Packing Tips for Getting Through Airport Security Quickly

We all know the difficulties of maneuvering the security zones at airports nowadays. You feel you’ve timed the trip just right only to be thwarted by the long lines of clueless travelers that are most certainly the opposite of prepared. But it’s difficult not to feel just as clueless as the next guy when our friends at the TSA are constantly altering the rules. It seems all but the most frequent of travelers tend to find themselves reading (and re-reading) the regulations the night before a flight. 

Questions abound. Will the x-ray’s harm my camera? What about my laptop? Should I wear these knee-high lace-up boots? And perhaps, most importantly, what do I do with this bottle of water I just bought? Lucky for you, we have some packing tips to get you through security quickly and with some semblance of sanity remaining when you reach the gate. 

Don’t Over Pack

With most items under some element of scrutiny and checked baggage becoming pricier per pound, be sure to pack only what you need. Not only will this clear clutter for your own sake, neatly packed layers allow items to be seen more clearly during scanning. A jumble of clothes and innocent items can be easily mistaken for contraband. 

Tote Your Technology

Pack your digital cameras, computers and i-everything in your carry-on rather than checked baggage and pack it on top. You will need to take these out for screening, so keep e-items accessible. If you’re still lugging around undeveloped film, be sure to let security workers in on the secret to prevent exposure during the x-ray process. 

Liquid Courage

The TSA’s standing on liquids has been as fluid as your Ziploc bag’s contents. Currently, the ruling is a catchy “3-1-1.” One plastic bag that is one quart in size containing only 3.4 oz size containers of liquids or gels. Products such as lotion, hairspray, and liquid makeup are all included in the rule. Luckily the beauty product industry is hip to the rule and now sells most products in true travel sizes of 3.4 ounces or less. Certain items, such as medications or baby formula aren’t subject to the size rule, but be prepared to declare them. For all liquids, ensconced in clear plastic or not, keep them handy so they can be sent through the screener with the rest of your items. 

Dress to Impress

The security team that is. After all that careful packing, be sure to wear clothing that will cause the fewest snags as you snail through the line. Rather than donning that pull-over sweater, opt for a cardigan that can easily be removed. Tuck metal items into coat or sweater pockets so when it comes off, they come off. Please wear shoes without laces. No one wants to wait for the time it takes to untie and then retie a pair of shoes, least of all you. Pick a pair of boots that zip, or better yet, slip-ons. They’re the simplest option and offer the added bonus of allowing you to slide them off and settle in on long flights.

Hopefully, with a bit of preparation and some forward thinking, the security area of your home airport won’t be the most exhausting part of your trip. Unfortunately, however, you will have to toss that bottle of water. 
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This article was contributed by Kyle Telenko, a writer for a website providing homeowners insurance quotes, homeownersinsurance-qutoes.org. Kyle primarily writes about home and travel insurance, but also writes about home maintenance tips and travel safety.

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A Somewhat Stress-Free Airport Departure is an Achievable Dream

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Traveling through an airport is no piece of cake, but if you prepare for everything well in advance and decide to travel light, the odds are that things will go swimmingly. Every traveler’s dream is to get from the sliding doors, through check-in, past security, and to the plane in ten minutes. With everything from security checks to problems with your ticket as possible curve balls, your airport adventure has a 50/50 chance of being an experience from hell. Instead of clicking your heels together and wishing it all just came true for you, it’s a good rule of thumb to be prepared. Like a well-oiled machine, using these tips will help runs things a little more smoothly when you’re trying to catch your flight.

Take Carry-On Luggage Only


USA Today highly recommends traveling with carry-on luggage exclusively. This eliminates wasting time on check in and saves time by avoiding the huge wait for luggage. Weight limits for many airlines have been decreased. Some airlines have a weight limit of 50 pounds total for checked luggage. You might as well pack carefully and save time with an efficient carry-on package.

Keep Electronics Secure


When you are at the airport, be careful not to use a Wi-Fi public hotspot with insufficient encryption. If you do, someone could possibly discover your personal information and try to use it. When you use a public wireless network, you should assume that anyone can access your computer. Lifelock’s experts provide advice on how to secure your computer and protect your data from hackers while using a wireless device.

  • Use a Firewall -Those users who have Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows Vista and Windows 7 have firewalls built into their operating systems.

  • Hide Your files – Check the network’s website and read their privacy statement to learn about the type of encryption they use. If they lack this information, you would be wise not to use the network. If you don’t have an operating system with encryption tools, consider getting one.

  • Don’t Type Personal Information – When on a public network, don’t ever enter your credit card, banking information, social security number or password.

  • Disable Wireless - If you are not using the Internet, simply turn off your wireless network.


Dress For Success


USA Today also recommends dressing for the easiest passage through security. Avoid metallic jewelry and other metallic items. Wear shoes that easily slide off. Shoes with complex lacing and buckles can leave you barefoot and hopping around for more minutes than they’re worth. Don’t forget to wear socks to protect your feet from being totally bare and exposed to airport bacteria. Make sure you have a convenient, but safe, place to stow your ID and boarding pass, which may be asked for more than once.

Know TSA Rules


TSA has many rules regarding security. Those who are not aware of them can slow down the process for everyone else. The TSA rules, which can be downloaded for viewing, change frequently, so it’s a smart idea to regularly keep up on them. The categories for prohibited items are:

  • Sharp objects

  • Sporting goods

  • Guns and firearms

  • Tools

  • Martial arts and self defense items

  • Explosive and flammable materials, disabling chemicals and other dangerous items

  • Other items


See, airport experiences don’t have to be so hard. A well-planned, well-prepared traveler is a happy one. Heeding these tips will help you go from stop to stop in no time and off to your destination.

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