Airport security can be a necassary annoyance, especially if you are traveling with children. You don’t want your first vacation memories to be an embarrasing episode at security. Here are some helpful tips to make it through without melting down.
Pack it right
There are restrictions on the liquids and gels you are allowed to take through security. Anything liquid or gel needs to be 3.5 oz or less and packed into a quart size plastic baggie. That is all you are allowed and it includes some unlikely suspects. Drinks, perfume, lotion, liquid makeup etc. I once had my toothpaste thrown away because it was in a large tube but there was only a little left at the bottom. The toothpaste was less than 3.5 oz but the container was larger. So be careful. They are strict here. You can purchase things once you clear security and these can be taken on the airplane. Also, the restrictions are looser for medications and nursing infants.
Timing is everything
The lines at security can be very long. Depending on when you travel you will need to add 2 or more extra hours to your arrival time just so you can make it through. The airlines won’t wait for you. On time arrivals are important to them so taking off on time is crucial. If you are traveling from a busy airport at a busy time of day, you need to plan for it.
Going through security you will need to remove your shoes, coats and jackets. If you are traveling with kids, I recommend slip on shoes. Anything with lots of laces or buckles takes too long to take off and put back on. We try to take off all the coats and jackets while we are waiting in line. It makes it easier when it is our time to go through.
Oversized electronics such as laptops, dvd players, video game players and video cameras need to go through the xray machine seperately. Get a seperate bin for these items. When we first get up to the conveyor belt, I immediately start on the kids shoes and my husband starts putting the electronics in their seperate bins. I suggest you pack these items in an easily accessable location.
Have your boarding passes and ID ready when you first get in line. You will need to show them to a TSA officer before you reach the conveyor belts. If you are traveling internationally make sure you have all the required travel documents. If you are unsure what you need, you can ask when booking your reservations or visit the U.S. Department of State Travel website. Most airlines offer online check in and you can print your boarding passes from home. I highly recommend this option. If you are not checking bags, you can take these boarding passes straight to security and bypass stopping at the ticket counter.
Being prepared and organized can have a significant impact on your experience with airport security. I hope you find these tips helpful and if you have any questions please contact me.