Traveling by plane can be stressful, whether you’re flying for business or with your family to get to a big family reunion. The next time you’re traveling, explore these helpful airport tips that make life easier.
Airport Tip 1: TSA PreCheck or TSA Clear
Many people agree that the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, is the worst part about flying: depending on your local airport, you’re liable to be stuck in hours-long security lines. However, in September 2021, 96 percent of TSA PreCheck passengers waited five minutes or less. TSA PreCheck passengers don’t have to go through a standard security line, so they don’t need to take off their shoes. For families, children 12 and under don’t need to be signed up to go through with a registered parent. The application is $75, and it lasts five years, which makes it cheaper than TSA Clear. However, you do have to come in for a 10-minute interview, so you can’t register on the day of a flight.
If you need to get through TSA quickly without PreCheck, you can use a private company such as Clear. TSA Clear expedites the document screening process, whereas a PreCheck speeds up the physical check-in process. You can sign up for Clear at the airport the day of a flight after a quick retina and fingerprint scan. However, the downsides are that it costs $179 a year and it’s only available at 50 airports in the US. If you’re in a rush, they do have free trials for you to take advantage of.
Frequent travelers can even compound the two programs to speed through security.
Airport Tip 2: Portable Battery Chargers
You can’t always be sure the airplane will have charging ports. That’s why you should always bring a portable battery charger to be able to use your phone throughout the flight without having to worry about the battery dying.
Airport Tip 3: Dry Snacks and Empty Water Bottles
You can’t bring liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces into the airport, but you can bring an empty water bottle to fill up once you’re through security. There’s also a liquid loophole that allows you to bring a drink through security: it must be completely frozen. You’ll just need to find a way to keep it from melting on the way to the airport.
You can also bring in dry snacks to avoid the high-priced airport food. This money-saver can be beneficial for larger families, for whom the snack bill can get pretty high.
Airport Tip 4: Ridable Suitcases
Running through an airport to catch a plane in heels is awful to impossible; riding your carry-on like a go-kart is just fun. A few advantages of a ridable suitcase are that these electric carts can charge your phone, get you through a terminal in record-breaking time, and still fit in the overhead compartment.
Airport Tip 5: Family Room in the Airline Lounge
Managing your kids before a flight can be difficult in the crowded gate waiting areas, especially for nervous first-time flyers. Luckily, some airline lounges have family rooms where the kids can play and let off some steam before having to sit still for hours on end.
With these helpful airport hacks that make life easier, you’ll be able to get through the airport with your whole family more quickly and in a more leisurely fashion.