menorah and Chanukah candles golden to bring in your carry-on.” The same goes for anyone celebrating Kwanzaa with a Kinara.

If your menorah uses oil, make sure it follows the 3-1-1 liquid rule or place it in your checked bag.

Can I fly with Christmas ornaments or snowglobes?

Most Christmas ornaments and snowglobes are fine to travel with as a carry-on as long as they’re properly packed. Snowglobes can only have 3.4 ounces of liquid or less and need to fit in a quart-sized resealable plastic bag.

The TSA has more travel tips for those flying this holiday season, including how to follow the 3-1-1 liquid rule, what to know when packing, and what you need to remove at the security checkout.

Before Packing

  • Liquids, gels and aerosols packed in carry-on must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule:
    • 3.4 ounces or less per container
    • 1 quart size, clear, plastic, zip top bag (all liquids must fit in bag)
    • 1 bag per passenger
  •  Review the prohibited items list for both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • If purchasing a baggage lock, be sure to look for those that are TSA recognized.
  • Tape a card with your name and contact information on your electronics.

When Packing

  •  Pack items in layers (shoes one layer, clothes one layer, electronics one layer, etc.)
  •  Firearms are only allowed in checked baggage and must be unloaded, placed in a locked, hard-sided container and declared to your airline.
  •  All fireworks contain explosive materials and are not permitted in checked or carry-on baggage.
  •  Pack large electronics on top layer of carry-on for screening accessibility.
  •  Place your 3-1-1 bag with liquids, gels and aerosols in the front pocket of your carry-on for accessibility.
  •  If traveling with a pet, be sure to bring a leash so carriers can be properly screened.

Before Leaving for the Airport

Before Entering the Checkpoint

  •  Eligible passengers look for the TSA PreCheck® lane for expedited screening at participating airports.
  •  Have your ID and boarding pass out for inspection.

In Standard Screening Lane

  •  Remove the 3-1-1 liquids bag and place it in the bin.
  •  Ensure pockets are empty (keys, tissues, currency, wallets, cell phones, etc.) and remove bulky jewelry (valuable items can be placed in carry-on).
  •  Remove your shoes and place them directly on the X-ray belt.
  •  Remove personal electronic devices larger than a cell phone from your carry-on bag and place them into a bin with nothing placed on or under them for X-ray screening. (E.g. laptops, tablets, e-readers and handheld game consoles.)
  •  Remember to check the bins and collect all belongings after going through screening.

For more travel tips visit the TSA or FAA website.