Who would win in a race—a turtle, or a human going through the Transportation Security Administration’s airport screening process? The TSA is notoriously meticulous in making sure travelers abide by their precise rules, often resulting in long lines and impatient passengers in the terminal. Luckily, you can shorten the amount of time you spend standing in airport security lines during busy travel seasons like spring break, summer vacation, or the winter holidays just by bringing the right equipment. Here are eight products you can buy that will help facilitate the screening process and get you in your plane seat faster.
1. GlobeGear Toiletry Bag
A carry-on suitcase full of liquids is a security-checkpoint nightmare. In 2006, concerns over liquid explosives led TSA to enact a rule that prohibits passengers from bringing a high volume of liquids onboard commercial aircraft. The agency refers to it as the 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 ounces of liquid per container, packed in a 1-quart bag, with one bag per passenger.
If you don't have TSA PreCheck, you'll need to take all your liquids out for inspection, and having them stashed in a convenient place is key. Luckily, the GlobeGear Toiletry kit makes it easy. Think of it as a measuring cup for travel. The leak-proof bag is exactly 1 quart in volume, and the refillable bottles that come with it are each the required 3.4 ounces. It’s also clear, so security agents can quickly examine its contents, and easy to seal and unseal if TSA agents want to take a closer look.
Buy it on Amazon for $32.99 or at these other retailers:
2. Defway RFID Travel Wallet
As you go through security, TSA agents and airline personnel want to see your photo identification, ticket, and passport, and having all of them assembled in one place will keep you from fumbling when you get to the front of the line. Defway’s RFID wallet has open pockets to make retrieval easy and also features a shield to prevent identity thieves from obtaining information from your credit cards or passport.
Buy it on Amazon for $15.
3. Ytonet Laptop Bag
Taking your laptop out of your bag is a huge pain when you're also trying to juggle a security tray, your shoes, your belt, and everything else you have to take off to go through the scanner. Ytonet's laptop bag removes that hassle. The TSA-friendly travel case has a separate laptop compartment that opens flat so you don’t have to take out your computer—just open up the bag and set it on the conveyor belt. (As an added tip, make sure your devices are charged when you arrive, as an agent may ask to see them operating.)
Buy it on Amazon for $27.
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4. Vans Slip-On Shoes
Struggle with getting your laced sneakers on and off at the checkpoint? Opt for slip-ons. We recommend these classic unisex sneakers from Vans, which not only slide off and on with ease, but will keep you comfortable in the airplane cabin, too. If you know you've got a long walk to your gate ahead of you, we suggest upgrading to the company's $60 ComfyCush model, which features a moisture-wicking lining, added arch support, and a sole designed to make it feel like you're "walking on a cloud." Both versions come in just about every color you could want, and in some very vacation-friendly patterns, too. (We cannot, however, guarantee that they will always land facing up.)
5. Jasgood Nylon Belt
There’s always something vaguely disconcerting about undoing a belt in front of a group of strangers. You can skip this step entirely by opting for a metal-free belt. JASGOOD’s TSA-friendly belt is made of nylon and plastic, which won't set off any scanners. It also comes with a backup buckle in case you need a replacement.
Buy it on Amazon from $12.
6. Delsey Helium Aero Luggage
DELSEY's Helium Aero 21-inch carry-on suitcase is designed with air travel in mind. It's small enough to conform to carry-on size standards for most international airlines, and features a rare TSA-approved lock. It has double spinner wheels to facilitate omnidirectional movement, keeping you moving at a quick clip through the terminal, as well as a hard outer shell and a padded space for your laptop, so you won’t risk mashing your belongings while stuffing it into an overhead compartment or checking it. The main compartment is expandable for those prone to overpacking.
Buy it on Amazon for $110 and up, depending on color.
7. Bombax Travel Jacket
Once you’ve emptied out your wallet, phone, electronics, and other accessories, you have a bin full of things that need to be collected so you can go on your way. The Bombax travel jacket comes with 10 easy-to-access pockets that will fit virtually anything you need, turning you into a walking duffel bag. There are spaces custom-designed for your phone, passport, tablet, glasses, headphones, and more. There's even a hidden inflatable neck pillow and fingerless gloves built in.
8. Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle
Bringing water bottles through security is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean you need to dispose of packaged water and then purchase another bottle at the newsstand inside the terminal. The Nomader bottle folds up when empty and clips to carry-on bags, leaving your hands free. After you get through security, you can refill it at a water fountain without having to wait in line at a kiosk.
Buy it on Amazon for $25.
Of course, TSA-friendly bags and belts can only do so much to save you the headache of waiting. To really optimize your airport time, it also helps to look to your left for shorter lines, as most people tend to head right, and to check the MyTSA app for current wait times.
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