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The Ultimate Guide to Carry-On Holiday Foods and Goodies

By Karina Martinez Carter


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How to bring the best of the rest home after the holidays

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Thanksgiving and the holidays: It’s peak travel time, peak chow time, and, if you’re like me and wanting to cling to a taste of home, peak traveling with chow time.

I would take a whole fridge of leftovers with me on the plane if were possible, because airplane food has nothing on green bean casserole. But in the end I usually only end up taking one measly day-after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich with me to the airport because I never really know what I’ll be allowed past security with. Which food is it all gravy to bring on board? (Except that actual gravy isn’t permitted…)

Here’s a handy guide for which popular holiday foods and goodies are good-to-go on board and which can end up making a nice unintentional present for security agents. As Ross Feinstein, TSA press secretary told me, even what’s listed as allowed like solid food and pies can be subject to additional screening. The TSA assures us that’s not actually code for taste testing, though. 

(Check out Erica's how-to on bringing pies on planes)

When in doubt, the TSA provided us these guidelines:

"Another way to judge whether a food item is considered a liquid or gel by TSA is that if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, then it is considered a liquid or gel by TSA."

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