How to Safely Bring Home Souvenirs When Flying

For many flyers, one of the most enjoyable things about traveling to far-away places, whether it’s for business or pleasure, is bringing back souvenirs as personal mementos or gifts for others.

A souvenir is a tangible item to help us remember the fun we had, the interesting things we learned, or the beautiful sights we saw. It can help us tell a more vivid story about our journey. As a gift, it shows our loved ones that we were thinking about them while we were gone.

So how can you safely bring home souvenirs when flying?

First, it helps to pack light so you’ll have more room for souvenirs in your checked and carry-on bags on your flight home. This is easier if you’ll have access to laundry at your destination. If not, you can maximize space in your baggage by rolling your clothes rather than folding them, and by wearing more bulky clothing on your return flight so it’s not taking up space in your bags.


It’s also critical to make sure that the TSA allows your particular souvenirs aboard the plane, either checked or carry-on. The TSA allows some items to be checked but not carried on.

For example, snow globes are only allowed to be carried on if they contain less than 3.4 ounces of liquid — so the globe is approximately the size of a tennis ball — and the entire snow globe can fit into your single quart-sized resealable plastic bag with your other liquid containers. Otherwise, your snow globe must be packed in your checked luggage.

Generally speaking, the safest place for your most fragile souvenirs is in a bag at your feet, so you can make sure that they’re handled delicately. The overhead carry-on compartment is the next-best option, as long as other passengers don’t accidentally crush them as they’re fitting their own items in.


If you can’t fit all of your souvenirs in your carry-on bags and must place them in your checked luggage, carefully wrap them in your clothing or bubble wrap. If possible, after wrapping these items, place them in the middle of the suitcase. Be sure to place at least one layer of wrap or clothing in between fragile items, and don’t worry if it seems tight. The less room in the suitcase, the less items will move around and possibly break.

Yet another option is to pack a foldable duffel bag in your checked luggage, and for the return flight, pack your dirty clothes in the duffel bag. This leaves your luggage, preferably hard-sided, for souvenirs.

When you’re ready to book a trip, fly with South Bend International Airport. We offer nonstop flights on Allegiant, American, Delta and United with easy connections worldwide so you can get anywhere you want to go.

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