Travelers don’t just need tips on what clothes to take, you need security packing tips so you can make it through the airport with a minimum of frustration.
Travel security alert regulations have remained pretty steady over the last few years. Most people have come to grips with the limitations… we all know they’re not going to go away in the near future, so let’s go over some tips to help get you through the security checkpoint that has become the bane of many travelers.
After all this time, we’re amazed at how many people still haven’t paid attention to the rule about liquids, creams, and gels. The rules have been in place for years now. If you are going to carry a bag onto the plane, you may take liquids, creams, or gels ONLY if they are in containers that are 3 ounces (100 ml) or less.
This does NOT mean that you can take a half-full 6 ounce shampoo bottle. The container needs to hold 3 ounces or 100 ml or less no matter how much liquid or gel is in it. All of the containers you want to take must fit into ONE clear, quart-size (or liter size), plastic, zip-top bag. Let me repeat, it’s one bag per passenger.
Here’s a security packing tip that will save you some money…. You will not get that prized bottle of wine through security. If you must take a bottle of wine home, buy it in a duty free shop…. but remember, when you clear customs in your home country, you will have to go through security again if you are catching another flight. That bottle of wine could be an expensive memory.
If you want to take larger sizes of liquids, creams, or gels, you may pack them in checked luggage. Then do not lock your checked bags except with security agency approved locks…. that’s TSA approved locks in the U.S.A. If your checked bag is selected for random screening, or if they think something looks suspicious, the agents can unlock the approved locks.
They will leave a note inside your bag that it has been inspected. If you use an unapproved lock, they will call you back to open the bag if they can; if they can’t find you, the agents will have to break an unapproved lock to inspect inside.
Other security packing tips would be to pay attention to how you pack. Don’t stack books and other documents on top of each other inside your bag. That makes them hard to see through, and you’re more apt to have a hand search. Instead, spread them out throughout your bag.
If you have some belongings you don’t feel comfortable having strangers handle, place those items in a clear plastic bag.
Don’t overpack your bag. If it’s hard to close it at home, you or the security agents will probably have trouble closing it at the airport if it is opened for a check. You can deal with your carry-on bag, but if a checked bag is opened, there is the possibility that an overstuffed bag will come off the baggage belt with your nightgown peeking out. You don’t want that.
If you’re carrying gifts, don’t wrap them before you leave home. The security officers might want to inspect inside, then you’d have to wrap them twice.
No one looks forward to the security checkpoint or the line you might have to wait in to get there, but if everyone followed these basic security packing tips, we’d all get through faster.