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
- 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.