Tips for Traveling with Cremated Remains
At times, situation may arise when you need to travel with the cremation ashes of a close family member or friend. During this time, you need to opt for a special kind of cremation urn where the cremation ashes can be stored safely so that you can travel with it without any problem.
Traveling with cremated remains by road
If you are traveling by car, you need to take special precautions, such as you need to buy a cremation urn made of unbreakable material. It is better to buy an urn made of cardboard, cloth, plastic and wood. Never opt for containers made of glass or granite or ceramic. A light weight material is a good option. Also do not opt for a big size container as you may have difficulty in carrying it in a vehicle. At the same time you need to pack the container properly so that cremation ashes remain safe upon arrival. It is better to pack the ashes in two boxes. Put the main container inside a bigger box and add some stuffing between the two boxes. The way the main container will remian safe and there will be no damage.
Traveling with cremated remains by air
There are certain things that you need to bear in mind when you are traveling by air while carrying a cremation urn. In the US, there are certain guidelines set by the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) which need to be followed when traveling with cremation ashes. The guideline is prepared keeping in mind the airline security.
First of all there two options for carrying a crematory container on a flight. First is carry-on, where a crematory container can be carried by you. Here the container needs to pass through the x-ray machine and hence you need to choose the material of the container properly so that the authorities present at the security checkpoint can have a clear view of the content present inside the container.
Any type of cremation urn that creates an opaque image on an x-ray machine will not be allowed by the airline authorities. So, it is better to buy a cremation urn made of wood, glass, plastic and non-lead lined ceramics. According to the guideline provided by the TSA, it is essential to purchase a crematory container made of a scanable material so that it can be easily x-rayed. You can easily buy inexpensive travel cremation urns online or from the funeral home itself. While purchasing the urn, make sure it meets the TSA requirements for air transportation. The airport authorities cannot open non scan-able items and check through the contents. So, if the container does not pass through security, then you may miss your flight. Even the documentation from the funeral home will not be enough.
Another option is checked luggage. Here you can choose a cremation urn which can be transported as checked baggage. Here you need to bear in mind that the urn will be screened using different techniques. Once cleared, you can travel with the urn as checked baggage only. If you wish to take the cremation urn as checked baggage, you need seal the urn properly in order to avoid unpleasant repercussions. While carrying cremation remains in a flight, it is a good idea to inform the airport officers about it, so that your luggage can be handled with respect and are not inspected individually.
It is important to bear in mind that some airline companies do not allow cremated remains as checked baggage. So before booking your tickets you need to gain information regarding this. You can always call up your airline to know about their specific requirements about carrying cremation remains. At the same time, always carry the cremation certificate or receipt with you to avoid unnecessary trouble. Also try to arrive at the airport before time so that you have ample time for security screening.
Shipping cremated remains
Those who are not uncomfortable to travel with cremated, can always consider shipping the cremation urn to a desired destination. Cremated remains can be easily shipped through the U.S. Postal Service, but shipping can be done only by registered mail along with return receipt requested. When using such a service, it is very essential to provide the correct postal address of desired destination as well as the return address with proper Pin Code. When using the shipping service, you must pack the urn in two boxes. Put the main container inside a bigger box and add some stuffing between the two boxes to prevent any damage. Also make sure the person who will be receiving the parcel is aware of the fact that he will have to go to the post office to collect the parcel.
To conclude, even if you need to travel with cremation ashes there is nothing to worry. You can safely and easily travel with a cremation urn provided you follow all the rules and regulations. In case you are still in doubt, you can always consult with a licensed funeral director about any local laws that you need to consider and how you can travel with cremation ashes.