How to Get Through Airport Security Quickly and Easily as a Family

Traveling can be difficult enough for families without the added stress of airport security.  However, there are many things that families can do to prevent spending a lot of time going through the security checkpoint.

One of the easiest things that families can do when flying is to apply for the TSA pre check.  As long as both parents have been approved for the TSA pre check, then their children who are under the age of twelve can enter the pre check line with them.  These lines move much faster, because everyone does not have to remove their shoes, belts and light jackets.  They also do not need to remove their laptops or small bottles of liquids from their bags.

How to get through airport security

Sometimes it is not feasible for a family to apply for the TSA pre check, especially if they do not travel that often.  If this is the case, then they will need to do a few things to get through the regular security line faster.  It is always best to remove everything from pockets before reaching the security line.  As people are standing in line, they can remove their shoes, jackets and belts.  This way they are ready when it is their turn.  Young children can hold their own shoes and other items until it is time to put them on the conveyor belt.

When a family travels, it usually means a lot of carry-on luggage.  However, if it is possible, families should try to condense this down to a couple of bags.  If each child needs their own bag, make sure it is small and does not have anything in it that needs to be removed.  All laptops and small bottles of liquids should be placed in one carry-on bag in order to make it easier for going through security.  One parent can help place everything else on the conveyor belt, while the other is unloading the electronics and liquids.

One parent should go through the metal detector first and have the children follow when it is their turn.  This way, the children will know where they need to go afterwards and won’t be scared to go through on their own.  Once everyone is through security, everyone should gather up their things and move to a bench close by to put their shoes back on.

International travel is a little trickier than domestic, because everyone will need to go through customs as well.  Everyone in the family will need a passport for traveling internationally.  Once a plane lands in a country, everyone will need to show their passport, retrieve their luggage and then go through customs.  To make the whole process easier, families should fill out the customs forms on the plane and have everything ready to show the customs’ officers.

Families who travel internationally quite frequently may want to sign up for Global Entry.  Everyone can avoid the long lines, which is helpful after a long trip.

Careful planning, organization and allowing plenty of time can help families get through airport security quickly and easily.  Parents should explain everything that will happen to their children beforehand as well, so that they know what to expect during the process.  Once the entire family has cleared security, they can then sit back and relax while they wait for their plane to board for the next portion of their journey.

Do you have any tips to add?


  1. Thank you for all of these great tips.It’s always good to have some knowledge like this when traveling with the family.Thank you.

  2. kathy downey says

    Thanks so much for the wonderful tips,sometimes it can be a real challenge!

  3. I really like the tip about having the kids follow you through the metal detector. That is so logical!

  4. I didn’t know we had to start removing our shoes when going through security here in Canada. I’ll need to make sure we all wear easy to remove shoes.

  5. I always hate having to go through airport security when traveling with the kids. Thanks for the great tips. We are flying out in a few months again.

  6. The tip about one parent going through the metal detector first and the other one going last is genius. One tip I would add is to make sure that if anyone is wearing jewelry is just to leave that in your bag until you are through security. Otherwise it’s extra time taking it off to go through the metal detector!

  7. These are great tips for family travel. My husband and I always sandwich the kids between us It makes it possible for them to model out behavior and we can watch them at the same time.

  8. alalisainfo says

    Airport security can get so tiring with huge crowds and long lines. These are tips that I definitely need to keep in mind as we are growing our family!

  9. Great tips! I never really gave much thought to security before having kids, but now that I have 3 kids, it’s definitely a hassle. I actually have favorite airports just because of how easy security can be. For example – Atlanta is a great airport for families, they have a line specifically for families and you bypass the entire line. Other airports do that too, but often still involve a long wait.

  10. These are great tips. We haven’t flown with our family yet, I usually travel alone! I will need these soon, though!

  11. I have the kids carry on their own things now that they are big enough to do it. Backpacks have been easiest for them, although small rolling suitcases work for us, too.

  12. Reesa Lewandowski says

    The last time I traveled was 8 years ago with just a baby. It makes me nervous now with 2 kids! Great tips!

  13. These are such fantastic tips! I think planning as much as you can in advance is always a good thing when you have to travel with kids!

  14. This is great! Airport security can be SO hard. I have actually had better luck with traveling with kids, lol. People can be much nicer when they see a mom struggling… sometimes.

  15. These are great tips! I always pay for my bags to be checked when I fly with my kids. We all bring 1 backpack and that is it! Don;t try to do a roller bag and keep track of kids!

  16. What a difficult situation that I am glad I don’t have to worry about. Great tips though. I haven’t been on a plane since I was a little girl but if I ever have to travel with my family I will refer to this!

  17. Good tips, but honestly I haven’t had a hassle. Just know the rules before you go.

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