We all love traveling. And many of us want to be jetsetters 24/7, but we all also absolutely hate how long it takes to get through the airport. From the check-in process to long security lines to dealing with delays, navigating the airport can sometimes drive us crazy.
I am sure you all have some great summer trips planned so on your next trip, follow these tips for a smoother, quicker, and all around better airport experience.
Enroll in an expedited screening program.
If you fly more than a few times per year, and you want to significantly decrease the time you spend at the airport, the absolute best thing you can do is enroll in a Trusted Traveler (or Registered Traveler) program. A Trusted Traveler program allows for pre-approved travelers to expedite time at security and immigration checkpoints. There are a few different programs to choose from, depending on where you fly most (domestic or international), Check out the Department of Homeland Security site to determine which program is best for you.
It’s such a simple step, but there are still so many of people who don’t check-in to their flights online! Spending the extra five minutes to check-in online, review flight time, and print a boarding pass can save you a lot of grief at the airport. TSA allows for travelers to scan boarding passes right from your smartphone so there’s no excuse! Most airlines have apps that help expedite this process even further, so be sure to download the right app before traveling.
Find a go-to travel outfit.
We’ve all seen the person in the security line that sets off every possible alarm and can’t figure out what the source of the issue. Don’t be that person! Before you fly, take time to create a go-to airport outfit. Stay away from difficult jewelry, complicated accessories with metal hardware, or shoes that are tricky to get on and off quickly. A comfy pair of pants, a cozy sweater, and slip-on shoes can go a long way in making your airport experience more enjoyable. Plus, having an outfit (or a few variations of an outfit) that you always wear to the airport will make the lead up to traveling all that much easier
Check wait times online.
Airport security lines can be a bit of a gamble. We’ve all seen an airport with zero wait turn into a chaotic nightmare in minutes. While you can’t plan for every possible scenario, you can plan ahead by checking airport wait times via the TSA app. I just recently discovered this app. It allows you to see airport waits in real time; it's an underutilized service that can save you a lot of stress at the airport. While this moght sound like a no-brainer, be sure to also check your flight status. There’s no need to rush to the airport when you already know your flight is two hours late. Many airlines will text you in the event that your flight is delayed requiring no effort at all on your part.
Make your gear TSA-friendly.
If you’ll be flying a lot in the near future, now might be a good time to invest in some TSA-friendly gear. Things such as a TSA-approved laptop cases or TSA-approved reusable toiletry bags can make all the difference in getting through a security line quickly.
Always think about what takes you the longest to remove or deal with when you’re in the security line. If you’re notorious for spending time unlacing shoes, consider investing in some great travel slip-ons. If your anything like me and tend to pack lots of electronics, TSA-friendly bags may be the way to go.