America is such an incredible place and the states are all so different that they’re like countries of their own. You could visit a thousand times and still find a new experience every time. The only problem is getting there. The flight takes a long time, but it’s when you land and have to navigate the airport when the real fun starts.
American airports are notorious for their strict security and you will be interrogated by immigration about why you are entering the country and what for. You’re also likely to stand in line for a long time waiting to get through security, which can be a real pain. But there are actually some simple things that you can do to make life a lot easier for yourself. These are some of the best tips for getting through security quickly when traveling to the US.
Choose The Right Airport
When you are choosing an airport, your main priorities are usually location and sometimes price. You don’t want to fly into an airport that is nowhere near your destination, but you also don’t want to pay over the odds for a ticket. But if you are worried about navigating security, you should also consider how busy the airport is.
The busiest airports in the US are usually the most convenient ones, like JFK, but if you are willing to go somewhere a little out of the way, you’ll find that getting through airport security is a lot easier. It’s all about finding a good compromise because you don’t want a long journey when you get to the other side and you don’t want to pay too much for your tickets, which can be more expensive at a smaller airport. However, the smaller airports will be quieter and security will be a lot quicker to get through.
Get Your Paperwork Ready
If you don’t have all of your paperwork in order before you travel, it makes things a lot harder for you and in some cases, you may not be able to enter the country. Before you go, you need to sort out an ESTA, which is like a VISA. You won’t be allowed to travel without one, so do this ahead of time instead of rushing to fill out the online paperwork while you’re at the airport.
Make sure that your passport and boarding pass within reach as well. Sometimes, you may be given a form to fill out while you are on the plane, so make sure that this is all filled out accurately, otherwise, it will take longer at the other side.
Check The Luggage Rules
If you have hand luggage that is filled with items that you are not allowed to take on the plane, you will be stopped and your bag will be emptied. So make sure that you check the rules beforehand because they are quite strict. If there are any items that you are unsure about, it’s best to be cautious and just leave them behind or put them in your case.
Get In The Right Queue
When you approach security and you are trying to join a queue, people always make the mistake of getting in the shortest line. But it’s not just the length of the queue that you need to consider, you also need to look at who is in the line. For example, a queue that is filled with families with young children is going to move slower than a line of solo travelers on business trips, even if the second line is slightly longer. Remember that a baby carrier or pram is going to take a long time to get through, so try to avoid families as much as possible.
The clothes that you wear make a big difference if you are trying to get through security quickly. If you are wearing shoes that are hard to get on and off and you have to untie laces, you will take longer. But if you wear slips ons or sandals, you’ll be through in seconds.
Make sure not to wear lots of jewellery either because it all needs to come off anyway. If you are wearing jewellery or watches, take it all off when you are in line and put it in the pockets of your coat or jacket. That way, you can slip it on quickly and get moving, instead of having to dig everything out of the plastic tray and dress yourself there and then.
Follow these simple tips and you will be able to get through security easily so you can focus on enjoying your American adventure.