You know you travel too often when you find yourself trying to optimize the personal disassembly/reassembly around airport security. It’s like the old puzzle of the fox, the goat, and the cabbage. Which goes off/on first?
For example, if you take your shoes off last, then they will arrive after your luggage has been screened, leaving you trying to shove your feet into your shoes while impatient fellow passengers mill about.
After much iteration, my current system works like this:
- Remove items from laptop bag while approach screening machine.
- Take off shoes and put them on counter. This is important to do first.
- Put laptop, wallet, keys and phone in one tray, and leave that on counter.
- Put laptop on counter behind tray with laptop.
- Put rollerbag on counter behind laptop bag.
- Push everything along in four-item train into screening machine.
It’s important to put shoes on counter immediately, because otherwise you risk having them come last. You can always put on shoes while fumbling with other bags, so it’s best if you put them through first.
Similarly, if you put laptop and wallet ahead of laptop bag, you can grab those items and insert wallet in pocket and flip the laptop into the laptop bag in one smooth move.
By the time the roller bag comes through you should have keys and wallet in pocket, laptop in bag, shoes on feet, and out you whiz while the tourists are still trying to find their boarding passes that they mistakenly put in their luggage.