iStock_000027744673LargeMany great holiday vacations begin with a flight, but before you can board the plane, you’ll need to pass through airport security. Here are some tips from Travel Leaders, your travel agents in St. Louis MO, to help ensure that your trip through security goes smoothly.

As you’re preparing your carry-on bag, remember that certain items are not allowed in the cabin of the plane with you. Lots of specific information is available at, but in general:

You can bring liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes if they are no more than 3.4 ounces each. Plus, all of these small containers must fit in a single, 1-quart size, clear plastic bag. You’ll need to remove this bag from your carry-on and place it into a bin to be screened at the airport security checkpoint.St. Louis travel agent Holiday Travel Tips


You cannot bring sharp items (including most scissors), firearms, ammunition, flammable or explosive materials, chemicals meant to disable someone (such as pepper spray), or any type of tool more than seven inches long in your carry-on bag.

With the forbidden items in mind, take a good look at any gifts you’re planning to carry with you: a big jar of homemade pomegranate jelly for your aunt?  A decorative saber that will look great over your cousin’s fireplace? Put them in your checked baggage, or ship them ahead of you – in fact, shipping gifts in advance can also help to significantly reduce what you have to pack.

You can also ease your journey through security by dressing as simply as possible. Before going through a metal detector or imaging machine, you’ll have to remove everything in your pockets, your belt (unless it has no metal), bulky jewelry and your shoes, so make sure these items are easy slip off and on. You’ll have to remove your jacket, too: if you’re going somewhere warm and really won’t need it, leave it at home.

iStock_000017198290_ExtraSmallThanks to Precheck from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), eligible passengers can pass through security very quickly without removing shoes, laptops and the one quart, clear plastic bag. But even if you are eligible for Precheck, it’s still wise to have you liquids in that bag in the event you’re randomly selected for additional screening.

The days just before and after Thanksgiving, Hanukkah (which coincided with Thanksgiving this year), Christmas and New Year’s Eve are among the busiest travel days of the year. So, be sure to arrive at the airport at least two hours before flight time (three hours for an international flight). And, ask one of our St. Louis travel agent professionals at Travel Leaders – St. Louis for more advice about ensuring a smooth start to your holiday travel.  Call us anytime at 636.778.1081.