Airport Essentials

Airport stays are often a mix of nervous anticipation and of long drawn out torture. Bouts of hurry hurry followed by longer bouts of waiting.  A few minutes of advance planning will limit the need to hurry and at the same time make the waits more bearable. Part of your planning should be having a kit of airport essentials. Items that can make clearing security easier or can entertain  you during the long boring waits.

Carry on Packing

Clearing security is the start of the torture test. A few simple steps will make your life simpler.

Start with the bigger items.

If you are carrying a laptop you should expect to take it out at security. It should be charged in case you are asked to turn it on. A carry on with an external laptop pocket would make this easier but at the very least pack it in a way you can easily extract it at the security gate.

The next thing to consider

are your device cables.  With today’s tighter security requirements a snakes nest of cables will look suspicious on the x-ray screen.  A simple way to deal with this is a cable case. It’ll allow you to keep your cables in a nice neat package that you can extract with your laptop. The cases are large enough for your cables,phone charger and even an external battery. If you are carrying an external battery bank remember there is a size limit of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. That’s a fairly large battery that you aren’t likely to exceed but the battery should have the technical data on it.  If the numbers aren’t printed on the battery you risk having it confiscated. Any loose battery must have it’s terminals capped. One final word on batteries. NEVER pack batteries in your checked bag. Batteries represent a fire risk and therefore must go into your carry on.

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After security

We’ve already discussed batteries but between the preflight wait and a potentially long flight you’ll want to keep your batteries charged.  Unfortunately airports are often short of power outlets. A multi outlet charger will allow you to charge your phone,MP3 player, Kindle and even an external battery bank all at once. They only require one power plug. Aren’t much bigger than a simple one outlet charger. They aren’t much more expensive either.

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If you are traveling abroad don’t forget to include an outlet adapter. It’s often much easier to buy at home than at abroad. With that in mind spend the relatively small amount and buy an extra one or two adapters. Keep the adapters separate so that losing one doesn’t mean losing all of them. At least one adapter in your carry on with a second adapter in your checked bag.


Final thoughts

In the end airport essentials are mostly common sense. There are items that will make packing easier (packing cubes for example) and there are items that will make the wait less tedious. Think of the things you are less likely to find after security.  Most airports have a food court. The food may not be exciting and it’s often expensive but you can find something. The things to make sure to pack are those you aren’t going to find

A few more idea of possible low cost airport essentials can be found in the following link.

Airport Essentials
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Airport Essentials
Airport Essentials. Essential items to make your airport trip less painful
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