5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security

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One of the unfortunate necessities of flying to your amazing holiday is getting through airport security. It isn’t a fun event and is often dreaded by everybody that has to go through airport security.

While going through airport security is a pain, there are things you can do to make your airport security less dreadful.

1. Get a Nexus Card

This tip only applies to citizens of Canada and the United States. The Nexus card allows trusted travellers to go through airport security in a shorter line.

It is an excellent way to expedite the airport security process- especially during busy times of the year. There have been instances where the standard airport security line was over an hour long, and I was through security in 10 minutes by using the Nexus line.

You have to apply to get a Nexus card. This application process involves filing out a form and submitting it along with an application fee. Your application will be reviewed by the government. After it has been reviewed, you will have to go in for an interview.

The interview process involves being interviewed by TSA agents from both Canada and the United States. The questions aren’t difficult, so you don’t have to be nervous when you go in for the interview.

You will also get your fingerprints and eyes scanned. The fingerprints and eye scan will be used when you go through customs as a form of identification.

Having a Nexus card is truly the best way to make getting through airport security so much easier!

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2. Know the Rules

Most airports have the same rules for what can and cannot be brought through security. This makes it easier for you to know what to pack in your carryon whenever you are preparing to travel via air and go through airport security.

It takes up a lot of valuable time when you get pulled over and have your carryon inspected because you packed something in your carryon that wasn’t allowed.

It is easy for you to know what is and isn’t allowed to be packed in your carryon suitcase. You don’t need to review the rules for every airport. You just need to know a general set of rules that can be applied to every airport.

Things You Can’t Pack in Your Carryon Bag

  • Liquids over 50ml
  • Sharp Objects
  • Snow Globes (count as liquid)
  • Gel-type candles
  • Guns/Other Weapons
  • Self-Defence Items (pepper spray, brass knuckles, etc.)
  • Gel Shoes Inserts
  • Sporting Goods (balls are able to be carried on but the rest should be checked)

Be sure to check out my 10 Travel Essentials to Never Leave Home Without article to help with all your packing needs!

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3. Get Yourself Ready for Airport Security

You have to remove your belt, coat, laptop, liquids, and sometimes your shoes if you go through the regular security line. These items can be kept on when you’re going through the Nexus line in the United States but still need to be removed in the Nexus line in Canada.

You should know what you have to remove to go through airport security and start preparing while you are waiting in the line. It saves a lot of time if you already have your belt off and laptop and liquids out of your carryon bag.

Your fellow passengers will appreciate you being prepared. It makes the entire process go way faster, and everybody hates the person who takes a long time to put all their items in the bins and holds up the entire line. You don’t want to be that person!

So have your items ready and prepared before you get to the front of the airport security line. It is a very simple thing to do, but it makes a huge difference.

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4. Get to the Airport Early

There is hardly anything more stressful than not leaving yourself enough time to go through airport security and still being in line when it is nearly time for your plane to be boarding. You don’t need that type of stress in your life!

You should always give yourself ample time to go through airport security because you never know how long the security line will be or if any other unforeseen circumstances arrive (like a fire alarm going off because someone is smoking in the bathroom- true story).

I give myself 90 minutes to go through security when I am flying within Canada or the United States because I have a Nexus card. It never takes me that long to go through security, but I hate being stressed and like having the extra time to get a drink and relax before jetting off.

The standard recommendation is to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight departs. This gives you ample time to check-in, check your bag, and get through security.

There are, however, some places you should give yourself more than 2 hours. These include when you are flying from China to another country (this is due to everybody having to go through immigration, and this takes a long time).

Morocco airports recommend that you get to the airport 3 hours before departure. Airport security officials in Morocco often pat down and do secondary inspections on every person that goes through security. It tends to slow things down. I have never needed the full 3 hours, but it is best to abide by the recommendations of the airport.

All in all, arriving at the airport 2 hours before departure should give you plenty of time to go through security without being stressed.

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5. Keep Your Passport/ID and Boarding Pass Together

You will need to show your ID and boarding pass before you get to the front of the airport security line and your boarding pass when you get to the front of the line and go through the metal detector.

You should always keep your boarding pass and ID together. It makes it easier and quicker to get through security.

It also makes for a good security precaution. These two items might be the most important items you need in an airport, so you should always know where they both are and keep them in your hands when you’re going through airport security and boarding the plane.

Trying to decide what to pack in your carryon? Check out this article!

Neuschwanstein Castle Munich Germany Neuschwanstein Castle from Munich 5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security


You will inevitably have to go through airport security whenever you fly. It is an unfortunate fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be a horrible experience.

You can implement the tips in this post to make your airport security process more efficient and less stressful. Airports aren’t fun, but you can make them so much more enjoyable- especially the security aspect of it.

5 Tips for Surviving Airport Security