8 Essential TSA Tips for Summer Travel

Dress strategically

Now that you’ve thought about what you’re going to put in your bag you should also think about what you’re going to wear to help you pass through airport security more easily. Baggy, oversized clothing with extra pockets (like loose jackets, dresses, or cargo shorts) can sometimes attract the attention of TSA agents who will require you to undergo an extra pat down.

Metal items like jewelry or belts can also slow you down and are better off left at home or packed in your bag. It might be tempting to wear your summer sandals on the plane, but then you’ll likely have to take them off during screening. You may want to consider opting for socks and slip on shoes to avoid having to walk barefoot across the airport floors (gross!).

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Pay for an upgrade

If you really want to soar through security, consider upgrading to the TSA’s PreCheck program, which allows you to go through an expedited security line. While the PreCheck line can sometimes appear longer, it actually moves a lot quicker than the everyday security line up, which can significantly cut down on your wait time.

In 2018, 93 percent of PreCheck users said their last security wait time was five minutes or less. Not only does this upgrade get you to your gate faster, it also doesn’t require you to remove your liquids or electronics from your bag or your shoes, belt, or jacket from your person, which makes for a less stressful security check. The PreCheck program requires a one-time in person background check and a $85 fee but you can enjoy the benefits for five years which works out to just $17 annually. Worth it!

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Be patient and polite

As frustrating as it is to have to wait in line, just remember that all those people who are waiting in line alongside you are just as eager to get to their destination as you are. Also try to remember that TSA agents are just doing their jobs and trying to protect passengers from potential danger. Try your best to be patient and polite to the people who are around you and processing you; getting angry with others won’t make the line move any faster, it will just make the wait less pleasant.

So don’t let the long lines get you down, just plan ahead and pack right and you’ll be cruising through airport security in no time. Book your seats, pack your bags, and get flying somewhere this summer!

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