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Flying with Gifts? Holiday Dos and Don’ts

In addition to shopping, flying back home and fighting holiday traffic in a rental car, the Transportation and Security Administration’s (TSA) rules just add to the stress level. That’s because when you’re traveling during the busy holiday season, the TSA’s 3-1-1 guidelines not only apply to your toiletries, but to your gifts as well. Just in case you don’t know the rules already, they’re listed below:

3 - Liquids, aerosols and gels need to be in containers that are three ounces or less

1 - These items should be stored in a one-quart, clear plastic zip-top bag

1 - Only one zip-top bag per passenger.

So, in addition to making sure your favorite shampoo and hairspray are within the size limitations and fit in the baggie, you’ll also have to ensure that your gifts (including perfume, lotions and even snow globes) are properly packed in the zip-top bag and within the prescribed size limitation, too.

It’s important to note that these rules also hold true for food items, including jellies, wine, salsa etc. You are allowed to bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but it might take awhile to get through because of additional screening.

Another important thing to remember: Don’t bother wrapping gifts. Chances are, security will need to inspect them – and that means they will be unwrapped.

Of course, items you purchase at the airport after passing through the security checkpoint are acceptable, since they’ve already been screened. Sometimes the best solution for holiday gifts is to ship them ahead of time.