Travel: What TSA Expects of Passengers

What TSA Agents Want You to Know

When you travel, I want to help you know what TSA agents expect from you as an airline passenger. If you are traveling for the first time or if you commute for work on an airplane, these tsa airport security tips will help you. Travel through airport security can be difficult for you as an airline passenger and also for the transportation security administration employees known as TSA.

Airport security agents want you to be prepared to walk through security – you do the homework and pack so that you can take out your quart-sized liquids bag easily. travel-liquids-bag

If you remember to have that quart sized liquids bag ready, then you will also know how to put it away quickly. I put mine in my outside section of my carryon suitcase.  When I get to the gate, I put it in my personal item that will go under the airplane seat.

Stick around to the end to find out something that the customs patrol agents want you to know.

travel-necklace-for-passportHave your passport or ID out and with your ticket.  When I go through airport security, I have my ticket bar code on my phone from my airline’s app.  I have that refreshed and my ID with it.

Have your shoes ready to take off. I untie my shoes 3-4 people back.

Know that the TSA receives notices about travel security issues that they cannot tell the public.  So be gracious to them if they all of a sudden say that something odd has to be taken out of your bag.

Travel through different cities you find that TSA security is done a little differently in several cities.  For instance, Atlanta has dogs now sniffing for dangerous liquids so you do not take out your liquids bag anymore…or maybe for their testing period.  I have TSA precheck but my 14 year old does not.  So when we went through Atlanta’s security over Thanksgiving, we did not take off shoes or take out our liquids bag.  But in Houston, we had to.

When you travel, do not talk or joke with TSA agents. This March, we came back through Newark, and the TSA agent was saying a what I thought was a normal spiel.  So I asked, “Are we taking off shoes today?” And she responded, “Did I say anything about shoes in my spiel?” I did not reply and just kept putting things in the gray bin.

If you joke about doing anything harmful on an airplane, you will be taken out of line and most likely will not fly for a while so no bad jokes.

So basically, when you travel through airport security, put on your listening ears. Listen to their commands and reminders while you are standing in line.

I still see half empty water bottles and full ones going through security and then delaying all the people behind them. Even if the bottle of water only has 2 ounces of liquid in it, it cannot go through.  TSA rules state that the container has to be 3.4 ounces or less.  And all liquids need to go in that carryon bag. If you have liquids in your checked bag, they be stored in any shape or method. For a video on packing toiletries two different ways, click here.

So if you’re carrying lotion, the lotion bottle needs to be 3.4 ounces or less.  I cannot put this bottle in my carryon even if there is just a drop left in it per the TSA liquids rule.

disc-containers-for-lotionI store my thick lotion in this kind of container, and that is fine.  My sister in law was infuriated that TSA took her super expensive shampoo bottle.  But she had not followed the rule, and that was her fault. Knowledge is power!

Also, as part of being a smart traveler, know that TSA is not supposed to hurry up if you got to the airport too late and may miss your flight.  They are a government agency who is understaffed sometimes.  Frustrating as it is when they only have one lane open with a million passengers at the busiest time of day to travel, it is still not their fault.  Arrive at the airport 2 hours before a flight.

When you travel, you know you have to show your ID, but if you lost your ID you can still get through security.  It will take a very long time if you do not have another ID like your passport.  You will be whisked away, and they will probably be on the phone with a company called Secure Flight.  They will ask you all types of questions about your history.  Take a picture of you ID with your phone; it will not suffice, but it will help them to know that you are not on a security watch list.

When you travel as a gamer, you can take your Xbox or PS4, but know that TSA is not responsible for it after it goes through security.  If I stored one in my carryon suitcase and the airplane has no more room in the overhead bin, they will check my bag.  That means they will stow it in the belly of the airplane.  So it will get banged against and have bags weighing down on it.

CPAP machines and medicines that are in liquid form do not count as a liquid that needs to go in your liquids bag.  But TSA asks that you take out these items and put them in the gray bin just so they do not have to stop the line and investigate. I have a video about packing medicines that may help; I’ll link it in the cards as well as in the description box.

When I travel for a trip, I do not even put on my belt or jewelry at home until I get through airport security. Belts should be taken off.  Jewelry is tricky; some make the ding and some do not.  And jewelry is not consistent so I just leave it off. bench-after-security-line-in-airport

Antibacterial wipes in those packets do not count as a liquid.  It sounds like common sense, but so many of my viewers have asked this question. If you try to take this big tub of wipes, there is liquid in the bottom so it would not be allowed through security.

Lastly, you can check the TSA website for the alphabetical list of allowed items, call them to ask a personal question as well as go to Facebook and type “Ask TSA” to ask a personal question.

TSA also has a YouTube channel with short videos that may help y’all. Over 1 million people travel in an airplane each day here in the United States.

The TSA agents are faced with ignorant and dumb passengers who can be rude.  Yes, the agents can be very rude too, but I am sure they are running low on patience because of all the ignorant and dumb people who have come through.  So use common sense when you’re packing.  And don’t be super offended if they are rude to you.  Just smile or do not reply if they’re rude.

In customs coming back to America, do NOT go past the line until the customs agent has motioned you that s/he’s ready.  I tried to read the situation and help hurry up the line by walking up as soon as the passenger in front of me was ready.  The customs agent told me sternly to wait until he calls me.

Let’s be friends on Instagram where I share an outfit with a travel tip twice a week.

Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions are my very own and honest ones.

17 Travel Gifts for Women (Mom, Mother-in-law, Wife, Mother’s Day)

These 17 travel gifts are for the women in your life on Mother’s Day – a mom, mother-in-law, a wife, a daughter.  (Click play to watch the YouTube-it explains better and has a ton more) When women travel, some like to buy a new gift for themselves that will help them pack or a gift they can use on the upcoming vacation.  So here are 17 travel gift ideas for women this Mother’s Day.

My mom is diabetic so we gave her a gift of a Myabetic purse.  They hold your diabetic supplies – even a safe trash bin and come in all sizes but are expensive.

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Purse gift for diabetic women (Myabetic)

I have given luggage tags with a vacation theme or a beach theme. woman-stand-beside-suitcase-with-cinch-belt

Some women need this cinch in belt (not in their swimsuit) so that their suitcase will fit more easily in the luggage size checker.

Another gift for mom is a vacation-themed t-shirt Happy Glamper or Airplane Mode On. Old Navy has a ton of graphic tees every season. woman-wear-shirt-from-old-navy-by-suitcase

When women travel internationally, a power bank with 2 full phone charges is a good idea for a gift.  I used to travel with a charger that will charge my phone once fully, but the double one is slim too. power-banks-give-2-phone-charges

You could give travel headphones but check the jack that it fits their phone and if they’re for travel, make sure the jack is the old jack that can fit in the airplane’s entertainment system because they still have the old holes for your plugs.

You have seen these tubs in my videos; women use them for headphones, jewelry, pills, etc. headphones-in-tubs-on-airplane-tray-table

I think this is a cute elevated liquids bag.  It’s stretchy, has a great zipper and is one quart sized.  I feel like this can bulge out more easily so you can fit more in there.

gift-for-woman-liquids-bag-for-travelI love giving fingernail polish with a travel theme or location theme.  If you’re going to France, there’s Tickle My France-y.  There’s one called Malaga Wine and some cute ones for Peru like Grandma Kissed a Gaucho and Lima Tell You About This Color. give-fingernail-polish

Women may feel safer receiving some RFID blocking sleeves for their credit cards. I like the ones with some color. give-women-rfid-blocking-sleeves

You could also give them an RFID wallet, but I think a crossbody purse is a personal decision.  Purse-onal get it?

A favorite gift for women is a fun travel pouch.  I saw some really cute ones at Walmart and anywhere really.

smart-watch-gift-for-women
Don’t look rude when you want to check for a text with this watch.

I absolutely love this watch that vibrates when I get a text from certain people. Here’s the story: you’re in a restaurant waiting on an important text from your husband.  Instead of constantly checking your phone and being rude, when the watch vibrates and goes to the 1, you know that number means your husband has sent you a text.  Then you can say, “Let me check my phone; I’ve been waiting on this text.”

You assign a person a # on your watch and get buzzed when he/she texts and the watch goes to that #.

We like our swivel power outlet for when we travel on a cruise ship because there is only like one outlet in the whole room and because it swivels.  Check with your cruise line if they’re allowed.  You can use them while you’re in the room, but when you leave, you should take it out of the wall unit.  But it swivels! swivel-outlet-for-cruise

If your mom does not have one, we recommend a travel necklace for her passport.  We think it is easier to get to and hide than a belt. travel-necklace-for-passport

My mom and I have the same backpack, but when she went to Israel, she bought this one.  She wanted more pockets.  I did a video comparing backpacks, and you can fit a paper towel roll in the bottom of the back pocket.

I just bought a Foot Hammock for the airplane.  I have heard from several subscribers who say they work.  I haven’t been able to try mine yet, but this strap goes around the tray table and just elevate your feet so your legs can bend and hence allow blood to flow more easily. woman-use-foot-hammock-help-blood-flow

You CANNOT MISS THE BAGS that fit over your suitcase handles for women travelers.  I get so many questions from women about these carryon totes. tote-for-women-slide-over-suitcase-handles

Other videos you may like are What NOT to Do When You Travel, What NOT to Forget to Europe, and 26 Travel Tips

Let’s be friends on Instagram.  Thanks for visiting; where are you traveling to next?

Occasionally I use affiliate links, and all opinions are my honest ones fyi.

Spring Outfit Pieces from Ann Taylor Loft

Y’all, you’ve GOT to watch this video!

I share the new Spring blouses, dresses, and capris from Loft’s Spring 2019 line.  This video is full of “in-real-life” footage.

I’ll show you my Loft Dressing Room Diaries and let you know what I bought for spring.  I am over 40, I have become particular in how clothes fit my body type.  So this Ann Taylor Loft video is inspiration for you; I know they are having amazing sales right now off of their clearance items.

The very first outfit piece I got for spring is the buttery yellow crop skinnies.  These capris go above my belly button; yellow is such a versatile outfit color.  It goes with my navy gingham top.  I will link everything I’m showing you in the description box below.

Ann Taylor Loft has Spring 2019 outfit pieces for every woman’s body type, from casual to work wear to date night.

Lemme know what you liked over on Instagram or Facebook!

Travel Tips to Choose the Best Backpack

Today I am giving you travel tips for choosing the best backpack. I will test eBags, Samsonite, Marmot and other top backpacks. I will test the backpack features and their capacity will be tested as well with tips that I have learned for each one.

three-backpacks-test-ebags-samsonite
Testing these 3 backpacks and more

If you commute in an airplane for work, if you pack a laptop, or if you travel for leisure, this video will help you know which backpack is best for you based on my tips for your packing needs.

questions-when-choose-backpack

Travel with a backpack is an essential packing item for me.  I pack in my backpack as though it were an extension of my suitcase. Ask yourself 4 questions when searching for the best backpack for travel. Do you need pockets in a backpack-how many?  Is your backpack for traveling to work? What would you pack in your backpack?  What problem is your backpack solving for you? Not all backpacks are the same. Many of my YouTube viewers have asked which backpack I recommend for 2019.  My backpack is sold out, but I will put the link to it so you can see other types. The backpack is for your travel needs based on my experience as a pilot wife of 17 years; the more I travel the more I can help you. Thank you for visiting my Travel Tips by Laurie YouTube Channel (or blog). I hope you find information in this video to help you make an educated choice for your backpack. Stick around to the end to hear my passport tip for traveling. If you need help choosing a carryon suitcase, I also have a video for that!

My hubby loves his new Samsonite backpack.  Extra storage pockets everywhere!samsonite-pocketsamsonite-backpack

samsonite-backpack
This backpack still abides by the under-the-seat dimensions.

A personal item sized backpack for travel is what I will show you today.  These all fit under the airplane seat in front of you. Most of the main line airplanes (the big ones) have dimension requirements for your personal item being 18 (or 17) x 14 x 8 inches (45 x 35 x 20 cm).  Remember from my Traveling with Medicine video that cpap machines do not count as a carryon item.  Neither do strollers or a cane, etc. That is great news. I’ll link the 3 major airlines’ personal item dimension requirements in the description box below.  Find out the size plane you will be flying on; you may be on one of the 50 seat airplanes that have a little smaller under the seat area.

For my backpack needs during travel, capacity is the most important factor.  I can fit a roll of Kirkland paper towels inside these two backpacks.  For me, I always roll a hoodie or jacket in the bottom of my backpack.  If you widen the base of that back pocket, you have at least 6 inches almost all the way up in a rectangle shape – which is like a slim suitcase size.  My backpack is basically the size of a school backpack but smoother material.  Think of what big items you would pack down there in the base of your backpack that do not need to be packed in your suitcase. Some backpacks have a padded pocket for laptops. Know that they take up extra space and you need padding.

backpack-to-israel
4 pockets but about the same size as mine

My mom has this same backpack, but she took this bag to Israel, and it is 14 inches wide with a bottle of water in it.

bag-fits-paper-towel-roll
She took this backpack to Israel

I have found that I pack things in the larger pocket of this black and white backpack.  While I am on the airplane, I use what is inside the front pocket.  Think of what you need easy access to and put those in the front.  When I sit in the seat I grab my hoodie, phone, phone prop, headphones and charger. Then I put the backpack under there and lay the hoodie or stuff the jacket on top. Where do you pack your headphones?  I use a tub to keep them separated.  I have the old kind of plug and one set that has the flat plug for my phone (discussed more in this Europe video). If your suitcase has a lithium battery, you can store it here while on flight because they are not allowed in your checked suitcase.  I know Away luggage now has removable batteries.headphones-plug-different-kinds

Think about packing things that can stand.  I pack pens and a journal; will you stand up a book or iPad? Will you pack an umbrella on the side or will you pack an empty cross body bag?  A subscriber had a travel hack to pack makeup brushes in your crossbody and empty them out once you get to your destination.

My navy one I bought at Francesca’s almost 2 years ago, and I need to donate it.  The lip around the zippers bothers me, and it’s really small.  Yes, I can fit a hoodie in here, but that’s about it.  Put the backpack on.  Is it easy or are you going to put your back out trying to find that second strap.  Is it easy to loosen your straps?

There are all types of travelers; those who like pockets and those who need pockets.  I like there to be several and I like that pockets have different sizes.  I store pens loosely in this pocket with my March travel treat: a fingernail file carrier.  But a travel hack is to just use a toothbrush holder. I organize inside my bag with pouches.  For my leisure travel I do not need a lot of pockets and zippers.

As a personal item, I won this backpack from ebags. Its dimensions are 13 x 18.  I would carry this if I was going to a YouTube conference carrying my camera and laptop.

ebags-front-pocket-organizationIn the work backpack, look at these mesh pockets.  Cords can be stored there to serve as a see-through pouch.  My husband loves these types of pockets for electronics, pens, business cards, etc. Let me know if you like your inside pockets to have zippers.  I am a pouch packer in my backpack.  I travel with 4-5 pouches.  I see how having zipped pockets inside pockets could serve as a pouch.  Some pockets are small for mints or floss sticks, and you may like more roomy pockets or the kind of pocket that is just a flap.

backpack-fits-over-handles-of-suitcase
We love this feature when we want to be hands-free!

In this ebag backpack the bottle of water mesh pocket can be zipped and hidden.  The straps on all of my backpacks are adjustable, but on this one, you can cross the straps while walking through the airport or at a work meeting.  Then you’re able to carry with this handle at the top.  I LOVE how this backpack has a slit that can go over your suitcase handles leaving you hands free.  You could carry your crossbody that has your wallet etc.

I cannot say enough about this laptop backpack’s storage.  Total protection for your computer, maybe a 2nd blouse, cardboard protection for like a camera lens or cords.

airline-personal-item-backpack-size-restrictions

Airlines state that you get a carryon item (which for me is a suitcase) and a personal item.  A personal item or backpack should fit under the airplane seat when you travel.   Luggage has size restrictions on some airlines and in some countries.

tip-travel-with-children-passport
Travel with children tip for passports

If you are traveling abroad with children, an adult carries the passports, right?  Instead of having to flip through to find the picture, you can put a sticker on the back flap of each passport with each child’s initials on the sticker.  Faster!

Let’s be friends on Insta!  Come say hey.

Occasionally I use affiliate links, but all opinions are my honest ones.