I like to consider myself a smart cookie by having all my Christmas presents wrapped ahead of time. But that’s probably not a good idea.
Unless you want to take the gamble of having to open it on a harried security check line, it’s best to leave the wrapping for once you’ve arrived. That’s because TSA might have to inspect—meaning unwrap—any gifts that come through the security line. Sad as that would be, it would be well within their right to do so.
So as to not come off as Grinches, the TSA is trying to spread the word with a warning about wrapped presents via social media posts, including one on their Instagram.
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#TSATravelTips – Wrapped gifts are permitted, but not encouraged. We recommend waiting until you land to wrap them. If there’s something in the gift that needs to be inspected, we may have to open it. Our officers try their best not to mangle the gift wrap, but it’s not a guarantee. Instead of wrapping a gift you’re traveling with, you could use a gift bag instead.
The alternative is to use gift bags and tissue paper, which is easy to dig into without messing up too much. The only problem is that it won’t pack well so that’s only a good option if you want to carry it by hand. I also imagine that would count for the one “personal item” allowed.
Better to pack those wrapping supplies separately and assemble it all at the destination. Throw in a pair of manicure scissors—OK by the TSA—and a spool of tape for full gift wrapping self-sufficiency, too.
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