Recently, my sister was going on a short trip. (I have more than one sibling. They don’t want to be ID, which is fair enough. With the things I might reveal about them, I wouldn’t want to be named either). It was two days before, and she was panicked. She doesn’t fly much, because she finds it to be too much of a hassle.
Traveling bumps were keeping her grounded. And she is not the only one this is happening to. There are solutions to get pass the bumps. One just needs to be aware.
Today we will examine my sister’s recent travels and explore solutions to her bumps.
These were the travel bumps that were preventing her from enjoying her trip:
- TSA (Transportation Security Administration) restrictions on liquids and gels. She sees this as discriminating against women. (She uses loads of products, but she looks really great. So in her case, it is a valid argument). Concerned that she couldn’t take all her lotions, makeup, perfume, etc. Didn’t want to check bag, because she had valuables, i.e. said grooming products, and jewelry.
- Worried about TSA. The line, having to take her jewelry and shoes off.
- Hates being there 2 hours early, feels waste of time, especially when flight is only 2 hours.
- All the bags people bring through security to avoid the baggage fee (US Domestic flights on most airlines charge for first bag). Only causes more of a delay at security, and when boarding the plane. She thinks fee is unnecessary.
- Doesn’t like the fact you can’t bring drinks past security, has to buy food on the plane, and its bad.
These were all valid concerns. After she got back from her trip, and the trauma of her travel bumps, I went over a few solutions with her. It just takes a bit of planning, but there are things that she, and others like her, can do:
- TSA Pre-Check: She can apply online or can call for an appointment and do the entire process in person at application center. There is a $85 fee, but it is for 5 years. So even though she doesn’t travel much now, it is still worth it.
- By doing Pre-Check, she can keep her shoes on, the line is shorter, more efficient. (But she still has to take jewelry off. Sorry, it’s metal).
- If she is against the baggage fees, she should fly Southwest and Jetblue, who don’t have 1st bag fee policy. Also, many credit cards waive the fee for you and travel companions (number differs by each card). She can also accrue miles, which is a bonus.
- The credit cards will also allow priority boarding, so she doesn’t have to stand as long. (Sorry, there is still some sort of line).
- She can bring an empty water bottle, fill it up after security. Food has always been bad on airlines, even when it was free. She just needs to bring her own.
The major travel bump for her was her grooming products. And we can’t have the terrorists win by making my sister not have her products, so I solved that before she left. I got her a clear plastic travel bag, TSA approved. It was way better than a zip lock bag. Then we went over her products and got them 3.4 ounce containers. Major disaster averted. Seriously.
I explained all this to her, and how this could create a smoother travel experience for her. She was open to the ideas. (Which is a huge, if you know her).
To her credit, though, I thought she had a creative idea. She suggested that the TSA lines should be spilt into lines based on length of flight. There should be two lines, one for 2 hours or less, and longer than 2 hours. She said if one’s flight was only 45 minutes, they should have not have to wait in line that is more than an hour.
I told her they have that, it is TSA pre-check. That’s the second line.