How to travel safely through airports
It’s that time of year. Americans pack their stuff and take off for places deemed better than their backyard. If you are one of those, and if you have not traveled much in the past decade, take some advice from a Road Warrior and make all our lives easier.
First – take a few minutes and read two things:
- Your airline’s website. They all have a page about traveling with them. This page includes the weight restrictions for bags, charges for baggage, cancellation policies, etc. Don’t be surprised when you arrive at the airport. And by the way, you can check in online, Use it. That saves you from having your family scattered throughout the plane.
- The TSA website(Transportation Security Administration) This is surprisingly thorough and will prepare you for that line at the airport.
We Road Warriors are continually amazed at people who still don’t know that you can’t bring a bag full of 32 oz shampoos, conditioners and hairspray through the TSA line. It happens almost every trip I’ve been on! And leave those scissors, hunting knives, and jackhammers at home. Really! They notice when you try and pack’em on with you. Everything is checked. So don’t try and sneak in anything stupid. Please. You just slow down the lines for the rest of us who also have planes to catch.
Everything is checked. So don’t try and sneak in anything stupid. Please. You just slow down the lines for the rest of us who also have planes to catch.
Second: Keep Track of your stuff. Millions of personal items are lost and stolen every year at airports. Staying conscious helps keep you from being on that list.
Here’s how you can keep your things safe at the Security line:
- Put a ziplok bag deep inside your carryon. Before you get to the security checkpoint, stand off to the side out of the crowd and prepare: take your wallet, phone, keys, money, any earrings or metal objects that you want to have with you and put them all in the ziplok bag and seal it. Then zip your bag closed. That way you know where everything is and you won’t be scrounging through your bags on your way to the gate making sure it’s all still there.
- Preparing outside the line in a corner near the check point keeps you from being a target as well. You aren’t as rushed and you can see who may be watching you. If you have children and all the accompanying extra baggage, it’s imperative to stand aside and complete this task before jumping in the line, no matter how long the line is. You can also do this at home prior to leaving for the airport.
- Mark your electronics. Go to Skinit and create a cover for your laptop, tablet and cell phone. That makes your items easy to spot from a distance. Use your logo and your website URL’s. It would be hard for a thief to claim they own a laptop with your logo on it.
- If you have two carryons, put your plastic bins between them. Laptop goes right after your laptop carrier; shoes and jacket go second, That way your laptop is on it’s way through as you walk through the machines. If they stop you, ask them to bring your items over to the screening area. Being polite helps. Most are trained to gather your things and bring them over for secondary inspection as they do an extra check. This is just common sense and it helps you keep an eye on your things.
- If you have kids, prepare them for this event. Practice at home. Remind them that behaving in these situations is very important. Read up on what you can and cannot bring through the screening area. Plan accordingly before leaving the house. We all will thank you.
It’s easy to get distracted at the security belt, and we may not notice a bad guy surveying our stuff to decide what can be pilfered. Being conscious and creating some good travel habits will make your trip happier. And helping your kids practice the routine beforehand will go a long way towards lessening stress (yours and all the rest of the Road Warriors out there.)
Thanks and Happy Travels!
© 2012 Beth Terry, CSP, All Rights Reserved
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