Traveling during the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. This year, AAA forecastswill head somewhere for the holidays. With so many people funneling through airports, lines are expected to get longer and slower. One way to speed them up is to know what to pack before you head out.
The Transportation Security Administration has ato most items: snow globes (check, unless they contain less than 3.4 ounces of liquid), antlers (fine in either carry-on or checked baggage, box cutters (only allowed in checked luggage). But if you’re not in the mood to scroll around on a government website, here are some of the broad categories of things to check and things to carry on for your holiday travels.
“The most common thing that slows down a traveler at a TSA checkpoint is having a prohibited item in a carry-on bag,” TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein said in a statement. “TSA’s advice is that when a traveler is ready to pack for a trip that it is best to start with an empty bag so the passenger knows with certainty what they have inside and they know that there is nothing prohibited in a side pouch, zippered pocket or just in the bottom of a bag.”
Things you should carry on
◾ Medication: f something goes wrong on your trip, you’ll want your meds with you. During flight disruptions, you could wind up separated from your checked bags.
◾ Batteries: Regular AA and AAA batteries are fine in either checked or carry-on bags, but most devices that use lithium-ion batteries like cellphones and smart luggage have to be brought into the cabin. The batteries can be a fire hazard in the cargo hold.
◾ Baby supplies: Anything your baby needs on board should be more or less fine to bring, including formula in containers larger than 3.4 ounces.
Things you should check
◾ Weapons of any kind: Check with your airline first for guidance on how to pack them. TSA has reported aof firearms at checkpoints recently and that can slow down your travel experience and possibly lead to referral to law enforcement.
◾ Battery-powered mobility devices: Airlines are generally unable to store large mobility devices on board and they almost always have to be checked.are frequent and travelers with disabilities are advocating for improvements. TSA agents may require you to remove the batteries from the device.
◾ Corkscrews with foil blades: You’re not allowed to open your own wine on the plane anyway. Corkscrews without the blade can go in your carry-on but why?
◾ Food: Although most kinds of food are permitted onboard, certain spreadables and creamy cheeses may need to be checked. In addition, some food products like coffee or canned goods show up as suspicious during TSA X-ray screenings, so those items may just be easier to check.
◾ Wrapped gifts: Again, these are technically permitted on board so long as there isn’t a prohibited item under the wrapping paper, but TSA agents may require you to unwrap the gifts as part of the screening, so it’s generally a better idea to wait to wrap any presents until you arrive at your holiday destination.
For further questions, the TSA can be reached on multiple social media platforms or by text at 275-872.
Zach Wichter is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at email@example.com
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