If you have done much travelling there is a good chance that you have visited your fair share of security checkpoints. Whether you are travelling on a cruise ship, through an airport or even just visiting some attractions they are a prominent feature. Although we might find some of the aspects of the security check extreme at times, we do accept them as a necessity for safety.
The process of getting through a security checkpoint though often feels rushed and can be a little stressful. That is not because you are doing anything wrong but just because you don’t entirely know what to expect. At the same time, you are trying to make sure that you do not forget anything while pulling everything out of your pockets and trying to get it all back in.
I might not be able to change the process, help you remember everything or even make it less stressful. But I hope to give you a couple of ideas on how you can be a little more prepared.
Know What You Cannot Take
The list of items that you cannot take through a security check when travelling is rather long. The list includes quite a few items that are somewhat common sense items not to carry through security checks. Items like weapons, chemicals, flammable and explosive items definitely are on the do not carry list.
There are many other items that are much more ambiguous in nature and it is worth checking items you are not sure about. The Australian Government Travel SECURE website includes a list of What you cannot take onboard. However, it is worth noting that different countries and airports can be different to this list. So it is still worth looking for your specific departure airport to be sure you are not going to have any problems.
One key point worth remembering when you are travelling internationally is how much you can carry in liquids in your carry on and how to pack them. The limit almost world over when travelling through an airport is 3.4ounce (roughly 100ml). The limit is a defined limit that is not to be exceeded, even if the container is sealed. So just keep in mind anything over the 3.4ounce (100ml) limit cannot be taken through a security checkpoint at an international airport. Even if you just purchased a bottle of water or can of coke at the kiosk before approaching security you will have to throw it away. The restrictions though may be different at domestic airports or other security check points so just check before hand.
Additionally, if you have any doubt in your mind there are three options you can take.
- If in doubt pack it in your checked luggage.
- Leave it at home
- Do some research, visit the website for the airport and check their information. Otherwise call the airport or airline and ask the question if it is allowed.
Did You Pack The Bag Yourself?
It might be a simple question, but it is essential that you do pack your own bag. Allowing someone else to pack your bag is the start of many problems for travellers. Especially the bag you are carrying with you through the security check just be sure to check what is in the bag before leaving home.
Taking just five minutes to completely empty the bag out and repack it could save you any problems. Empty every pocket and every crevice of the bag, especially if it is one that you use often and put everything back in. Taking these few minutes now is much better than being surprised when you are at the security checkpoint by something that you do not remember is in there.
Prepare In Advance For Security
The security check is an ideal point to lose things. Everything from leaving a few coins in the tray to forgetting you took your laptop out of the bag. While I do not ever recall leaving anything behind I quick enough worked out a process to help minimise or avoid this happening altogether. The process basically sees me prepare for the check before approaching the checkpoint.
- Before approaching the checkpoint, I take everything from my pockets and put it into my carry-on bag. This includes my wallet, phone, keys, coins, earphones and anything else in my pockets. Along with passport and boarding pass if practical.
- I also remove my belt and put it into my carry-on bag.
- I ensure my laptop is an easy to access place, ready to remove from my bag.
- Where I know I need to remove shoes, I loosen my shoelaces and ensure they are tucked in to avoid tripping over them.
What this process means is that I only have two things to do when I arrive at the front of the security line.
- I remove my laptop and place it on a tray.
- My bags and tray with the laptop get put on the conveyor.
Once I am on the other side of security, I return the laptop to the bag. I pick up the bags and walk away.
This process saves all the fumbling making sure your pockets are empty as you enter security. But more importantly, it significantly decreases the chances of leaving anything behind. No more trying to scrape up all the coins in the tray. Even less chance of being run over by the next person in line trying to race to their flight.
Enjoy Your Holiday
I hope that I have been able to give you some ideas to make the process of passing through security easier. The idea is definitely to enjoy your holiday and not end up feeling violated because your bag was searched.
Just remember to know or find out what is and is not allowed to be carried through security. Be sure you have packed or at least checked everything in your bag to ensure you are not carrying anything prohibited. Finally, take a couple of minutes to prepare before approaching security to save some hassle.