So after we had planned our trip to Stockholm for such a long time and waiting so long the final day arrived and we went to the airport. Our way to the airport was calculated to 2 hours without traffic, so as there is always the possibility that something could happen on the way we drove 5 hours early. Crazy I know but the safest way to not miss our flight.
Usually food and drinks at the airport are quiet expansive stocking up on a lunch package for longer waiting hours was our way to save money. So this is how we ended up with Muffins, Brownies, some wholegrain bread with cheese and two bottles of water. (I know not TIU approved but back then I wasn`t a TIU girl)
So we arrived unstressed but 2 hours too early at the aiport. So we decided to just sit down have lunch and then check in our luggage. We of course saved some food but as we all know liquids are not allowed through security so we drank all our water, but saved the bottles in hope of finding some free water to put in after we went through the security.
Some things I learned through a lot of traveling is to make sure your hand luggage is free of anything you are not allowed to carry on in it before you check in your normal luggage. So what we basically did before checking in our luggage was to check our handluggage for foundation, creams that we didn`t need and scissors and stuff like that and added that to our normal luggage, so that we won`t be in need of giving our things to the waste, plus it saves time.
So since I have been at a lot of airports I think the fastest way to get through security includes some simple steps:
#1 Check your hand luggage
as mentioned before check for anything you are not allowed to have in your hand luggage, if you do not know what that includes look for signs at the airport or check the internet beforehand.
#2 Put everything in zip bags that has to be in zip bags
Now usually they say 500ml for one zip bag. The easiest thing to do is to only pack 4 things into one zip bag as they usually do not suspect you to have more than the 500ml in that bag if its just 4 things. I have a travel kit where I have two bottles of 100ml and two bottles of 50ml if I only travel with hand luggage. You can fill those up with shower cream, Shampoo, Bodylotion and your moisturizer for example. Then you still have place for toothpaste for example. But I highly recommend rather using 2 zipbags with 4-5 things in it than putting more things into one zip bag and having the security person count and calculate that you stayed under 500ml.
The rule is not to only have one zip bag with 500ml or 5 x 100ml but to not have more than that in one zip bag. So two or three zip bags with liquids in will work fine to, if you have it sorted. By the way I also put all my medicine and the stuff for my contacts into zip bags.
#3 Show them what you got
Honestly it saves you time it saves the security people time and the people that have to wait behind you. Put out your stuff. By that I mean while waiting in line you can already take off your watch, your phone and any other electronic device and put it into your bag I tend to carry an extra zip bag along for small things such as bracelet, necklace, watch, etc. to not loose these things in a rush. Your jacket and scarf and have it over your arm. If you carry a laptop a long take that out as well.
So once you are at the security you just have to put these things into the boxes. Do not make them ask you to do so. I noticed that they are much friendly and unless to control you if you are open about what you have. So once you have these things (laptop, scarf, jacket, belt, electronic devices if not in your bag) be open about your zip bags. take them out put them in the box and you will be fine. Normally they do not take a closer look at it.
#4 Take of your boots
Usually if you just wear sneakers or normal shoes you should be fine. But with boots I have made the experience that it takes way less time to just take them off directly. Because they usually make a sound or they take you out and ask them to take them off and then you have to wait until they have space to put them on the band and until you get them back. So just taking them off putting them in a box walking through and putting them on again is just easier and saves a lot of time.
So as we were travelling during summer to us just the points 1 to 3 applied. We went through the security without any problems and started searching for our gate. We had a late flight and started getting tired as it had been a long day for us, but we found it pretty quickly thanks to the plan we got at the information and just waited for boarding. Once we were happily in the airplane on our seats a whole group of swedish students entered the airplane. We were hoping that they would sit far away from as the plan was to sleep during the flight, but we were sitting directly in the bunch. Which I used as a chance to get some insider information. Where to go to eat, etc. Things our guidebooks couldn`t tell us.
Once arrived in Stockholm our plan said to take the Arlanda Express (which is kind of an airport shuttle train) to the central station and from there a bus or train to our hotel. Well we arrived 2am at the airport, once we found the Arlanda Express we figured there won`t be any Arlanda Express leaving until 4am so we went back to the busstation at the airport to take the bus but you could only pay with a credit card which we didn`t have. They didn`t took any cash either. So our only option was to take a taxi. And woops half of our money was gone.
What we learned from that
a) check transportation options beforehand
b) check if there are airport taxis as they are cheaper than city taxis (we of course took the first we found)
Meanwhile we figure that it was pretty hot for 2am and were wondering why all people told us to "dress warm for the icey north". It was warmer than in Germany and we figured pretty fast that we should have checked a weather side beforehand as we had way to many warm clothes with us than clothes that fit the actual weather up north.
Once arrived and checked in at the hotel we ate the rest of our lunch package and then went to bed as we had four hours left to sleep before our first day of sightseeing would start.