Travel & Leisure

How to Get Through an Airport Without Stress

The best way to manage the hassles that come with getting to your seat on a plane is to be prepared


If you don’t fly frequently, the experience can be overwhelming. Airport security can be especially stressful—and time-comsuming. With the right preparation, however, you can avoid a lot of that hassle.

Know what not to bring.

Before packing, do an online search to identify what can and can’t take on a plane and to learn how to store certain items. There are limits on how much liquid you can bring, and since liquids, sprays, and gels (each in its own travel-size container) will need to be inspected, it’s best to pack them all in one see-through bag. Prescription medication is also allowed but needs to bear with the original labelling from your pharmacy. Rules differ in the United States, so be sure to look through the Transportation Security Administration’s list of banned items if you’re making your way there.

Weigh your bag.

Before heading off to the aiport, check with your airline to determine how much a checked bag is allowed to weigh and do your best to not surpass that limit. If you do go over, you might be able to transfer some items into your carry-on.

Figure out parking before you leave home.

Knowing ahead of time where you’ll park and how you’ll get to the airport from the lot will save you plenty of time.

Find a map of your airport

It sometimes seems that airports are intentionally designed to be confusing. See if you can call up your airport online before you get there. Some airports have apps with maps to help you get around.

Keep documents for boarding in an accessible spot.

The people behind you don’t want to wait as you hunt for your ID and boarding pass, so make sure they’re within reach when you need to present them. The same goes for your laptop, which will also need to be taken out of your bag when you go through security.

Make life easier for the scanner.

Antything containinig metal goes into the bin at security—your belt, your jacket, your shoes…. Be prepared to take off your jewellery or opt to not wear any. The less metal, the less hassle getting through a metal detector. Wearing too many layers can also make it hard for the metal detector to scan you, so avoid that as well.

Photo: iStock/Meinzahn.