Quick Tips to Move your Family Swiftly Through Airport Security

Tomorrow my family and I are taking to the skies on another summertime family travel adventure, to the US and on a Western Caribbean cruise. Family travel is not only a chance to see and experience the world that surrounds us, together, but also a great learning opportunity for my girls.

airport security canada family travel

Yet there are steps which need to be taken before that exciting flight takes off. I’m talking about wrangling our big chaotic family and all our carry on gear through airport security. Flying solo is completely different than flying with kids, one has to be a lot more attentive and law-enforcing as you move through the process. Because, kids are like ninjas and you know at some point one of them will sneak that bottle of fluids into their bag! Personally, I always do a little dance of joy when we are ‘on the other side’ without delay, it’s a great start to a fantastic family trip!

Truth is, the summer months are the busiest time of the year for Canadian airports. If you’re travelling by air with your family, you want to make sure your experience at the security checkpoint is quick and hassle-free. Not only for yourself, but other travellers too – everyone appreciates a quick and seamless process. 

Quick Tips to Move your Family Swiftly Through Airport Security

For tips on how to get through screening in no time, who better to ask than the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA)?

We asked so you don’t have to — follow their three top tips below to be that much closer to your summer destination.

  1. Pack like a pro. Before leaving the house, double check that your family’s carry-on bags don’t have any prohibited items. The “What Can I Bring” page on CATSA’s website or on their mobile app can help you with this. Remember that liquids, gels and aerosols — including suntan lotion, insect repellent, toothpaste, shampoo, food products and beverages — must respect the 100 mL limit. If any of these items are over the limit, place them in your checked bags.
  1. Keep children happy. You can ensure your kids have something to eat that they actually like by packing their favourite snacks. Solid foods like sandwiches and granola bars are allowed in your carry-on bag, but liquids and gels like yogurt and pudding aren’t. If you’re travelling with a child under age two, you can bring more than 100 mL of baby food, formula, milk, water and juice. Don’t forget to bring their favourite toys, but avoid travelling with toys that look like weapons.
  1. Be ready for security. When you arrive at the checkpoint, look for the family/special needs line. Make sure you have everyone’s boarding passes ready to present to the officer. Leave small electronic devices in your carry-on bags, and remove laptops and any liquids, gels and aerosols from your bags for inspection. Also be sure to put hats and jackets in the bins provided. Most importantly, don’t forget to take all your belongings after screening.


You can access more tips and information about airport security screenings at catsa.gc.ca or ask questions on Twitter (@catsa_gc).


Disclosure: This is a compensated post, yet as always, all opinions are my own.




  1. I always have to remember to completely empty out backpacks before we pack them for a trip. There’s usually something hidden in a pocket somewhere!

  2. These are great tips! I do hope all traveling families will take the time this summer to get organized and get to the airport early to avoid the lines and stress.

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