As nice as it would be to walk off your flight with beautifully wrapped presents totally ready to gift, one detail might derail your generous and joyous plans: the TSA.
According to Travel + Leisure, if any wrapped gifts raise security red flags, your carefully picked and meticulously folded paper is going to be instantly ruined as the agents rip it open to ensure the package is safe for flying.
— Derek Fry (@Derek_the_Fry) December 24, 2016
Plenty of people have opened their luggage to find that the TSA decided to sneak a peek at their gifts—and unfortunately, the employees’ re-wrapping abilities aren’t the best. In fact, it tends to look really, really, really bad. Because with so many travelers to keep safe every day, the last thing they’re concerned with is how nice your bow looks.
So, what passes the TSA test, and what doesn’t? Well, any liquids—whether it’s a snow globe or a bottle of wine—can be tricky, so pay close attention to the guidelines: They can go in your checked bags but have to be less than 3.4 ounces in your carry-on. Also, be careful about your gift choices in general: If a seemingly innocuous Nerf gun resembles a real firearm, it could cause some issues.
— Jim Richards (@JimRichardsJR) January 31, 2017
The bottom line: The TSA recommends sending any gifts in advance via mail or simply waiting until you’ve reached your final destination to add the finishing packaging touches. While wrapping in advance seems like it’ll save you time, effort, and stress later on, there’s a good chance you’ll be making a list of gifts and wrapping ’em twice, and nobody has time for that.