The holiday season is almost here and the  has asked us to share this reminder about properly packing for airport security.  Below are some reminders and tips to ensure that your trip goes smoothly and your time at airport security is hassle free….

The most hectic travel days of the year are quickly approaching, as thousands of travellers make their way to airports to visit family and friends over the holidays. Spending time, regardless the amount in a busy airport can be stressful, but if you plan ahead and are well prepared you can avoid the last minute hassles. Below are some tips to follow to help ensure that your holiday vacation gets off the ground smoothly.

“Knowing the rules and what to expect at the airport will reduce the time you spend at the checkpoint and increase the time you spend enjoying your trip,” says Mathieu Larocque, spokesperson for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA).  Time should be taken to pack appropriate (both your checked baggage, and your carry-on bags) before arriving at the airport to help make your trip smooth. To make it through airport security screening faster, keep a keen eye on what and how much of it goes into your bags.

CATSA has some advice to help you and your luggage get through security quickly.

Liquids, aerosols and gels packed in your carry-on must be in containers of 100ml or less and all of them must fit into a 1L clear plastic bag. This includes everything ranging from toothpaste to juice and even homemade jam. If your containers are larger than 100ml, or if they don’t fit into the plastic bag, they have to be put in your checked bags or left at home.

There are exceptions to this policy. Baby food, formula, milk, water and juice are allowed in larger quantities if you are travelling with your child who is younger than two years old. That said, they must be in amounts which are deemed reasonable for the duration of your travels. Medications are also exempt from restrictions, be sure to present these to the screening officer separately.

If you’re bringing gifts with you, leave them unwrapped until you have arrived at your final destination, this goes for gifts in checked baggage or your carry-on.  If their contents require inspection by a screening officer, your wrapping job will will have to be redone. Several airports across Canada offer gift-wrapping services for local charities located past the security checkpoints. Take advantage of this service to eliminate work for yourself and contribute to a good cause.

Having a properly packed bag is half the battle; knowing what to expect at the security checkpoint is the other. Being prepared for the process can get you in, out, and on your way faster than you can say “vacation.”  Once you have ensured your carry-on and suitcase are packed properly take a moment to consider your outfit. To reduce your chances of setting off the metal detector and requiring secondary screening, limit jewellery and wear clothing without snaps, metal buttons or studs. Avoid wearing steel-toed boots.

Your carry-on bag and personal items, such as a purse, will be x-rayed. Cell phones, loose change, wallets and watches should be put in a jacket pocket and placed in a bin to be screened. Your laptop will need to be removed from its case before also being placed in a bin, but other electronics like tablets, cameras, or MP3 players can stay in the bag.

Ensure your family has their boarding passes ready and give yourself plenty of time so you are not rushed during the screening process. For more tips on what you can pack and how to get through security screening smoothly, see or the mobile site, m.catsa.gc.ca.

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