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Top 10+ Tips For Holiday Travel!

Nov 24, 2007
The holidays are here and so is the stress. There is nothing like the stress of booking tickets and traveling during the holidays. Added to that stress is airport security.

I am a former airport screener and I have made it my personal mission to help passengers get through airport security fast, safe and easy.

Here are my top ten valuable airport security tips to help you travel through airport security this holiday season. Be sure to tell me your horror stories or comments on traveling through airport security during the holidays.

1. Book your tickets as far in advanced as possible. This will lower the chance of you being chosen for secondary screening, since last minute bookings seem to increase your chances.

2. Pack light. Nothing delays the security lines more than when the x-ray operator has to ask for a rerun on a passenger's bag because they cannot determine if the contents contain a prohibited item or not. Remember that liquid medications, breast milk and baby formula are exempt from the 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels and creams. Pack your exempt items separate from your regular 3-1-1 carry-on items and declare them to the screener at the divesting table at x-ray.

3. Know what items are permitted and prohibited in your carry-on and checked baggage. Download the Ultimate Packing List on my contact page. 40 million prohibited items have been confiscated to date, including explosives, guns, knives and weapons. Do not be only of those passengers who delay the line by bringing a prohibited item to security checkpoint.

4. Use online check-in. The airlines will allow you to check-in no more than 24 hours in advance. This is a BIG stress reducer. If you can print out your boarding pass from home, this alone tells you that you are not scheduled for secondary screening.

5. Use curb-side check-in. The porters have to pay for their carts in some cases, so give them a little and save BIG TIME. I saved 2 to 3 hours of waiting in line when I tipped a porter $20 to check me in curb-side in Orlando.

6. Keep your cool! TSA could charge you up to $5,000 for interfering with the screening process for unruly behavior or threatening comments. This means NO joking around. Do not say any of these words: terrorist, bomb, IED, IID, George Bush and Osama bin Laden.

7. Dress for airport security. No body piercings, no thick bracelets or jewelry. No baggy pants and avoid wearing skirts or dresses. You will increase your chances of secondary screening if your clothing can easily conceal a weapon. Wear slip-on shoes! This alone will save you time.

8. Place your personal bedroom toys in checked baggage. You could shutdown an airport by mistake if they are carried in your carry-on luggage. They have similar components as an IED.

9. Arrive at least 2 hours early for domestic and 3 hours for international flights. You don't know if the person in front of you will do something stupid and delay the line. Power outages, weapon scares, bomb threats are just a few reasons airports will shutdown for hours.

10. Normally you can get cheaper ticket prices on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. During the holidays, avoid traveling that holiday week if possible. Fly early than 10am and later than 3pm if possible. That is peak travel time for security lines.

Tell me your horror stories of going through airport security screening during the holidays.

Happy and Safe Travels!
About the Author
Natalia Ippolito, a former airport screener and author of: I MIGHT AS WELL BE NAKED: How to Survive Airport Screening With Your Clothes On.

Receive her FREE Tip of The Week, Sample Chapter Ultimate Packing List or Unknown Violations and Fines Report at http://www.airportbook.com
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