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9 Surprising Things You Can Carry Through Airport Security, TSA Says

Have you ever seen anyone bring one of these items through security before?

Traveling is always a little stressful and airport security can often add to the chaos. We've all experienced Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers confiscating our water bottles or throwing out the new skincare products we just bought during our vacation. But surprisingly, there are a lot of items that the TSA will allow through the X-ray machine without you having to worry about them tearing open your suitcase in front of a bunch of complete strangers. Read on to see which items you'll bring on your next trip worry-free.

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Live lobsters

Live Lobster
Subotin Iliya / Shutterstock

First up on the list of surprising items you can bring through airport security are lobsters. And we aren't talking about any kind of lobster, we are talking about live lobsters. Yup, you read that right.

Larry Snider, VP of operations of Casago Vacation Rentals tells Best Life, "Surprisingly, there are situations where you're allowed to bring a live lobster through airport security. If you do find yourself in this situation, you'll need to keep the lobster in a clear, plastic, spill-proof container. A TSA agent will inspect the lobster at the checkpoint and then you'll be on your way."

Now you know for next time when you are heading back from vacation in Maine and want to bring home a tasty souvenir.

Cremated remains

Cremated remains with yellow flowers.
VDB Photos / Shutterstock

If you lose a loved one away from home or if you want to bring their ashes to spread somewhere special, you can bring cremated remains through airport security. While you don't necessarily need a certificate of cremation, it's always good to have proof, in case the TSA officers on duty have any questions.

"If you're carrying some remains of your loved ones, you can surely carry them with you," says Will Hatton from the blog The Broke Backpacker. "All you need to do is refrain from making it opaque. You can put the remains in a plastic container."

The TSA website reads, "If the container is made of a material that generates an opaque image, TSA officers will not be able to clearly determine what is inside the container and the container will not be allowed. Out of respect for the deceased, TSA officers will not open a container, even if requested by the passenger."

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Unusual pets

Dog at the airport wanting attention.
Standret / Shutterstock

While you probably know that the TSA allows the dogs and cats on the plane, they also let on more unusual animals like mice, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, and even parrots. Some airlines even allow you to bring your pet snake on board (yikes!). Small pets are allowed through the checkpoint but TSA reminds flyers that "animal carriers will undergo a visual and/or physical inspection."

"It's always a good idea to double check the TSA website and the airline's website make sure you know the latest rules and restrictions before planning your trip," writes Dan Troha, the founder of Trivia Bliss. Unfortunately, TSA doesn't allow tigers, lions and bears (oh my) on planes quite yet.

Camping stoves

Camping stove used on the mountains.
A_B_C / Shutterstock

Shockingly, camping stoves are allowed to fly with you and you can even put this trusty stove in your carry on bag (who knew?). Now, you can hop off the plane and make a meal wherever you go, whether you're in the middle of the Rocky Mountains or the Sahara Desert.

"Although, this is an inflammable item it's totally allowed to carry onto a plane," says Hatton. "Just ensure that it's clean and free from fuel while you carry it."

The TSA website reads, "Camp stoves are allowed in carry-on or checked bags only if they are empty of all fuel and cleaned so that no fuel vapors or residue remain. Please wrap cords and layer items in bags so officers can get a clear view of the items."

Adult toys

Red fluffy handcuffs.
Only_NewPhoto / Shutterstock

Looks like you'll still be able to bring the heat with you wherever you go! You are able to bring as many adult toys as you want and TSA won't say a word (although they may give you a wink or knowing look).

"Carrying adult toys is permitted on the plane. Because of intimate and privacy concerns, people often refrain from doing so. But if you wish, you're allowed to carry your pleasurable toys," says Hatton.


Perfume bottle collection.
FabrikaSimf / Shutterstock

Travelers are welcome to bring perfume with them so you can smell like sunshine and daisies throughout your entire journey (although, we wouldn't recommend spraying on the plane out of respect for your fellow passengers.).

There are also size limits to the size bottle you bring. TSA writes, "The capacity of your container must not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces)."

"Because of their chemical composition travelers often worry about whether they can be carried inside or not. But, it's just fine to take it with you," Hatton tells Best Life.

Lots of food

A couple enjoys food while waiting for their plane to arrive.
RossHelen / Shutterstock

Many people don't realize you can actually bring a huge variety of food and snacks for your travels ahead. As long as the items aren't in a liquid form, TSA will allow you to bring as much as you want through security.

"Bringing snacks is essential for surviving long flights or layovers. Surprisingly enough, almost all types of food can be brought through airport security as long as they aren't considered liquid items like sauces and soups. This includes things like fresh fruits and vegetables, sandwiches, chips and crackers, cheeses… even hard-boiled eggs," writes Jacob Richard, the founder of Camera Prism.

Baby formula

Baby formula.
279photo Studio / Shutterstock

Traveling with a baby on board is hard enough but luckily for parents (and their fellow passengers), you can bring formula with you.

"If you're traveling with an infant, you can bring formula, breast milk, juice and other food for the baby through airport security," says Fred Hoffman with the blog, The True Wilderness. "These items must be declared at the checkpoint, so make sure to let the TSA know that you have them before going through screening,"

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Tool boxes

Man carrying his black tool box.
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

A toolbox is another unlikely item you'd think of bringing on an airplane because of how violent these tools can be if used incorrectly. But Hatton tells Best Life, "If you're a frequent traveller engaged in stuff like hiking and camping, or anything else when a toolbox would be something you'd wish to carry. You can carry a toolbox whose length is 7 inches or shorter!" As long as they are not power tools, you can put wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, and other small appliances straight through security.

Lauren Jarvis-Gibson
Lauren Jarvis-Gibson is an Associate Editor at Best Life. Her work has been published in Teen Vogue, Allure, HuffPost, and more. Read more
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