Negotiating airports can be a stressful experience, even without children in tow. However, with a bit of planning and preparation, you can turn traveling with kids into a fun experience – with the added benefit of giving them a little taste of responsibility and independence.
Read on for 5 tips to make getting through airport security with kids quicker and easier.
Preparation is key
And it begins at home. Explain to your kids what they can expect at the airport and during the security process. Let them know that they may be asked to take off their shoes and that their bags will be searched. Make sure that any food packed in their carry-on bag is in clear plastic wrapping and ensure that no liquid containers with volume higher than the allowed amount are in their bags.
Avoid dressing your kids in clothing with metal buttons or snaps. Make sure they are comfortable with easily removable outerwear, belts and shoes. Take photos of what they are wearing or dress them in bright colors so they are easily recognizable from a distance, should they happen to wander away from you.
Keep your documents ready
Though it’s wise to do this for any kind of travel, it’s particularly important when traveling with kids. You don’t want to slow the whole line down while you search through your bags for the necessary documents. Keep all passports and tickets easily accessible so you can get through each point of your journey quicker.
Always arrive early
Give yourself plenty of time at the airport. For international flights, this usually means at least three hours before your flight, and for a domestic flight this means two. If you’re traveling during a holiday season or on weekends, airports may be even more crowded, so it might be wise to arrive even earlier, depending on your travel dates.
Take advantage of the family screening line
That’s what it’s there for. Especially if you’re traveling with a baby or young child, this will help smoothen the whole process and keep you out of hours-long lines which can be very trying for a parent. If you can’t find a family screening line, just ask a TSA officer and they’ll happily assist you.
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