We’ve all seen the movies where the love sick guy breezes through security by telling the TSA agent his tale of heartfelt woe. This is probably the most far fetched rom-com creation, security lines at airports are a frenzy of stressed out fliers and no nonsense agents. We all want to be that cool kid flier, the one who looks like they do this for a living, and the key to that is stress control AND packing like a pro.
Before you leave for the airport
Decide early if a carry-on only situation will work for you. If you’re beauty products are over-sized, your stilettos look like weapons, and the bag weighs the same as you do – you’re going to have to check. Getting through security to be pulled out and sent back into the fray is the worst, it adds tons of stress to you and other guests and if its busy you can miss your flight entirely. If you refuse to check, then you need to go minimalist in a big way.
Compartmentalize. You will have your carry-on and your purse but within these 2 permitted items you need an easy way to access your things in security and mid-flight. Laptops and tablets will need to be scanned separately in security as will liquids so these should be in an outer pocket of your carry on. Ideally, you can fit your purse into your carry-on, for ease, but if not it doesn’t matter. Your purse will hold your wallet, ID, a pen (for customs cards), cash, iPod, book, medications you may need during flight. If it can hold a water bottle after you get to your gate, bonus. I don’t wear jewellery at airports but if you do bring a small zippered bag so you can stow these items before whatever kind of body scanner your airport has. Also be sure to have a designated and extremely easily accessible zippered pocket for your ID and ticket and baggage slip (more and more you need to show this after you get your checked bag) the last thing you want is to hastily put it down somewhere and loose it right before a flight.
The TSA follows a 3-1-1 rule:
3-1-1 for carry-ons. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.
Now that you’ve packed like a pro, what are you going to wear?!
1. Socks – you will need socks and socks and more socks. Don’t be that person holding their Loubs and squealing because the floor is ice cold and now you’ve probably contracted a fungus. Lots of people bring plastic foot covers, I always intend to but I usually can’t be bothered to put them on. Have a thin pair of socks to wear through security and then cover them with thick cozy socks for the plane. Planes are so cold!
2. Smart shoes – It’s so hard to decide if you should save suitcase space by wearing bulky shoes or if your should wear Uggs and make security easier. Most people choose the suitcase space. Try and avoid shoes that need to be laced, or simply don’t lace them. Really anything is fine as long as you remove the shoe early so as to not hold up the front of the line and then wait to get a seat on a bench before putting them on again.
3. Keep your outfit simple – layers will all need to be removed so try and fit that blanket scarf into your carry on. Minimalist chic is best for airports because your hands will somehow always be full even without trying to hold onto your fedora.
4. Pockets must be empty going through security so I never bother with them. My purse holds all of my essentials and when I get onto the airplane I remove my purse and blanket scarf from my carry-on, plop the carry-on above me and shove my purse under the seat. I have moisturizer, lip balm, tissues, an eye mask, ear plugs, Sudafed (painkillers et al medical), music, reading materials, and water all at my fingertips. Then I go to sleep and forget about all of my carry-on essentials because once that recycled air kicks in its like Nite-quill!