Flying with Food this Thanksgiving? For Easy Travel, Consider These 10 Items

Thanksgiving travel is hard enough without the added logistical challenges of packing food. Does the TSA consider pie filling to be a liquid? Maybe more of a gel? For questionable items, you can always consult the MyTSA app's helpful "Can I Bring?" feature. Of course, just because the TSA site says pies are fine to bring, that's no guarantee that your TSA agent will tell you the same.

Aside from successfully clearing security, there's the little matter of spills and how to avoid them. Below are a few items to help you, and your cooking, arrive intact. 

1. VinniBag Inflatable Travel Bag


Unfortunately, wine in your carry-on is not an option. And no one wants to open their checked bag to find a shattered bottle of Beaujolais and a wad of wine soaked laundry. The VinniBag inflates to protect your bottles against damage while in transit. Great for wine, of course, but also works with olive oil, vinegar, syrup, perfume, or any bottle or fragile item you don't want to shattered to bits.

Amazon Review: "Worked perfectly. Takes up space so need larger capacity suitcase, but worth it for the special wine/olive oil/balsamic vinegar purchases."

Price: $29.99

Star Rating: 4

2. Pie and Cake Carrier


Can you fly with pie? As mentioned above, the TSA says yes. Just be aware that your pie may be subject to additional screening, most likely x-ray. What to carry your pie in? How about this glamorous number from Picnic at Ascot? Made of sturdy polyester canvas and and available in 5 colorways, this carrier features both top and bottom zippers as well as a top handle for carrying.

Amazon Review: "I don't see any downside to this. We've used it to transport pies, cakes, and frozen deserts. Big enough to include cold packs for a journey. The double zippers were a real good idea, too, and make access easy. handle makes handling easy. Well engineered throughout. Somebody who saw the limitations of other types of carriers must have designed this."

Price: $34.99

Star Rating: 4

3. Leakproof Bento Box

Ideal for carrying a few leftovers back home, this airtight dual-layer box is both dishwasher and microwave safe. Utensils included!

Amazon Review: "I love my bento boxes! I will be ordering another set for a family member-they are easy to clean and the wood lid look gives it a touch of elegance… I've had many colleagues at work comment on the fact that The boxes are not only functional but stylish - i'm equally impressed with the fact that these boxes sealed very well without leakage even when turned on their sides."

Price: $22.95

Star Rating: 4.5

4. Collapsible Deviled Egg/Pie Carrier

For those tasked with making both the pumpkin and the pecan pie this Thanksgiving, this collapsible carrier has room for two. Best of all, the upper tray flips to hold up to 28 deviled eggs. Probably not the best idea to transport 28 deviled eggs on a long stuffy flight. You'd definitely want to keep them cool with an ice gel pack, even on short trips.

Amazon Review: "This carried two pies nicely. I may order another so I have enough for next year's holiday season, as I usually bring 4-5 pies to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. Not sure I trust the handle/side latches to support the weight of the pies. I recommend supporting from the bottom as you carry it."

Price: $20.99

Star Rating: 4.5

5. 3.4 oz Wide Mouthed Jars

Liquids, as you are well aware, are a big no-no in carry-ons, but only if they exceed 3.4oz and aren't in a clear quart-sized bag. Yes, usually that's the bag for your face lotions, potions, and other toiletries, but there's no reason you can't also slip in a tiny 3.4oz jar of gravy or cranberry sauce. These wide mouthed jars are just the right size for such a job. Sold in a set of two.

Amazon Review: N/A

Price: $8.99

Star Rating: N/A

6. Rubbermaid Salad/Snack Storage Combo

This dual level container keeps foods separate during transport, and latches shut for an airtight seal. Comes with a second container with double compartments.

Amazon Review: "Very nice but a bit difficult to open due to the very good seal."

Price: $22.19

Star Rating: 4.5

7. Insulated Double Casserole Carrier

Yes, you can fly with a casserole! And should you need to fly with two casseroles, this is the bag for you. The Mier Casserole Carrier holds two 9"x13" casserole dishes, with separate compartments for both. This allows for carrying hot and cold dishes at the same time, keeping both at a steady temperature.

Amazon Review: "Love this! I packed a ton of stuff into this bag and the coordinating small cooler bag for Thanksgiving. I was able to carry everything I needed over to the parents house for the holiday in just these 2 bags. Much, much better than the hodge-podge of boxes and paper bags I'd used in the past."

Price: $20.38

Star Rating: 5

8. Rachael Ray ChillOut Thermal Tote

This 10-gallon leak-proof tote features Triple-Tek insulation and a Temperfoil lining to help maintain food temperature for long periods. Carry as a tote or adjust the handles to carry horizontally. Available in 6 colorways.

Amazon Review: "Nicely detailed, good materials. The two-way handle is a great touch as we do use these bags both for grocery shopping and to pick up pizza. Only regret is that they are about 2" smaller than the Trader Joe's insulated bags we bought many years ago (and are still in service, but a bit worn). But its a great bag and worth it to not be putting more plastic into the ecosystem."

Price: $23.99

Star Rating: 4.5

9. Reusable Gel Cool Pack


Keep foods fresh as you travel with reusable gel ice packs. These are allowed but the gel must be frozen solid during your security screening. According the the TSA site, "If frozen liquid items are partially melted, slushy, or have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they must meet 3-1-1 liquids requirements."

Amazon Review: "Very happy with these for our Yeti Hopper 40 cooler. The slim packs fit along the bottom and sides of the cooler or side in between food items. They were still cold at the end of the day when we took them out of the cooler. Definitely an improvement over using baggies full of ice, plus no condensation or spills to clean up."

Price: $21.89

Star Rating: 4.5

10. FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System

Vacuum seal turkey and other leftovers for compact dribble-free storage. The FoodSaver comes with 3 quart bags, 2 gallon bags, and heat seal rolls. The CrushFree option prevents squishing delicate leftovers.

Amazon Review: "Never have owned one before, but I had no idea what I was missing. Not only is it great for longer term food storage; add the jar sealers and your cabinet will take on a whole new look of freshness. I replaced almost everything that was in a box or bag and put them in jars for longer term freshness storage. This device works flawless. It is also fantastic for non food items like medications, matches, medical items..anything you want to keep dry. So many household uses!"

Price: $86.61

Star Rating: 4

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