If you’re travelling over the holidays, you’re probably going to be packing a few gifts either in your checked luggage or carry-on bags. For anyone who’s ever wondered: What can I take on a plane, I’ve got you covered.

What can I take on a plane? These gifts + some hacks for airport security

When you’ve got precious cargo, you need to be strategic about what you pack in your carry-on.

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Today I’m going on CTV News at Noon to chat about the rules you need to know, plus the gifts you’ll want to bring in your carry-on bag versus checked luggage. Oh, all these items you see below will be given away in December. Read on to learn how you could win.

What can I take on a plane?

It’s not so much what you can take on a plane, but what you can get through security. The big deal is the 100 ml per liquid item.

You may be wondering if you can bring wrapped gifts on an airplane, in your carry on luggage. You shouldn’t. The TSA and Canadian Air Transit Security Authority workers need to be able to clearly identify what you’re trying to take on the plane.

If you’re only taking carry-on, the solution is to bring flat wrapping paper – I’ve found fun, retro Christmas wrapping at second hand stores. Or, you could bring brown packing paper folded up. Pre-cut your wrapping paper to the size you need and bring tape. Scissors over 2.4 inches long will get confiscated in Canada, in the U.S. the blade can be up to 4 inches.

Best airplane toys

Technically, you’re allowed to bring on toy weapons so long as they look fake. Still, be prepared to get the once over by security. 

This Barbie® Color RevealTM is a great choice for kids who like surprises. The packaging is part of the fun. You remove the outer layer and it reveals a clear tube. Inside is a mystery pink Color Reveal™ Barbie and four bags hiding surprises. Take the bags out and fill the tube with warm water. Place Barbie in the tube, swirl her around and watch her hair, skin tone and eyes change colour. Inside the bags are accessories – which you can store in the tube once it’s dry.

If you’re facing lengthy travel or want to keep wee-ones occupied for a long period of time, this gift is it. Also, it’s lightweight and conveniently fits in any size of carry-on bag. But don’t wrap it inside your carry-on, or security might rip it open. Instead, keep the Color Reveal™ Barbie in a small bag, so it’s easily accessibly for scrutiny, but not obvious to tiny tots with their eyes all aglow. 

Best e-reader for travel

Smaller gifts especially those you know are a hot ticket item ought to be packed in your carry-on, in case your checked luggage gets lost. E-readers are great gift, but be sure to pull them out with your laptop as not to hold up the security line.

A great e-reader for travel is the Kobo Libra H20. That’s because it’s fully waterproof and can handle unexpected spills in your bag. It’s also durable enough to take with you in the bath.

Anyone who’s going to a sun destination will appreciate its glare-free, touchscreen that makes reading in the sun look just like print on paper. Kobo e-readers are Indigo products, and it’s always nice to support Canadian company during this season. Orders over $25 also receive shipping!  

Best handheld gaming system

Another hot item this year is Nintendo Switch Lite. Every kid I know wants one of these because it was made specifically for handheld play. The controls are built right in. It’s really light, making it easy to stow in a backpack or carry-on bag.

Because you can play Nintendo Switch Lite literally anywhere, it’s a great travel surprise, especially for kids who are stuck in cars for any length of time. And newly released games like Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield can be used on both the Nintendo Switch Lite or the Nintendo Switch gaming system. 

Stasher bags

One of my favourite multi-purpose gifts is the Stasher. It’s a reusable bag that’s way better than any ziplock because the Stasher isn’t plastic, it’s silicone.

That means you can freeze it, boil it or throw it into a microwave. It’s air-tight, self sealing and can withstand high temperatures, so into the dishwasher it goes after use.

Pack any food you want to take on the plane in a Stasher and it won’t leak out. Then you can reuse the bag at your destination. I picked mine up at Indigo Signal Hill in Calgary, but you can also find them online.

Holiday baking hack

One of the saddest things that’s every happened to me at an airport was having my tub of Crave icing confiscated by security. Apparently anything that melts when heated is categorized as a liquid, and that tub was over the 100 ml limit. Sigh.

santa north pole cupcakes

There’s a Crave Cupcakes pop up coming to the Calgary Airport!

But, get this, you can bring iced cupcakes through security. I mean, how cute is this North Pole six pack from Crave Cupcakes? Their cake mix is also a lovely thing to gift any former Calgarian who’s craving Crave.

If you’re stumped for holiday baking, Crave will have a pop up at the Calgary International Airport Dec 20-22. And of course, there’s lots of lovely seasonal goodies you can snap up at any Crave location in Calgary, Edmonton or Saskatoon to get yourself out of holiday baking.

best christmas baking bites

Just like mom made. Only WAY better! Unless, of course, you’re Mrs. McIntyre.


I’ll be giving away ALL these items over the next week. You could win a Kobo Libra H20, Nintendo Switch Lite, a Color Reveal™ Barbie, a Stasher bag or some scrumptious Crave cupcakes!

To enter

  1. Comment below with what you’d like to win. Ideally, give me your top two choices. Super easy, right?
  2. All comments must be received before midnight, December 20, 2019. (Because it’s so busy at this time of year for mail and deliveries, realize if you win, you likely won’t receive your product until after Christmas.)
  3. Net an additional entry for subscribing to Travels with Baggage. (Very bottom left hand corner on my homepage.)
  4. Score more entries for sharing my Facebook post, Tweet, Instagram and/or liking the Travels with Baggage Facebook page.
  5. Contest open to residents of Canada.

Thank you to: Nintendo, Barbie Canada, Indigo and Crave for generously offering their amazing products to Travels with Baggage readers. Thanks to everyone reading for supporting the brands that make Travels with Baggage possible. 

You may also be interested in reading:

An easy way to make eggnog from scratch 

How to look good on Christmas morning