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ROAD & TRAVEL Travel Advice: Airport Advice for Holiday Travelers

10 Tips on How to Stay Sane when Traveling Through Airports

In an era of heightened security awareness -- and with the recently adjusted total ban on liquids, gels and aerosols from the Transportation Security Administration -- it is more important than ever to be a savvy and prepared traveler who can efficiently navigate airport security checkpoints.

1. Check the Permitted and Prohibited Items list on the TSA website before packing to make sure that all items in your carry-on bag are allowed. (Travelers can now bring liquids, gels and aerosols into their carry-on luggage. The items must be stored in containers no larger than 3-ounces and must be housed in a single, quart-sized zip-top, clear plastic bag.)  

2. Remember that it is the holiday season: Anticipate possible slowdowns caused by heavy traffic, crowded airport parking lots and busy ticket counters and security checkpoints. 

3. Dress comfortably. Wear clothing that is soft and breathable, and wear shoes that can slip on and off easily at security check points (don't forget socks so you aren't barefoot in the airport!) Wear a zip up sweater or jacket to expedite the screening process. These layers will also come in handy as a makeshift blanket or pillow in flight.  

4. Place valuables (jewelry, laptop computers and cash) only in carry-on baggage. It’s a good idea to keep holiday gifts on hand as well in case any luggage is lost.

5. If you are bringing a gift to friends or relatives, wrap it after you arrive at your destination. Otherwise, you might have to unwrap it to pass through security - even if it is in checked luggage. 

6. Store all undeveloped film and cameras containing film in your carry-on baggage. Ask for a hand inspection if you want to ensure that the X-ray machine does not damage your film. 

7. Make sure that all of your bags, checked and carry-on, include your name and current contact information on both the inside and outside of trips. Mark your bag with a bright scarf or tag to quickly identify it as it comes off the baggage belt. We also recommend that you carry any medicines or important documents in your primary carry-on (that is, a purse or computer case), in the event that your second carry-on has to be checked.

8. As you head toward the security area, take a deep breath and remain calm. Check and be sure you have your boarding pass and a government-issued photo identification card ready for security.

9. Before you get to the screening checkpoint, place your mobile phones, keys, loose change, money clips, PDA's, lighters, and metal hair accessories in your carry-on bag.  

10. Don’t attempt to carry any bottles of liquid through the screening checkpoint; they’ll just be confiscated by security. You are able to bring beverages aboard, but they must be purchased inside of the terminal.  

(SOURCES: TravelersAdvantage, US Airways)