tips for surviving tsaAh, airport check-in. That special moment when you have to remove your shoes, empty your carry-on’s innards, and cross your fingers that you make it to your flight in time. Like everyone else, the prospect of missing your flight and being stuck at the airport sounds like pure torture.

But have no fear, fellow traveler! The following tips will have you gliding through TSA and arriving at your gate with enough time to grab some food, settle in with a good book, and wait for the boarding process to begin.

Arrive Early for Your Flight

There’s nothing worse than feeling strapped for time, and the last thing you want when leaving for a business trip or vacation is to feel stressed out. That’s why arriving two hours early for your domestic flight and up to three hours early for your international flight is a great option. Getting to the airport early will allow you plenty of time to find parking, see if there are any flight delays, and most importantly, make it through check-in quickly and efficiently. Remember, a stress-free traveler is a happy traveler!

Pack Wisely

The question of whether to pack a carry-on or to check your bag almost always seems to come up, and you want to make sure you’re packing appropriately for both.

For instance, if you decide to take a carry-on, make sure all of your liquid or gel personal care items are three ounces or less and housed in a one-quart bag. Going someplace for a while and need larger bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash? Toss them in a checked bag and be on your way.

Traveling with an e-cigarette? You’ll want to keep it and all of its accessories in your carry-on, making sure all e-liquid bottles are within the three-ounce limit and are included in your one-quart bag. This way, you avoid any delays while your items pass through security. Plus, you don’t have to part with anything that you paid a pretty penny for.

Dress Accordingly

One key to getting through check-in quickly is to wear items that won’t hold up the line. That grumpy guy behind you is going to be even grumpier if you spend too much time tying your shoes or if the metal detector keeps going off because you’re wearing every piece of jewelry you own.

Make it easy for yourself and everyone around you by wearing a simple pair of slip-on shoes and ditching excessive amounts of jewelry or anything else that may trigger the metal detector. If you’re someone who gets a little chilly and needs a jacket, make sure to remove it and place it on the conveyer so that it can be scanned. And there you go, friends! You’re finished with check-in before you know it!

tsa tipsMake Use of Your Time in Line

A slow-moving line isn’t a bad thing, especially since you’ll have plenty of time to get all of your paperwork ready. Make sure you have your passport, boarding pass, driver’s license, and any other necessary items in your hand or pocket so you can easily access them when needed. Having to fumble for your paperwork at the bottom of a big bag or realizing you left your passport at home after waiting in line for a while is a surefire way to annoy the people behind you or to jeopardize your chance of getting to your flight in time. 

Ditch Contraband Food Items

Oh comfort food, how we love thee. Unfortunately, it’s not the best idea to pack that jar of Aunt Sally’s jam that you love so much. You may want to opt for something else like wrapped meats, cheeses, and sliced fruits. Tossing things like soups, syrups, and dressings before you make your way through security will also help to save some time. But hey, look at it this way: Knowing exactly what foods to bring or ditch will have you through the line that much faster. Not to mention, there are tons of delicious dining options once you head to your gate! Aren’t you happy you arrived early and got through TSA quickly so that you can sip and savor some delicious goodies?

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