With the holidays quickly approaching, airline tickets showing up worth every value, and the TSA’s growing and ever confusing rules and regulations you may want to know exactly how to approach your jaunt through the airport maze with ease. After all, most of us want to spend more time with our loved ones, exchanging stories and enjoying good food rather than trying to huff it the right way through the metal detectors or trying to understand the new rules behind carry-on luggage. Here are a few ways to breeze through airport without ruining your holiday.
Bum a Ride
Going through the airport parking lot is a nightmare. It’s even more of a nightmare when you have to park your own car a few miles away from the airport, or in the overnight parking deck. Sometimes security isn’t up to specs and you’ll be worrying about whether or not your car will still be there when you get back or if it’s been towed; not to mention the amount of money you’ll be hemorrhaging just be leaving your car in the lots.
If possible, have a friend drive you to the airport and drop you off. This will save time since you won’t be hunting for the perfect spot, and money. It’s better to give your friend twenty dollars for gas rather than dish out a hundred or more if you don’t want to cut your family visit short.
Buy Your Tickets and Check-In Online
One of the most frustrating parts of flying is ticket buying. Standing at the counter, trying to figure out what you should do if there are no more seats left is a horrible way to start your vacation. Try buying your tickets online. There are several resources that will let you find cheap flights with ease. All the extra money you save (and frustration you didn’t go through) can definitely help you have a little more fun with your loved ones once you’ve reached your destination.
Buying your ticket online means you can check in online as well. Many airlines allow you to check-in 24 hours prior to your flight. You can save yourself a load of time at the airport by checking in and printing your boarding pass at home. Especially if you don’t need to check any bags, you can skip the check-in counter all together and head straight for your terminal.
The TSA’s guidelines are readily available online. After you’ve finished buying your tickets, check the baggage requirements on the airline website. If it’s possible, try to fit everything into a carry-on by rolling your shirts and pants into tight cylinders. This way you can keep track of your luggage without worrying about it getting lost. Also, make sure that you don’t have anything that is against TSA regulations. Make sure to keep your cosmetics and toiletries in a quart sized clear bag, and try not to pack more than 2oz of any liquid. Be sure to label your bottles, too, just to make life a little easier.
Make it Easy
Making it easy for security to search you if you’re selected for the dreaded pat down or x-ray scanner can make your trip so much easier. Have your identification and your ticket information ready when you start the security line. Once in the line, try removing your belt and metal belongings. If you want to make this transition easy and comfortable then wear clothes that don’t require belts or have fancy button, gym-type clothes are a great example. Sweats are comfy and lack metal pieces. As far as shoes go, try to avoid shoes you have to tie. Instead, settle for slip-ons or sandals. If you are wearing sneakers or something of the sort, untie them or tie them loosely so you can easily slip them off and back on.
Check Your Terminal
Always check to see if your flight is on time, early, or dreadfully late. Also, make sure that you know which terminal you’re going to, whether or not it matches the terminal on your ticket, and whether or not you’ve been switched to another terminal. Often times, people will check on arrival and forget to check after they’ve gone through security only to find out that they have been switched to a terminal clear across the airport. Sometimes, they’ll make it. Other times, Hussain Bolt himself can’t get to the terminal in time to catch the mismatched flight.
Check Your Luggage
Be it our carry-on luggage or the luggage you check, you need to check it and make sure that everything is beyond copasetic. If you’re planning to carry something like a large cleaver to your final destination, thought one might not be entirely sure why you’d need a cleaver – unless you’re a chef of some sort, make sure to tell the baggage folks about it. While it’s alright to check edged weapons, you never know what might delay your trip. If there is a random search you may be delayed due to the large cooking utensil being held up in your luggage. Bottom line: If it’s strange and can be construed as a weapon, you should probably check it and/or let the baggage personal know.
Eat Some Food
While this might not seem like something that is highly necessary, you might be surprised to find out that stopping to “grab a bite” before you’ve gotten to security could slow you down tremendously. If you eat just before you get to the airport, you’ll be able to breeze passed those pesky kiosks and straight to the land of security officers and TSA personal who want to push you through to your journey just as quickly as you want to jump passed them. Don’t skip the comestibles, they’ll also give you the energy you need to get to your flight and potentially stave off some of those annoying points of jetlag once you’ve reached your destinations, granted the snacks and meals you choose are healthy!
If you follow these simple guidelines, your trip should go according to plan. You’ll have more time to people watch and relax with all the time and stress you have saved.