- The keychain-sized Swiss Army knife my grandfather gave me
- A new (and expensive) bottle of facial moisturizer
- My kids' toothpaste
- My sunscreen (on a flight heading from Portland, Oregon — pasty skin capital of the world — to Florida, the "Sunshine State.")
- My yarn scissors (putting a wrinkle in my onboard crochet plans)
Most of these items could be replaced at our destination…at higher cost, and with annoying inconvenience. But the pocket knife and the yarn scissors were special, and I was truly pained to watch them go into the garbage bin (we were late enough that I had no time to go through the overpriced process of buying a mailer from the security personnel).
Answer: keep a self-addressed mailing envelope, with enough postage to mail a pound or two, in your carry-on luggage. So the next time you accidentally go through security with a harmless-but-prohibited item, you can (hopefully) mail it home. You might even throw in a Ziploc or two to keep things spillproof, or use a waterproof, tearproof poly mailer.
Keep in mind that mailing items home will be at the discretion of airport security personnel, and you may have to go through the security line again. But it may just save you your favorite pocket knife. *sniff*