Look, we don’t know what you get up to on vacation, but if you find yourself with some interesting items to shove into your luggage at the end of your trip, make sure they’re TSA-approved first.
Whether you’re on your way home from Wizarding World or an archaeological excursion, chances are you might wonder if some of your related items and souvenirs can be packed in your checked bags or carry-on.
Or maybe you’re just curious about what sorts of things your fellow passengers could be hiding in their luggage.
Either way, here’s a list of some items TSA allows airline passengers to fly with that may not usually accompany your travel itinerary:
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Antlers can be packed in carry-ons or checked bags. If you want them in a carry-on bag, make sure they are packed in something that can fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.
Artificial skeleton bones
Went to a museum on vacation? Collecting supplies for an art project? Just want artificial skeleton bones for any other completely-normal-not-suspicious reason? TSA doesn’t care!
These are allowed in both carry-on bags and checked bags.
Axes and hatchets
If your worst nightmares include fellow passengers going all “Freddy vs. Jason” in the cabin, rest assured that these are not allowed in carry-on bags.
But TSA does let you travel with them in checked bags.
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Some of you may have dreams of becoming the next Dr. Frankenstein. Or maybe you just really enjoy looking at crawling critters in test tubes.
Whatever floats your boat, TSA lets passengers bring non-infectious biological specimens in preservative solutions in carry-on bags and checked bags if special instructions are followed.
No more than 30 mL of free liquid solution in each inner packaging and nor more than one liter in the entire outer package can be present, according to FAA regulations.
Bowling competitions are a pastime for plenty of people, and if this happens to be one of your favorite hobbies, you’re in luck.
TSA allows bowling balls to be transported in carry-on and checked bags. Bowling pins are only allowed in checked bags, as they are considered items that could be used as a bludgeon.
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Bows and arrows
While modern society hasn’t yet morphed into the dystopian world of “The Hunger Games” novels by Suzanne Collins, there’s no reason you can’t let your inner Katniss Everdeen shine.
TSA allows bows and arrows in checked bags only, though, so you will have to prove your archery skills to other flight passengers another time.
Have you ever heard of the saying “when pigs fly”? That’s because farmhands have been flying on planes for years, and apparently some with cattle prods in tow.
Cattle prods are not allowed in carry-on luggage but can be packed in checked bags.
Compressed air guns
Compressed air guns, including paintball markers, can be carried in checked baggage only and must have the compressed air cylinder detached.
Cooked meat, seafood and vegetables (without liquid)
Much to the probable dismay of other passengers, if you wish to travel with cooked meat, seafood or vegetables, TSA allows these items to be packed in carry-on bags and checked bags.
Be sure to pack everything securely and cross your fingers you don’t end up with any flight delays. Also note that food items often trigger secondary bag checks at TSA checkpoints, so make sure to leave yourself extra time if you’re bringing snacks or a meal aboard.
If you see these peeking out of the bag of your fellow traveler, don’t worry. Crampons are traction devices used for walking on firm snow and ice.
All of you adventurers out there will be happy to hear that TSA allows these in checked bags and carry-on bags with special instructions.
If your beloved blender or bread machine has to follow you to every Airbnb, TSA won’t be squashing your joy anytime soon.
Blenders can be packed in carry-on bags with special instructions and checked bags.
Bread machines can be packed in both carry-ons and checked bags, along with waffle irons and tortilla presses.
Foam Toy Sword
This one goes out to all the parents who have experienced the stress of asking a child to part with a newfound emotional support toy.
If your kid’s latest obsession happens to be a foam toy sword, TSA lets passengers travel with these in carry-ons and checked bags.
Formaldehyde solutions of less than 10% are not restricted as hazardous materials.
According to TSA, formalin is typically 35% to 40% formaldehyde by volume, so a solution that is less than 25% formalin would be less than 10% formaldehyde and not restricted.
If this is on your packing list, leak-proof packaging with absorbent material is strongly considered.
This is allowed in carry-on bags if less than or equal to 3.4 ounces/100 mL or in checked bags following special instructions.
We’re not sure how fresh packed eggs would be after a two-hour layover in a random airport, but if this sounds like something you wish to encounter in your future, TSA has given you the green light.
It might sound like we’re cracking a joke, but fresh eggs are allowed in carry-on bags and checked bags.
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In case handcuffs are a travel necessity of yours, TSA does not mind you traveling with these in carry-on bags or checked bags.
But please, don’t pull a “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” act of vigilante justice at your departure gate. Airport police can handle that.
Harry Potter wand
Potterheads, get excited. Harry Potter wands are allowed in carry-on bags and checked bags.
And now that our interest is piqued, we’re dying to know which Harry Potter house TSA belongs to …
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There’s no place like home, filled with all your personal belongings and knickknacks just the way you like ‘em.
If your home sweet home happens to include a hookah, TSA allows passengers to travel with these in carry-on bags and checked bags.
A note about lightsabers on the TSA website says, “May the force be with you,” so it’s safe to say TSA is all for airline travelers being prepared to cut down enemies from other galaxies and deflect blaster bolts.
Lightsabers are allowed in both checked bags and carry-on bags.
Live aquatic items
Can’t leave your love of the ocean behind? TSA won’t make you.
Live coral and live fish can be packed in carry-on bags in a clear transparent container. They must be inspected by a TSA officer.
Live lobsters are allowed in checked bags, but traveling with them in carry-on bags is airline specific.
Be sure to keep your lobster friend in a clear, plastic, spill-proof container. It will be checked by a TSA officer.
Magic 8 ball
A fortune teller could’ve told you this, but Magic 8 balls are only allowed in checked bags.
According to the TSA website, officials asked the Magic 8 ball about being packed in a carry-on and were told “Outlook not so good!”
If you’re waiting for an airport-wide flash mob choreographed to “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas, it just might happen, and thankfully TSA wants you to be prepared.
Nunchucks, along with other martial arts weapons like throwing stars, are allowed in checked bags only. You better hope the flash mob breaks out before you hand over your luggage.
It’s important to always be prepared, and if your lifestyle warrants a parachute as a necessity, TSA lets you travel with these in carry-on bags and checked bags following special instructions.
Parachutes must be packed separately from other baggage and will be inspected at your end destination. TSA suggests adding 30 minutes to your recommended airline arrival window to accommodate parachute protocol.
Plant parents, your beloved children are allowed in both carry-on bags and checked bags.
But please, for the sake of other passengers, try not to spill soil when putting your plants in the overhead cabin.
Looking for some real life “Angry Birds” action? TSA lets passengers travel with slingshots in checked baggage only.
Did Grandma and Grandpa give you another snow globe as a gift from their travels?
Snow globes are allowed in checked bags or carry-on bags if they are less than or equal to 3.4 ounces/100 mL. This is about the size of a tennis ball.
Snow globes in carry-ons must fit into a one-quart sized resealable plastic bag, which passengers can only bring one of.
Sabers (also spelled “sabre”), a type of backsword with a curved blade, are allowed in checked baggage only.
Fans of light cavalry from the early modern and Napoleonic periods who wish to travel with a saber should remember to sheath their swords and securely wrap them to prevent injury.
Other swords, including fencing foils and other cutting or thrusting weapons, are allowed following the same safety measures outlined above.
Save your friends from the horror of another wonky stick-and-poke and opt for packing your real supplies next time you’re flying out for a friend get-together.
Tattoo guns are allowed in both carry-on bags and checked bags following special instructions. Devices containing lithium metal or lithium ion baters should be in carry-on baggage.
Tattoo inks can be transported in checked bags or in carry-ons if less than or equal to 3.4 ounces/100 mL.
Contributing: Zach Wichter, USA TODAY
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