8 Essential TSA Tips for Summer Travel

Summer is the perfect time of year to get out there and travel — whether it’s within this great country of ours or to an exotic foreign locale and everybody seems to be doing it — unfortunately this means packed airports and long security lines. In fact this year, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) estimates that they will be even busier than usual and expect to see more than 243 million passengers and crew pass through security between Memorial Day and Labour Day.

You shouldn’t let this news keep you grounded though, because with a little planning and a bit of patience, you can get to where you’re going without too much annoyance. Here are eight ways that you can make your next airport security experience a little easier.

Plan and arrive ahead

After you’ve booked your ticket but before you start packing your bags, you should take a moment to research the TSA’s current rules and restrictions so that you don’t run into any surprises at the airport. This is an especially good idea if you haven’t flown in a while because their processes may have been updated since you last found yourself in an airport security line. For example, in 2018 the TSA updated their regulations around powdered substances like cosmetics, detergents, spices and protein powders and passengers are now only permitted to bring a maximum of 12 ounces of a powdered substance in their carry-on.

After you’ve planned ahead, try your best to arrive ahead, perhaps even earlier than suggested in order to ensure that you have an anxiety-free wait in the airport security line. There’s no worse way to kick off a trip than a panic ridden go through the TSA line followed by a mad dash to your gate. By giving yourself plenty of extra time, you’ll be starting your trip on a much calmer note which will make for a more relaxed trip overall.

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Pack your carry on wisely

There’s always a chance that you’ll be expected to unpack your bag in the security line so that the agents can take a better look at its contents. To prepare for this possibility, it’s a good idea to pack neatly and strategically so that you’re not left scrambling to put it all back while holding up the line. Keep things like your boarding pass, passport, and other supporting documentation in a handy pocket where they can be easily reached when you get to the front of the line. Pack your keys, electronics, and your resealable plastic bag of liquids last so that they’re on the top of your suitcase and can easily be pulled out during the screening process.

Before you even start packing your bag, be sure to check all of the pockets and crevices for items that may have been left behind from the last time you used it. Things like stray sharp objects, lighters, or other surprise items that you didn’t intend to bring with you could hold you up in line or potentially get tossed out.

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