Category Archives: Travel

Spend Less Time Standing in Line with These 4 Airport Security Tips

airport
kalleboo/Flickr

It’s a familiar scene: Two lovers cling to each other in a tearful embrace, exchange one last hand-squeeze before one of them picks up a bag and walks… two feet to the airport security line. They then proceed to stand idly for the next 20 minutes while their partner awkwardly looks on and frets about getting home before rush hour.

It’s time to rewrite the script. Skip the drawn-out goodbyes and breeze through security with these four time-saving strategies:

1. Become a Trusted Traveler

Programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, Nexus, and Sentri allow so-called “low-risk” travelers to move through participating airports more efficiently. As part of the pre-screening process, you’ll cough up personal information (and a fee) in advance of flying. Fees range from $55-$122.25 for a five-year membership; if you book flights often, the time savings may be well worth it. Learn more here.

2. Get the App

The TSA has created a helpful (and free!) app that features security wait times, a guide to TSA rules, airport status updates, and instant answers to the question: “Can I bring _____?” It’s available on iPhone and Android. Download it here.

3. Pack and Prep Correctly

Practice the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids. Gels, creams, liquids, etc. must be in 3.4-ounce or less containers; stored in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic bag; and limited to 1 bag per passenger. Keep the bag near the top of your carry-on so you can easily place it in a screening bin.

  • Leave prohibited items and foods at home (or in your checked luggage) to avoid being detained by security.
  • Pack large electronics (e.g. laptops and video game consoles) near the top of your bag; you’ll need to remove these for separate X-ray screening (unless you have a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag).
  • Dress right. Wear easy-to-remove shoes (when it comes to airport security, velcro is so in). Avoid wearing a belt, heavy coat, or lots of jewelry, since you’ll need to remove these items for screening.
  • When approaching security, have proper identification and your boarding pass in-hand.

4. Pick the Right Line

Before entering security, take a moment to observe which line is moving fastest, then join in. It’s smart to avoid queuing up behind large families, as it’ll take them a while to move the whole clan through security. Instead, get in line behind people who aren’t carrying much luggage and/or have already removed their shoes and coats; this signals they’re ready to cruise on through.

This post was published by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 5, 2015 and has been republished with permission.

Summer Travel Planning: Go to Slovenia. Done.

When flight searches to Slovenia increased by 306% in 2015, we decided to investigate. Nestled between Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria, Slovenia is a crossroads of European cultures and offers the opportunity to explore all four of them from the comforts of a single hotel. You can experience the tastes and traditions of four countries at once with a little bit of travel planning. We took the liberty of getting you started.

Go to a Vineyard

Slovenia
emwilska/Flickr

Spanning Northeastern Italy and Western Slovenia, vineyards in the Gorizia Hills are producing world class wines. Those vineyards on the Slovene Brda side are harvesting distinctive reds and whites without the Italian prices or crowds. Now, all you have to do is learn the word for wine in Slovenian (easy, it’s “vino”).

Spelunk through a UNESCO Cave

Postojna Cave Park
michaelrperry/Flickr

Postojna is the most famous and second longest cave in Slovenia, attracting thousands of visitors a year with its underground train system. But ŠKOCJAN boasts the title of a UNESCO world heritage site. It has the highest cave hall in all of Europe, gorges, waterfalls, and footbridges. The next question is, do you know the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite?

Be Royal at a Slovene Castle

Predjama Castle
klmircea/Flickr

Most castles in Slovenia are built on a hilltop, making them worth a visit for the views alone. However, built into the side of a cliff in a cave’s opening, Predjama Castle in Postojna is by far the most novel. Legend has it that the knight and renown robber baron, Erazem Lueger, fended off Habsburg soldiers by pelting them with cherries for a year, gaining supplies from a secret chamber that lead in and out of the castle.

So there you have it, a Slovenian getaway in the making. If you are feeling inspired by Slovenia, we already started the planning process for you (you’re welcome).

This post was published by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on April 22, 2015 and has been republished with permission.