If you fly a lot, you know airports rarely make it easy to get from your Uber drop-off at Departures to your gate without a few frustrations. It’s enough to make you want to give up plane travel altogether and stick solely to road trips. While airports try to make being there more tolerable by offering interesting activities, what we all really want is to be able to get to our seat on the plane without the head-splitting hassle. Luckily, there are a few genius products that can make getting through the airport easier. Here’s what to pack before your next flight.
1. Backpack With a Convenient Laptop Compartment: There’s nothing quite as annoying as having to dig through your carry-on bag for your laptop at security. A backpack or suitcase with a separate laptop compartment doesn’t take up any additional space, but does make it easy to fly through TSA without showing your packed underwear to your fellow passengers. This KNOMO London Mayfair Beauchamp Backpack ($179) is stylish but offers extra padding for your laptop so it doesn’t get too jostled around in transit.
2. Luggage Scale: Not all of us can be minimalists. If you’re the kind of person who is always on the verge of over-stuffing your suitcase and getting turned away at check-in, an inexpensive luggage scale like this one by Etekcity ($22) can save you a whole lot of heartache before you board. And don’t forget to bring it with you! You’re going to want to make sure your souvenirs don’t sabotage the weight of your bag on the way home.
3. MyTSA App (free on Android and iOS): Take some of the guesswork out of how long the security line will take. This app gives you an estimated wait time for security lines at major airports as well as historical data so you can have a better idea if you are likely to breeze on through or need to plan ahead. (Photo via Getty)
4. Solid Shampoo and Conditioner: Another thing you have to pull out of your carry-on bag at security is liquids, and you only get a quart-sized ziplock bag’s worth of three-ounce containers. Save some room by packing *solid* hair and bath products — they work just like regular shampoo (yes, you’ll get a lather) but have been ultra concentrated into solid form. LUSH offers both shampoo ($12) and conditioner ($12) bars. The shampoo also doubles as a shaving soap, and they even have a nifty solid shower body butter ($16) so your skin won’t dry out no matter where you’re flying to.
5. Travel-Size Containers: If you can’t swap of all your toiletries to non-liquid form, at least save yourself (and the TSA agent) the trouble of figuring out if your liquid items are in small enough containers. Use GoToob’s 2.5-ounce squeeze bottles ($22) to make your security-rule-following crystal clear.
6. Slip-on Shoes: Unless you have TSA PreCheck, you’re probably going to have to take off your shoes in security. While sneakers are super comfy, you’ll regret wearing them when you have to unlace and then lace ’em up again when you grab your bags. Choose a simple slip-on option instead, like this Naturalizer Carly pair ($79).
7. Portable Battery: It’s always annoying to have a dead phone, but now that plane tickets are digital, a low battery in an airport can send us scrambling for a wall plug at the most inconvenient moment. To avoid this mishap, carry a portable battery, like this one by Belkin ($30). That way you won’t have to lurk near a corner waiting for someone to unplug their laptop. It’s equally handy when you’re streaming in-flight movies on your phone too.
8. SitAlong Toddler Luggage Seat ($50): If you’re a traveling parent, you know that trying to corral children through an airport when your hands are already full can be a nightmare. This handy tool turns the carry-on you already have into a seat for squirming kids so you can get to your gate faster.
What are your best tips for getting through airports? Tweet us @BritandCo!
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