The Joy of Traveling

By on January 3, 2012

This week I have to fly to California for a funeral.  I don’t like to fly and the reason I’m going stinks.  I’m only there a couple days so I’m only doing a carry-on. Here are things that I always carry/wear


  • Good shoes or boots incase I have to walk for a long way,
  • Pants, never shorts (I always cut my leg on a seat or something getting on and off),
  • A T-shirt on the bottom, and multiple layers (for some reason it’s always really hot, or really cold on a plane, never nice),
  • A hat (to put everything into from my pockets going through security),
  • Good flashlight (can help in an emergency or be used as a blunt force weapon),
  • Extra Cash (cash can always help get things when nothing else works),
  • Multiple IDs (I carry my passport and driver’s license in separate pockets),
  • Water bottle empty,
  • First Aid kit (w/ pressure bandage, Quick Clot, Tourniquet, Advil, Electric Tape, Triangle bandage, most every thing else has to stay at home),
  • Another flashlight w extra batteries,
  • A solid pen (I always end up needing to write something down, and it can be used as a weapon in a pinch).


I pack everything in two bags (a carry-on and a personal bag).  The first bag is a backpack with a soft frame.  I put everything that I might use on the flight in the backpack.  I normally have a couple books, laptop, extra jacket (hanging off the outside), water bottle (I fill it at a fountain after getting through security), and generally something to eat (airline food still sucks).  My other bag is a roller bag from a major luggage maker.  I put everything else in there.  The soft backpack fits anywhere.  It fits where most luggage won’t because of its soft frame.  That way the one with things I want on the flight stays near me and the other goes wherever it fits.

Getting through security is always a task.  Here are some of my tricks;


  • Untie your shoes when you first get in line to slip off,
  • Have your ID and boarding pass in a pocket all by them selves (I usually put them in a front shirt pocket and use my passport to travel.  The agents know what they are looking for with passports, they all look the same, they may not have seen your state’s driver’s license),
  • Be nice to the TSA Agent checking your Boarding pass and ID, but stop talking to them when they are checking your ID, it will make things go faster,
  • Have your bag open to get your laptop out fast,
  • At the checkpoint grab one more bin then you think you need (the guy behind you will need one if you don’t use it),
  • Keep moving your bins as people move up,
  • Bag first, then laptop, then my stuff, then the other bag,
  • As you move take off your hat and through anything in your pockets in your hat, then put your shoes next to your hat in the bin,
  • Then do anything TSA asks of you, and try to stay with your stuff, I put my stuff in the x-ray machine at the last second before walking through the metal detector.


Try to be nice to TSA.  I always have something they want to know about in my bag.  Generally it’s something like why do I have two flashlights, or why do I have first aid gear.  I’ve seen my bag go through the machine 3 times with multiple people to look at it.  I also tend to be “randomly selected” for an extra check more often then not.

It’s a process to get through, and just keep going and maintain your composure even if TSA is feeling you up.

Remember, even after you get through the security checkpoint you are still responsible for your own security.  Thefts are way down, but terrorism threats are up.  So watch your stuff, and look for people that are doing things really weird.  Don’t be afraid to tell TSA if you see something.  And don’t be afraid to move or even skip your flight if things aren’t right.

Stay Safe,


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