Traveling is an exciting experience, but most people become anxious when thinking about going through airport security. With so many rules and regulations, it can be overwhelming to make sure you pack and prepare correctly. While we may not be able to go through security for you, we are sharing our must do’s (and don’ts) for a smooth and stress free TSA experience.

Psst…we have a secret to share with you. Most airports post their security line wait times on their websites or airport apps! This means you can follow trends in lines and get an idea of the best (and worst) times to start your airport journey. It is not a bad idea to check these up to a few days before your travel date – so you know what you are likely to experience, and when.

Research continues to show that airport crowds are lowest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Plan to fly on these days to avoid those obnoxiously long security lines.

While everyone will have to wait in lines, some lines are shorter than others. The precheck line moves 2.5 times faster than the regular security line (this allows for extra airport cocktail time!). Consider signing up for the expedited security screening process to enjoy faster and shorter lines. Visit to see if you qualify. Note that if you are approved there is a fee of $85.00 and your clearance is good for five years.

It has been proved that a majority of people are right hand dominant. This being said, our brain tends to lean to the right more so than the left. Yes, even when choosing lines. This being said, channel your inner James Dean and be a Rebel Without a Cause and head to the left security line. While doing this may not be a huge time saver…it definitely can’t hurt to go against the grain.

DRESS IN LAYERS (Yes…even in summer)
If you have to stand in line long enough, chances are you will fluctuate between hot and cold a few times before you are through security. We suggest throwing a comfortable sweatshirt over a tank top to help keep you warm when the line hasn’t moved in 20 minutes and allow you to shed your top layer once you start moving with purpose. Bonus, airplanes are most likely going to be too hot or too cold for your personal preference. By wearing layers you will be comfortable while in the air as well. We like things that kill two birds with one stone.

Yes, while baggage fees can be annoying, it is easier to pay in order to check those bags and avoid buckling under the weight of your heavy backpack or duffle bag while maneuvering the airport. Allow for extra time before and after your flight to check and collect your bag at baggage claim. Your backs will thank us…we promise.

No, we aren’t saying to wear high tech, smart shoes; we mean wear shoes that are not only comfortable but can easily be slipped off. You are required to remove your shoes when going through security, and while those high top – laced Converse are super cute…they will be a pain in the rear when it’s finally your turn at the front of the line. Wear shoes like sandals or boat shoes that don’t require laces or effort to remove. This way, you can easily slip them back on after you’ve made it through security and head to your gate.

While waiting in what feels like that never ending line, utilize this time to get ready to breeze through security. Travelers must remove all electronics larger than a cell phone and place them in a bin to go through the scanner. When you are almost to the front of the line, remove all qualifying electronics from your bag so you are ready to go as soon as you have made it to the front. There is nothing more frustrating than people taking 5 minutes to take everything out of their bags and holding up the line. Don’t be one of those parties. Also, when your items have been successfully scanned, remove the electronics and carry them off to the side before taking the time to re-organize your bag. These tips are good airport etiquette and the other travelers around you will appreciate your organization and swiftness.

While it may seem like a lifesaver to wrap those birthday or Christmas gifts ahead of time, this can cause a huge headache when going through security. TSA agents may ask to inspect these packages which would require you to unwrap them anyways. You are allowed to carry on packages, but they should be unwrapped and easily opened for inspection.

What some people may not know is that you are only allowed a small amount of liquids in your carry on. You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint. These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. To avoid problems at security, take care of this when you are packing. You can even purchase travel-sized toiletries at most convenience stores to help make sure nothing in your bags violates the rules. Or, consider purchasing your liquid items once you arrive at your destination. Also, do not plan on bringing any water or coffee through the security line. You are not allowed any beverages so don’t waste precious backpack real estate on such things. Allow yourself to arrive at the airport early so you can fill your water bottle or grab your favorite coffee post security.

While traveling can be stressful, if you follow these simple TSA rules you can start (or end) your trip on the right foot by being in and out of the airport in no time. Please note that the TSA rules are constantly changing for the safety of all travelers so we recommend checking the TSA website before your trip for all up to date rules and regulations. What are your tried and true TSA survival tips? Let us know in the comments so we can add it to our list! We are always on board for saving time and relieving stress.

Happy traveling!
The Adventures by Jamie Team