If you are a millenial or older, you probably remember pre-9/11 air travel with simple metal detectors and single baskets to throw your keys on. Unfortunately, the days where Airport and Bus terminals were nearly identical — other than the mode of transportation — are long gone and we are now subject to long lines, security checks, and a laundry list of restrictions to adhere to before boarding any airplane.
Traveling light does make your life easier when getting through TSA, however, there are a few small things you can do to make getting through TSA as smooth and quickly as possible for you.
1. Have your boarding pass and ID ready
Don’t be that one person at the TSA line being called up to check your boarding pass and ID/Passport only to find yourself fumbling around your pockets and bags looking for it. When you notice it’s almost your turn to go up, have them both in your hands so you can zip right on through.
2. Have your Liquids and Laptops ready first
When going through TSA, you are always going to have to take out your bag of liquids as well as laptop computers for inspection. Do yourself a favor and always have your bag of liquids and laptops prepared to be easily taken right out of your carry-on so you won’t be that one annoying traveler holding up the line fumbling around their suitcase looking for their bags of liquid.
3. The bins with “small stuff” scan first.
Just remember: Liquids, Laptops, and Shoes (That you are wearing) must always be scanned separately. These can generally fit into one bin along with all the little stuff like your phone, wallet, keys, boarding pass etc. Always put these through the scanner first before larger items like your carry-on suitcase. This will give you time to grab these items, put your shoes back on, and get situated so you can simply get your carry-on and be on your way.
4. Wear slip on shoes
Like I said previously, Shoes must always come off — unless you are going through TSA Pre-Check — so for the sake of comfort and speed, wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off. If you absolutely can’t live without your chunky heel thigh boots, I suggest packing them in your carry on and putting them on after you get through TSA.