Tips for Easy Air Travel
By Amanda Roberts
Packing for your honeymoon can be time consuming and stressful with all of today’s airline regulations. They’re always changing! Luckily, we have some tips to save you from confusion, frustration and random airline fees.
Did you know that airlines are now charging anywhere from $25 to $100 per checked bag? You can avoid those fees and keep your stay simple by packing light. If you must check a bag, it may be less expensive to prepay for this service.
Most airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item. A personal item may be a purse, tote bag, backpack, or briefcase. This personal item must be stowed under the seat in front of you. Other things that may be brought with you on the plane that don’t count as a personal item are a pillow and blanket, a small bag of food, a book or newspaper, and outerwear, such as a coat, hat or a wrap.
The maximum dimensions for your carry-on luggage cannot exceed any of the following measurements: 22″ long x 14″ wide x 9″ tall or 115cm (56 x 36 x 23 cm). All carry-on items should be stowed in an overhead bin. Check with your airline as some restrictions and exceptions apply. TSA has restrictions on the amount of liquid that you can carry on the plane with you. You can check out all of the regulations at TSA.gov, which is a good resource to use before flying.
The rule for liquids is 3-1-1. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in a screening bin. The bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring. Have this bag ready to place in the bin at security check to make things go quicker.
When you approach the security checkpoint, remove your liquid bag and your laptop from your carry-on and place it in the bin for screening. Also, remove all items from your pockets. Wear slip on shoes and pack your belt in your suitcase to make things flow more smoothly. Don’t wear clothing with metallic thread, crystals or rhinestones as these sometimes may be questionable during the screening process and slow you down.
If you are staying at a resort, you probably don’t need to pack shampoo, conditioner or lotion as most resorts provide these items for you. Check with your travel agent if in doubt. Save that precious space for sunscreen, which can be very expensive in some foreign destinations!
Speaking of sunscreen: Neutrogena makes sunscreen sticks that don’t count as a liquid, so feel free to pack them separate from the 3-1-1 liquids in your zip-top bag. You are also allowed to bring over 100 ml containers back into the US when traveling from an international connection if the items are packed in a secure tamper-evident package from the duty-free store. They must be in transparent containers.
If you are planning to travel frequently, it may be a good idea to look into either Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check. TSA Pre-Check will allow you to skip the security line and go straight through to the boarding gate. Similarly, Global Entry will allow you to scan your passport at a kiosk when returning to the country and skip the customs line. Both Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check are currently not available in all airports. Check TSA.gov for more information.
Once you get through security, you might have some time to relax. Look for a charging station to get your electronic devices fully charged. Buy drinks and snacks for the plane as most airlines don’t provide much in the way of snacks anymore. You can bring snacks with you from home, but keep in mind that even water is not allowed through security as far as liquids go. You could, however, bring an empty water bottle with you to fill once you have cleared security.
At this point, you should be all set. Just sit back, relax and get ready to board!
Amanda Roberts is the owner of The Vacation Chic, a full-service travel agency specializing in honeymoons and destination weddings. Other services include wedding room blocks, bachelor/bachelorette parties, anniversary trips, and everything in between. Visit www.thevacationchic.com for more information.