Need a last minute holiday gift? Give the joy of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) PreCheck® program to your favorite traveler….. and to yourself!
Here are seven tips for traveling happy this holiday season:
Tip 1: Treat your loved one to an enrollment in TSA PreCheck® to expedite screening and reduce touchpoints. The total of an $85 fee keeps on giving for five years! And you will be remembered fondly every time your favorite traveler enters a checkpoint.
Travelers who are enrolled in TSA PreCheck® don’t have to remove their shoes, belts, lightweight jackets, electronics or their bag of travel-size liquids and gels. Not only is that convenient, but during a pandemic, it reduces touchpoints since travelers will not need to remove any items from their carry-on bag. Now more than ever, TSA PreCheck is a valuable program for travelers. It’s simple to apply and while it will be too late for this week’s travel, you will receive your trusted traveler numbers before all those long weekends in 2021 through 2025.
Tip 2: Pack smart.
Travelers should be aware of the contents of their carry-on bags and make sure they are not bringing prohibited items to the security checkpoint. If you’re unsure whether an item should go in a carry-on bag or you have any other last-minute questions, send them to @AskTSA on Twitter or Facebook Messenger. Follow @TSA and @TSA_Gulf on Twitter to learn some helpful travel tips that are posted regularly so you can be the savvy traveler this holiday travel season. By planning ahead, travelers can avoid a bag check and maintain that touchless checkpoint experience. And no, fireworks are not permitted in either your carry-on or checked bag.
Tip 3: Pack the essentials.
There are a few essential items that TSA encourages travelers to pack including:
- Bring and wear a mask when going through the security screening process. Bring extra masks for use during your air travels.
- Bring disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. TSA is allowing travelers to bring one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on luggage. Be prepared to remove your large hand sanitizer container from your carry-on for special screening. Bring as many pre-moistened wipes as you like.
- Remember the 3-1-1 rule that other liquids, gels and aerosols must be 3.4 ounces or less and placed in a one-quart-sized clear plastic bag, and one per person.
- Bring photo identification - even if it has expired. If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you have been unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable form of identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration.
- Bring along an empty reusable beverage container (even an empty plastic water bottle). Fill it up on the secure side of the checkpoint after you go through screening. Because of the 3.4-ounce limit on the amount of liquids you can bring through a checkpoint, you aren’t permitted to bring that cup of coffee or bottle of water through the checkpoint. However, if you bring an empty reusable container, you can fill it up post-security and stay hydrated on your flight!
Tip 4: Use your carry-on, not the bins.
If you are not yet enrolled in TSA PreCheck® you will have to place your laptop, shoes, jacket, belt and 3-1-1 bag in the bin if the new CT machine is not in use. But instead of putting all those miscellaneous items like your keys, loose change, wallet, lip balm, tissues and phone into a bin, place them into your carry-on before you even enter the checkpoint. Less stress and fewer items touching a bin.
Tip 5: Pack those gifts, but skip the wrapping paper.
TSA recommends against wrapping gifts when packing them for a flight. Why? Because if a wrapped gift triggers an alarm, it will need to be unwrapped to examine the item and determine that it does not present a security threat. Instead of wrapping a gift, consider using a gift bag, a gift box or a festive bow so that wrapping paper does not need to be removed. TSA’s officer-elves don’t want to take on the role of Scrooge and unwrap someone else’s gift. However, they will have to if the item triggers a security alarm.
Tip 6: Don’t wait: download the free myTSA app and follow TSA on Twitter to get tips and answers to your last minute questions.
The free, downloadable myTSA app is a traveler’s best friend and a trusty source for last-minute travel questions. The myTSA app provides airline passengers with 24/7 access to the most frequently requested airport security information. Save time and money with our helpful tips for preparing for security, including a searchable “Can I Bring” database All you need to do is type in the name of an item and the app will let you know if you should pack it in your checked or carry-on bag. Other features of the app include keeping you up-to-date on flight delays or letting you know where the TSA PreCheck lanes are at an airport or terminal. The app is available on iTunes or Google Play.
Tip 7: Know which food can be in your carry-on
If you are planning to travel with special foods to share for a holiday meal, be sure you follow this simple rule to ensure your food can travel with you: If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, pack it in a checked bag. For example, cranberry sauce, gravy and wine in quantities larger than 100 ml or 3.4 ounces should go in a checked bag. Cakes, pies, cookies and casseroles can travel in carry-on luggage.