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Rick Steves Travel Picnic Set (really TSA compliant?)

Has anyone actually traveled internationally with the Rick Steves Travel Picnic Set? Here's the link if you're unfamiliar: https://store.ricksteves.com/shop/p/travel-picnic-set. It says everything included (knives, forks, corckscrew, etc.) areally TSA compliant but I have my doubts. Just wondering if anyone out there has managed to not have it confiscated while traveling internationally.

P.S. Carry on ok? Or checked luggage only? I was hoping to only carry on! If I can't carry it on then that's a deal breaker for me. I'll just buy one in Europe then toss it or gift it to someone before heading back to the US.

Posted by
3983 posts

The website says "Ok in carry-on luggage". It states that everything is plastic but I have my doubts about the corkscrew being entirely plastic...

Posted by
177 posts

We put it in our carry on and no problem. As for the corkscrew it broke on the first try. Had to get it out with pliers from the hotel desk. Corkscrews have been souvenirs for us since we always have a check in bag on the way home.

Posted by
95 posts

We cleared TSA just fine with it in our carry on bags in the US (Spokane). But when we were in the Pisa, Italy airport heading to Paris we were pulled aside after our bags were scanned. The cork screw was not allowed!! It was tossed in the security bin in Pisa never to be seen again:( sigh. We were forced to buy one in Paris, and we probably left that behind in Paris as well. My advice, you can pick that stuff up pretty easily over in Europe, or wherever you are going.

Posted by
7654 posts

Looking at it based on my experience, it is compliant to US TSA requirements with an asterisk "*" the caveat is that any decisions as to what is "OK" is up to the individual TSA agent. If they deem something to not be OK, then it does not travel. Sounds fishy, but if you tell me a knife blade under 2" is OK, I can find some pretty gruesome and dangerous 2" blades, so some discretion by TSA agents is needed.

There may be another issue though, you will also have to deal with European Security requirements, at least on the way back, but maybe if you have a security check en-route or take domestic flights within Europe. While the TSA generally allows corkscrews, for some reason the Europeans are more particular and generally do not. You can go online to see advice from any airlines you might be flying. The EU has a general guideline of "any sharp objects that might be used as a weapon" and they specifically mention corkscrews.

So in summary, you are likely mostly OK, but you never know what the agent you are running into is going to do, so a risk? Yes, but not a big one.

Myself, I happened to find a plastic corkscrew and bottle opener that stays in my carry on full time, with never an issue in a dozen trips. For silverware, I either pocket the ones one the trip over or stop in a grocery store and pick up a pack of mixed plastic utensils, plus maybe a small paring knife for more serious cutting. Sadly bringing a Swiss army knife is a thing of the past, unless I buy one there and give to the grandkids on return (putting in checked baggage on the way back)

Posted by
6363 posts

Last time we were in the Barcelona airport, there were big signs all over "No corkscrews."

Posted by
346 posts

As the others said, it's TSA compliant. Although I'm not sure we used it yet (since it's still in one piece, lol).

Posted by
11613 posts

Mine went through a couple of times, but was confiscated at AMS. The container is pretty big for my packing style, so I chucked the whole thing.

Posted by
15992 posts

This would be such an inexpensive thing to put together yourself that I don't know as I'd bother spending the $. We just tuck in a couple of plastic utensils we have hanging around, and you can easily buy an inexpensive corkscrew when you get there.

We do check bags so bringing a corkscrew - or even a small, metal cutting knife - isn't a problem but my husband's very favorite of the assortment we have is a cheapie I picked up in Italy when we'd forgotten to pack one. It wouldn't have been a big loss if we'd had to leave it behind but it has made many trips since!

Posted by
679 posts

Made it through TSA but like others, the corkscrew broke on our first try. Had to give up on wine that day; fortunately we could buy some beer near by.

Posted by
3983 posts

I agree that for the price you could throw 2 plastic forks, knives and spoons (or a spork) in a baggies and be done with it for a few cents! Too much uncertainty about corkscrews and cabin baggage to take such a flimsy, expensive corkscrew. Just buy one in Europe if you need it.

Posted by
208 posts

We each take a spork, and that's it. If we need a corkscrew we ask around for it to be opened for us. We bought beer in Sicily, and we asked a the counter if they could open it for us, and voila, they had a bottle opener attached to a string beside the cash register!

Now what I WOULD recommend, is to take along a wine bottle stopper with a compression fit. That way, if you have someone remove the cork, you can pop in the stopper and then transport it to wherever you intend to consume all or some of it.

Cheers!
Vivian

Posted by
1334 posts

More and more wines come with a screw cap, so we have stopped using cork screws on vacations. if we want to experience a very special wine that needs a cork screw we buy it in a restaurant and have served at the table.

Posted by
208 posts

doric8 LOL.

Actually, on my "perpetual packing list" is also a champagne stopper! It's hard to believe, but there actually HAVE been times we've popped open a bottle of bubbly (be it champagne, cava, or prosecco) in our room and not finished it in one sitting! A champagne stopper is similar to a wine stopper, but has an extra little mechanism to tighten it down to the bottle neck, so it won't pop off with the pressure. Gotta save all those tiny bubbles!

Cheers!
Vivian
PS... having said all that, we USUALLY end up buying (for the room, or for "rick-nicking") the el-cheapo wine in tetra-paks! They're only a couple of Euros, have a screw cap, and are good enough for me!

Posted by
3521 posts

This was the only one of the many things I have purchased from the RS Store here that I was completely disappointed with. First, the items are too large for the enclosing container to actually close properly. They are of very poor plastic construction. My corkscrew has not broken but from what I read here it is only because I have not tried to use it.

I have found that plastic utensils are available at most of the grocery stores I have shopped at in Europe that they will give you for free when you purchase a prepared meal item rendering the expensive reusable items more of a burden than a benefit.

Posted by
325 posts

We got on our flight in the US going to Europe ok with the corkscrew in our carryon, but London Luton confiscated it.

Posted by
2252 posts

Like some other responders, the corkscrew was rendered unusable with the first attempt to open a bottle of wine. I didn't even try to take it through security as I knew from previous experience corkscrews are (usually) no-nos. It was in my checked bag. I don't carry any of the items from the picnic kit any more but use what I can scrounge once I get to my destination and toss them in trash or recycle before I head for home. I, too, have had beer bottles and even a wine bottle opened at checkout counters. If I have bought something special at my hotel or B&B, someone at the bar will open it, too. Just ask politely and you'll usually get what you need. Good idea to buy one in Europe; a nice souvenir of your trip!