All the effort you’ll put into packing and lugging around bags of presents will be null if those presents get confiscated by TSA. Some common culprits around the holidays are snow globes (yes, that liquid needs to be 3.4 ounces or less, too), sporting equipment, toy guns or any toy that resembles a weapon, and cans of food that contain more than 3.4 ounces of liquid. While these are all allowed in checked luggage, you can’t keep them in your carry-on. While there is a way to get back items confiscated by TSA, it’ll be easier on everyone if you verify that your presents meet the TSA requirements.
Don’t wrap gifts
But if you still want to wrap them…
Put them in a checked bag. TSA is less likely to unwrap them that way. Follow these tips to fit everything you need into your suitcase, including heavy presents. One exception: Never pack glass or fragile items in your carry-on. You never know how your luggage could be tossed around once it leaves your side.
Pack them in the right suitcase
Keep valuable gifts with you
Be prepared to gate check
Air travel always spikes during the holidays, which means more people and luggage on a plane that doesn’t have much space to begin with. (Follow these 12 tips to stay comfortable on a crowded flight.) Other passengers will undoubtedly have the same idea as you and pack gifts in as much luggage as they can bring. That means your chances of finding overhead storage space are slim—another reason to keep valuables in a bag that can fit under the seat in front of you.