Your travel week has finally arrived. How have you prepared for it? Fortunately for me, I travel quite frequently, so I see how the airports have changed, I see first hand what works and what doesn’t. I’ve travelled across the country from New York to Seattle so many times to visit my 98-year-old grandmother that I can do it with my eyes closed — and I have some tips for you to make your holiday travel less stressful.
Airports have definitely changed over the last decade. I have to say there is some inconsistency within the TSA system. Some require belts off, some say leave them on. Some say “all liquids in a bag,” some don’t care. Laptops definitely live in their own bin at all times, but iPads and nooks apparently don’t pose a threat. I have nailed down the art of the security line and have a pretty fail proof way to quickly navigate through it. The first thing to do before I lay this all out for you, however, is to allow yourself three hours to do three things. The first hour and a half should be spent just getting there. Obviously, you should plan this according to how far you live from your airport. Once you arrive, these tips will help you survive your journey with minimal stress.
Before entering the airport:
– Wear clothes without big metal buttons and zippers ( they go off in the detector )
– Take your belt off in the car, and keep it in your carry on luggage
– Wear the quickest on and off shoes you own and wear socks
– Don’t worry too much about your jewelry, you can leave on watches and rings
– Use the bathroom before entering the security line
How to save time once you arrive:
– Choose the line that doesn’t have kids in it and if you’re traveling with kids, you just have to focus on the fact that you gave yourself three hours to calmly sail through the airport
– If you don’t have kids, grab yourself three bins and stack them together on the “slide” counter and roll your carry on luggage beside you until you arrive at the x-ray machine
– Put your jackets in the first bin with your laptop on top, scoot all three bins down and keep your shoes on until the last minute
– As you approach the moment when your belongings go in, take the top bin with your jackets in it, and laptop on top and put it in front. Take your laptop off at this point, and put it in its own bin
– First bin is now your laptop, second bin is your jacket. If you have a carry on, place it in now and then remove your shoes and place them in the third bin
As you walk through the detector beep free, you’ll be able to retrieve your items with ease. Grab your jackets and put them on, and then grab your laptop and put it back in your carry on. As you grab those items off the belt, you’ll get your shoes down and step in gently as you leave the area. Totally stress free, and on time.
Also, try not to travel with a lot of products. Either buy them when you arrive, or buy them on the other side of the airport. (You’re only allowed to travel with products that are no bigger than 3.4 ounces.) A lot of times you can phone ahead to hotels, or home, and make sure that someone on the other side has what you need. Plus, traveling with liquids can ruin your luggage. That’s it, you’ve successfully made it through the security line. If you have time, try to indulge in the XpresSpa back rub and don’t forget to buy some liquids before getting on your flight in order to stay hydrated.
I wish you the happiest of holidays and holiday travel.
Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of the upcoming book Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music—all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.