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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at HPU chapter.

I’m what you call a “seasoned-traveler.” A seasoned-traveler is someone who has traveled more often than the average person. Practice makes perfect, and I like to think I’ve mastered the art of getting through airport security without being stopped. Here are some of my next-level tricks I want to share with you to keep you smooth sailing through security.

To start off, these tricks may not be for everyone. They’re strictly my tricks that have helped me get from my house to my terminal with minimal stress. I’m the kind of person that plans ahead; from distance, wait times and anticipating what will happen if things do not go according to plan. Traveling is not for everyone, and usually people travel in pairs. I prefer to travel alone because there’s a certain process I always do before I hit that airport security.

1. Pack Efficiently

When traveling by plane, you are allowed a carry-on and a personal item. These are the most crucial when getting through security. A simple liquid bottle over the 3.0 ounce limit will get you stopped. Allow your carry-on to be a roller bag, and your personal item to be a backpack or large purse. You want bags that are large enough to throw stuff into when you’re pressured by time. Make sure you have a luggage-tag on your carry-on and personal item just in case it gets lost.

2. Online check-in

One thing I really love about technology nowadays is the ability to online check-in. It’s important to online check-in to reserve your spot on the plane – keep in mind, airlines have the ability to knock you off your flight. Also, when you online check-in, you may get the option to choose your seats and skip the physical check-in and go straight to Transportation Security Administration (TSA). If you’re running late to the airport, you’ll be relieved you’ve checked in. The amount of times I have missed my flight because curb-side check-in closed on me!

3. Line check

When you’re waiting in line to have your I.D. or passport scanned with your ticket, start to untie your shoes, take off your jacket, and prepare for your large electronic items to go through the baggage scanner. When I travel, I like to wear slip-on shoes, a sports bra, a hoodie and leggings. I purposefully don’t wear an undershirt so I’m not required to take off my hoodie. Be respectful towards other people. One thing I really hate is when the people behind me are pushing me through TSA. Everyone who has checked-in will get on their flight, don’t worry!

4. Go to terminal

Even if you’re at the airport two hours before your flight leaves, go straight to your terminal. There may be announcements regarding your flight which could potentially affect your travel plans. Also, although not a lot of people do this, take the time to talk to the representatives of your terminal. Ask for an upgrade! If you’re nice and there’s availability, they have the power to bump you up to first class. Think about the warm hand towels and fancy glasses of orange juice before departure!

5. Just wait

When you’re finally settled in, grab some snacks and a water bottle from a nearby “Newspaper Stand” or vending machine. You never know when you’re going to be trapped on that plane due to delayed fights for departure and arrivals. Airplane food, as you know is not the best. It’s better to stock up on your choice of snacks from the airport to hold you for the duration of the flight. I was traveling from Guam to Japan, and before our plane got the chance to take off, it shut down because of engine trouble. We were stuck on a plane for 3+ hours. I’m pretty sure everyone was jealous of my snacks.

6. Preparing for departure

This is the final part. Before zone-check, make sure everything you want to use on the flight is in your personal item. Once that carry-on bag hits the overhead compartments, that’s the last you’ll see of it until you land. When you’ve passed the zone-check, and you’re on the passenger boarding bridge; study your seat number and letter. When you’ve found your seat – here’s the stressful part: settling in. Put your carry-on immediately in the overhead and sit in your seat. Everything in your personal item is everything you should need to survive this flight. Pay attention to the safety demonstration – you never know what might happen.



My main priority when going to the airport is to save time, but also to have enough time. From my experiences traveling across Asia, the Pacific Islands, and “down under” to Australia, New Zealand, and the mainland – I know how to accommodate to each TSA. Just remember to read the signs everywhere you go, and if you’re unsure, just ask a representative. We all know that airports are a high-stress environment and might encounter some not-so-nice people there. Alleviate that stress by becoming a more efficient traveler, and worry about getting your butt on that plane on time. Also, never complain about your flight being delayed. There’s always a valid reason why a flight is delayed. It could be because of weather and engine trouble – both things that could cause serious issues in flight. It’s better safe than sorry! Don’t forget to call your loved ones too!

If you’re traveling any time soon, I hope my tips and tricks have opened your eyes a little bit more. My friends know me as the person who always travels – and I hold that title very close to my heart. I’m blessed and grateful to have been to the places I’ve traveled too, and I will always envy those who get to see the places I’ve seen for the first time.

Guam | Hawaii Pacific University
Katrina Hicks

Northwestern '19