This time of year there are more inexperienced travelers than usual. While security can be very stressful for people who are not used to it, there are strategies to get through security with a minimum of fuss.
Before you go through. Get your ID and boarding pass in your hand and ready to show to the TSA officer. Also, make sure the items that will need to come out of your bag are in an accessible location. Typically your laptop and liquids bag are the only things that need to go through separately. Put everything that’s in your pockets into your bag.
While you go through. Once you get to the X-ray line, get your stuff out even if you don’t have bins yet. Once you get your bins put your shoes and liquids bag in one bin and your laptop in another. You don’t need to take out your tablets, eReaders, or cameras. You also don’t have to take off your glasses or jewelry.
Once you get to the actual X-ray machine, put your shoes through first, followed by your personal item, then suitcase, and last of all your laptop. This way your laptop is in your sight as long as possible. Put your suitcase handle-first for easy pick up on the other side.
After you go through. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. Once you’ve gone through the scanner, immediately go grab your bins and move to the benches out of the way. I have found the easiest way to do this is to drop your shoes on the ground while waiting for your other things. Step into them while you slide your purse/briefcase onto your shoulder, then pick up your suitcase and bins. If you don’t have shoes you can just step into, just carry all of your bins over to the bench. Please do not pick individual items out of the bins—pick them up and get out of the way. If everyone did this, security would go much more quickly.
Yes, Global Entry and TSA Pre-check are the fastest ways through security, but with a little planning and strategy security can go relatively smoothly for any traveler.
Readers, what are your tricks for making airport security less stressful?