Although everyone loves a good vacation, no one likes the annoying hassle of dealing with TSA in various ways to get through the airport. Regardless of when you choose to embark on your next journey via airplane, you’re guaranteed to encounter the dreaded TSA prior to getting on the plane. While the precautions taken are only done to ensure the safety of all passengers (we appreciate you, TSA!), I must admit the process is one that puts me in a less than vacation-oriented mood. So, what ways will help you get through the airport quickly and efficiently to make life easier on everyone? Check out my tips below to find out!
1. Wear Shoes That Are Easy to Slip off
One of the ways to get through the airport, particularly TSA, is to wear comfortable, easy-to-slip-off shoes. Nothing starts my irritation clock quicker than waiting behind a person carefully unlacing the tallest lace up boots. The tension in the air as everyone waits in frustration for the said person to pry that same shoe off their foot is familiar to all those who’ve ever been in this situation. Save yourself, the airport employees, and the other travelers the hassle and opt for a pair of flip flops or loafers while traveling. If your final destination is somewhere fancy, simply throw your pumps in your purse and put them on once you arrive. You’ll be able to navigate the airport more quickly and comfortably, as well as getting through TSA hassle-free.
2. Do Not Bring an Extra Carry-on
The liquid/specific-bottle sized rules can get lengthy. Instead of dealing with this issue at all, try checking in all of your bags. Yes, checking bags can be expensive. But it’s much more expensive to miss your flight from throwing away your favorite make up or lotions because they don’t meet the requirements for carry-ons. A purse or book bag will suffice, as long as you’re careful not to include things that are banned.
3. Pay Attention
If I had a dollar for every person I’ve bumped into, both in the TSA line and in the airport generally, because they stopped to find their way, I could own my very own airline by now. Don’t be the person looking clueless into the airport abyss trying to find your way. Pay attention to the posted signs and stay out of the way. It may also help to look at the airport map on the internet prior to catching a flight if the airport is unfamiliar to you.
4. Leave Your Laptop at Home
While the average laptop these days doesn’t necessarily weigh much, lugging around your laptop is an unnecessary hassle. Moreover, you have to take your laptop out of your bag to make it through TSA. Even with the “TSA-friendly” laptop bags, employees often don’t realize that you can leave your laptop in the bag. I have learned this the hard way – trust me, arguing with a TSA agent about whether or not you have to take your laptop out of your bag will only slow you down. If it’s absolutely necessary to take your laptop, make sure you know the rules and follow them. Your laptop must be in its own bin to go through the scanner or be in a TSA-friendly laptop bag. Otherwise, you’ll cause yourself a lot of unnecessary drama with TSA agents and travelers.
5. Let Your Kids Know the Drill Beforehand
If you’re traveling with children, make sure you let them know the rules and regulations of the airport beforehand. If you have children, you probably already know that giving them a brief talk before you go ANYWHERE helps things move a lot more smoothly. This is especially true of airports. Keep children close to you and try to keep them as focused as possible when going through the TSA process. You’ll be able to get through the airport quickly if children are already aware of what they should be doing.
6. Carry Less Items
Not only can carrying a lot of items weigh you down, but they also slow you down when in the airport. If you’re at a huge airport, you may have to travel by tran or bus to reach a connecting flight. Additional items could become burdensome and cause you to miss your flight. Try to carry the least amount of items possible. A purse or book bag is really all you need in the airport in most cases. Anything else can be checked in with the airline when you arrive to the airport.
7. Don’t Make an Unnecessary Fuss
Despite how long the TSA rules have been in place, there is still someone who complains about how long the process takes, which only slows the line down more. Remember, these precautions are done for your safety, so don’t give the TSA agents a hard time about it. Cooperate with the rules, no matter how silly they may seem to you (the hair patting down thing still annoys me but, eh). If you can’t bear to deal with the process, try taking another mode of transportation.
Hopefully these ways to get you through the airport will help you remain stress-free and vacation-ready the next time you travel. Do you have any tips for getting through the airport quickly and efficiently? Share in the comments!