8 Essential TSA Tips for Summer Travel

Beware of liquids

By now everyone should be pretty familiar with the TSA’s rule surrounding liquids, gels, aerosols and creams, which is often referred to as the 3-1-1 rule. All liquid substances including soaps, medicines, lotions, and beverages must be travel sized or smaller (3.4 ounces), packed in 1 quart sized clear plastic bag with a zipper closure with one bag allowed per customer. It’s a good idea to pack this bag last because you will be required to take it out at security. To cut back on the amount of liquids you’ll need to bring through the screening, consider opting for non-liquid versions of things like soap and deodorant to make things easier.

If you’re traveling with liquid, gel, or cream medicines in your carry-on they are exempt from the 3-1-1 rule but will require closer inspection. It’s a good idea to have them packed together in a removable packing cube or bag along with any supporting documents you might need to help the extra inspection go as smoothly as possible.

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Check what you can

Checking your bag can be a drag when you have to wait for it to be unloaded at the other end of the trip but depending on what and how much you’re bringing with you, it might be easier than having a huge carry-on full of questionable items that will slow you down in the security line. Liquid products with a volume greater than 3.4 ounces are fine in a checked bag. If you plan on bringing any spare electronics, cords and batteries, they are better off being in your checked baggage because they can sometimes require a close check by TSA agents.

Sharp objects or tools like nail files, scissors, or razors are best left in a checked bag or you may risk having them thrown out by airport security. Medications tend to travel better in a checked bag but be sure to keep anything you can’t afford to lose or go without with you in your carry on just in case your luggage gets lost or delayed.

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Stay hydrated and fed

The only thing worse than being stuck in a long TSA line is being stuck in a long TSA while line while also being thirsty and hungry. In the summertime heat it’s especially important to stay hydrated and while you won’t be able to bring your open beverage with you to the gate, it’s not a bad idea to purchase a small bottle of water just to get you to the front of the line. You can also bring a reusable water bottle with you, so long as it’s completely empty by the time you pass through security.

If you’re prone to bouts of hunger or you’re traveling with small children, be sure to bring some extra snacks to keep tummies from grumbling and help the time pass while you wait in the line.

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