Overhead View of Airport Security Line

You have enough aggravation to deal with when you’re trying to board a flight; the last thing you want is to sabotage yourself by inadvertently setting off metal detectors or catching the eye of a TSA agent. But there are a few surprising items you may have packed in your carry-on that could send up a red flag at security.

Here are a few items we suggest you leave behind:

  • Aluminum Foil Wrappers. Even those tiny wrappers on gum, candy and cigarette packs can set off metal detectors. So, empty your pockets of any foil before passing through one.
  • Headbands. Hidden under the fancy fabric and ribbons of many headbands is a metal frame. Put your headband on the x-ray belt. And don’t worry – you get a free pass for bad hair at the airport.
  • “Airplane bottles” of alcohol. A long flight may seem like the perfect occasion to pull out those little bottles of vodka, but the TSA is looking for potential explosives. If you pack for a few cocktails, make sure the bottles contain less than 3.4 ounces, are the original container, and are contained in a one-quart sized, zip-top bag.
  • Snow globes. They are a great souvenir, but you may want to opt for a t-shirt instead. The liquid contents of most snow globes surpass the 3.4-ounce limit and aren’t allowed in carry-ons. If you just have to have that snow globe, it needs to be checked.

For more information on what you should leave at home, visit http://www.tsa.gov/travelers/airtravel/prohibited/permitted-prohibited-items.shtm.

Amy Mullen is a writer and editor. She would rather travel than breathe. Unfortunately, the former can not replace the latter to sustain life, and also interferes with paying her bills, so she goes wherever she can, whenever she has the means. Her travel talents include getting lost in the Tokyo subway system, finding the cheapest beer in Reykjavik, and mistaking a brothel in Singapore for a karaoke bar with one of her favorite sisters.

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