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Travel Tips (really, it's not so bad)

December 19th, 2006 at 08:17 pm

I went on a trip this past weekend. With all the recent security issues on airplanes and in airports, I was a bit worried. However, I think the rules have been well broadcast several times that most people are now fully aware of travel restrictions. I saw very few people subjected to "indignities" such as random searches, and most times it was from them not removing a belt or cell phone.

With that said, just a few tips to get you through the security checkpoint:

-wear easy on/off shoes. By now, if you don't know that you must take off shoes, well this is your final warning. Also, after you retrieve shoes from the other side of the barrier, don't clog the flow of traffic by standing in everyones' way just to put your shoes back on. Go forward a mere couple of feet and there are usually lots of chairs (as well as more space) to sit and put shoes on at your own leisure

-The carry-on bag. I've noticed people really pay attention to this now, no more person lugging a gigantic suitcase to the gate and then preaching injustice when told the item must be checked-in. Everyone on my flight had a 22" or less size suitcase. As to items that can be stored in carry-on's, they now include nail clippers and disposable razors. However, given how fancy-schmancy some disposable razors can be, it's probably safer to limit yourself to the no-frills Bic blades that came in the multipack. In fact, it's a good bet to assume that anything can (and will) be thrown out if it doesn't pass inspection. NO KNIVES (except for round-tip plastic butter knife) ALLOWED. I saw a very nice Swiss Army knife get confiscated (froma very nice, distraught lady). Rules are rules.

-Liquids. Yes, you have to pack all liquids in a 3oz or less (don't worry, standard travel sizes are 1oz and that's plenty for one weekend) bottle. That does not mean you can pour out most of a full-size bottle and leave just a little bit at the bottom. That also does not mean you can bring a half-used rolled up tube of toothpaste. I saw one couple in shock as security threw out those exact items. Rest assured, most hotels will provide you with complementary toiletries. But again, best not to bring very valuable items in questionable sizes.

All liquids must fit into a gallon-sized clear ziploc bag. I kept mine separate from my suitcase at first, actually, laid it onto the scanner belt, then after it got cleared, put it into my carry-on. Saved some time messing with luggage to start with.

-In terms of luggage, to save yourself potential embarassment, pack your undies at the bottom of the suitcase =) Just in case you do get called for inspection, your tighty whities probably shouldn't be the first sight to greet the inspector's probing eyes upon opening your suitcase.

-As extra precaution, I also packed all my jewelry and potential metal objects into a bag and put that bag through the scanner before putting into my suitcase. Not a rule but I wanted to avoid as much conflict as possible.

-Take laptops out of ALL bags and place on top of the bag. In my early travel days I kept the laptop in the protective sleeve and thus got yelled at by security.

-No food/drink from the outside. You can only bring food and drink onto the plane that has been purchased beyond the security gates (in the airport).

Have a safe and fun journey! Happy holidays!

2 Responses to “Travel Tips (really, it's not so bad)”

  1. fairy74 Says:

    great tips thanks!

  2. jersey jen Says:

    valuable information, indeed. it's funny about the 3-oz restriction. i was able to get through at EWR with a full bottle of contact solution. however, at MDW, i was told contact solution has to be 3-oz or less. how confusing!?

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