Can You Bring Seashells On a Plane? 2024

So can you take seashells on a plane?

Here is the short answer, according to the TSA you are allowed to take any kind of seashells, even conch shells, in domestic flight in both carry-on and checked baggage, without any restrictions. taking sea shells on international flights will require you to check the customs regulations for your destination country.

Read more about traveling with seashells and in- depth rules, to avoid any inconvenience or difficulties in customs.

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Sea Shells Mixed Beach Seashells / courtesy of Amazon

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Take seashells through the security checkpoint

There are no restrictions on taking sea shells in domestic flights within the US, the STA does not have any problem if you bring your beautiful seashells, the only thing that you should consider is that they are packed properly and the TSA officer may ask you for additional screening.

Here is what the TSA says on its website.

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Can I take sea shells in my carry-on?

Yes you can take seashells in your carry-on baggage, or personal items without any problem. Make sure that your seashells or corals are clean, you can either put them in a solid box or a basket. and make sure that they are separated from your clothes.

Before placing your seashells in your carry on, a quick clean and rinse with soapy water will be enough to remove anything inside them.

@Rebekah asked the TSA if seashells are good to bring in carry-on baggage, and the TSA confirmed that she is good to go.

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How to pack shells in carry-on?

When traveling with seashells in carry-on, you can just clean them neatly and place them in a zip-log bag, or a  recycled container like plastic nut jars, almost any container that will make them protected.

You can also add some layers of paper or pieces of clothes to fill the empty space in the container so the seashells do not move around.

Once the container is packed, you can then wrap it in one of your t-shirts or other cloth and place it in the middle of the suitcase so the shells do not crash or move during your flight.

Take seashells in checked baggage

If you are traveling with your check in bag, it is really better to place your seashells inside it.

just make sure that they are well protected and packed in a solid box or container.

@Hayley basked the TA if seashells are allowed in checked baggage.

And the TSA said seashells are good to go in checked baggage.

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Can you bring seashells on a plane in international flights?

Taking seashells from other countries will require you to be aware of other countries’ rules about traveling with shells so you can do some preparation,and please note that trying to sneak shells may cause some inconvenience for you and it may cause you to pay some massive fines at the borders.

You may find in other forums that some travelers successfully passed some kind of shells through customs, but it’s just a matter of luck, so make sure to read the country regulations.

For example it is not illegal to bring seashells to US, but the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) do not recommend bringing any kind of seashells from other countries, but if you did you need to make sure that they are cleaned and contain any dirt, in the borders the officer will inspect your seashells and make the final decision.

Photo by Artem Podrez on

Can you take shells from Hawaii?

According to the Division of Land and Natural Resources, taking small amounts of shells or corals from Hawaii for non commercial use is allowed.

However it is not recommended to take a large quantity of shells back home.

According to the Hawaii tourism authority, a total of 2,751,849 million visitors arrived in the first half of 2021.

Imagine if a single visitor takes back home 5 shells, that’s a total of 13,759,245 million shells, that will cause some damage to the Hawaii environment.

Can you bring a conch shell into Canada?

Canada customs do not restrict any conch shells, however you will still have to declare any kind of shells you are taking to Canada, also make sure that your shells are clean and do not have any live things or soil inside them.

Where to find Seashells

Since most countries will not allow the bringing of large amounts of shells, in additions; to avoid any inconvenience it is better to invest in a beautiful mix of shells.

You can easily find a pretty combination of shells that you can use for decoration; the shells are perfect for anything with nice colors, sizes and shapes.

Summary: can you take seashells on a plane?

You can take seashells on a plane in both carry on and checked baggage in domestic flights within the US, just make sure that your seashells are clean and neat and there is nothing living inside them.

Internationally, make sure that you know the country rules and customs regulations of the country you want to bring shells from.

Most of the countries will allow you to bring small quantities of shells for personal use.

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