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TSA’s 2017 Summer Travel Tips

Thursday, May 25, 2017
Summer Travel Tips

It’s almost time to take the skies for those long awaited summer vacations. Below are tips and links to information on some of the most common travel-related questions. It’s best to be prepared before arriving at the checkpoint and makes things far less stressful when you arrive early and prepared.

1. Vacation Gear

Scuba Diving: Traveling with diving gear this spring? Read about tips on how to pack your scuba gear from our resident diving expert.

Camping, Backpacking, or Fishing: If you’re heading to the great outdoors, be sure to check out this post for tips on traveling with camping and fishing gear.

Insect Repellents: They are permitted in your carry-on bag and checked baggage. The liquid limits apply when carrying these in your carry-on bags.

Dry Ice: Did you know that you can take dry ice in your carry-on or in checked baggage? Read about traveling with dry ice to keep your favorite vittles preserved.

Batteries: You can’t go anywhere without some kind of battery these days. Learn about what types of batteries you can travel with.

Sporting Goods: Golf clubs, baseball bats (including the mini slugger bats), cricket bats, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, scuba knives, spear guns, etc., are all prohibited from being carried into the cabin of the plane. However, you can place them in your checked baggage.

Baggage Locks: Want to lock your checked baggage? Be sure to read about TSA recognized locks.

2. Packing your carry-on bags

Shaving Razors: In brief, all razors are allowed in checked bags. Disposable razors are allowed in carry-on bags, and safety razors with removable blades are not. Check out the blog post for pictures of razor examples and more information.

Liquids, Gels & Aerosols: If you’re checking a bag, make your life simple by packing liquids in your checked baggage. That way, you don’t have to worry about the liquids rules. You’re allowed to take as many 3.4 ounce or smaller sized containers that will fit in one sealed, clear, quart-sized zip-top bag – and one bag per person. Make sure you take the zip-top bag out of your carry-on prior to sending it through the X-ray.

  • Deodorant: Flying with deodorant isn’t a sticky situation. Stick deodorant is not limited to 3.4 oz or less, but gel or spray deodorant is. Read more about deodorant in our blog.
  • Makeup: Any liquid makeup cosmetics such as eyeliner, nail polish, liquid foundation, etc., should be placed in the baggie. That goes for perfume as well. Powder makeup is fine. Read our blog post on traveling with beauty products.
  • Beverages: Wine, liquor, beer and all of your favorite beverages are permitted in your checked baggage. You can also bring beverages packaged in 3.4 oz or less bottles in your carry-on liquids bag. Just because you can pack alcohol doesn’t mean that you can drink it on the flight. FAA regulations state that “No person may drink any alcoholic beverage aboard an aircraft unless the certificate holder operating the aircraft has served that beverage.”
  • Sunscreen: Sunscreen and tanning lotions must also adhere to the TSA liquid policy.
  • Foods: Cakes, pies, bread, donuts, fruits, vegetables, etc., are all allowed.

Duty Free Liquids: You may carry duty free liquids in secure, tamper–evident bags, more than 3.4oz or 100 ml in your carry-on bag if:

  • The duty free liquids were purchased internationally and you are traveling to the United States with a connecting flight.
  • The liquids are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer and do not show signs of tampering when presented to TSA for screening.
  • The original receipt for the liquids is present and the purchase was made within 48 hours.

E-Cigarettes: E-cigarettes and vape pens are only allowed in carry-on bags. They’re prohibited in checked bags due to their lithium battery’s propensity to catch fire. Read more information in our blog post on the subject.

Jewelry: Read about the best practices when going through security with your jewelry. There are a few different choices that you can make based on what kind of jewelry it is.

Medication: One of the more popular questions we get from travelers is: “Can I travel with my medication?” The answer is yes, with some qualifiers.

3. At the security checkpoint

TSA Pre✓®: What is TSA Pre✓®? In a nutshell, it allows eligible travelers to receive expedited screening. In layman’s terms, it means you get through security really fast. The average wait time in TSA Pre✓® lanes is under 5 minutes! Even if a TSA Pre✓® line looks longer, they move much faster than a standard lane with more convenience. For TSA Pre✓® travelers, there is no need to remove shoes, laptops, liquids, belts and light jackets. If you haven’t already, apply now!

Today, there are more than 12 million trusted travelers, including those enrolled in TSA Pre✓®, Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI. These trusted travelers have access to faster TSA Pre✓® lanes at more than 180 airports when flying with participating airlines. To find the program that best suits your travel needs, use the DHS trusted traveler comparison tool.

You can now view TSA Pre✓® lane schedules. Travelers can enter their airport, day of week and time of day they’re traveling, and the tool will return the availability of TSA Pre✓® lanes. Go ahead and try it out! When no lane is available, travelers can show their boarding passes with the TSA Pre✓® indicator to receive expedited screening in a standard lane.

TSA Pre® Not Reflected on Boarding Pass: If you’re looking at your boarding pass and you don’t see the TSA Pre✓® indicator even though you’re an approved trusted traveler, we’re here to help! Get live assistance by tweeting @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger. Our AskTSA team can help resolve any issues. If you prefer to call, you can reach out to our contact center.

Military Travel: TSA offers screening benefits for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Active duty service members and Cadets and midshipmen of the U.S. Military Academy, Naval Academy, Coast Guard Academy and Air Force Academy are also eligible to receive TSA Pre✓® screening benefits. Supply your DoD ID number as your known traveler number on each reservation. Learn about TSA Pre✓®.

Traveling with Children: Did you know that children 12 and under can keep their shoes on? Read about the screening process and how to best pack for your child. Children 12 and under may also travel through the TSA Pre✓® lane if one or both of their parents have it!

Traveling with a Pet: TSA does not prohibit travel with pets. However, it is very important that you contact your airline first so they can let you know about any requirements, fees, or restrictions they might have. Read about traveling with your pet.

4. How can we help you?

Lost or Forgotten IDs: We’ve received many calls from people whose wallet has been stolen or lost on a trip and have no ID for their return trip.Don’t worry, if this happens to you, you’ll still be permitted to fly as long as you help us verify you are who you say you are by answering a few questions. It’s wise to get to the airport a little earlier just to be safe.

Lose Something? Contact the airport lost and found. It’s a good idea to tape your business card or contact info to your valuable electronics or other items. Not only does this help us contact you if you lose your items, it prevents travelers from grabbing the wrong item by mistake. You can also contact our AskTSA team via Twitter at @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger.

TSA Cares Helpline: Call TSA Cares toll free at 855-787-2227 if you or a family member with a disability or medical condition have questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint 72 hours prior to traveling.

AskTSA: While your hotel accommodations might be all inclusive, this list is not, so if you still have questions, reach out to our AskTSA team via Twitter at @AskTSA or via Facebook Messenger. We have a team standing by from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays. If you prefer to call or submit an online form, you can reach out to our contact center weekdays from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and weekends/holidays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

Follow @TSABlogTeam on Twitter and Instagram!

Bob Burns - TSA Social Media


Submitted by RB on

nitroglycerin tablets

Sorry, no results found for 'nitroglycerin tablets'. Try entering fewer or broader query terms.


nitroglycerin pills
Sorry, no results found at this time.

The response when searching TSA's What Can I Bring for nitro meds. It's gone from bad to worse TSA. If TSA can't even get a web page to work how in heck can TSA screen passengers in airports?

Submitted by Joan Eisenstodt on

Thanks for this. As a Pre-check freq traveler, it's a good reminder and for those infrequent travelers to whom it was passed along, invaluable. Now if you can just get LAS to work on their pre-check wheelchair pusher issue, life would be better.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

I just searched for "nitroglycerin pills", and "nitro pills", and got the same green bar answer indicating it is allowed in both carryon and checked baggage.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Wintermute on

West, you know the text on the page does not specify that they are allowed. Where is this green bar documented as an affirmative answer? And, even if it is, using a color code to indicate the answer would seem to violate the ADA.

Submitted by Thirsty Flyer on

Can I bring 20 ounce metal water flask on my carry on bag? Empty of course.

Submitted by Happy Traveler on

Can i bring a lithium Ion battery on a plane with my carry on?

Submitted by Phyllis Clarke on

Can you take a vapor on a plane with oil to smoke after you are off the plane? I understand that the vape can't be on nor can you charge the battery!

Submitted by West Cooper on

Yes, the oil is allowed as long as it is under 3.4 ounces in volume.

TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Gayle on

I would like to know if contact solution is considered medication. My solution is steril and to decant to smaller bottle would compromise the steril condition of the solution. Thank you.

Submitted by Jos on

Coming from Ireland to the US, if I freeze a bottle of Guinness, would I be able to take that on my carry on? A checked bag is $70.....

Submitted by Jody on

My fiancé and I have TSA pre-check approval, however he has a lot of metal in his legs and a mesh filter in his heart. Can we still go through the pre-check line and have him just hand over the notification card and be screened there?

Submitted by Jody on

My fiancé and I have TSA pre-check approval, however he has a lot of metal in his legs and a mesh filter in his heart. Can we still go through the pre-check line and have him just hand over the notification card and be screened there?

Submitted by Janice on

Hi can i take my liquids in my personal item bag or do i have to place them in a plastic bag and leave them in the carry-on?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Can I take donuts on a 2 hour 30 mins plane ride to Mexico

Submitted by Isabella on

Can you bring a THC oil for your vape
pen in your carry on?