Getting through security is never a favorite part of navigating the airport. The long lines are bad enough, but then there are the endless rules. You can bring this, you can’t bring that, that and that, take off your shoes, put your laptop in the bin. The list goes on and on.
The one thing you shouldn’t have to agonize over is packing your 3-1-1 bag. With just that one little bag available for all your liquids and gels, you could end up either leaving something important behind or trying to smuggle it (probably unsuccessfully) in your carry-on anyway.
For those that don’t subscribe to the “you can buy it when you get there” philosophy, there are great items that you can purchase that make your TSA-approved zip top bag easier to pack and will leave you more room for those things you debate over attempting to sneak through.
Shampoo and conditioner bars - Let’s face it. Almost everyone has certain hair care products they are committed to. You can find similar shampoo to work with your hair type in bar form. It works just like soap and takes up no room in your liquids bag. Look for these solid shampoos and conditioners at stores like LUSH. Their stores can be found worldwide and they ship across the globe as well.
Tinted moisturizer – This is a great makeup product that doubles as a foundation and a moisturizer, so you eliminate at least one vial, jar or bottle in your bag. Many have SPF built-in, too, so you do not need to bring a separate facial sunscreen. Perfect for ladies with sensitive skin.
Powder foundation – Mineral products have become all the rage. They make your skin healthier and give you a nice glow. If a tinted moisturizer does not give as much coverage as you like, then this will certainly help that issue if you put it on over it. You just buff it on with a little brush and look flawless. So many companies have this product, including Bare Escentuals, Pur and Clinique. All of them can be found at Sephora for one-stop shopping.
Shaving oil – Shaving cream can often take up a lot of room in your 3-1-1 and, depending on where you travel, cannot always be found or is not affordable. Shaving oil is amazing, because it can be used by everyone, whether they shave their legs or face. Just a couple of drops and you are good to go, plus it is all-natural, so it is also nourishing for your skin.
Sunscreen wipes - These have become more available lately and can be very effective, provided you remember to “reapply.” Because they are not a liquid, they do not need to go in your bag, and they also will not explode under pressure and leak all over everything else you have packed. Many of the brands do not smell like sunscreen, are not messy and have enough to cover any exposed skin in each wipe. (Antibacterial wipes are also a fabulous thing to pack.)
While we cannot change the security rules, we can make them work for us, by learning to pack better and more efficiently. There are so many creative ways to get around TSA rules that can make you happy and make them happy and help you get through security more quickly. That way you have time to grab something to eat, browse a couple of shops and get to your gate on time for your flight.
About the Author
Shereen Rayle is author of the blog Shereen Travels Cheap and a book of the same name that will be published in late 2011. For years she has been planning her own vacations using the Internet to extend her limited budget as far as possible and shares the tips and tricks she has learned, along with useful sites like FareCompare.com, to help others get the most out of their travel dollars. And to further inspire budget travelers everywhere, she finds terrific travel bargains and posts them each day on her Facebook page.