Travel Tips

By: Maxine Greco
TIPS from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will help get travelers on their way and will help speed travelers and their gear through airport security procedures.

Here are a few new tips to help travelers:

Golf Clubs - There is no better time than a vacation to hit the links, so here are a few tips for traveling with golf gear. Fertilizers used on many golf courses can trigger explosive trace-detection equipment. Before flying, be sure to clean off clubs. Also remember to pack clubs in a travel bag and consider leaving it unlocked.

Sporting Goods - Vacations are also a great time to go scuba diving, catch some fish or go camping. Scuba tanks are not allowed on commercial airlines for safety reasons. Ship scuba tanks or consider renting a tank at your destination. Fishing tackle and sports gear - such as bats and lacrosse sticks - must be checked. Campers traveling with gas containers separately, because they cannot be checked or carried onto a plane for safety reasons. Believe it or not, parachutes are another item that can be damaged as part of the security screening process. Consider other means of shipping or at the very least, please check parachutes closely before using.

Lotions, Spray and Foods - Outdoor enthusiasts will pack sun tan lotion, bug repellent and other skin care products.

In general, it is fine to pack these items in either checked carry on bags, but travelers should check with their airline before flying with aerosol canisters as some canisters are flammable. Summer travelers who want to bring back favorite foods from their destination can do so, but should know that some food products might cause your checked bag to be screened for security reasons. And check prior to packing food items, as there are some restrictions. Pack food products in carry-on bags.

Packing Bags - Use special TSA locks and locking straps only. It can be tempting to over pack bags when vacationing. TSA suggests that travelers consider how they pack and understand that Federal Security Screeners may have to open and physically search a bag as part of the screening process. Overstuffed bags are more difficult to close once opened which could result in delays for checked luggage.

Film - Family memories last a lifetime, and so should photos and videos. Passengers traveling with underdeveloped film should pack these items in their carry-on bags. Checked baggage screening equipment will damage or destroy undeveloped film.

Below are a number of tips for packing your checked baggage that will help to speed your trip and ensure that your checked bag makes the flight with you.

? Remember to have your passport, boarding pass and photo ID readily available. Airport ID’s are ideal for this purpose. Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if it is opened for inspection. If possible, spread your contents over several bags. Check ahead of time with your airline or travel agent for maximum weight limitations. Many have a 50lb. limit and/or size restrictions.

? Don't stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.

The following general packing tips apply to both carry-on and checked baggage and will help you to move through the screening process more quickly:

? Do NOT pack or bring prohibited items to the airport .

? Put all undeveloped film and cameras with film in your carry-on baggage. If your bag will pass through the X-ray machine more than 5 times ask for a hand inspection to prevent damage

? Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks , briefcases or camera cases.

? Don’t forget to place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well

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