This is the time of the year that is high tide for holiday travel. Nothing disrupts the flow of people trying to make it to their destination by air more than the airport security checkpoint. However, there is a way to keep things moving, it all comes down to how you dress and pack for travel. Stay true to these 9 airport security tips for holiday travelers and you will be ready to swim with sharks. The sharks of aviation travel that is, otherwise known as “business travelers.” Remember, travel doesn’t have to be your business to be done well.
9 Airport Security Tips For Holiday Travelers 1 of 10
Clean Out Your Purse 2 of 10
If you are bringing a carry-on bag that you use on a regular everyday basis be sure to go through it the night before to eliminate any TSA violation surprises. Invariably I will forget that I threw in a bottle of hand sanitizer or scissors from my kids' art project. Heck, I even discovered a kitchen knife in my purse one time. (Still can't remember how that got in there.) Save yourself the hassle and clean out your purse. You may even find some extra money for your trip!
Organize Your Suitcase 3 of 10
These days so much of what we carry with us has corded chargers and battery packs that we stuff into our bags somewhat hastily to get to where we are going. However, when you send your bag through the x-ray machine with a bunch of jumbled wires and dark battery shapes you are more likely to get pulled aside for a bag check. Give yourself, and the screener, a break and pack your bag neatly. Roll your cords and your clothes. Separate items in pockets or ziploc bags. Place bigger electronics on the top of the pile. The added bonus is that you'll have an easier time keeping track of your stuff on our trip.
Keep Your Liquids Handy 4 of 10
I remember when the TSA first made the rules about liquids. The security line was consistently jammed up because people had packed the full size bottles of their favorite perfumes, colognes and shampoos and were haggling with TSA agents to try and keep their expensive possessions.
Years later most people have gotten in line with the 3-1-1 rule, but where they mess themselves and everyone else up is that they pack their quart size bag deep in their luggage and have to dig for a moment or two or five to find it. Don't be that person. Have your liquids bag close at hand so you can pull it out, put it in the bin, and keep on trucking.
Zip Your Laptop Up Top 5 of 10
Another big line stopper is the laptop. Most of us have a case for our computers to keep them safe from all of the bumping and jostling inherent in travel. But if not placed well in our bags those cases can slow our security roll. So make sure you can easily access your laptop. Keep it near the top of your bag, just under the zippers if possible. Every inch is another moment stuck in line.
Slip On Your Shoes 6 of 10
The TSA has made an addendum to the security rules. They now allow senior citizens to keep their shoes on through security. But if you are South of 65 you are still going to have to get down to your socks for screening.
Why, why, why would you want to have to spend time bent over untying your shoes while simultaneously juggling your carry on and moving with the tide to keep your place in line? It's just an accident waiting to happen, not to mention a total time sucker. Wear slip on shoes for travel and you will keep your step through security.
I.D. Please 7 of 10
You can forget a lot of things when you travel, but the one thing you can't forget is your ID. Your very first task in the TSA security line is to show your ID and your boarding pass, so why not put them together in your bag right where you can get them in a snap.
If you generally keep your ID in a wallet pull it half way out before hitting the airport so you won't have to panic as you try to wrestle it from it's sticky case as other impatient travelers stare daggers into your back. Not that I would ever do such a thing to a fellow traveler. Me? No, never.
Stow Your Outerwear 8 of 10
Tis the season of coats, hats, scarves and mittens. You need them to get to the airport, but they are a total nusance in the security line. My suggestion? Once you arrive at the airport take the time in the terminal to put your warm accessories into your luggage. Your coat too if it will fit. If it won't just remember that you will need to take it off and put it in a bin at security. ANY coat, blazer, large cardigan or windbreaker. If it isn't your shirt it has to come off. Don't forget your belt too.
Personally I try to keep my travel outfits belt-free, but if you have to have one to keep your knickers up remember to take it off along with your coat. The sooner the better. Just keep a firm grip on your trousers. Nothing worse than a wardrobe malfunction in the security line.
Empty Your Pockets 9 of 10
The first thing you will hear from a TSA agent as you approach the screening area is, "Empty your pockets please." It never fails, whenever I go through security there is always someone who doesn't complete that task efficiently and makes the metal detector sqwauk. Which means they have to go back, do what they were supposed to do in the first place, and try again.
Why not eliminate the possibility of a do over by emptying your pockets at home? Put your change, your belt, your watch, your jewelry, your cellphone all of it into a little bag in your carry on. You can load yourself up with all of your things once you get through security.
Bring the Bottle, Leave the Water 10 of 10
Travel can make you hot, sweaty and dehydrated. I understand the impulse to bring something to drink with you to the airport, however, it cannot accompany you through the security line. I still see people forking over brand new bottles of water and other drinks at the security check point.
Don't waste your money! Bring a reusable bottle. Put in just enough water, or juice, or whatever you need in your bottle to get you to the security line. Drink it all up before you reach the x-ray machine. Don't worry, you can refill it once you get to the other side of airport security.
Now given that it is the holidays you may have a few extra special things you want to travel with to carry the holiday spirit, so to speak, to your destination. Here’s a few bonus airport security tips to make that possible. This year you can bring wrapped packages through security. Although, if it’s a wrapped knife set or new nunchucks, save yourself the trouble and put those presents into your checked bag because if the present triggers a red flag in the x-ray machine, the TSA agents will have to unwrap it for closer inspection. Holiday cakes and pies are permissible, even that fruitcake as long as it is not hard as a rock. (No weapons allowed). Now don’t just take my word for it, take a pre-trip trip over to the TSA website and stay on top of the latest airport security tips and updates. If you know the rules it is easier to follow them. Stay informed. It will go a long way towards keeping your holiday travel merry and bright. Happy traveling!
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