Today, the biggest obstacle in a smooth vacation can be the airport. Since September 11, 2001, airport security has become extremely difficult and time consuming to get through. Travelers now find that they must arrive at the airport in advance in order to get through all the security checkpoints and board their flight on time. Getting through security at the airport can be trying and frustrating and the lines and wait will get longer with the upcoming holiday travel crush.
Plan your vacation well.
Most stressful vacation scenarios arise because of reservations that have fallen through, flights that have been cancelled, or baggage that has been misplaced. To avoid situations such as these make sure to plan ahead as well as possible. Make sure you arrive at the airport with plenty of time to take care of checking in, getting through security and getting to your flight’s gate before your flight takes off. Most airports have lounges and restaurants where passengers can relax and wait for their flight if they are early offering you a place to relax if you have extra time. Take this opportunity to sit back, have a drink and start your vacation off early.
Have everything you will need readily available.
Having to search through bags for your boarding pass, license, or passport can be an unnecessary hassle. By having everything you will need in a spot that is easily accessible, you will make sure that your trip begins on the right foot, rather than becoming annoyed by the impatient people behind you for holding up the line.
Get rid of all contraband items.
There are a number of items that are surprisingly not allowed onboard airlines in the United States. An item such as a pair of tweezers can be seen as a potential item and will most likely not be allowed on board. To get through security in a fast, easy manner make sure to leave all illegal items – and even items that may be deemed questionable by airport security at home. By doing a little research on the internet you will likely be able to find a list of items that are no longer allowed on board commercial aircrafts. If you are unsure about what is and is not allowed then the list of items should be able to clear things up for you. However, if there is a doubt in your mind as to whether or not it is allowed, you might be better off just leaving it at home.
When passing through security your clothing may be checked as well. Any clothing with metal buckles or buttons that may set off metal detectors should best be left at home or packed in a suitcase. Avoid wearing too many layers of clothing, if your outfit looks suspicious like you are hiding something you will most likely be pulled aside and searched further. This can be unnecessary and time consuming when you have nothing to hide. In some airports people are asked to remove their shoes when stepping through the security checkpoint. If you know you are traveling through an airport where this is required, wear shoes you can easily slip on and off to avoid having to take excessive time to remove your shoes.
Scope out the area.
For some reason people are often drawn to longer lines, overlooking the fact that there may be a faster and easier way to check bags, move through security, or check your boarding pass. Make sure to take your time and look around before hastily getting in a line because everyone else is. You would not want to waste twenty minutes in line to find out that you should have been in the shorter line next to you or that you did not have to wait in line at all. If there is an airport security guard or staff member nearby, do not hesitate to ask them where you need to be if you are confused. They are there to assist you.