What to Check vs. What to Carry on Your Vacation Trips

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Traveling during the holidays can be one of the most stressful times of the year. This year, AAA expects more than 55 million people to head somewhere for the holidays. With a large number of people flowing through airports, lines are expected to become longer and slower. One way to speed it up is to know what to pack before you head out.

The Transportation Security Administration has Comprehensive guide For most items: Ice balls (checked, unless they contain less than 3.4 ounces of liquid), antler (good in carry-on or checked baggage), box cutters (only allowed in checked baggage). But if not in checked baggage Mood to browse on a government website Here are some broad categories of things to check out and things to do during 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 spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein said in a statement. “TSA advice is that when a traveler is ready to pack for a trip, it is best to start with an empty bag so the passenger knows for sure what is inside and knows that nothing is prohibited in the side bag and zippered pocket. Or just in the bottom of the bag.

Things you should keep doing

medicine: If something goes wrong on your trip, you will need to have your medications with you. During flight disruptions, you may end up separated from your checked baggage.

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Batteries: Regular AA and AAA batteries are fine in either checked or carry-on baggage, but most devices that use lithium-ion batteries such as mobile phones and smart bags must be brought into the cabin. Batteries can pose a fire hazard in the cargo hold.

Baby supplies: You should be fine to bring anything your baby needs on the plane, including formula packaged in containers larger than 3.4 ounces.

Things you should check

Weapons of any type: Check with your airline first for instructions on how to pack it. TSA has been reporting an increased number of firearms at checkpoints recently, which may slow down your travel experience and possibly result in a 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. Reports of damage are frequent and travelers with disabilities are calling for improvements. TSA agents may ask you to remove the batteries from the device.

Keys with foil blades: You are not allowed to open your own wine on board anyway. Keys without the blade can be used in your carry-on bag, but why?

Cruising height: Avoid lines and high ticket prices by traveling on holidays

Gray areas

food: Although most types of food are allowed on board, some spreads and cream cheeses may need to be checked. Additionally, some food products such as coffee or canned goods show up as suspicious during TSA X-ray checks, so these items may be easier to screen.

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Wrapped gifts: Again, these gifts are technically allowed on the plane as long as there’s no prohibited item underneath the wrapping paper, but TSA agents may ask you to unwrap gifts as part of screening, so it’s generally best to wait to wrap any. Gifts until you arrive at your holiday destination.

For further questions, the TSA can be reached on multiple social media platforms or by texting 275-872.

Zach Wechter is a travel correspondent for USA TODAY based in New York. You can reach him at [email protected]

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