Flying This Summer? 11 Tips for Tackling the TSA Lines with Style and Grace

Inspired by Dawn's 11 Tips for Tackling the TSA lines this summer with Style and Grace

You've heard the headlines already this Spring. And maybe you've experienced it first hand. (We have!) Extra-long TSA security lines at airports around the country have inspired #IHateTheWait. While the government tries to figure out how to remedy the situation, the most practical recommendations have been to get to the airport even earlier (yeah, thanks!) or sign up for TSA pre-Check. But are those the only options?

As with most things, a little preparation can go a long way. So here's 11 tips to help you tackle the TSA lines this summer with style and grace...

  1. Footwear - wear slip on shoes, and possibly socks to avoid walking barefoot through security (eew!). If you must wear tie shoes, consider untying them as you approach the screening line
  2. 3-1-1 Still Matters - transfer larger liquids into travel size containers and make sure they all fit in your clear one-quart size resealable bag
  3. Medications - always pack your prescriptions, and other essential medications and vitamins, in your carryon - never in checked luggage
  4. Paper Copies - bring copies of your prescriptions, passport, photo ID and itineraries in case of emergency
  5. Leave Behind - don't bring water in your carryon bags and check the TSA forbidden list for other items to avoid when you're packing
  6. Think Ahead - print you boarding pass the night before, pay for any checked luggage so you can just drop it off and make sure you have your photo ID and/or passport together and in a secure but accessible pocket of your carryon 
  7. Bag Drop - consider doing curbside check in or locate your airline's bag drop only line so you can secure a spot in the security line as soon as possible
  8. Go Your Own Way - sometimes the nearest security checkpoint to your airline is not the speediest, so ask airport personnel for guidance if possible. (We did this recently and it saved us from missing our flight!)
  9. Waiting Prep - Have your photo ID and boarding pass ready - as in together in your hand or easily accessible pocket, NOT in your wallet at the bottom of your bag
  10. Bottlenecks - if you're able to choose your screening line, choose carefully, but quickly! Avoid the line with lots of families (especially with small children) or the large group with lots of bags
  11. Game Time - empty your pockets, jewelry, etc. before you get to the bins. Stash it in your carryon or have it ready to toss (gently) in the bin when you get there. Also, unzip your laptop bag so it's ready to take out when you get to the conveyer belt

Packing Plus - See what the LA Times, Denver Post, Philadelphia Inquirer and a CBS affiliate have on their must-pack list for style and function. Safe travels!

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