How to Bring Gifts Through Security

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Waiting in line at the airport (Photo: Xavi Arnau/iStockpoto.com)
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 12, 2008. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, airport, packing, Sarah Pascarella, security.

Even though we've determined it's often cheaper to ship gifts ahead of time, you may still find yourself having to bring presents to the airport. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has put together a checklist of how to get through security with your holiday gifts. Here are the essentials:

If you have any gifts that are liquid-based, you'll want to check them. Liquid- and gel-based items will not be permitted in carry-on bags and may be confiscated by security officials. This includes wine, beer, and liquor; jams and jellies; perfumes and lotions. The rule applies to items brought to the airport—if you've purchased items at an airport store past the security checkpoints, those are cleared for carry-on transport. However, note that if you have a connecting flight and need to go through security again at your connecting airport, you may hit a few snafus.

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Make sure all of your gifts are unwrapped. Security officials will want to know what's inside the wrapped packages, and may open them to determine what they contain. Don't waste your time and wrapping paper—wait to wrap your presents until you get to your destination.

Have further questions? Check out the TSA website for additional tips and recommendations.

Do you have a holiday story about trying to take gifts through security? Share your experiences by submitting a comment below!

 
 
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