TikTok's Top Packing Hacks That Will Make Going Through Airport Security Easier

There's no denying that TikTok has become an invaluable resource for all things related to travel. If you know where to look, you'll discover that it's a treasure trove of useful insights that can elevate your subsequent trips. People have been using the platform to share underrated destinations, hidden gems, must-try establishments, and tips and tricks on making travels smoother. It has also become a hub for finding advice to make your time in airports much easier. For instance, TikToker @lilmsawkward (Alexa) noted that you could get past security faster if you pack your carry-on luggage smartly.

In a viral video, she pointed out that laptops and other large electronics should be easily accessible so you can quickly pull and insert them back into your bag. She also advised consolidating your liquids and toiletries into a single, clear container in case you're asked to remove them. If you have a water bottle, ensure that it's empty. It's important to wear jackets and shoes that are easily removable as well, so you can slip in and out of them without hassle. Per Alexa, "breezing through security actually starts at home."

These are all nifty tips, of course; other TikTokers have offered a plethora of additional hacks to effortlessly navigate the TSA checkpoints. One tip involves using a separate tote bag, while the other entails using a pillowcase (yes, really).

A side bag can help with unpacking electronics and liquids

One of the greatest hassles of going through airport security is having to fish out your laptop and packet of liquids from your bag, place them in a conveyor bin, and then repack them in a rush before heading to your gate. Suppose your bag doesn't have a separate compartment for electronics or additional pockets for the liquids. In that case, it's almost guaranteed that the rest of its contents will be in complete disarray after you've passed screening. To avoid that from happening, TikTok user @chattybearmagazine suggests carrying an additional loose side bag or tote bag instead. Instead of fussing with your primary bag, they propose using an extra bag to store the items requiring scrutiny during airport security checks.

With this hack, you can effectively do away with rummaging through your main bag to locate your laptop and liquids. The tote bag is a designated space for temporarily housing these items, resulting in a quicker and more organized removal when they have to pass through the X-ray machine. In the event that your airline restricts the number of personal items you can carry, you can easily fold the tote and stow it in your primary bag post-clearance. With a supplementary bag in tow, you can shorten the time you have to spend at the often chaotic TSA line and make your way to the gate much quicker.

Use a travel pillow to stuff extra items

The renowned pillow hack isn't just a savvy method for avoiding paying excess bag fees. It can also be used as a clever hack for going through security faster. To the uninitiated, the idea behind the viral pillow hack is instead of succumbing to airline regulations and shelling out extra cash to carry an additional bag, you turn your neck pillow, which is classified as a personal item, into a makeshift bag by stuffing some of your belongings inside. Alternatively, you can also use a full-sized pillowcase if you have a surplus of personal items to store.

This trick has been vouched for by TikTok user @wheretonextyall, along with many travelers who have successfully dodged exorbitant baggage fees. But not many realize it's also a nifty strategy for smoother security screening. Instead of hastily dumping your keys, watch, earphones, change, belt, and other small items into the screening bins, you can stuff them in one fell swoop into the pillowcase. This prevents inadvertent delays and potential traffic jams in the security line and spares you from the frustrated glares of fellow travelers queued behind you.

Many make the mistake of panicking and scrambling for their items once it's their turn at the security checkpoint. Still, when you preemptively dump everything into the case while waiting, you can be in and out of screening without disruption. After all, you can always sort things out and reorganize when you're finally at your gate.