Chocolate is a great favorite among many people. Many countries all over the world make them in various different ways so that it’s always a treat to discover the different kinds of chocolate. Plus, these sweet bars of happiness are delicious and can serve as great gifts for family and friends or great souvenirs to take home with us.
That being said, you might be wondering if you can bring chocolates in hand luggage or if you have to check in all of them.
This article will explore bringing chocolate on airplanes in your hand luggage and your checked luggage. It will discuss the regulations set by customs and airlines and how to safely transport your chocolate without worrying that it will melt.
Can You Bring Chocolate on Planes in Hand Luggage?
In general, you’re allowed to bring chocolate in hand luggage. Nevertheless, airlines often require that it is in solid form. If you have liquid chocolates that you want to bring, you’ll have to comply with their regulations.
If you’re transporting chocolates for yourself or to give as a gift to someone, you won’t have any problems bringing them in your hand luggage as long as they are in solid form or have a solid filling. You can breathe a sigh of relief because that means your M&M’s, Snickers, and Hershey’s Kisses are perfectly safe.
Even if your chocolates are solid but have a liquid filling (such as alcohol), it’s best to assume that the rules to bringing liquid in hand luggage will apply. That way, you’ll be able to prepare everything ahead of time and don’t need to worry about having your luggage questioned.
Liquid Chocolates (Nutella and Chocolate Creams)
The rules for bringing liquid chocolate are the same as the rules for bringing other types of liquid in your hand luggage. TSA calls it the 3-1-1 rule. It means that your liquids must be placed in containers with a maximum capacity of 100 ml (3.4 ounces) each and then placed inside a special plastic bag for liquids (measuring one quart). Each passenger is only allowed one bag of liquid (including toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, lotions, and even your liquid chocolate).
That being said, if you’re going to transport Nutella, Chocolate Creams, and other types of liquid chocolates, it’s best to buy them in mini jars that can fit inside the bag for liquids. If not, you can always transfer them into your own mini containers before placing them into the plastic bag with all your liquids.
How Much Chocolate Can You Bring on a Plane?
On their website, TSA is very specific about how much chocolate you can bring. If it is solid chocolate, there are no restrictions with the amount, for your hand or checked luggage.
For liquid chocolate, you can bring as much as you want in your checked luggage (as long as it fits your checked luggage weight requirements). For carry-on or hand baggage, they must be 3.4 oz (100 ml) or less per container and all fit into a one-quart sized transparent, resealable bag.
Are There Any Restrictions for Chocolate in Checked Luggage?
The 3-1-1 rule that TSA has for liquids in hand luggage does not apply to checked luggage, which means that you don’t have a specific luggage weight to keep beyond what comes with your ticket. You can then pack larger amounts of chocolate (both solid and liquid) in your luggage. This is for trips around the USA and even to Europe and beyond.
Will Chocolate Melt in Checked Luggage?
That depends. Chocolate doesn’t melt easily. Airports usually have air conditioning, the cargo hold where your luggage is kept is pressurized and climate-controlled just like the place where the passengers stay in a plane.
Nevertheless, it depends on a lot of factors. First, where you get your chocolate from and where you’re going can contribute to your chocolate melting in your checked luggage or not. If you buy chocolates from the US or Europe and take them to another country where the climate is hotter, there’s a chance that your chocolate will melt if you are unable to put them right away in the refrigerator.
If, after checking out of the hotel or upon arrival at your destination, you leave your luggage in the trunk of a rented car, there’s a chance that it will melt, especially if it is too hot. In the same way, if your luggage is left too long out under the sun on hot tarmac or even in an area without air conditioning, your chocolates may still melt.
This is why a lot of people prefer to place their chocolates in their hand luggage, especially if they are solid chocolates. You will have more control and can check to see if the chocolates are still in good condition before gifting them.
What About International Flights? Are Chocolates Restricted by the Customs?
Generally, store-bought food is allowed through customs. They usually don’t restrict candies, delicacies, and chocolates. Nevertheless, it’s best to always check first with the country you’re going to just to be sure.
Some countries are stricter and restrict you from bringing certain types of food (like honey), so it’s best to check first. That way, you don’t have to experience the hassle of opening up your luggage and explaining or having to go through a second security check.
Some travelers even recommend declaring right out that you are bringing food or chocolate when you pass customs, no matter which country you go to. It will also save time and be less of a hassle rather than if the ‘accidentally’ find out.
How to Carry Chocolates in Hand Luggage Without Melting
At the risk of carrying chocolates only to find that they are a hot, sticky mess later, it’s best to wrap it neatly and seal it well, whether you’re bringing those little candy bars or gourmet chocolate in a pretty box. You also don’t want to have it spilling out and getting on your other items, especially if it is a hot day or you won’t be able to refrigerate your chocolates right away.
A lot of people recommend freezing your chocolate just before your flight and sealing them well in Ziplocs and even freezer bags. That way, they won’t melt as quickly or won’t be exposed to so much heat.
Others don’t recommend freezing chocolate since chocolate usually sits at room temperature and is just fine the way it is. They recommend placing it in sealed, airtight boxes or plastic containers instead.
In some situations, and depending on the airlines, you might be able to take insulated lunch bags. Nevertheless, this usually catches the eye of customs and airport security so you might want to check ahead of time if you can bring it or declare it the moment you get to the airport.
Chocolates are great gifts to bring to people you’re visiting or great souvenirs from the places where you’ve been. If it’s your first time flying with chocolates, you don’t need to worry so much because a lot of people have done it and are still doing it.
The one thing to keep in mind is that it’s best to double-check everything before you do it and to remember the guidelines listed above. If not, you can always do a quick internet search to find people’s experiences, or what specific guidelines an airline has, or what regulations that the country you’re flying to enforces.
That way, you’ll be able to eliminate the hassle of packing the wrong amount of liquid chocolate in your hand luggage and then having to deal with transferring them to your checked luggage.
Flying with chocolate is no difficult nor extraordinary feat. Since a lot of people are able to fly in and out of various countries bringing chocolate the whole year round, after a few flights, you’ll definitely be able to find something that works for you.