Ronnie’s 5 Tricks to Get Through Airport Security Faster

With over 50 flights taken this year, I’ve learned 5 tricks to get through airport security faster. No matter what your situation is nobody wants to waste a bunch of time going through airport security. From awkward questions to the time-consuming process of emptying out your bag, nothing about airport security is enjoyable. 

I’ve learned if you plan ahead, there are multiple steps you can take to make getting through security checks both quick and painless. Using just one of these steps will get you on the plane faster, but using more than one can speed things up considerably.

Use TSA PreCheck or Global Entry

TSA PreCheck is explicitly meant to speed up the airport security process. You’ll need to apply online, then in person, and it costs you $85 for a five-year membership. It’s not a simple process to get started, but if you travel even somewhat frequently, you’ll likely find it worth the time you save.

Global Entry is a different program meant to make it easier and quicker to move through customs when re-entering the United States. This will cost you $100, which might sound like a lot, but there’s a bonus: Global Entry includes TSA PreCheck. If you think you may fly internationally, it’s generally worth the extra $15 for the extra convenience. Not only will you get through security faster, but you’ll bypass the lengthy U.S. customs line when you return from that fabulous trip abroad.

Another way to speed things up is the Mobile Passport app. Unfortunately, it’s not supported everywhere in the United States. Currently, the Mobile Passport app is accepted at 26 airports including Canada and three cruise ports. 

The app is currently the only such app authorized by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. With the free app, you don’t need a background check, in-person interview, or any pre-approval. With it, you can submit all the information for your family from one mobile device and access designated faster lines at certain airports.

You can pay $15 for Mobile Passport Plus, which adds a document scanner and passport storage.

Be Careful About What and How You Pack

To ensure your time in airport security is short, you may want to familiarize yourself with the TSA regulations. These explicitly lay out what is and isn’t allowed in your bag, whether it’s a checked bag or a carry-on.

For example, you can carry alcoholic beverages in your checked bag and your carry-on, but you’re limited to 3.4oz / 100 ml in your carry-on bag. The regulations get very specific — rules on whether or not you can carry antlers, for example — so it’s handy to consult them while you pack. And if you have a specific question, you can always ask TSA direct by tweeting at the @AskTSA account. 

Use a TSA-Approved Bag for Your Laptop

Whether you’re traveling on business or just want to watch a movie on the plane, odds are you’ve got a laptop in your bag. Any screen bigger than a cellphone will need to be checked by the TSA, but how long this process takes is partially up to you.

Using the appropriate bag can speed things up considerably. There are “checkpoint friendly” bags that mean you won’t have to take your laptop out while moving through security. Your options are fairly limited, and you’ll need to carefully check the bag you buy, but it may be worth the convenience.

Dress Ahead

One of the simplest things you can do to speed up your time in airport security is to avoid having to remove certain clothing items. You’ll also want to put some consideration into your shoes. Wearing slip-on shoes or another type of shoe that is easy to take on and off will speed things up. Check out my previous blog post on “What to wear when traveling.” 

The Perfect Outfit to Wear on a Flight

Flying can take a toll on even the most seasoned travelers, but frequent fliers like myself have learned that what you wear on a flight makes all the difference in the world. As of September 2019, I’ve flown over 60,000 miles and looking to top 100,000 by the end of the year. It all starts with how you get dressed in the morning. If you pick clothes that allow you to move, breath, and breeze through security, you’ll be one step closer to an enjoyable flight. In my opinion, It’s all about the layers. The temperature inside an airplane can go from stuffy and hot to icy cold in minutes after boarding your flight. Keep yourself on an even keel with comfy and breathable attire is a must. 

CLOTHING

Restrictive clothing on long flights becomes uncomfortable pretty quickly. That’s why loose and flexible clothing choices are key.

Bottom: Leggings or workout pants are my immediate go-to. Leggings are stretchy and can move with you whether you’re curled up in a ball trying to catch some sleep or sitting for hours on end like my many flights to South East Asia and Africa 

Top: Layer something warm and loose-fitting with your classic legging look like a long basic tee, or sweatshirt or wrap able cardigan are my go-to looks.


FOOTWEAR

The most important choice you make for an in-flight outfit is your footwear. Cramped, pinched or cold feet can turn a potentially pleasant flight into a long-haul nightmare. I recommend going with something that’s easy to slip on and off (if you don’t have TSA Pre-check or CLEAR), my go-to footwear is my Tory Burch Flats or Adidas Running Shoe.  

ACCESSORIES

Tote: The right carry-on tote is clutch or backpack to accompany your carryon luggage. Only in emergency situations, do I check-a-bag.

Shawl: This must-have accessory can save the day on multiple occasions during a flight. Use it for extra warmth, ball it up into a pillow or use it as a blanket during a mid-flight freeze. It’s the easiest accessory to bring along and the one you’ll probably wind up using the most.

Neck pillow: The perfect neck pillow will help you drift off to sleep in no time flat. 

Layover in Taiwan
Tumi Luggage set

Why a Travel Blog

I am a self-confessed world traveler and I wanted to share my experiences and slowly immerse myself in other cultures by spending time with locals, eating where they eat or simply just trying to understand someone’s point of view. As an African American Traveler, it is important that black travelers are represented in the travel industry. Fast forward four years my husband and I booked a trip to China and Japan. Our travel dreams were about to come true. A trip that truly changed our lives forever. We learned about new cultures, tasted new foods and experienced things that we never thought possible. From that point on we looked at our lives in a totally new light.

Do I have a travel list? Of course I do, but travel for me has involved over the years and its not about just checking off an item and quickly moving on to the next destination. I am learning how to travel slow and be present in the moment to experience different cultures and learn as much as I can. Each travel adventure helps shape me in becoming the best version of myself. #RonnieTravelstheWorld

Ronnie Travels the World – Part 1

With all of the traveling that we’ve done we have read countless articles, brochures and magazines. Although we have enjoyed watching television hosts like Rick Steves, Rudy Maxa, Samantha Brown and the late Anthony Bourdain, we have seldom seen a black host.  And it has been interesting to note that these shows seldom show black travelers.

Although many of us enjoy traveling the globe, we don’t often see ourselves reflected in the mainstream media. The truth is that we have always been globetrotters. Travel is part of the lifestyle for many of us who enjoy visiting other countries as well as discovering the treasures close to our homes.

Travel connects us with our past, helps us appreciate our present and gives us hope for the future. It offers the ultimate education. As St. Augustine said, “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

We hope to encourage black people of all ages to get out and explore all that the world has to offer and to share those experiences; through photos, videos, blogs…..whatever it takes to leave a travel legacy.

Impressive Bangkok, Thailand & Phuket

In October 2016, I booked a 10 day trip to Bangkok and Phuket Island. This was our second trip to Southeast Asia. I decided to come back to Asia because I truly fell in love with the culture in Asia. Bangkok is a good introduction for a first time tourist visiting Southeast Asia because everything here is cheap and its easy to explore, and generally safe and it is rich in culture. Bangkok has been the most visited city in the world for the last three years. The local people of Bangkok and Thailand are exceptionally friendly to tourist. It’s called the Land of Smiles for a reason. People are friendly, respectful, and go out of their way to help you and assist you whenever they can. The customary greeting I’ve encountered is for locals to press their hands together at their chest with a slight bow saying “Hello, Welcome, or Thank you.”

Forget everything you know about normal meals. In Bangkok, you eat whatever you can stomach. Well, this was my experience, it may not be yours. There is food whenever and whatever you want. Most of the food options is street food vendors. If you want to treat yourself to a nice dinner, there are plenty of options for Pad Thai noodles. “The tuk tuts (motorcycle type taxis) were the best way to get around in the city. There are multiple ways for transportation including trains but I recommend this way because its fun and exciting and its cheap! “Bring cash, bring cash, bring cash! The market and trains only accept cash. Bangkok’s many markets are major tourist draw when visiting. Make sure you visit the Chatuchak weekend market and a must see my favorite Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. You can find almost anything and everything for your friends and family back home and take beautiful pictures of the bustling floating market.


Bangkok Floating Market

It is very important to abide by Thailand’s laws to avoid getting into serious trouble. Never disrespect Thailand’s King or Queen by insulting them or defacing images of the monarchy (such as stepping on bank note) is a serious offense that can result in 3 to 15 years in prison. Illegal drugs (using or carrying) is punishable by death. Do not litter in Thailand or throw chewing gum on the ground. If caught, there is a hefty fine and you can be jailed. On our last day in Bangkok while traveling to Phuket by air, we received word from the locals the King Bhumibol Adulyadej had died. He was 88 and had ruled for over seventy years. The palace asked all civil servants to wear black clothing for a year as a sign of mourning.

Phuket

Most tourists who visit Thailand dedicate a good portion of their trip exploring the country’s islands. The most popular Island has to be Phuket. Not only is Phuket the largest island in Thailand, but it’s also the most popular amongst international visitors. If you’re like me who enjoys lounging on gorgeous beaches, then you’ll love Phuket as much as I do. A day trip out to Phang Nga Bay aka James Bond Island is an absolute must. It may look familiar if you’ve seen the movie ” The Man With the Golden Gun.” One of the rock formations was featured in the movie and appeared in “Star Wars III.” Totally a Instagram moment!

James Bond Island

There’s no doubt that Thailand has a major problem with animal cruelty. Elephants all across the county have been terribly abused for tourism. Paying a visit to one of the elephant sanctuaries is definitely one of most rewarding things to do in Phuket. The second must do attraction is Monkey Island. Just keep an eye on your belongings, the monkeys are professional thieves. If it happens, you’ll have to bribe them with fruit to get your stuff back!

Monkey Island