I think we can all agree that nothing causes more stress in what should be a hassle-free vacation than getting held up at the airport. For whatever reason, whether it’s a delayed flight or—yikes—a missing passport, the relaxing getaway you’ve been dreaming about for ages can rear its ugly head and bite you in the ass if you’re not careful.
And though some things are entirely out of your hands, there is one thing you have complete control over: your outfit. Here, a few things you’re better off leaving in your suitcase (or at home) so you can quickly get through airport security:
#1 Fussy footwear
Your trendy lace-up ballerinas or knee-high buckled sandals might have earned you countless hearts on Instagram, but it likely won’t make your fellow passengers or airport staff very happy if you hold up the line just trying to remove them. Instead, go for a pair you can easily slip on and off—like classic ballet flats or comfy skate shoes. This also saves you from walking on icky germ-laden airport floor in your bare feet, since you’ll be definitely wearing no-show socks with them…right?
#2 Excessive jewelry
A discreet pair of stud earrings or a delicate necklace might be able to pass through the metal detector without setting it off, but anything over the top might not. Do away with your layered bangles and necklaces and rings for now. Oh, and those Cartier Love bracelets you emptied out your bank account for? According to former Transportation Security Administration agent Kimberly Pruitt, they’re a big problem. “These bracelets can only be removed with a screwdriver, so they become an issue when going through security,”.
#3 Anything with lots of pockets and zippers
The assumption is that you’re hiding something, but even if you’re not (and we hope you aren’t), you might have overlooked something in there that would set off the alarm. Pruitt explains, “Don’t have pockets so you won’t spend minutes emptying everything out of them.” She adds, “When being told by an officer to remove everything from your pockets, there is always a lighter or set of keys that you’ve forgotten in a hidden pocket.”
#4 Bulky silhouettes
Just like the item above, clothing that significantly bulks up your frame will raise warning flags; again, you might be hiding stuff in there. Flight attendant Tara Stilley shares that “bulky jackets or oversize, loose clothing requires extra screening by TSA when worn through security.”