tips for getting through airport security with kids

Getting through airport security with kids can either be quick and easy or a giant pain. Fortunately, traveling with kids young or old doesn’t have to be stressful. I may not know all the secrets, but here are a few things that have helped me get peacefully through security over the years.

  • Before you even get to the airport, talk to your kids about the security check point. Regarding things like, how they will have to give up their blankets or favorite stuffed animal to sent through the scanner. I always tried to pack them in my carry on before we reached the check point, so I didn’t have to deal with the stress of taking it away at the last minute.
  • Children no longer have to take their shoes off. When I found this out I was over joyed, it was one less thing I had to deal with. My son still asks if he can take his shoes off though.
  • Thankfully, children under 18 don’t need to provide an ID if they are flying within the U.S. Minors however, flying outside of the U.S. do have to have a valid passport. I always carried a copy of my sons birth certificate with me whenever we traveled until he got his passport. I found it interesting that once my son hit about three the TSA agents started asking him his name as they check our tickets and my ID.
  • I had to learn the hard way that whenever a parent/guardian takes their child on an international trip alone, most countries require a notarized letter of consent from the child’s other parent or legal guardian before allowing the child to leave and reenter the country. I got lucky and was able to go through with just a scolding.
  • At many of the larger airports there is a separate lane with a normal metal detector for people with young children. Walking through the walk through metal detector can be a challenge in itself though. If your child can walk they need to go through all by themselves, for this, I recommend letting them go first. The TSA wont let them wonder off, trust me.
  • Pack anything that you will need to take off to be scanned such as belts, jewelry or sweaters in your carry-ons prier. Then you can just put it on after you are through security.  This will save you a lot of time.
  • Some airports don’t make you take your liquids out of your carry on, yet others do. To get through security, smoothly, pack any liquids in no bigger than 3.4 ounce leak-proof containers and put them inside a Ziploc bag.
  • If you need to use a stroller, I strongly recommend looking into a good quality collapsible stroller that is quick to collapse and reopen. When I used a stroller I would try and collapse the stroller while still in line so all I would have to do was toss it on the conveyor belt with the rest of our things.
  • Once you’ve made it through the security, quickly grab your things, people without kids tend to be in a hurry. There are benches over to the side away from the conveyor belts where you can put your shoes on and get organised.
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