Valley International Airport

Follow these TSA Top Travel Tips for a Smoother Experience

Whether you’re a frequent or first-time flyer, going through the TSA checkpoint can be stressful to say the least. 

At Valley International Airport in Harlingen, we value your comfort and satisfaction. That is why today, we will list the top 10 TSA travel tips to make your travel experience a smoother one.

1. Give Yourself Plenty of Time

The TSA recommends arriving two hours before your flight. By doing so, you are giving yourself enough time to find a parking spot, check your bags if necessary, get through security, and find your gate. This will set your whole trip up for a simpler start.

2. Check Your Bags

The more carry-on bags you bring, the longer it will take you to go through security. By checking your bags, it frees your hands and takes up less space when boarding and storing it on the plane.

3. Keep Your Bags Organized

The messier your bag, the more time it will take a security agent to go through it. Keeping your bags organized will help the TSA agents get you through the line in an efficient amount of time.

4. Have Everything Ready Before You Step in Line

There is nothing worse than waiting behind someone who is shuffling through their purse or wallet looking for their necessary documents. Make sure you have your ID and boarding pass in hand, take your electronics out of your carry-on, and wear shoes that are easy to take on and off when going through the line.

5. Remember the 3-1-1 Rule

This is the rule that seems to trip everyone up when packing their carry-on bag. Be sure to limit your liquids, gels, and pastes to no more than 3.4 oz, in 1 bag, no bigger than a sandwich bag.

6. Store Your Change

You wouldn’t believe the amount of change that is lost in the airport each day一we’re talking thousands of dollars worth. Keep your money in a ziploc bag, fanny pack, or carry-on for the x-ray screening so that your loose change doesn’t contribute to the ever-growing lost and found.

7. Know What to Expect When Traveling with Kids

Traveling with kids can be stressful, especially figuring out what you can and can’t bring. 

You are allowed to pack breast milk, formula, juice, teethers, baby food, and other baby items in more than 3 oz quantities. They will just need to be removed from your carry-on to be screened separately. Strollers and baby carriers will also need to be screened before boarding.

8. Know What to Expect When Traveling with Pets

When traveling with pets, use a leash, harness, or travel carrier. To simplify this even more, you only have to x-ray the empty travel carrier. Be sure to look for pet-relief areas around the airport so that doesn’t become a problem on the plane ride.

9. Join TSA PreCheck

TSA PreCheck is essentially a membership you pay for. It costs $85 for 5 years or $17 a year. You will have to submit an application online and once that is approved, schedule an appointment where you will have a background check and be fingerprinted. 

With TSA precheck, you can leave your shoes, belt, and jacket on and can also leave your electronics and liquids in a bag. 

10. AskTSA

Did you know that TSA has security travel concierges on Twitter and Facebook? If you’re not sure if an item is permitted, you lost an item at the security checkpoint, or forgot your ID,  AskTSA will be able to help. They are available 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern Time on weekdays and 9 a.m to 7 p.m. on weekends and holidays.

Traveling doesn’t have to be a headache. Put these TSA travel tips to use and you’ll be surprised at how smooth flying at Valley International Airport can be!

Whether you’re flying alone or with family, for business or pleasure, these TSA tips will be sure to change your flying experience for the better.

Our team at Valley International Airport is dedicated to ensuring the safety of our passengers and travelers. Face masks are mandatory while boarding on the plane. With Frontier Airlines, baggage claim is downstairs and gate 1 can be found upstairs.

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