If the thought of flying during the holidays and long TSA lines triggers a migraine, these tips from the TSA will show you how to properly pack your gadgets, accessories, and chargers, and speed through the security line like frequent flyer.
- Pack in layers — Layer clothes, electronics, then clothes again inside a carry-on so the TSA agent can quickly see what's in there. This strategy also works better than the cram-everything-in-your-bag strategy once you unpack at your destination.
Check out the rest of the tips, including how to wrap your cords, and what kinds of bags are TSA-friendly after the break.
- Wrap the cords — A tangle of cords could look like something potentially harmful if it's viewed a certain way, which could mean a more thorough and time-consuming bag check. Wrap cords around their devices, pack chargers together in one bag (ziplocks work!) and take advantage of rubber bands, twist ties, and other simple cord management techniques to keep them tangle-free.
- Keep big items in your carry-on, not in checked bags. Laptops and DVD players have to come out of your bags at screening checkpoints, but they won't fare well in checked bags unless you're down with a TSA agent potentially digging them out.
- But know what can stay inside — Don't forget, tablets, ereaders, laptops, and gadgets smaller than a 13-inch laptop can stay in your carry-on. All other electronic devices need to come out.
- Get a TSA-friendly bag — Of course, you could just get a TSA-friendly bag for your laptop, which will glide right through the checkpoint without a problem. TSA-approved bags provide a clear and unobstructed view of the device inside through the X-ray scanner. These can be one of three styles: sleeve style, butterfly style, or trifold style. They won't have pockets, metal zippers, snaps, logos, emblems, or other branding that can obstruct the view of the laptop in the X-ray scanner, and they can only house the laptop. Other items like chargers, cables, and accessories should be packed separately.