Travel Tip – Get Through Security Fast

My sentiments towards slow-poke travelers is no secret, most recently demonstrated here.  People who hold up the security line top the list of my all-time pet peeves.  Given that I’ll be spending the next two weeks jetting through several major airports in the United States, I thought it be prudent to share my own tips, and give you a heads up on a new program that will help alleviate the agony of the security line.


  1. Get security ready before entering the airport.  Before entering the security line, make sure you have your identification and boarding pass ready (save some trees and opt for a mobile boarding pass – I SWEAR by the United app).  Ensure that your bag of liquids and laptop are within easy reach.  Remove all jewelry and belts, and make sure your pockets are empty.  I do this whole routine while I’m in the car on my way to the airport, so I can jet straight to security.
  2. Have everything at hand.  Keep the zipper of your personal item bag open, so you can store and remove your items as necessary.  Make sure the items you’ll need to remove (laptop, liquids) are at the top of the bag.  And for heavens sake, please opt for a bag that allows you to keep everything at hand.  Lo & Sons bags are my and my husband’s favorites, and Dagne Dover makes a great work/travel bag for women as well.
  3. Know your airport.  I’ve found that I can get away with packing extra liquids when flying through my usual airports – Newark, JFK, Denver, San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare, or LAX.  As long as it meets the 3 fluid ounces requirements, it’s good to go.  But smaller airports (Columbus, Cedar Rapids in particular) or Minneapolis-St Paul ask to see all your liquids, in the specific bag.  Smaller airports can be sticklers to this rule, as an FYI.  Know your airport and follow their rules.  And for heaven’s sake, don’t ever try to sneak in a full-sized product – or at least anything over 5 ounces.  It will get confiscated.
  4. Time it right.  Because I’m just a weirdo, I’m a fan of scheduling flights at off-peak times, to avoid major security holdups.  Especially in my TSA PreCheck days.  Even getting to the airport early gives you ample time to not freak out at the sight of a long security line.  Got time to kill?  Hit up an airport Starbucks or wine bar – they’ll nearly always have ample seating, an empty plug point, and palatable dining and drink options.
  5. Pick It Up, Pack it Later.  For the love of all that is right with the world, grab your belongings at the end of security and tote it to a nearby bench.  THEN get your laptop and liquids back in your bag, your belt and shoes on, etc.  There’s nothing worse than when the end of the screening table is completely clogged with people slipping on their shoes and blocking people from getting their bags.  This bugs me the worst, honestly.  Please do crazy travelers like ma a favor and follow just this ONE tip.  We thank you in advance.

And the details on the elusive programs – the one that will get you through security in under a minute?  Sign up for my newsletter to get that exclusive content :)

NOTE – I will be posting a travel tip like this every two weeks.  Got any pressing travel questions or want advice on something?  COMMENT below and let me know what it is!  I love hearing from you and answering your questions specifically.