TSA Approved Gun Case & Ammunition Guide [2023]

Are you thinking about bringing your guns/firearms and/or ammunition through the airport and on to your next destination? If so, there are some specific TSA rules related to traveling with guns that you need to know about  before you ever set foot in an airport. In this article, I break down all the rules for TSA approved gun cases and also provide you with links to all of the firearm policies for the major US airlines. 

Can you bring firearms through the airport? 

Yes, you may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container but as checked baggage only. Some of the things to keep in mind are that the guns need to be unloaded and the container needs to: 

  • Have a lock
  • Be hard-sided
  • Transported with checked baggage

Keep reading below for more details on the rules.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Firearm transport restrictions: 8 things to know 

1. State and local laws 

When traveling to and from the airport, remember to comply with the laws concerning possession of firearms since these can differ a lot, depending on the city, state, etc. For a list of relevant laws pertaining to traveling with guns in every state click here

2. What is a “firearm?”

It’s a good idea to check with your airline to see what exactly is considered a firearm if you are on the fence. For example, here’s the definition of firearm provided by Alaska Airlines: 

A “firearm” is any weapon that will, or is designed to, or may be readily converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, or the frame or receiver of any such weapon. This includes:

  • Sporting rifles, shotguns, and handguns
  • Handguns of authorized law enforcement officers while traveling on official duty
  • Starter pistols, compressed air or BB guns, and flare pistols
  • Antique firearms
  • Silencers/suppressors

Notice that even BB guns fall under this category. If you have a paintball gun they might not be subject to the container requirements. For example, Southwest states that “[p]aintball guns are allowed in checked baggage and are not subject to the container requirements of firearms.” Just check with your airline if you are in doubt. 

Relate: Can You Bring Pepper Spray on a Plane?

3. International travel with firearms

If you are traveling internationally with a firearm in checked baggage, you should check with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information and requirements prior to travel.

Here’s what the CBP states

Current export regulations issued by the Department of State require travelers to file Electronic Export Information (EEI) for temporary export of personally owned firearms via the Automated Export System (AES) prior to departure from the United States.

You will likely need to complete a CBP Form 4457. Once the CBP 4457 is completed, it can be used over and over again for the same firearm. You also want to get familiar with the import requirements of the foreign country(s) (the CBP Form 4457 may be required for entry). For more on international firearm travel regulations click here

US Customs and Border Protection form.
US Customs and Border Protection form.

4. Firearm must be unloaded 

When you are traveling with your firearm through an airport, it must be unloaded. 49 CFR 1540.5 defines what a loaded firearm is and states that:

Loaded firearm means a firearm that has a live round of ammunition, or any component thereof, in the chamber or cylinder or in a magazine inserted in the firearm.

Some also recommend locking the slide back to show that the gun is not loaded. But just make sure that the gun is not loaded or you could face some harsh consequences like getting fined or even criminal consequences.

5. Choosing a container and lock

Firearms must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container and transported as checked baggage only. Sometimes multiple locks may be required or used to secure the baggage. (You are usually NOT required to place locks in every available hole on the case, as long as the case is secure.)

Only the passenger should retain the key or the combination to the firearm lock. The exception to this is if TSA personnel request the key to open the firearm pursuant to TSA regulations for inspection. This means that you need to be on alert as you make your way through the terminals just in case your are paged by airport agents that they need to inspect your container after you have checked it. 

You may use any brand or type of lock to secure your firearm case. I would not go with a container that has a “TSA approved” lock on it (the type of lock that TSA agents can open up), since you want to avoid as much potential tampering with your firearm as possible.  

Here are some links to TSA compliant firearm containers, many of which are on the cheaper side. Keep in mind that you don’t have to use a “firearm” case. Any hard-sided case that can be securely locked will suffice, even if it’s not specifically designed for firearms. 

Related: TSA Approved Locks Guide (Worth It?)




Bass Pro Shops

6. Declaring your firearm (checking-in)

Once you arrive at the airport you need to declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter (you can’t check your firearm at the curb). This process could take some extra time to complete so you don’t want to be rushing through the airport when you’re traveling with a firearm — give yourself a little bit of extra time.

You’ll have to read and sign a tag ensuring that you are complying with all the firearm regulations and then insert that tag into your firearms bag. The TSA inspection will take place at the check-in counter or may take place at another TSA area. 

The container that you choose to use must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. If the locked case can be easily opened it will not be permitted. You should note that the container the firearm was in when purchased may not adequately secure the firearm when it is transported in checked baggage.

Declare each firearm each time you present it for transport as checked baggage. Ask your airline about limitations or fees that may apply. You can read the policies for each major US carrier below: 

I would recommend for you to print out/download the policy for the airline that you’re flying with to ensure that the process runs smoothly. Sometimes airline agents don’t know their own policies and will assume how things should work and you’ll have to check them which is easy to do when you have their policy on you. 

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

7. Firearm parts 

Firearm parts cannot be transported in your carry-on bags. So things like magazines, clips, bolts, and firing pins, must be transported in checked baggage. Also, replica firearms (even toys) must be transported in checked baggage only. However, rifle scopes are permitted in carry-on and checked baggage.

8. Ammunition

Ammunition is prohibited in carry-on baggage, but small arms ammunition may be transported in checked baggage when being transported securely for personal use according to 49 CFR 175.10 (a)(8). 

Small arms ammunition includes cartridges up to 19.1 mm (.75 caliber) and shotgun shells of any gauge. (It does not include black powder, smokeless powder, primers, percussion caps, or homemade powder and ball loads for muzzle loading.)

Firearm magazines and ammunition clips, whether loaded or empty, must be securely boxed or included within a hard-sided case containing an unloaded firearm.

You can store your small arms ammunition in the same hard-sided case as the firearm or in a secured box made up of certain materials. TSA states that, small arms ammunition “must be packaged in a fiber (such as cardboard), wood, plastic, or metal box specifically designed to carry ammunition.”

The federal regulation that speaks on this is 49 CFR 175.10 (a)(8) and it states:

(8) Small arms ammunition for personal use carried by a crewmember or passenger in checked baggage only, if securely packed in boxes or other packagings specifically designed to carry small amounts of ammunition. Ammunition clips and magazines must also be securely boxed. This paragraph does not apply to persons traveling under the provisions of 49 CFR 1544.219.

Also, you should check with your airline if ammunition is allowed in checked bags.

Related: Does TSA Check For Arrest Warrants?

The risk of getting fined by TSA

TSA can fine passengers for violating certain rules and the fines for failing to abide by the transport rules for firearms are some of the biggest penalties.

So make sure that you properly package your firearm and that it is not loaded when you arrive at the airport because that is one of the major violations.

And also, always triple check that your firearm is not in your carry-on bag because taking a firearm through airport security, especially if you have access to ammunition, could result of a hefty fine (along with referral to law-enforcement).

Firearms through the airport FAQ

What is considered a firearm?

Typically a firearm will include:

Sporting rifles, shotguns, and handguns
Handguns of authorized law enforcement officers while traveling on official duty
Starter pistols, compressed air or BB guns, and flare pistols
Antique firearms

If you have any questions, be sure to check with the airline you are flying with.

Can I bring a firearm on an international flight?

You may be able to bring your firearm on international flights in your checked baggage. However, you may have to fill out extra paperwork including a CBP Form 4457.

Does my firearm need to be unloaded?

When traveling through an airport with your firearm, it must be unloaded or you might be subjected to a large fine and/or face criminal consequences.

Can I bring ammo in my carry-on?

No, you are not allowed to bring ammunition in your carry-on.

Final word 

The rules aren’t that complex when it comes to traveling with firearms through airports. The key is to make sure you get a TSA-compliant case that has a hard shell and comes with a key lock or combination lock. Also, it’s very key to remember to unload the weapon before storing it. And if you’re planning on traveling internationally, you should do some research on the regulations in the country you’ll be arriving in. 

Can You Bring a Blender or Mixer on a Plane? Whisking it With TSA

Bringing a blender or mixer on a plane is not the most common thing you see every day.

However, sometimes people need to bring their blenders/mixers to stay healthy on the road, serve up different dishes, or perhaps deliver gifts to others.

But are blenders going to be allowed through airport security? And if you bring them in your checked baggage, is there anything you need to know?

Below, we will take a look at TSA’s rules for taking your blenders and mixers through airport security and breakdown everything you need to know.

Can you bring a blender or mixer on a plane?

You can bring blenders in your carry-on if they do not contain blades but you can bring blenders with blades in your checked baggage.

Hand mixers and KitchenAid’s are generally allowed in your carry-on and checked baggage although some sharp attachments may not be allowed in your carry-on.

Keep reading below for more details on how specific types of blenders are treated by TSA.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!


The problems with blenders

TSA allows all sorts of electronics through airport security so certain components of blenders like the motors don’t necessarily present any kind of threat.

But blenders with all of their parts and pieces intact can be problematic.

The biggest issue with blenders is that they usually contain blades. These sharp, stainless steel blades can cut through just about anything so it’s no wonder that they could be considered a threat on a plane.

If your blender contains blades the only way you can bring it through as a carry-on is if the blades are removed. Otherwise, it will always have to go in your checked baggage.

Pack blades securely in your checked baggage

When you do pack blenders in your checked baggage make sure that you take certain precautions.

First, you want to make sure that you wrap up the blades or have them secured. This is because sometimes your bag could be inspected by a TSA agent.

Blenders sometimes come in funky shapes so it would not surprise me if they ever set off the trigger for a checked baggage inspection.

If you had your blades loosely packed in your bag, a TSA agent could easily get cut up pretty bad so take precautions like wrapping the blades in newspaper or layers of cloth.

Whether you have a glass or plastic container, you also need to think about protecting your blender container so that it doesn’t get crushed, cracked or chipped.

The safest route would be to bring the container with you as a carry-on so that you can protect it yourself. For example, you could keep it on your person or place it safely under the seat in front of you between your feet (if it can fit).

Plastic containers will be able to take more abuse in your checked baggage but they can still get broken with enough force. If you plan on bringing a glass blender container, read our tips on traveling with glass to find out how to take adequate steps to protect it from breaking.

Be prepared for extra screening

If you are bringing your blender through airport security as a carry-on and you have removed the blades, it’s still possible that a TSA agent will want to take a closer look at your blender.

Again, some blenders just look odd and have weird looking components or attachments.

TSA agents are known to take a close look at anything unfamiliar so be prepared to spend a few extra minutes in security if you bring your blender through.

Related: Can You Bring Food on a Plane?

Different types of blenders and the TSA policy for each type

Blenders come in a lot of different forms and so below, I’ve broken down each type of blender you might think about bringing and what TSA has to say about them.

Hand Mixer

Handmixers are used for beating ingredients such as eggs and you can find electric versions of these which give your forearms a much-needed rest.

Bakers rejoice because these are allowed through TSA in your carry-on or checked bag because they do not contain any blades.


Immersion Blender (or Stick Blender)

These are handheld blenders that are often used to blend up soups and other hot liquids. Others may even use them for protein powder shakes or creating tasty treats like pudding.

TSA does not allow you to bring immersion blenders in your carry-on if they have the blade but they will be allowed in your checked baggage even if they have the blade.

If you have a mixer attachment those should be allowed.

Immersion blender

Single-Serve Blender

Sometimes called bullet blenders, single-serve blenders come from popular brands like NutriBullet, Ninja, and Magic Bullet.

They work great for making smoothies and chopping up ice. Plus, you can drink your smoothie straight out of the container if you want to.

TSA will not allow these to go through as a carry-on if they contain the blade but you can bring these through in your checked luggage with the blade.

Remember that if you made a smoothie, you can only bring liquid containers that hold no more than 3.4 fluid ounces so you would not be able to bring a container filled up with any amount of smoothie.

bullet blender

Portable blender

Portable blenders are similar to the personal blenders above in that they are compact and can serve up a single smoothie.

The big difference is that these are made up of a single tube, often glass that screws into the blade base and lid. BlendJet is a good example of one of these.

The extreme portability makes them great for making smoothies in your car, after a workout at the gym, or even bringing them to your workplace. They also would be perfect for travel.

TSA will not allow these to go through as a carry-on if they contain the blade but you can bring these through in your checked luggage with the blade. The blade may not be detachable for some of these so they may have to always go in your checked baggage.

Bladeless blenders

Bladeless blenders are a new invention and allow you to blend things up without having to use a blade. For example, they could use an Aer Disc, which is a disc perforated with 12 holes designed to aerate and agitate ingredients.

People will use them for delicate blends like shaking cocktails (mojitos) but they can also be used to whisk (aquafaba, meringue, or fresh whipped cream) or emulsify (hollandaise sauce, mayonnaise, or aioli).

This one is a little bit of a tricky one because by their very name, these are “bladeless” blenders and so they should be allowed in your carry-on.

The problem is many TSA agents may not be familiar with these and the circular disk could still trigger them to take a second look.

Personally, I would probably travel with these in my checked luggage to avoid any issues but if you did run into trouble at the security checkpoint, you could pull up the product online and show them that it is literally a bladeless blender and so it should be allowed.

Also, you could mention that cheese graters are allowed and those, while somewhat similar in structure, would be able to inflict more damage than one of these.

Countertop blender

Countertop blenders are some of the most common types of blenders and are made by big brands like Vitamix and Kitchenaid. These are often used for drinks and smoothies.

Countertop blenders are pretty big and may have a 2L capacity so traveling with these along with their big base is not always the easiest.

That said, if you remove the blades you can take them in your carry-on and they will also be allowed in your checked baggage even with the blades. Your typical countertop blender should fit within the carry-on size dimensions for most airlines.

countertop blender

Commercial blender

Commercial blenders are those large blenders with high power that are often used by restaurants and cafés. However, some people who do frequent blending use them in the kitchen.

Popular commercial blenders would be blenders like the Vitamix 5200 and Cleanblend Blenders.

The same rules for countertop blenders would apply to commercial blenders. Basically, you could take these in your checked baggage and in your carry-on if you remove the blades.

Because these have an even bigger motor and larger build than countertop blenders, these may be even more difficult to travel with. However, they can probably still fit as a carry-on with some airlines.

For example the Vitamix 5200 has dimensions of 20.5 x 8.75 x 7.25 in. United Airlines has carry-on dimensions of 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches, so even these large blenders would fit within those dimensions.

Stand mixer

Stand mixers are super popular for baking and for that reason they are also called cake mixers. These can come with a lot of different types of attachments including mixers, dough hooks, pasta press, food grinder, grain mill and many others.

Popular brands include: KitchenAid, Cuisinart, Hamilton Beach, and Kenwood.

The stand mixer itself can come through as a carry-on or in your checked baggage. If you bring a stand mixer as your carry-on, you need to be mindful about the carry-on size restrictions.

These can be quite bulky so it’s best to verify that they fit within the size specifications.

For example, the Pro Line® Series 7 Quart Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer has a height of 16 2/5 inches, depth of 14 3/5 inches, and a width of 13 3/10 inches but it weighs 32 pounds.

That’s pretty close to the weight limit some airlines publish for carry-ons so be mindful of that.

The attachments should not be a problem in your checked baggage but some of them could be problematic when bringing them through as a carry-on. For example, if you had a dough hook and it was pointed, TSA will not allow that.

Other attachments may just get you strange looks or enhanced security inspections so be prepared to wait extra time.

Final word

When it comes to traveling with blenders, it really just comes down to avoiding traveling with sharp objects.

As long as you have the blades removed, you can bring your blender through as a carry-on and while some are pretty large, for the most part they still should comply with carry-on size requirements for airlines.

Blenders with blades can always go in your checked baggage but you just need to be mindful about how you pack so that you don’t risk exposing a TSA agent to a sharp blade.

And finally, we’re going through airport security don’t be surprised if you get questioned about your blender especially if it looks peculiar or is a new product TSA has not seen before.

Can You Bring Protein Powder on a Plane? TSA’s Rules on Bulking While Flying [2023]

Traveling while staying healthy and on track with your diet can be extremely difficult. And it’s even harder when you’re trying to stay on top of your supplement intake.

A lot of people wonder whether or not they can take protein powder like MusclePharm Combat on a plane and if TSA will give them any issues.

Well, in this article we are here to clear up all the confusion.

We’ll provide you some clarity on TSA rules for bringing protein on a plane and also provide you with some really helpful tips so that your airport experience will be as smooth as possible.

Can you bring protein powder on a plane?

Yes, you can bring protein powder on a plane in your carry-on or checked baggage. When bringing it as a carry-on, if the amount is greater than 12 ounces you need to place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening.

Also, the powder might be subject to additional TSA screening so you may want to place it in your checked luggage to avoid delays at security.

Keep reading below for some tips on how to best transport your protein and potentially avoid getting the additional screening!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

TSA rules on protein powder

TSA allows protein powder in both carry-ons and checked luggage.

Protein powder is one of the rare items where TSA provides additional guidance and they state:

Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened. For your convenience, we encourage you to place non-essential powders greater than 12 oz. in checked bags.

Tip: 12 ounces is about the size of a can of soda.

Separate bin

Similar to traveling with electronics or liquids, if your powder is more than 12 ounces you will need to place your protein powder in a separate bin whenever it goes through for x-ray screening.

As far as I know, the x-rays should not affect the quality of your protein.

However, if you are not comfortable with your protein getting hit with x-rays you can talk with the TSA agent and they may allow you to bypass the x-ray scanner.

In that case you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll have to go through additional screening (which can also happen even when your protein powder does go through the scanner).

Additional screening

The biggest issue with bringing protein powder through airport security is the potential for additional screening.

Explosives and drugs can often come in powdered form and that is one of the main reasons why TSA applies extra scrutiny to powders.

Basically, a TSA agent would take your protein powder to a separate station, open up the container and then inspect the powder. They may even take a small sample of it for testing or give it a swab (along with yourself and other belongings).

Just how long will this additional screening take?

Well, it depends.

Similar to SSSS inspections, sometimes there needs to be a supervisor present when this type of testing occurs. If that supervisor is currently busy then it could be a while before you get through with your protein powder.

An additional wait time of 15 to 20 minutes is not unheard of.

If you are cutting it close with your arrival time to the airport then that could be a bad situation.

But in most situations you should be in and out within a couple of minutes.

It’s worth noting that agent discretion is involved. So if for whatever reason they cannot verify your powder is just protein, you could be essentially forced to hand it over.

Related: TSA Body Scanners: Images & Machines Explained

security checkpoint

How to take protein powder on a plane

Since protein powder is allowed you don’t have to worry about getting yourself in trouble for bringing it. Also, because there are no limits on the quantity you could in theory bring as much protein as you’d like.

But you might want to put some thought in how you are going to transport it so that you can reduce your chances of getting the additional screening.

There are a few ways you can transport your protein powder and some are better than others.

For example, wrapping rectangular blocks of white protein powder with duct tape and placing them in a false bottom in your black duffel bag (along with your cash) is probably not the ideal way.

So here are a few suggestions.

I’ll first give tips for bringing protein powder as a carry-on and then also give you some insight into personal items and checked baggage.

Leave it in the container/original packaging

If you leave your protein powder in its original packaging a TSA officer will probably be less likely to question it.

The problem is protein powder can come in pretty large containers, which can be difficult to store in your carry-on and a bit awkward to carry around.

To make things easier, you could always purchase a small container of protein powder that you use exclusively for traveling.

Or, you could purchase those small individual packs of protein and bring those with you.

Put your protein in a Ziploc bag

Another option is to place your protein powder in a Ziploc bag so that you can more easily transport smaller quantities.

Some people might put all of the protein into one large bag and others might load it into individual bags (for each serving).

You can go either route although I would prefer to keep my protein in one packaged container if possible.

If you are worried about getting questioned you could always put a label on the bag.

Just writing “protein” on the bag could be enough.

You might think that putting your unlabeled powdery substance in a Ziploc bag would be a bad idea but plenty of travelers get through without additional screening when transporting protein in plastic bags (or even tupperware).

Note: There are some reports of bags getting poked by agents and powder leaking out so you might want to have a second bag on hand in case that happens to you.

Put your protein bag in a shaker bottle

If you want to send a message to TSA that you are just a fitness nut traveling with your protein powder or meal replacement shake then you could put your bag of protein powder in your shaker bottle.

That might cause some agents to give you a pass since they can more easily make the connection between your powder and it being a workout supplement.

I would avoid putting your protein directly in your shaker bottle because it could leak or more easily get spilled during testing.

Protein funnels

Some avid workout folks use protein funnels, which are small funnels that can store your protein and easily be poured into a bottle.

These should be fine to bring through security.

guy scooping protein in shaker bottle
You can transport your protein in a shaker bottle but you should probably put it in a bag first.

Protein powder as a personal item

If your jug of protein powder will not fit inside your carry-on you can probably bring it along as a personal item.

In fact, some airlines might even consider your protein powder to count as food which means that it would be considered a free “bonus item.”

That would likely happen if your protein powder was in a shaker bottle.

So it could be possible for you to board the plane with a carry-on, personal item, and your protein in some situations.

Protein powder in checked baggage

If you have a large amount of protein powder you should probably just take TSA’s advice and put it in your checked baggage to avoid any extra hassle.

If you are packing it in a bag you might consider double bagging it.

For one, that can help prevent spills.

But there are some reports of protein bags getting punctured for testing and if you double bag your protein you can decrease the odds of spillage.

Different types of protein powder

All different types of protein powder should be treated the same: whey, casein, egg, pea, isolates, etc.

Some people feel more comfortable bringing dark-colored protein powder like chocolate flavored powder. The thinking is this type of protein powder looks (and smells) a lot less like drugs or explosives.

Once a TSA agent gets a big whiff of coco they may be less inclined to put you through the rigors of chemical testing.

Different forms of protein

You might also be curious about bringing different forms of protein along such as protein drinks and protein bars.

Protein shakes

If you have a protein shake it’s a much different story getting through airport security.

If you made your own protein shake in a shaker bottle or if you purchased liquid protein in a bottle, either way your protein will be subject to the liquids rule.

This means that you would have to fit your protein shake within a 3.4 ounce container and have it placed in a clear plastic bag.

So it is possible to bring a liquid protein shake through airport security but it’s going to be a pretty small quantity and typically protein shakes take up more volume than that.

Protein bars

Solid protein bars or energy bars are allowed through security.

You might be surprised to find out that TSA allows all sorts of different foods through airport security as long as they are solid.

Protein gels

If you have some sort of pack containing a protein gel that will be considered a liquid and therefore be subject to the liquids rule.

This means that they should be stored in a single, quart-sized bag along with your other liquids. As long as it fits within that bag and is under 3.4 ounces you can probably bring it but you could run into some resistance.

Pills and vitamins

A lot of gym rats also tend to take different types of pills and vitamins.

These should be just fine as TSA is pretty relaxed when it comes to taking things like medication through security. (Just see my warning on international flights below.)

protein bars
Protein bars will count as food for TSA purposes.

Other types of powder

It’s worth noting that protein powder is not the only powdery substance subject to TSA’s heightened rules.

Many other type of powders can cause TSA agents to apply more scrutiny to you when going through security:

What exactly counts as a powder?

Back when the rules changed in 2018 American Airlines issued a statement and helped to to provide some clarity:

Powder-like substances are described as fine dry particles produced by the grinding, crushing, or disintegration of a solid substance (i.e. flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk, and cosmetics).”

So the rules above would also apply to things like: pre-workout powder, creatine, and BCAAs. Those tend to come in smaller servings so they often are easier to take with you through security.

Worth noting: certain powders are exempt from secondary screening, including baby formula, medically necessary powders and human remains.

International flights

If you are flying internationally you may want to do a little bit of research to make sure the country you are visiting does not have some type of weird or unexpected prohibition on certain protein powders.

Keep in mind that some protein powders are hemp-based and products like hemp can be problematic in certain countries.

Also, some supplements may have ingredients that are outlawed in certain countries.

It will probably be rare for you to run into issues like these but it’s something to at least look into when going abroad.


Can I bring my protein powder in a Ziploc bag?

Yes, many travelers bring protein powder through airport security in a Ziploc bag. Try writing a label on your bag it says “protein powder” to decrease the odds of getting additional screening.

Should I put my protein powder in my checked baggage?

Putting your protein powder in your checked baggage can prevent you from dealing with additional screening with TSA. If you have over 12 ounces of protein, you may want to put it in your checked baggage.

Can I bring my protein in my shaker bottle?

Yes, if you bring protein in your shaker bottle it’s best to place the protein in a bag first and then insert the bag into your shaker bottle to prevent spillage.

Can I bring protein funnels through TSA?

Yes, bringing your protein funnels through TSA should not be a problem.

Can I bring protein powder on an international flight?

You can bring protein powder to many countries when flying internationally. However, occasionally a country will ban a certain type of supplement so it’s best to do some research for that individual country before you depart.

Can I bring pre-workout on a plane?

Yes, pre-workout will be subject to the same powder rules but it is allowed by TSA.

Final word

TSA is pretty lenient when it comes to traveling with protein powder. Your protein powder is 100% allowed to carry on although it is recommended to put it in your checked baggage if you have over 12 ounces. Try to keep your protein in its standard packaging to avoid extra suspicion and be prepared for TSA agents to perform additional screening on occasion.

Can You Bring Fruit on a Plane?

A lot of people are shocked to find out that they can bring all types of food on a plane without any problem with TSA.

But when you’re bringing fruits, especially fresh fruits, you can run into more issues depending on where you are departing and arriving.

In this article, will try to slice through the confusion to give you a fresh perspective on traveling with fruit on a plane.

Can you bring fruit on a plane?

You can bring fruit on a domestic flight within the mainland US without any issues in the vast majority of cases.

However, if you were flying between the mainland and states or territories like Hawaii or Puerto Rico, you will need to declare your fruit and ensure that they pass inspection.

In addition, if you are flying internationally you need to make sure your fruit is allowed and that it passes inspection after you declare it.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Why is bringing fruit such a problem?

The main reason why countries and states want to control what fruit makes its way through their airports is to prevent outbreaks of destructive pests.

Unfortunately, invasive pests are known to live in many different types of fruits.

What type of pests are we talking about?

There are quite a few to worry about including things like certain maggots, weevils, and curculio, but the big one is the fruit fly.

These come in different varieties like the Caribbean Fruit Fly and the Mexican Fruit Fly

All of these invasive pests can be a real danger to agriculture.

Not only can the ecosystem take a major hit but losses could be catastrophic for farmers and ranchers — not to mention all of the laborers which might depend on a specific fruit like bananas to make a living. We are talking billions of dollars.

The effects of a major outbreak event could ripple well downstream and could mean higher grocery bills along with food shortages.

Even with protocols in place, sometimes these pests still find a way to make it in.

For example, in 2015 an American Mediterranean fruit fly was detected in Puerto Rico, capable of causing damage to tomato, mango, avocado, coffee, papaya and cantaloupe.

So travelers should really take these regulations seriously so that they don’t bring about an environmental disaster.

What you need to know about bringing fruit on a plane

Below, I’ll talk about some specific rules and regulations for bringing fruit when traveling by aircraft to various locations.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are a few general rules you can expect to encounter when trying to bring fruit on a plane.

Domestic travel on the mainland US

If you’re hopping from one mainland state to another or traveling within one state on the mainland, you will not have to declare your fruit.

What’s more, TSA will allow you to bring fruit in your checked bag or carry-on.

You must declare for certain regions

If you are bringing fruit from the US to a sensitive region or vice versa you will have to declare that fruit.

The fruit will then have to pass an inspection and you will be checked for any necessary permits (if needed).

Typically, the way it works is that there are some types of fruits that you can bring in but only after they have been inspected.

Then there are certain types of fruit that are never allowed.

It will be up to you to make sure you have reviewed the latest guidelines for whatever destination you are arriving in.

Canned fruits are usually okay

Commercially canned fruits are rarely ever a problem although sometimes you need to show the country of origin, so it helps if you maintain the packaging and keep your receipts.

Frozen fruit is sometimes okay

Frozen fruit is allowed sometimes but other times it is not, such as when arriving into the US from an international flight. You might run into nuanced rules like “no frozen mangoes with seeds” so keep that in mind.

Related: How to (Legally) Bring Pineapples From Hawaii to the Mainland

Travel between the US and sensitive regions

You really need to pay attention to fruit rules when you travel between the mainland of the US and “sensitive” regions such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico.

The restrictions apply both when you are leaving the mainland and coming back.

To get a sense of what you can expect when flying to the mainland from certain sensitive regions let’s dive into the regulations for Puerto Rico and Hawaii.

First, when traveling from Puerto Rico to the mainland you can bring in fruit items like:

  • Cantelope
  • Cannonball fruit
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon

Those are just a few of the permitted fruit items.

As for what fruits are not allowed, this just includes things not found on that list.

So often you just have to perform a search on a given USDA page or PDF to see if you can find your desired fruit. Usually, if a fruit is allowed it will be explicitly mentioned.

And don’t think that because Puerto Rico is a US territory that you don’t have to declare your items. You still do.

In fact, if you fail to declare that could result in civil penalties ranging from $100 to $1,000 per violation.

You’ll also find similar restrictions on traveling from Hawaii to the mainland.

From the Mainland

Now let’s that say you were traveling from the mainland to somewhere like Hawaii.

When you are departing from the mainland, TSA states:

Passengers flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland cannot take most fresh fruits and vegetables due to the risk of spreading invasive plant pests.

TSA does not offer much detail which is understandable because this is not their domain so once again we have to check with the USDA.

Hawaii allows most plants into the state but only after an inspection.

It’s also worth noting that some fruits will have to have a permit and/or quarantine, treatments, or certification.

These include the following:

  • Pineapple and bromeliad plants and fruits
  • Passion fruit plants and seeds
  • Citrus and pulpy fruits from Florida & Puerto Rico
  • Coconuts

In general, foods that are cooked, canned, frozen or commercially processed and/or packaged are allowed to be transported to Hawaii, as long as the product is arriving from within the U.S.

Traveling within the mainland

When traveling within the mainland you may also have to be mindful of specific regulations that certain states have. For example, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) provides specific guidelines on bringing fruits and vegetables into California.

You might be surprised how specific some of these restrictions are and what the conditions of entry might be.

For example, you may have to get certain items inspected if you are bringing in an item from a restricted state. There may even be restrictions applying to specific counties within a state.

You won’t find CDFA checkpoints at airports like you will when entering in through land borders but you will still be expected to comply with these regulations so you should be aware of them.

Traveling internationally

The rules get tighter when you travel with fruit on an international route. Let’s take a look at some of the key rules for traveling with fruit into the US.

The general rule for fresh fruits

The vast majority of fresh fruits are prohibited from entering the United States.

Something to be aware of on a plane is that this rule applies to fresh fruits you might be given on the airplane.

For example, it’s common for first class and business class flights to provide you with fresh fruit especially towards the end of your flight.

You’ll have to make sure to throw those out before you head through customs.

Asiana first class fruit tart and ginseng tea

Canned fruits

For the most part, commercially canned fruits are allowed to be brought into the US as long as you declare them.

Just be aware that Customs will not allow home-canned products due to the lack of standards in canning practices.

Frozen fruits

Most frozen fruits are prohibited from entering the US.

This is apparently because some tests and diseases can survive even in cold temperatures. This is a departure from the rule going to Hawaii so it’s a notable difference to remember.

Dried fruits

Most dried fruits will not be allowed in the US unless you have met special requirements.

Always remember to declare!

If you are coming into the US, you will have to declare all agriculture products, including fruit.

They would then need to pass an inspection to ensure that they are not harboring pests or disease.

It’s a good idea to keep all receipts and original packaging of your fruit with you as proof of the country of origin as that can often be very relevant.

Just make sure that you declare your items because you could face penalties if you don’t.

If you are worried about getting in trouble in case your fruit does not pass inspection, don’t worry about that. There is no penalty if an inspector determines that your fruit is not allowed.

But if Customs catches you with undeclared fruits, which can be easily detected using their search dogs, you could be facing some legal issues and a fine.

Region specific restrictions

In some cases there may be special restrictions based on the exact part of the country you’re coming from and even your mode of transportation.

For example, let’s say that you were coming into the US from Ontario, Canada, via a land border. You would not be allowed to bring fresh cherries grown in Ontario.

However you would be able to bring those cherries grown in a different Canadian province as long as you accompany it with documentation demonstrating the point of origin.

So you see, these rules can be tricky.

Final word

On a typical domestic flight, bringing fruit on a plane is not very complicated.

But when you are traveling between the mainland and certain sensitive states or territories you will need to be mindful of what fruits are not allowed and also remember to declare your fruit and then make sure that it will pass inspection.

The rules get tighter for international travel and most fruit will not be allowed into the US unless it falls under an exception such as it being commercially canned. Even in that case, you still need to declare it!

Can You Take Ashes (Cremated Remains) On a Plane?

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is already a tough time.

But when there is also travel involved, logistics can add to your worries and stress.

If you’re thinking about taking ashes or cremated remains through TSA and on a plane, make sure that you are aware of some of the key restrictions so that you don’t have issues at the security checkpoint.

Below, we will break down all of the restrictions you need to consider and also provide you with some guidance for dealing with individual airlines.

Can you take ashes (cremated remains) on a plane?

Yes, you can take ashes (cremated remains) on a plane.

However, you need to make sure that you are transporting them in a container that can pass through an x-ray machine at a TSA security checkpoint.

In addition to that, you might need to bring a death certificate and cremation certificate to comply with airline requirements. Finally, keep in mind that some airlines do not allow cremated remains to travel in checked baggage.

Taking ashes on as a carry-on

Most airlines will recommend you to take ashes on the plane as a carry-on item since you can reduce the odds of them getting damaged.

Some airlines, such as American Airlines will treat your cremated remains as a carry-on bag. But other airlines like JetBlue do not count cremated remains as a personal item or carry-on bag. So you always want to verify with airlines if the remains will be considered a carry-on.

As far as getting through TSA, they do allow you to take cremated remains through the security checkpoint. However, some containers like lead-based ceramic, stone, bronze, or other metal urns can be problematic for the security scanners.

TSA states:

If the container is made of a material that generates an opaque image, TSA officers will not be able to clearly determine what is inside the container and the container will not be allowed

For that reason, you should check with the funeral home to see if they can provide you with a TSA compliant container for human remains.

These will typically be containers made of lighter materials such as:

  • Non-lead lined ceramic
  • Covered calabash
  • Sachet/fabric
  • Biodegradable paper
  • Cardboard
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Plastic

All of these can all easily be x-rayed. Sometimes these are referred to as “temporary containers” and ideally the ashes would be sealed in a bag on the inside of one of these containers to prevent spilling.

You can always remove the ashes from the permanent container and place them in the temporary container so that your (empty) permanent container can get through security on its own. The permanent container might still trigger a closer inspection but because it will be empty, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Try to give yourself some extra time to get through security because sometimes powdery substances can trigger a closer inspection and slow you down through security.

Gathering your documents

It might make your travels easier if you have a death certificate on hand. In fact, some airlines may require you to show such documentation. Try to get your hands on a certified copy and if you need to contact your local Registrar or Vital Records Office.

In addition to that, some airlines like JetBlue also require an original/certified document or letter from the funeral director or crematorium that performed the cremation.

This should be given to you at the time of cremation as it is a legal document that identifies the person cremated and provides other relevant information about the crematorium.

So make sure you always gather the necessary documents.

These documents could also be helpful for any TSA agents who might be curious as to the contents of your container. But keep this in mind: TSA agents are not allowed to open containers of cremated remains, even if you request them to.

They do this out of respect for the deceased and for practical concerns. You could imagine the type of uproar that would develop if a TSA agent accidentally mishandled some remains during a security checkpoint. It would just be very bad.

What to do while on the plane

Whenever you get on the plane, the cremated remains will probably have to be stored underneath the seat in front of you or in an overhead storage bin. It’s very likely that you will not be able to hold the container with you during taxi, takeoff and landing. So be sure that your container fits within the carry-on requirements for your airline.

Also, it’s not a good idea to open up your container while on the plane. That opens up the door for a spill to happen and you could imagine how both you and an unsuspecting passenger could feel if ashes were to be spilled on their lap.

If for whatever reason you are unsure about whether or not your container is TSA compliant you can bring this up at the time of check-in. At that point an airline agent may be able to check your container although you will want to make sure that it is safe to check by properly packing it.

Taking ashes in your checked baggage

Bringing your cremated remains in your checked baggage is not recommend it but it is still doable. The major consideration here is safely packing your urn or similar container so that it doesn’t break or spill.

We did an extensive article on traveling with glass and a lot of the same precautions could be used here. It basically comes down to making sure the container is extra secure with additional padding to prevent it from breaking. A funeral director could probably assist you with packing tips for your particular urn.

The one thing I might add is to place a copy of the death certificate and/or cremation certificate right by or even attached to the container. This will provide some instant context to a TSA agent if they have to open up your luggage.

Traveling internationally

If you are traveling internationally with cremated remains you may need to supply some type of extra documentation. Contact a local consulate of your destination country or burial advisor to see what is possible.

To locate embassies and consulates check this official US government website.

You may have to transfer the remains to another funeral home in the destination country although sometimes your funeral home can take care of the arrangements. So I would advise you to speak to a funeral director to get guidance on your specific situation.

If your goal is to spread the ashes of a loved one, be sure to contact the specific location you’ll be heading to.

Some places have specific rules in place for spreading ashes and it’s best to make sure you are not violating those especially if there is some type of public health concern.

If you are arriving in the US an authorized stamp may be required but sources like the CDC state that no death certificate is needed for cremated remains as “cremated remains are considered to be noninfectious and may enter the United States without a death certificate or other documentation, regardless of the cause of death.”

Different airline policies on cremated remains

Below, you can find a link to more information on a specific airline’s cremated remains policy. Some airlines are much better than others with providing helpful information so you might have to call in if you have specific questions.

Once again, the relevant questions want to ask include:

  • Do I need a death certificate?
  • Do I need a cremation certificate?
  • Will the container count as my carry-on or personal item?
  • Is the container allowed in checked baggage?

Alaska Airlines: “Customers on Alaska Airlines passenger flights may bring cremated human remains on board as carry-on or checked baggage.”

American Airlines: “When you travel with cremated remains, they’ll be treated as your carry-on bag.”

Delta: “You can carry on or check cremated remains. A death or cremation certificate is required.”

Frontier Airlines: “Crematory remains (human or animal) may be transported under certain conditions.”

Hawaiian Airlines: “You may carry-on or check-in the deceased in an urn or crematory container.”

JetBlue: “Cremated human remains must be transported in a crematory container (urn) and will only be accepted as a carry-on item.”

Southwest Airlines: “Customers may take cremated remains onboard as a carryon item under certain conditions. However, Southwest Airlines does not accept human remains as checked baggage.”

Spirit Airlines: Allowed as both carry-on or checked baggage but with restrictions.

United Airlines: “If you’re traveling with cremated human remains, we suggest that you transport them as a carry-on bag.”

Speak with a specialist

Airlines sometimes have special departments that deal with travel arrangements that arise from the loss of a loved one.

For example, American Airlines has a special TLC department. There, specialists can assist you with making arrangements for the transportation of caskets but also cremated remains.

You can sometimes find price estimates on shipping cremated remains. For example, prices from the US to various countries are usually about $220.

These departments would be a good place to call if you have questions about transportation logistics or prices.

Shipping cremated remains

If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of flying with cremated remains or you are unable to do so due to international restrictions, you can still try shipping cremated remains in the mail. The thing is, there are some very specific rules for doing so.

Cremated remains may only be shipped using Priority Mail Express. And if you are shipping internationally, you will need to use Priority Mail Express International.

US Postal Service does require the use of Label 139 to ship cremated remains so keep that in mind. You can get the label from The Postal Store or from a retail counter.

If you want to arrange shipment you can visit your local post office but I would suggest that you work with a funeral Director at the funeral home or crematorium. Read steps on how to package cremated remains for shipping here.

Also, something to keep in mind is that shipping internationally can be tricky.

First, you have to make sure that the country can receive Priority Mail Express International service.

Second, you have to make sure that the country can receive cremated remains via mail. Again, check with the funeral director or with one of the embassies or consulates that you can find with the link above.

Final word

Traveling with cremated remains means that you need to be extra diligent about your container getting through TSA security. Make sure that the material is one of the materials mentioned above that are easily scanned by x-ray.

You also need to double check that you have the necessary documentation and that you understand if your container can be considered a carry-on or allowed in checked baggage.

Can You Bring Plants On a Plane? (TSA Rules) [2023]

Transporting plants via plane is not quite as straightforward as you might have thought. On the one hand, you are given more leeway by TSA than you might imagine. But on the other hand there are quite a few restrictions that you need to be aware of.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about bringing all sorts of different plants on a plane. I’ll also give you some insight into the rules and common mistakes people make when flying both domestically and internationally.

Can you bring plants on a plane?

Yes, you can bring plants on a plane but you need to be aware of some of the unique restrictions and challenges that you’ll face. Keep reading below to find out more about some of the obstacles that you might encounter and how to best avoid them.

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Bringing plants as a carry-on

If you are packing your plant as a carry-on item here are the major factors to consider.

TSA rules on plants

TSA allows you to bring plants through airport security as a carry-on item so long as they can fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane .

This means you should be able to bring flowers, bouquets, and even house plants on a plane.

But you need to be aware of a couple of things with respect to TSA.

If you are carrying a bouquet, check for pins that might be used to hold the bouquet together. If TSA finds these they may confiscate them as they could consider them a prohibited sharp object.

The TSA liquid rule states that you can only bring liquids through airport security in 3.4 ounce containers that fit into a quart sized bag.

Some plants — especially those with the small vial containers at the bottom — may contain water which could be problematic (more on how to deal with that below).

Related: TSA Marijuana Rules Explained (Flying with Weed)

Airlines policies on plants

For the most part, TSA rules and the carry-on rules for US airlines are generally aligned.

If something is allowed through TSA it would generally be allowed for the airline.

But that’s not always the case.

For that reason, sometimes you have to verify that you are complying with TSA AND the specific airline you are flying with.

This can be done by researching online or calling up the airline.

Some airlines like Delta make it pretty clear that you can bring some plants on your flight as long as you comply with local agriculture restrictions for your destination.

Delta states:

Both non-edible and edible perishable items are allowed on board, as part of your carry-on baggage — provided there is no violation of agricultural restrictions for the destination country.

They go on to state that perishable items include:

Flowers of varying sorts, including cut flowers, floral displays and vegetable plants

Aircraft size and seat

You’ll also want to consider the size of your aircraft.

Indeed even TSA notes, “Check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.”

For shorter flights on regional planes you may have limited overhead storage bin space.

If you are carrying around a large plant it may not be practical for you to stuff it in the overhead storage bin space which means it would have to go under your seat.

If you were sitting in a bulkhead seat or in an emergency exit row, that could be a big problem.

Tip: If you plan on keeping your plant by your side, try to get a window seat and place the plant between your leg and the fuselage.

Your carry-on allowance

Typically, if you purchase a standard economy ticket you will be allowed one carry-on item and one personal item.

Depending on the size of your plant, the plant may constitute a carry-on or a personal item.

However, if the plant is small enough (and if the airline is not super strict about carry-ons), your plant may qualify as a “free” third item similar to what airlines do when passengers bring food on the plane.

The optimal way to pack

If you are simply bringing a fresh cut flower or bouquet, you should be able to keep that in your hand for the majority of your journey.

Your biggest challenge will be keeping them in good condition as you bump shoulders with other passengers, handle your luggage, etc.

(This is why I would recommend not giving flowers as a gift to someone who is about to embark on a flight — it can be quite a hassle to keep up with them.)

If you are bringing a potted plant then you need to be extra careful about not breaking the pot and not spilling a bunch of soil.

For this reason, you probably want to wrap up the plant.

Consider wrapping a bag around the base so that you can contain the soil. You might also use a sheet or plastic wrap to wrap up the branches if the plant is on the larger side.

Tip: Be careful not to go overboard because if TSA wants to inspect the plant they will require you to takeoff all of the wrapping which could be pretty time-consuming and possibly cause you to damage the plant as you will have to re-wrap it once again.

Complying with the TSA liquids rule while keeping your plant alive

When taking your plant through airport security as a carry on one of the biggest concerns is the liquid.

If the plant comes in a vase, bowl, or vial with water you will most certainly need to dump it out prior to going through the security checkpoint.

If your plant needs water then you can consider wrapping it in a wet paper towels/cloths and inserting that into a clear plastic wrap or bag. You might also want to secure the plant and towels with rubber bands/elastic.

That should help you get through security and then once you are past the checkpoint you can look into putting the flowers into some type of vase/vial with water.

There are some vials you can purchase that are supposed to be spill proof but some of those still allow liquid to seep out.

For that reason, I would still try to carry your flowers vertically instead of lying them down on the floor of the plane.

If you are not able to keep your plants and water on the plane, just know that when it comes to fresh flowers, they can often survive for quite some time without water.

Warmer temperatures will cause flowers to die sooner and different types of flowers will have different lengths of time they can go without water.

However, if you wrap the plant in a wet paper towel or cloth, it may be able to survive for a couple of days.

A couple of things to consider about transporting fresh cut flowers:

  • Make sure that the wet cloth or paper towel is compressed against the plant without large air pockets.
  • Don’t forget to trim (re-cut) the stem before it’s placed back in a vase.

Something very important to keep in mind is that if you are traveling to a state with agriculture restrictions or to an international destination with such restrictions, the plant will probably have to be soil free (bare root).

Potted plants

Potted plants that are small or that could fit within a carry-on bag should not be an issue for most airlines.

They only become problematic when they are oversized or when flying to destinations with agricultural restrictions.

X-ray machines

Your plant will have to go through the security point x-ray machine in most situations.

Some people worry about their plants getting damaged from the x-ray machine. I looked into some of the science but it was a little bit over my head to be honest.

If you are worried about potentially harmful x-rays, a TSA agent may allow you to refuse the x-ray machine but in that case the plant will have to go through a closer inspection (and get swabbed).

Related: TSA Body Scanners: Images & Machines Explained

Different types of plants

Bringing a fresh cut flower or arrangement through airport security is pretty straightforward but a lot of people have questions about other types of plants like cacti and dried plants.

So we supplied some additional info to help you navigate those sometimes *prickly* situations.

Thorny plants and cacti

You would think that plants with thorns such as roses, cacti, and other succulents could be very problematic when going through airport security.

First, they could be a hazard to the TSA agents who have to handle your baggage.

Second, they could be a hazard to other passengers who might come in to contact when storing their luggage, reaching under seat. etc.

And finally, one could argue that a thorny bush could become a weapon to use against the crew on a plane.

Despite all of that, TSA has verified that at least some cacti are allowed through airport security.

My guess is that as long as the size of the thorny object remains reasonable (small), you can probably get it through.


Some people might try to bring actual trees through airport security and on a plane.

If you have a small tree like a bonsai tree or a miniature Christmas tree there’s a good chance you will be able to bring it through.

But if you were trying to bring something much larger like a full-sized Christmas tree that’s simply going to be too big to be considered a carry-on item or personal item and you will have to check that item.

Other items like wreaths or mistletoe should not be a problem.

Dead (or dried) plants

There is no reason why dead or dried plants would not be allowed if live plants are.

If anything, dried plants pose less of a problem because you won’t have to carry them with water or soil so you don’t have those same concerns.

So you should be okay with your dried Dragon’s Breath, Baby’s Breath, Strawflower, etc.

But again some destinations may have the same restrictions on both live and dead plants so you will need to inquire about those.

Because dried plants are so brittle you will want to take extra precautions to prevent damage to them.

Consider putting them in a container with tissues or some other type of soft substance (bubble wrap or air-pillows) to keep them from breaking.

Plant seeds

Plant seeds are allowed through TSA security and with most airlines.

Again, you just need to be aware of potential restrictions at your destination, as seeds often need to be declared.

I would recommend storing them in a clear plastic bag if possible so that a TSA agent could easily inspect them if needed.

Related: How Much Cash Can You Travel With?

Seedlings and saplings

Seedlings and saplings should be treated just like other live plants and should be allowed. In fact, because these will often be small they should be some of the easiest plants to travel with.

You just need to be conscious about the water content level for these when bringing them through airport security.

Fake plants

Fake plants should be treated just like any other object.

You could potentially run into issues if the fake plant looks very real and is mistaken for a real plant so you might need to clarify that to a TSA agent or Customs agent.

Agricultural restrictions

Not every state will allow you to simply bring in plants without some type of inspection or declaration.

To make sure that you are not violating the law and bringing in plants to another state, check the national plant board and/or check with the appropriate department of that state.

For example, if you have questions about bringing plants into California then you may want to contact the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

States don’t always have strict ways to enforce their restrictions on domestic travel so it’s possible you may not even run into an inspection when you touch down.

But that does not mean that you shouldn’t take precautions to comply with the local regulations.

You could seriously disrupt the ecosystem of an entire region by introducing something foreign.

Also, all it takes is one small outbreak for a state to immediately clamp down on plants coming in and you never know when that could happen.

Travel to Hawaii

Hawaii will allow you to bring different plants into the state but there are some conditions.

First, you will need to declare your plants on the “Plants and Animals Declaration Form,” which you should receive on your flight.

The plants will then need to be inspected at the Agricultural Inspection Counter located near the exits in the baggage claim area.

All plant material must be free of soil, insect pests and signs of disease.

You should be aware that there are certain plants that require advanced approval in order to bring them into the state of Hawaii.

These include plants like:

  • Pineapple and bromeliad plants and fruits
  • Passion fruit plants and seeds
  • Cruciferous root vegetables (radish, turnip, daikon, horseradish, rutabaga)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Citrus and pulpy fruits from Florida & Puerto Rico
  • Taro and dasheen
  • Coconuts
  • Orchid plants require an import permit and certificate of origin.
  • Plants in the grass family (including sugar cane and bamboo).
  • Coffee plants and plant parts including seeds. 
  • Palm plants
  • Aster, chrysanthemum, hollyhock, dahlia and gladiolus plants
  • Pine plants
  • Sorghum, broomcorn and sudan grass

International travel

The requirements may differ based on whether you are traveling from the US to an international destination or traveling into the US. I’ll cover instructions for each scenario below.

Traveling from the US

When traveling from the US to an international location, you will likely experience similar rules like you were traveling to a place like Hawaii.

Certain types of plants may be outright banned and you can count on soil not being allowed. You might need to obtain advanced permission for certain plants and will likely have to declare all of your plants upon arrival.

Because TSA is not required to enforce foreign agricultural requirements, it will be on you to do the research ahead of time to make sure you are in compliance with the country’s regulations.

Traveling into the US

A lot of people like to bring flowers back from certain locations like orchids from Singapore/Thailand or tulips from Amsterdam. This can be perfectly acceptable but you have to follow US regulations.

According to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), “All travelers entering the United States are REQUIRED to DECLARE meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds, soil…”

Most likely you will be checking “Yes” on Question 11 of the CBP Declaration Form 6059B as pictured below.

Declaring items might mean slightly longer wait times to get through customs but you don’t want to skip this step because you could get hit with a $1,000+ fine.

Moreover, if you have a membership with Global Entry you could lose it by failing to declare items.

Tip: When purchasing your plants abroad, look for some type of label that says “safe for US” which can give you added assurance that you can bring them in.

Be aware that some plants will require advanced permission before bringing them in to the country, especially if they are intended for growing (propagative).

In some instances, you may need to obtain a foreign phytosanitary certificate in advance.

If you need confirmation on the certificates, contact the USDA/APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine Permit Unit at (301) 851-2046 or (877) 770-5990.

Final word

Taking your plants on a plane is relatively straightforward when you are traveling around the US.

But if you are heading to certain destinations like Hawaii or traveling internationally, the stakes get much higher.

The keys are to make sure that you comply with TSA and airline rules, pack properly, and that you always prioritize agricultural regulations.

17 Reasons You Could Get Flagged by TSA

Do you ever worry about getting flagged by TSA when making your way through an airport?

Well, there’s quite a few things that could potentially trigger you getting flagged by a TSA agent. Some obvious, some not so obvious.

In this article, I’ll break down several different reasons why you might get flagged and give you some insight into how to avoid some of these.

What does it mean to get “flagged” by TSA?

Getting “flagged” by TSA could mean a few different things.

But for the most part getting flagged by TSA just means that you or your personal belongings will experience some type of additional screening when going through the airport.

As shown in more detail below, this additional screening could be caused by things like:

  • Your name matching a name of interest in a database
  • You raising suspicions while going through airport security
  • Your bag getting flagged when going through an x-ray machine

And with that clarified, below are several different reasons you might get flagged.

Tripping the system during a background check

Before you even arrive at the airport, you could be flagged by TSA.

For example, your name could be on some type of government watchlist which forces you to undergo additional screening every time you head through the airport.

Other times, you could engage in some type of suspicious travel activity that triggers an additional screening which could include things like:

  • Visits to high-risk countries
  • Unusual travel patterns (last minute one-way flight)
  • Paying cash for tickets

TSA agents could also be put on a “BOLO” alert to look for certain types of people.

For example, if there was a wanted fugitive suspected of heading to the airport, they could be informed to be on the lookout for them. If you happen to be wanted or look like someone who is, you could be flagged once you arrive at the airport and authorities could bring you in for questioning.

If you feel like you are repeatedly getting targeted for additional screening, you can apply for a redress number. But in some situations, you just have to deal with the randomness that often comes with additional screening.

Showing signs of nervousness

If you are sweating bullets and giving off an overall anxious vibe when going through a security checkpoint, you could draw attention to yourself which could result in you getting a closer screening.

TSA has a Behavior Detection (BD) program which trains TSA agents to “identify anomalous behaviors by observing passengers and comparing what they see to an established behavioral baseline.”

The goal is to “identify high-risk travelers and subject them to additional screening” and they sometimes utilize things like a checklist to help identify suspicious behavior.

This type of behavior could include things like:

  • Body odor
  • Exaggerated yawning
  • Excessive throat clearing
  • Widely open staring eyes
  • Exaggerated or excessive grooming gestures
  • Pale face
  • Rubbing or wringing of hands

This is a tough one for people who struggle with anxiety and get triggered going through airport security.

Undoubtedly, some unfortunate souls have been pulled aside for looking suspicious even though they are just reacting to the stressful experience of going through security.

Traveling with too much cash money

Some people who travel with a lot of cash do so because they are engaged in illegal activities such as drug dealing or some other type of black market transactions that wouldn’t make their mom too proud.

However, in the past there have been reports of TSA agents seizing cash from passengers under the suspicion that it is money gained from an illegal activity or money that is intended to be used on illegal activity.

If you’re caught with a lot of cash on you, TSA can refer you to law-enforcement and you could find yourself forfeiting a lot of your cash.

Personally, I would never travel with more than a few hundred bucks in cash but typically this seems to be a problem when you’re traveling with several thousands in cash.

Bringing large containers of powder

Bringing powder on a plane can trip up the system because powders are commonly used in explosives.

So if you were thinking about bringing something like protein powder on board try to keep your quantity under 12 ounces or you will need to place your protein powder in a separate bin whenever it goes through for x-ray screening.

Sometimes TSA agents will want to take samples of your powder in order to clear it so it’s best to try to stay under this size limit.

If you are bringing powder in your checked baggage, consider double bagging.


Bringing medication can also get you flagged for additional screening.

TSA does not require you to carry around prescriptions but having them can certainly help provide legitimacy to your claim of why you need your medication.

This is especially true whenever your medication is in liquid form because TSA allows liquids over 3.4 ounces if they are “medically necessary.”

While you can bring those oversized liquids on, it’s common for TSA to give them an extra look so be prepared for that.

Also, some medical items that are not oversized might be problematic. For example, contact solution bottles with hydrogen peroxide may be confiscated even when they are under 3.4 ounces.

Related: TSA Medication Rules for Flying on Planes

Bringing odd or complex objects

It’s not uncommon for TSA to pull aside objects that look unfamiliar or that have a lot of complex parts.

For example, I have some weird looking collapsible tea kettle that I always travel with and it tends to get flagged because it’s not a commonly found object.

If you have electronics or things like vapes that have a lot of parts to them or take on irregular shapes those could also get flagged.

If your harmless item gets pulled aside, just let the agent know what it is you’re transporting and after giving it a quick look they will probably just let it through.

Trying to transport drugs

TSA is concerned about dangerous threats such as explosives and not with enforcing laws and penal codes. This is why they do not check for arrest warrants and why they don’t actively seek out things like marijuana.

I’ve seen many credible reports of TSA agents simply disregarding certain drugs like marijuana whenever they find them in a bag.

With that said, sometimes TSA will pull you aside and refer you to law-enforcement when they discover drugs like MJ, so bringing drugs through airport security can definitely get you flagged.

Bringing more than one filled lighter

If a TSA agent spots multiple lighters in your carry-on that could be a reason to slow you down.

According to the FAA, when traveling on a commercial airline you can bring one lighter that uses a flammable gas (butane) or that uses a flammable liquid that is absorbed in a lining (Zippo-type of lighter).

You are allowed to bring disposable and Zippo lighters without fuel in carry-on bags or checked bags but there must be no traces of fuel or vapor inside the lighters.

Read more about traveling with lighters.

Bringing too large of batteries

Bringing too many (large) lithium ion batteries with you in your carry-on could get you pulled aside.

You are allowed to bring lithium ion batteries in your carry-on in unlimited quantities (for personal use) whether they are spare batteries or inside of electronics.

However, they must be limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery.

With airline approval, you can carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or Lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams).

So if you’re packing these bigger batteries, just know that you could be flagged. And sometimes agents want you to show them a label on the battery to prove the watt hours.

Food that are liquids

There are several foods that are actually considered liquids by TSA such as yogurt, some cheeses, honey, etc. That means that you will have to transport these in containers under 3.4 fluid ounces.

If you’re trying to bring things like frosting containers through security, you could get flagged and forced to throw them out if they are over 3.4 ounces.

Interestingly, if these items are on a solid food item such as frosting on cupcakes, those liquid rule size limitations don’t apply.

Related: Can You Bring Food on a Plane?

Taking fudge or other food items confused with C4

Some types of food like cheese, chocolate, and fudge can mimic the look of explosives when going through an airport scanner.

So sometimes it’s good to place these outside of your carry-on bag whenever you push your items through the x-ray machine.

If the agent can quickly see a container with store packaging on it or something similar they should quickly push the item through.

Hairspray canisters that are too large

TSA and the FAA place restrictions on bringing aerosol cans on a plane.

Aerosols like hairspray are considered liquids so your hairspray container in your carry-on needs to be 3.4 ounces or under.

Also, a common mistake made by travelers is that they don’t have the cap on the can of hairspray which will force TSA to confiscate the can.

When bringing your hairspray in your checked baggage, be aware that the FAA states: the capacity of each container must not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).

Most hairspray containers range from 8 to 12 ounces so it’s probably unlikely your checked bag will get flagged unless it contains some of the largest hairspray canisters out there.

Razors and pocket knives

You can bring disposable razors through TSA security but some types of razors such as safety razors are not allowed.

A lot of countries allow you to fly with small pocket knives as long as you are under the blade limit but TSA does not allow pocket knives of any length. Only non-serrated butter knives or plastic knives are allowed and you can expect all others to get you flagged.

Some items fall into a grey area like cigar cutters which sometimes are allowed and other times are not.

Toy weapons

Any kind of toy weapons such as toy guns can be a pretty big problem for TSA.

This is something that can get families in trouble sometimes because they have a kid with some kind of toy gun in their bag.

It also can happen when purchasing souvenirs because you don’t think of how that souvenir code look to a TSA agent viewing an x-ray screen.

Having something in your pocket or even under your skin

When you go through the full body scanners where you stand with your legs apart and put your arms up in the air like you’re frozen mid jumping jack, any little thing left in your pocket could get you flagged.

For example, I’ve had a tiny tablet in my pocket get picked up by the scanner.

At the same time, they sometimes have false positives and can pick up things like scar tissue and medical implants. So if you recently had a major medical procedure and anything inserted into your body, be prepared that you might set off one of the checkpoint alarms.

Tiny pieces of metal

If you were asked to go through the walk-through metal detector, such as if you have TSA Pre-Check, then you need to be mindful of any small objects you might have containing metal.

Sometimes a belt buckle or even the tiny hinges on a jewelry box could set off the metal detector.

One thing to be aware of is that the walk-through metal detectors have different levels of sensitivity. This is why you may get flagged at one airport but not others, despite wearing the same belt or jewelry.

Failure to provide an ID

You don’t have to have your standard ID on you to get through TSA security.

Although I recommend always having your driver’s license or passport with you, if you ever lose it or forget it, you can still get through TSA security by showing additional forms of ID.

If you do this, TSA may run a background check on you which could potentially get you flagged if you had something like an outstanding warrant. So just be aware of that.

Final word

As you can tell, there are a lot of different ways you might get flagged by TSA.

At the end of the day, if you are not trying to conceal anything or do something shady, you probably don’t have much to worry about when you get flagged.

But with that said, additional screening can be pretty stressful and annoying so I’d recommend that you stay up on the TSA rules so you can avoid a lot of these situations.

Can You Bring Contact Lens Solution on a Plane and Through TSA? (+ Tips)

For those who need them, it’s hard to think of a more essential travel accessory than contact lenses.

Unfortunately, getting contact lenses through TSA security is not always as clear as you would like it to be.

Below, I’ll give you some guidance on how to get your contact lenses and solution through airport security as a carry-on and also provide some tips for traveling with them in general.

Can you bring contact lens solution on a plane and through TSA?

Yes, you can bring contact lens solution on a plane and through TSA in your carry-on or checked bag.

When bringing contact lens solution in your carry-on, you will need to be mindful of the TSA liquids rule and its medical exception (which we talk about below).

But you also need to be careful about certain types of solution, such as those containing hydrogen peroxide because those can be more problematic.

Keep reading below to find out how to potentially avoid problems.

Image via Amazon.

Bringing contacts and solution in your carry-on

When bringing your contacts and solution in your carry-on, you are going to have to get them through TSA airport security.

And that means dealing with the TSA liquids rule.

The TSA Liquids 3-1-1 Rule states that you can only bring liquids in containers no larger than 3.4 liquid ounces (100 milliliters) and that all of your liquid containers must fit “comfortably” into one clear, quart-size bag.

Plenty of suppliers sell contact solution bottles at or under 3.4 liquid ounces so it’s definitely possible to find a container under these size limits.

Solution bottles larger than 3.4 ounces

Sometimes you might not be able to find a solution container under 3.4 ounces. For example, maybe you use a special type of contact solution recommended by your eye doctor that is harder to find in travel sizes.

Well, there is still good news for you.

TSA allows you to bring liquids larger than 3.4 ounces if they are medically necessary.

They specifically state: “TSA allows larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip, but you must declare them to security officers at the checkpoint for inspection.”

In theory, all contact solution — prescription or not — should be medically necessary but that determination could be up to the TSA agent at the screening station.

So this means that you can bring contact solution in containers larger than 3.4 fluid ounces but some discretion will be involved.

The catch when bringing an oversized liquid container for medical purposes is that it needs to be a reasonable quantity for your trip and you need to declare it to the TSA agents.

A “reasonable quantity” is going to depend on the circumstances but generally one oversized bottle should be reasonable for your average trip of a few days or even a couple of weeks.

You would probably only run into some quantity issues if you have multiple oversized bottles or if you had one inexplicably large container.

TSA also mentions that you need to declare your medically necessary liquids.

An easy way to do this would be to place your oversized contact solution container into a clear plastic bag and as you are getting ready to go through security just tell the agent that you have a container of contact solution that is medically necessary.

In most cases, you’ll also need to pull out your plastic bag with your solution container and place it in its own tray just like you normally do with your liquids bag.

You may not have to do this if you have something like TSA Pre-Check but you should always be ready to quickly retrieve an oversized liquids container and explain why you are bringing it with you.

One important thing to note: it’s not hard to find reports of TSA agents sometimes giving people trouble when they bring in large bottles of contact solution.

For that reason, I would save the screenshot below which comes from the official TSA Twitter account where they make it clear that oversized bottles of contact solution are allowed.

TSA Twitter account explaining contact solution medical exception

Additional screening and hydrogen peroxide solution

One more thing that you need to be ready for when bringing contact solution through TSA is additional screening.

A lot of times whenever you bring a liquid container over 3.4 ounces TSA agents will want to take a close look at it to make sure that it does not trigger their tests for explosives.

Some types of solution bottles could be considered more hazardous than others. For example, contact lens solutions with hydrogen peroxide (usually the type with a red cap like Clear Care) could draw more attention.

There are many reports of TSA agents confiscating this type of contact solution when it doesn’t pass the explosives test during additional screening.

For that reason, I would only attempt to transport contact solution with hydrogen peroxide through TSA security if it is in a container under 3.4 fluid ounces.

That way, you can decrease the odds of getting your solution tested.

But even then be aware that some people report their containers being confiscated even when the container is under 3.4 ounces! (Reportedly, some TSA agents confiscate these bottles whenever they see a red cap on them.)

So, at the end of the day it will probably just come down to does your solution bottle: 1) contain a red cap or 2) test positive for certain chemicals not allowed through the checkpoint.

If the answer is yes to any of those, you may run into trouble bringing your container through TSA security.

Contact solution bottle contact case

Bringing contacts and solution in your checked bag

If you choose to bring your contacts in your checked baggage then you can avoid the liquids screening process for your contact solution altogether.

In that case, the liquids 3.4 ounce limitation will not apply.

For people with contact solution containing hydrogen peroxide, putting it in their checked bag is often the best option.

But you still may need to think about a few things.

First, your luggage could always be delayed or lost so you should never put anything in your checked baggage that you cannot live without.

For many people, they cannot live without corrective lenses and their contact solution so I would only put those items in your checked baggage if you also had some in your carry-on bag.

If your contact solution will not be allowed in your carry-on (because of something like 3% hydrogen peroxide), you are sort of out of luck in this scenario which is really a shame. You may be forced to risk going without that solution in the event your checked bag goes missing.

contact case

Travel tips for your contacts and solution

Prevent leaks

As you increase in altitude, the air will expand inside of your containers.

If you’ve ever flown with a bag of potato chips you’ve probably noticed how expanded the bag gets once you arrive at 30,000+ feet. It’s kind of crazy.

Well, the same type of thing can happen with the air inside of your contact solution bottle. This can cause leaks which is why it’s a good idea to put your contact solution containers inside of a plastic bag.

It can also help to squeeze the air out of your solution bottle before you begin ascending so that there is more room for the air to expand.

Switch to daily contacts

You can always temporarily switch to daily contacts whenever you are traveling.

This will allow you to completely avoid using contact solution and having to worry about keeping up with cleaning your contact cases.

Travel with back ups

When traveling, it’s a good idea to bring some back up contacts just in case your contacts get lost or damaged. I usually always keep a back-up pair in my toiletries bag and one pair in my backpack.

If you already use daily contacts, be sure to bring several extra on your trip because you never know when you might need more.

Bring your glasses

If you have eyeglasses, always make sure to bring those with you, even if you rarely wear them.

When you travel to new destinations, fly on a plane, etc. it’s not uncommon for your eyes to get irritated and putting contacts on irritated eyes is often a bad idea.

So I would always try to have a pair of eyeglasses with you, even if you don’t regularly wear them.

Avoid transferring your solution into another container

Some people might think about transferring their contact solution into a smaller container so that they can more easily get through TSA security.

For example, maybe you want to pour your solution into a smaller TSA-approved liquids container.

The problem with this is that you could contaminate your solution which could increase your chances of getting infected. Therefore, I would recommend against doing that.

Final word

You should not have any problems bringing a travel sized container of normal contact solution through airport security.

But even if your container is larger than 3.4 ounces, you can still bring it through thanks to the TSA medical exemption which allows you to transport larger containers in reasonable quantities.

However, if you have contact solution with a red tip that contains hydrogen peroxide there is a long track record of TSA agents confiscating these when they don’t pass the explosives test.

So I would probably only try to transport those if they were in a container under 3.4 ounces or if you placed them in your checked bag.

Can You Take Pens and Pencils Through TSA And On A Plane?

I always make it a habit to travel with at least one writing pen.

It’s a good idea to have a pen on you when traveling because you never know when you might need it, especially if you are on an international flight where you may have to fill out immigration and customs forms.

(No, flight attendants will not always offer up their pens.)

Lots of travelers wonder if they can bring their pencils, pens, and other writing utensils through TSA without any issues. And some even worry about pens leaking or exploding in the cabin, especially fountain pens.

Below, I’ll break down the TSA rules and give you some insight into how to best transport your pens and pencils on a plane.

Can you take pens, pencils, and other writing utensils through TSA airport security?

Yes, you can take pens, pencils, and other writing utensils through TSA airport security as a carry-on or you can bring these on a plane in your checked baggage.

In some cases, you might want to take extra caution to prevent your pens from leaking and there are several practical steps you can take to minimize the odds of this happening.

Keep reading below from a practical tips!

Mechanical pencils

Bringing pens and pencils as a carry-on

Pencils are completely fine to bring through airport security as a carry-on and this includes mechanical pencils (and refill cartridges).

Pens are also allowed in your carry-on although there are a few considerations you may want to think about.

Pens with water-based or oil-based ink technically do have liquid inside of them but TSA does not treat them the same as standard liquid.

For example, your pens do not have to be placed inside of a clear, quart-size bag because of the liquids rule.

Note that if you have a separate bottle of ink that will be treated as a liquid and will have to comply with the liquids rule meaning that it will have to be under 3.4 fluid ounces.

In addition, you can bring as many pens as you would like.

Sometimes TSA agents have been known to give resistance with certain types of pens such as MontBlanc fountain pens.

This is likely because they are not familiar with them and their eyes just see an odd, sharp object.

If you take a second to explain to them that it’s just a fountain pen they should not confiscate it. In some cases you might need to disassemble the pen but that’s probably rare.

(More on how to travel with fountain pens below.)

The only pens not allowed in your carry-on are tactical pens.

These are special pens that come with additional features that could be used for things like self-defense or survival. Because there is a rule against sharp items, these pens are not allowed.

Bringing pens and pencils in your checked baggage

Bringing pens, pencils, and other similar items in your checked baggage should not be a problem at all.

You’ll just need to make sure that you take steps to prevent leaks for certain types of pens which we talk about below.

For ink bottles, make sure that you provide sufficient padding around the bottle to prevent it from getting roughed up. For example, some people use clothing to pad the bottle while others may even use something like bubble wrap.

Check out the article on traveling with glass for more tips.

Pens exploding or leaking on the plane?

One major concern you might have about bringing pens on a plane is that they could explode!

I can personally attest to flying with ballpoint pens and gel pens over the years.

I’ve been on hundreds of flights and almost always have at least a couple of ballpoint/gel pens in my backpack. Yet, I’ve never encountered any issues with a pen leaking or exploding.

Some pens that have been recommended for travel include:

  • UniBall Vision Elite
  • Pilot Precise V5/V7
  • Pilot VBall

Maybe even consider a Fisher Space pen!

However, if you have certain types of pens like fountain pens they could be more prone to leaking (nib creep).

When traveling with a fountain pen, you want to make sure that there are no air bubbles present in the pen that could push ink up in the feed and cause a leak.

You can prevent this by making sure the pen is completely filled with ink or you can always play it safe and just go with an empty pen.

You can also minimize leaks by always traveling nib up. Some people might even clip the pens to the storage sleeve on the back of the seat in front of them.

If you minimize the air bubbles, keep the nibs up, and store your pins in a Ziploc bag, the chances of something going wrong should be very minimal.

However, some types of fountain pens like eye dropper pens can be the most problematic and present more issues with things like burping.

If you want to use your fountain pen while flying on the plane you should be able to do that although you need to think about how air bubbles could affect the pen.

Some people have filled their fountain pens whenever they get at cruising altitude and then emptied them back out before descending so that the rapid changes in altitude do not cause problems.

Descending should cause less issues since the air pockets would be shrinking but it would probably be a really good idea to avoid using the pen during takeoff because at that point you may not be sure how the pressure is going to affect the ink contents.

If you’re curious about pencil sharpeners, those are allowed in both your carry-on and check bag. While they do contain a sharp razor, because it is confined inside of the casing, it’s treated similar to a disposable razor.

fountain pen

Other types of writing utensils

You might also be curious about things like: markers, highlighters, colored pencils, etc.

TSA does not prohibit any of these items in your carry-on bag or checked bag.

Final word

As you can see, traveling with pens and pencils is relatively straightforward. There are no rules against bringing these in your carry-on or checked baggage in the vast majority of cases.

The biggest thing you need to be mindful of is your pen leaking but that only tends to be the case for certain types of pens such as fountain pens. For the most part, you can avoid these issues by traveling with a Ziploc bag and positioning the pens the proper way.

TSA Razor Rules: What Types of Blades Are Allowed on a Plane? [2022]

There are a lot of common items that people ask about when it comes to TSA rules.

I’ve seen a lot of questions related to things like food, alcohol, deodorant, and a lot of other commonly used products. Another common product often asked about is: razors.

In this article, I will tell you everything you need to know about the TSA rules for razors, so that you don’t end up in a prickly situation.

I’ll break down the different types of razors you might be concerned with (disposable, electric, etc.) and give you some good options for TSA-approved razors.

What are the TSA rules for bringing razors on planes?

TSA will allow you to bring disposable razors and electric razors in your carry-on but other types of razors like safety razors and straight edge razors are not allowed through airport security checkpoints.

However, you can bring virtually any type of razor in your checked baggage. You just need to make sure that the razor is properly packaged so that if an agent inspects your bag, they will not get injured while digging through your luggage contents.

Keep reading below to find out more details!

Tip: Use the free app WalletFlo to help you travel the world for free by finding the best travel credit cards and promotions!

Bringing razors in your carry-on or checked baggage

If you are bringing some of the TSA approved razors talked about below in your carry-on you don’t have to remove them but it would probably help if you separated them from other items in your bag for easy access.

If you are bringing razors in your checked baggage the main thing you need to focus on is properly covering your razors so that an agent will not get cut by them if they are digging through your luggage during an inspection.

A lot of razors come with protective covers and so those can help prevent injury by snapping those on. In other situations, you could wrap your razors in several layers of paper and then tape them up.

Disposable razors (TSA approved)

If you use disposable razors, you are in luck because you will be allowed to bring your disposable razors through TSA airport security and onto the plane as a carry-on. These include those razors made by: Bic, Dollar Shave Club, Gillette, Harry’s, Schick, and Solimo.

These brands offer two different types of disposable razors.

The first is the type of razor that you throw away entirely (there is no razor blade cartridge).

These can be very economical and you can find a dozen of these for under $20. (Personally, I don’t like using these cheaper razors but that’s just me, everyone’s face, legs, body, etc. is different.) 

The other type of disposable razor utilizes a cartridge so you only throw away the cartridge but you keep the handle and simply add a new cartridge.

These are my favorite types of razors and I’ve been loyal to the Gillette Fusion5 Proglide (for men’s shaving) for a very long time. Gillette also makes quality women’s razors.

All of these disposable razors are allowed by TSA.

The thinking, I believe, is that it’s difficult and/or time consuming to remove the blades from the razor and the blades are generally small so they don’t pose that much of a threat.

So if you’re bringing along disposable razors, you can pack them in a carry-on or checked luggage. 

Disposable razors

Electric razors (TSA approved)

You might be a little bit more fancy and go with an electric razor when you shave.

If that is the case then you are also in luck because you are allowed to bring electric razors through TSA security and onto the plane.

Electric razors come in a few different forms, but generally these are those razors that can be used on wet or dry skin and come with those funny looking heads.

Because these are electronics and sometimes look odd, the TSA agents may want to take a closer look at your electric razors sometimes but it shouldn’t be an issue. 

So you can bring electric razors on as a carry-on item or in your checked luggage — it is all up to you.

By the way, hair clippers are also allowed as carry-ons or checked bag items.

Rechargeable beard trimmers are also allowed in both carry-on and checked bags.

Battery chargers are allowed in carry-on and checked bags. (If your trimmer charger has an electrical cord, be sure to wrap it tightly around the charger.)

Just remember that spare lithium batteries are prohibited in checked baggage.

Electric razors

Safety razors (NOT TSA approved)

Safety razors are those razors that are sort of in between straight edge razors and disposable.

Many people swear that these are better than disposable razors although that probably comes down to the type of skin and the coarseness of your hair. 

Anyway, these razors are great because they can use high quality razors and also it can be cheap to replace the razor blades, allowing you to take advantage of some serious long-term savings compared to disposable razors.

You can find some quality safety razors online for under $20 though high-quality safety razors can be much more expensive. 

However, these are not TSA approved.

It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with open comb, closed comb, etc., if you have a safety razor, you can only bring the handle and not the razor with you through as a carry-on.

Instead, the razors must be checked in your checked baggage.

Straight edge razors (NOT TSA approved)

You probably won’t be surprised to find out that straight edge razors are NOT allowed through TSA security.

Straight edge razors are those old-school grooming razors that you can find many barbers using. They are long and some people find them pretty terrifying when positioned close to their face or throat.  

These obviously pose more of a threat to flight attendants and passengers and so understandably you cannot bring straight edge razors onto a plane.

Instead, the razors must be stored in your checked baggage, though you can bring the handle on if they don’t contain a razor. 

Tip: Use WalletFlo for all your credit card needs. It’s free and will help you optimize your rewards and savings!

Box of razors

You cannot bring a box of razors in your carry-on.

However, you would be allowed to bring in a package of razors if all of the razors are in a cartridge.

For example, if you had the Gillette Fusion ProGlide Razors disposable cartridges mentioned above those could be brought in your carry-on by themselves.

What about shaving cream?

You might also be curious about the rules for bringing shaving cream through airport security.

Shaving cream will be treated like a liquid and therefore subject to the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule.

This just means that any container of shaving cream must be no larger than 3.4 fluid ounces and must be placed in a clear zip lock bag no larger than a quart to bring it as a carry-on.

Make sure that you also keep the cap on the shaving cream can because if it is missing, TSA may confiscate your shaving cream.

If you have a large container of shaving cream, then you will need to put that in your checked luggage. Just be aware that there are limitations on shaving cream in your checked baggage.

Shaving cream is considered a hazardous material but you will still be allowed to bring containers up to 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).

It should be very easy to find shaving cream cans much smaller than 17 fluid ounces.

Your total aggregate amount of these restricted items cannot be more than 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces).

So just remember that if you also had something like hairspray you would have to add that to the aggregate total and remain under 68 fluid ounces.

What about other sharp objects?

You might be wondering about other sharp objects like knives.

You are allowed to pack certain types of knives and pocket knives in your checked baggage but these cannot be brought on as carry-ons.

The only types of knives that are allowed as carry-ons or plastic or round pleated butter knives.

It’s good to remember the rule of thumb that you are generally prohibited from traveling with any sharp objects in your carry-on baggage.

You can actually get hit with a pretty hefty fine if you are caught with certain band objects that fall in the category below:

Axes and hatchets; bows and/or arrows; ice axes and ice picks; knives with blades that open automatically (such as switchblades); knives with blades that open via gravity (such as butterfly knives); any double-edge knives or daggers; meat cleavers; sabers; swords; and machetes throwing stars

TSA Razor Rules FAQ

Can you bring disposable razors on a plane?

Yes, you are allowed to bring disposable razors through TSA airport security and onto a plane.

Can you bring electric razors on a plane?

Yes, you can bring electric razors on a plane as a carry-on. In addition, you can also bring hair clippers and beard trimmers.

Can you bring a safety razor on a plane?

Safety razors are not TSA approved so you cannot bring them on a plane as a carry-on.

Can you bring a straight edge razor on a plane?

Straight edge razors are not TSA approved and are not allowed on a plane as a carry-on.

Can I bring shaving cream on a plane as a carry-on?

Shaving cream is treated like a liquid and is subject to the TSA 3-1-1 liquids rule. This just means that any container of shaving cream must be no larger than 3.4 ounces and must be placed in a clear zip lock bag no larger than a quart to bring it as a carry-on.

Can you bring a rechargeable beard trimmer on a plane?

Yes, you can bring a rechargeable beard trimmer in your carry-on or checked baggage.

Final word

TSA is pretty lenient whenever it comes to shaving razors.

They allow you to bring disposable razors and also electric razors onboard so you should have plenty of options for staying on top of your shaving regime when traveling (no excuses for looking scraggly on the road)! 

1 2 3 4 5 6 8