At some point in your life, you have probably found yourself behind one of those people who take forever in security due to poor preparation or, even worse, you have been one of those people yourself. Although customs and security will never be a fun experience under the best of circumstances, there are several tips and strategies which you can implement in order to make the process an easier one.
So next time you are jetting off, spare a thought for your fellow travellers and use these tips to make your journey, and that of others, a stress-free one.
How To Get Through Airport Customs Problem Free
Slip-on shoes are the best choice and you should avoid metal items such as buttons and buckles as any buckles and other metal items will need to be removed before you walk through the security detector anyway.
If you really want to avoid these issues altogether, opt for a cloth belt instead or a metal buckle and choose a shirt and pants with plastic buttons. Keep the layers to a minimum. Remove any sweaters or jackets which aren’t necessary before you get to the security line.
Make sure to empty all of your pockets of phones, PDAs, change, and keys before you approach the airport security X-ray machine as removing these in line wastes a lot of precious time.
Choose form fitting pants instead of baggy ones. Baggy pants are more likely to raise suspicion since, obviously, there are more places to hide illegal and/or dangerous items within baggy pants.
Pack Lightly and Smart
You should make sure that you are fully aware of what you can and cannot carry onto the airplane. This can be found on the TSA website. Items should be neatly and clearly labeled within the suitcase and a plastic bag should be used for liquids and toiletries and should be placed in an outer pocket so that they can be easily accessed by security.
Make sure that the liquids are in bottles that are 3 ounces or less per TSA guidelines. Packing your bag in an organised manner will make the process of searching luggage much quicker and hassle-free for both you and security.
Have your boarding pass and ID in hand and head to the line that is shortest. There is often a security line or two that many people don’t go to because they erroneously think that the line is only for one airline.
Place everything that you have in your pocket into your jacket or bag and then remove that item. Only keep your ID and pass with you. If you are carrying a laptop, unzip the bag.
Once you have passed the point where the ID is checked, remove your shoes. Staying one step ahead of everyone else will help you to breeze on past those who are still rummaging in their pockets in order to collect all their change.
Pay Attention and Follow Instructions
Pay close attention to any instructions that you are given as well as the mistakes that those in front of you make. Learn from them and be prepared to avoid those mistakes that they make when it is your turn.
This way, you will be able to make the process a lot simpler when it comes to your turn. If you are required to go through additional screening, don’t make a fuss. Just do it!
Purchase a TSA-Approved Bag for your Laptop for US Travel
As long as your purchase a bag that is approved by the TSA as “check-point” friendly, you will not be required to remove the laptop from the bag. Make sure that you also label the laptop as they often get left behind due to poor identification.
Although options for TSA-approved bags are still limited, there are some options which are available, the cheapest and simplest of which is the laptop skin. The best I can recommend is the Victoriatourist V6002 Laptop Backpack check-Fast Airport Security Friendly
Avoid Traveling During Busy Periods
Although this is not always something that can be planned for, peak travel times should always be avoided if possible. These peak times typically include the hours between 6:30 AM and 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM. Avoiding these hours can help in getting through the security and customs much more quickly.
Some times throughout the year, such as sporting events including the Olympics, holidays, and spring break times, will be inevitably bad so you should prepare yourself to be agitated during this time and plan to be there earlier than normal so that you ensure you will not miss your flight.
The process of going through security and customs can be vexing but need not be the tortuous experience that many claim it to be. Be prepared and don’t be afraid to bypass people who aren’t. Yes, we are an organised society who lives by the “line”. And, yes, we are programmed to think that “cutting” is inexcusable.
However, walking past someone who simply isn’t ready will more than likely make the security people happier than they otherwise would be if they had to waste time waiting for the person who is still rooting around for their ID.
Written By David: is an editor and co-founder at www.CreditCardCompare.com.au, one of the top Australian consumer advice services specialising in credit card comparisons, particularly in air miles credit cards for frequent travellers. Click here to read more about him on their blog or follow him on Twitter.
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