Answering Readers’ Questions: Taking Your Purse Through Security

a black bag with silver handlesA reader recently sent me this question:

After a few business trips, I’m starting to get pretty good at going through security quickly. But I’m not totally sure what to do with my purse! I see some people put their purse in a bin, and some not. What is the correct way to do it?

Great question! I don’t know that there is a “correct” thing to do with your purse; it really depends on what will get you through fastest and with the least amount of fuss. Does your purse have a zipper? If so, I have found that the easiest thing to do is zip it up and put it directly onto the belt. If your purse doesn’t zip, then I definitely recommend putting it into a bin. The last thing you want is for stuff to fall out and then spend a lot of time having to wait for it to come through the scanner and pick it up! At least if stuff falls out in a bin, you can pick the whole bin up and move it out of the way. On days when my purse with a zipper is too full to zip, which happens sometimes, I will just throw it in a bin.

Hope this helps!


  1. I gave up purses when I started to travel a lot. I found I used about 2% of the stuff in it anyway. That could go into a pocketsized billfold or into a concealed pouch around my neck or waist. It took so much pressure off the traveling. No worries about where I left my purse or who might be eyeing it or how do I quickly find my ID! Just a suggestion. “Simplify” is my motto anyway.

  2. Always put your purse, bag, or backpack in the bin if possible to avoid straps from getting caught on rollers.

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