Last week, I took an extended weekend, and traveled out West. Usually, I’m a “carry-on only” type of traveler, but a four-night trip required more kinds of outfits, shoes and travel essentials than I anticipated.
Luckily, my airline checks the first bag for free, so I checked it at the ticketing desk. As an added bonus, I didn’t have to lug a heavy carry-on through the airport and security line, leaving me much lighter in my travels.
Of course, though, there were still hold-ups. When making your way to the gate, there are a few things that can throw a wrench in your plans — even when checking luggage. Remember these essential tasks that can save significant time and lessen stress next time you’re in an airport security line.
Wear Slip-on Shoes
It may seem logical to wear athletic shoes if you need to get around the airport quickly. Flip flops and other slip-on, tieless styles of shoes are comfortable, and will undoubtedly save you more time, and the hassle of removing your shoes, and then finding a bench to sit down and re-tie them.
Opt Out of Accessories
Be a minimalist when it comes to your travel outfits. The least amount of items you have on your body, the better. Your go-to piece of jewelry, and even hair accessories, can sometimes hold you up in line.
On my last flight, I stuck with my own advice, and opted out of wearing jewelry, thinking it’d make things simpler in the security line. However, I did have on a decorative metal headband, which I forgot to take off. Save yourself time, and skip the annoying accessories. This goes for men, too. If you can, choose to wear pants that don’t require a belt, and keep your watch in a laptop or carry-on bag, which you can retrieve later.
With that being said, it doesn’t mean you have to be a “plain Jane” for the duration of your flight. Keep the accessories you want to wear in your carry-on bag or purse. Then, simply put them on once you’re seated on the plane.
Taking a Laptop? Take Two Bins
If you plan on bringing a laptop through security, remember that it not only needs to come out of your bag, but you must place it in its own plastic bin. If you leave your laptop in a purse or carry-on bag, a member of TSA security will have you return to the line to remove it, and put it in a bin.
If you frequently take a laptop with you when you travel by plane, think about investing in a TSA-approved laptop bag. The bag will still need its own bin, but you won’t have to remove the computer from the bag; simply unzip it, and lay the bag flat to expose the laptop.
Check Your Makeup
By now, airline travelers are aware that liquids stowed in carry-on luggage must be less than three ounces, and contained in a one-quart plastic bag. It’s easy to forget, though, about the liquids that you may carry in your purse or bag on a daily basis.
If you tend to carry makeup in a purse, make sure to check for liquids, and transfer it to your carry-on luggage before entering the security line. Some items to think about include liquid foundations, hand or body lotion, hand sanitizer, sunscreen and smaller bottles of perfume or cologne. Plan beforehand, and you’ll avoid having to throw these items away in the security line.
Always Be Prepared
TSA has a slogan on its website that I believe all air travelers should remember: “When in doubt, leave it out.” You’ll save yourself a significant amount of time, hassle and stress by preparing yourself and your bags ahead of time, and knowing the rules before you get in the security line.
What are your tips to get through airport security hassle-free?
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