Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and since we know the days before and after this holiday are some of the busiest travel times of the year. It's safe to say the TSA line will be even more chaotic than usual. Plus, the Thanksgiving break is pretty short, so most of us won't be checking our bags, which means we'll have to schlep our essentials aboard the flight in a carry-on. While there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid the tedious security line, there are a few savvy dos and don'ts to keep in mind that'll get you to your gate smoothly without losing any belongings along the way. In fact, we took one for the team and braved the TSA government page of restricted items to come up with a quick one sheet.
With so many items on the no-fly list (410, to be exact), we were better off asking, "what can you take on a plane?" Admittedly, whoever wrote this Transformation Administration Security page has a great sense of humor when calling out surprising no-nos, like Magic 8 Balls, saying, "we asked the Magic 8 Ball and it told us… Outlook not so good!" for carry-ons.
We digress, but as we were saying, we narrowed down the TSA-approved item list to the 20 most important things to know about what you can take on a plane, from liquids to personal belongings and tech. We hope it saves you from having to throw anything away and makes the dreaded screening a little less stressful. Scroll the quick and convenient reference guide below for safe travels and happy trails.
No one can keep you away from your beloved skincare and haircare routines, not even TSA. Though you can't pack your full-size items if they're liquids greater than 3.4 fluid oz. (most products will let you know the size on the packaging), simply put them in travel-size bottles to avoid the problem altogether. The specific rule reads as follows:
"You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces or less per item."
We suggest packing a nourishing, hydrating balm while you travel. This calming blue concoction is a solid, though it melts into your skin like a liquid. Plus, it contains blue tansy, which is great for easing travel anxiety.
If you travel a lot and your signature scent doesn't come in a small bottle or you're afraid the glass will explode due to pressure from the altitude, it might be worth investing in a solid perfume that's super easy to bring and apply on the go like Santal from Le Labo.
If your face wash is too large or you're afraid it'll spill, opt for these handy cleansing sheets. They're great for freshening up after a long day of travel without the hassle of a full-on rinse in the airport arrivals bathroom.
Nothing is worse than being stranded in the air without a nourishing lip balm in sight. This soft and luminous chapstick is also a great way to downsize your beauty routine since it doubles as a lip and cheek tint.
Here's a PSA not to leave your important medications and supplements behind. This pill organizer makes it so much easier to stay on top of your health routine, and it saves space. So if you don't have enough space for all the pill bottles, just plan ahead to bring what you'll need.
Weirdly enough, a book of non-strike matches and Zippo lighters are allowed on board with you, though there are heavier restrictions for packing them away in your checked bag. So if you are a smoker or plan on including a cute matchbox or cool Zippo lighter as a thank you gift, you're in luck.
It's also a good idea to travel with important cards or copies of documents like proof of health insurance, credit cards, and a passport, even if you're also bringing your driver's license. This chic leather case will keep yours safe. This way, in case you lose anything while you're away, you'll have this backup to keep your travel day low-stress. However, we were both relieved and unsettled to hear that "TSA has other ways to confirm your identity, like using publicly available databases, so you can reach your flight" in case you lose all forms of ID. But it varies state to state, so it's better to be safe than sorry.
Surprisingly, you're allowed to bring some sharp objects aboard with you like a cuticle cutter, clippers, or a razor. That being said, we urge you to keep up your grooming routines upon reaching your final destination for the sake of your seatmates.
Practical, sleek, and versatile enough not to clash with any of your outfits, this hard-shell carry-on trolley is both convenient and cool to travel with. It's also small enough to fit in the overhead compartment, but you'll be able to fit enough of your belongings inside.
Make sure you finish any bottled water before you go through security, as TSA will make you toss a full bottle or chug it, and thus, hold up the line. Instead, bring your empty travel bottle and fill it up once you get to the gate so you can stay hydrated during your flight.
Believe it or not, you're allowed to bring alcoholic beverages as long as they're in a bottle under 3.04 oz./100 ml as well as being under 70% proof.
Baby formula, breast milk, and baby food are all allowed in your carry-on bag, even if the packaging is greater than 3.4 fluid ounces. Security is more relaxed about liquids when it comes to families traveling with small children. This baby food bowl is easy to carry, and the lid will help you avoid spills.
If you only have a large bottle of contact fluid or eye drops, make sure to get a travel size ahead of time, especially since flying can dry out your eyes.
If you were hoping to bring your wrinkle-release fabric sprays on board, you might have to swap them out for this small stain remover instead. The good news is that it won't take up much room in your carry-on.
Even if you are checking a bag, it's never a bad idea to bring a phone charger on board with you. With this compact battery reserve cable, you won't get stranded during a delay without a phone.
Though most airlines with seatback in-flight entertainment hand out headphones, you'll be able to tune out any noisy neighbors more effectively with this pair.
In case you needed the reminder, we're here to let you know how handy it is to have this little device while traveling.
Download a fun game to play on your phone before takeoff in case there's no in-flight entertainment or Wi-Fi access on board. Also, your Samsung Galaxy Note7 can't come with you because of fire risk.
Most airports make you take your laptop out of your carry-on and placed in its own tray to go through the Xray screening machine. That being said, you usually won't have to go through the hassle of taking it out of the case. This striking red option will be easy to spot while rushing through security.
Airplanes (and the beach) are where we get all our best reading done. Download a great ebook before the flight so you have something to look forward to and spend your time wisely on the flight.
For more info, check out the full list of TSA carry-on rules and regulations.