It’s one of the busiest seasons of the year for air travel, and chances are, you’ll be traveling with gifts. Incorrectly packing gifts for holiday flights can cause slowdowns at security checkpoints and potentially ruin your careful and loving wrapping job.
These tricks will help you tackle your luggage woes and glide through long security lines.
1- DON’T WRAP IT UP
Although TSA allows wrapped gifts in carry-ons and checked bags, if they spot something suspicious it might be opened. It’s generally better to wait until after your flight to wrap packages.
2 – USE GIFT BAGS
Rather than worry about TSA opening your wrapped gifts or having the paper get torn in transit, pack gift bags and tissue paper instead. These items pack flat and won’t add much bulk or weight to your luggage. Once you’ve landed, it will be easy to assemble everything.
3 – CHOOSE YOUR LUGGAGE CAREFULLY
A large, hard-sided suitcase gives fragile gifts extra protection during the journey. Packing gifts that are small but heavy in your carry-on bag helps your checked bag remain within the airline’s weight allowance. Never put valuables or irreplaceable items in a checked bag – keep them with you at all times!
4 – CONSIDER YOUR GROUND TRANSPORTATION
Upon arrival, is someone picking you up at the airport, or are you renting a car? In either of these cases, it might be manageable to bring extra suitcases of gifts. (Watch for extra baggage expenses!) If you have to deal with public transportation on your way to your final destination, it will probably be less hassle to have things shipped to the recipients instead.
5 – KNOW WHAT NOT TO CARRY
Just as a reminder, these popular gift items are prohibited in your carry-on bags, and should be placed in your checked bags:
- Bottles of wine
- Snow globes
- Power drills, hammers, tools longer than 7 inches
- Baseball bats, golf clubs, hockey sticks
Still have questions? Check out the TSA’s full list of prohibited items here or ask your travel agent!
We hope everyone has a safe and smooth journey this holiday season!