Be Prepared. It's a maxim the Boy Scouts have followed for decades, and in this age of national security it is always prudent to be prepared in the event of emergency. The recent threats to international air travel set the world's airports on alert once again, and thanks to their diligence and the efficiency of law enforcement a great tragedy was prevented. Going forward, airport security forces are called to make sure future threats to our freedom and welfare are nipped in the bud, that we may continue to travel for business and pleasure, and go on with our lives and work. To this end, as we prepare to travel it is always in our best interest to help makes things go easier for fellow passengers and airport personnel.
Nobody likes to stand in line at the airport, be it at the ticket kiosk or at the security gates. Here are a few things to remember before you leave: * New provisions in travel security forbid liquid items in carry-on bags. This may include cosmetics, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, drinks, hand lotions and gels. Sometimes we have may such items in our purses and packs and not think to check, so before you even leave for the airport make sure every forbidden item is packed in a bag you intend to check in. If it is not possible to pack these items, don't worry about them, and instead take along some extra cash to shop for necessities when you reach your destination.
* Items such as baby formula and prescription medications are permitted at the discretion of security. If you must carry these items on board, have everything out for inspection before it's your turn in line. Digging through purses and packs at the security kiosk will hold up the line, and not all tempers may hold as long. * Arrive well in advance for your flight, especially if you are flying out of a large airport. Rule of thumb is three hours before departure, and we believe it is better to have to wait a while at the gate for your plane than to wait in line at the ticket counter or security as your plane leaves you behind! * Have a reliable contact at home and at your destination in the event of a delayed or cancelled flight. If you do not have a cell phone, invest in a good "temporary" phone with a calling card in case you are stranded at an aiport without transportation.
* Dress comfortably if at all possible. If it turns out you may need to linger at the airport for a while, better to be wearing an airy blouse or shirt and slacks than a full business suit. * Confirm all flight plans with the airline before leaving. Recent changes may have caused flight times to shift around,so you want to be sure you arrive well in time for your flight.
* And always keep a cool head. Know that some things are beyond your control. Take a deep breath and relax, then make a Plan B. Work and trips come and go, but your safety and that of your family is most important. Through proper planning and consideration of others, new regulations in airport security can be met and smoothly executed without interrupting your travel plans.
Kathryn Lively writes for journeyPod, the luxury travel site and podcast.