8 Products to Help You Get Through Airport Security Faster

iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages
iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Who would win in a race—a turtle, or a human going through the Transportation Security Administration’s airport screening process? The TSA is notoriously meticulous in making sure travelers abide by their precise rules, often resulting in long lines and impatient passengers in the terminal. Luckily, you can shorten the amount of time you spend standing in airport security lines during busy travel seasons like spring break, summer vacation, or the winter holidays just by bringing the right equipment. Here are eight products you can buy that will help facilitate the screening process and get you in your plane seat faster.

1. GlobeGear Toiletry Bag

A GlobeGear travel bag is pictured
GLOBEGEAR, Amazon

A carry-on suitcase full of liquids is a security-checkpoint nightmare. In 2006, concerns over liquid explosives led TSA to enact a rule that prohibits passengers from bringing a high volume of liquids onboard commercial aircraft. The agency refers to it as the 3-1-1 rule: 3.4 ounces of liquid per container, packed in a 1-quart bag, with one bag per passenger.

If you don't have TSA PreCheck, you'll need to take all your liquids out for inspection, and having them stashed in a convenient place is key. Luckily, the GlobeGear Toiletry kit makes it easy. Think of it as a measuring cup for travel. The leak-proof bag is exactly 1 quart in volume, and the refillable bottles that come with it are each the required 3.4 ounces. It’s also clear, so security agents can quickly examine its contents, and easy to seal and unseal if TSA agents want to take a closer look.

Buy it on Amazon for $32.99 or at these other retailers:

2. Defway RFID Travel Wallet

A defway RFID travel wallet
defway, Amazon

As you go through security, TSA agents and airline personnel want to see your photo identification, ticket, and passport, and having all of them assembled in one place will keep you from fumbling when you get to the front of the line. Defway’s RFID wallet has open pockets to make retrieval easy and also features a shield to prevent identity thieves from obtaining information from your credit cards or passport.

Buy it on Amazon for $15.

3. Ytonet Laptop Bag

A Ytonet laptop bag is pictured
Ytonet, Amazon

Taking your laptop out of your bag is a huge pain when you're also trying to juggle a security tray, your shoes, your belt, and everything else you have to take off to go through the scanner. Ytonet's laptop bag removes that hassle. The TSA-friendly travel case has a separate laptop compartment that opens flat so you don’t have to take out your computer—just open up the bag and set it on the conveyor belt. (As an added tip, make sure your devices are charged when you arrive, as an agent may ask to see them operating.)

Buy it on Amazon for $27.

4. Vans Slip-On Shoes

A Vans unisex slip-on shoe is pictured
Vans, Amazon

Struggle with getting your laced sneakers on and off at the checkpoint? Opt for slip-ons. We recommend these classic unisex sneakers from Vans, which not only slide off and on with ease, but will keep you comfortable in the airplane cabin, too. If you know you've got a long walk to your gate ahead of you, we suggest upgrading to the company's $60 ComfyCush model, which features a moisture-wicking lining, added arch support, and a sole designed to make it feel like you're "walking on a cloud." Both versions come in just about every color you could want, and in some very vacation-friendly patterns, too. (We cannot, however, guarantee that they will always land facing up.)

Buy it at Vans for $50, on Amazon, or at one of the retailers below:

5. Jasgood Nylon Belt

A Jasgood nylon belt is pictured
JASGOOD, Amazon

There’s always something vaguely disconcerting about undoing a belt in front of a group of strangers. You can skip this step entirely by opting for a metal-free belt. JASGOOD’s TSA-friendly belt is made of nylon and plastic, which won't set off any scanners. It also comes with a backup buckle in case you need a replacement.

Buy it on Amazon from $12.

6. Delsey Helium Aero Luggage

A piece of Delsey Helium Aero luggage is pictured
DELSEY Paris, Amazon

DELSEY's Helium Aero 21-inch carry-on suitcase is designed with air travel in mind. It's small enough to conform to carry-on size standards for most international airlines, and features a rare TSA-approved lock. It has double spinner wheels to facilitate omnidirectional movement, keeping you moving at a quick clip through the terminal, as well as a hard outer shell and a padded space for your laptop, so you won’t risk mashing your belongings while stuffing it into an overhead compartment or checking it. The main compartment is expandable for those prone to overpacking.

Buy it on Amazon for $110 and up, depending on color.

7. Bombax Travel Jacket

A Bombax travel jacket is pictured
BOMBAX, Amazon

Once you’ve emptied out your wallet, phone, electronics, and other accessories, you have a bin full of things that need to be collected so you can go on your way. The Bombax travel jacket comes with 10 easy-to-access pockets that will fit virtually anything you need, turning you into a walking duffel bag. There are spaces custom-designed for your phone, passport, tablet, glasses, headphones, and more. There's even a hidden inflatable neck pillow and fingerless gloves built in.

Buy it on Amazon for men and women for $76.

8. Nomader Collapsible Water Bottle

A Nomader collapsible water bottle is pictured
Nomader, Amazon

Bringing water bottles through security is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean you need to dispose of packaged water and then purchase another bottle at the newsstand inside the terminal. The Nomader bottle folds up when empty and clips to carry-on bags, leaving your hands free. After you get through security, you can refill it at a water fountain without having to wait in line at a kiosk.

Buy it on Amazon for $25.

Of course, TSA-friendly bags and belts can only do so much to save you the headache of waiting. To really optimize your airport time, it also helps to look to your left for shorter lines, as most people tend to head right, and to check the MyTSA app for current wait times.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

25 Awesome Pet Halloween Costumes You Can Buy Right Now

Frisco
Frisco

As much fun as it is to dress up in a Halloween costume, it’s even more satisfying to throw one on your favorite four-legged companion. For one glorious day, you can turn your dog or cat into a vampire, a superhero, a Jedi, or even a taco, and it’s seen as completely normal. But picking out the right dog or cat costume can be difficult, especially with all of the choices available. Here, we’ve got 25 awesome cat and dog Halloween costumes you can get at Petco, Chewy, Target, and Walmart.

1. Wonder Woman Dog Costume

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Wonder Woman Dog Costume.
DC Comics

Turn your pooch into an Amazonian warrior with this ensemble that carries the colors and familiar tiara of Wonder Woman. Steve Trevor sold separately.

Buy it: Petco

2. Superman Illusion Dog Suit

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Superman Dog Costume.
DC Comics

Superpups won’t need a phone booth to dash into with this illusion suit that mimics that iconic transformation of Clark (Bark) Kent into Superman. (Note: Glasses do not have corrective lenses.)

Buy it: Petco 

3. Batman Dog T-Shirt

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Batman Dog Costume.
DC Comics

If your pet is low on patience when it comes to elaborate costumes, consider this minimalist approach. A Bat-symbol emblazoned on the back shows off support for vigilante justice.

Buy it: Petco 

4. DC's Batman Illusion Dog Suit

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Batman Dog Costume.
DC Comics

Your doggo probably never got to know their parents, which is at least one thing they have in common with Bruce Wayne. Avenge Gotham with this padded costume that gives your pet better abs than yours.

Buy it: Petco 

5. Batman Dog Bandana

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Batman Dog Costume.
DC Comics

The Bat-logo stands out against a yellow background in this pup-friendly kerchief for dogs that prefer sleeveless attire.

Buy it: Petco

6. Superman Dog Bandana

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Superman Dog Costume.
DC Comics

Is your heroic hound ready to cast off his glasses, quit his job as a newspaper reporter, and share his true identity with the world? This bandana is the classiest way to do it.

Buy it: Petco

7. Spider-Man Hoodie

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Spider-Man Dog Costume.
Marvel

While the debate over which Spider-Man did it best—Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, or Tobey Maguire—rages on, the clear winner is about to be your dog wearing this costume.

Buy it: Petco

8. Jack-o'-Lantern Dog Hoodie

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Pumpkin Jack o Lantern Costume.
Bootique

Because carving jack-o'-lanterns is hard, turn your pup into a “pupkin” instead with this easy pullover Halloween hoodie.

Buy it: Petco

9. Cookie Monster

Best Pet Halloween Costumes. Cookie Monster Dog Costume.
Pet Krewe

The perfect outfit for the pooch who won’t take their eyes off your cookie even though they definitely can’t have chocolate.

Buy it: Petco

10. Toast of the Town

Best Halloween Costumes for Dogs.
Bootique

This oh-so-extra outfit is ideal for trendy millennial pets who know that the secret to happiness lies between two thick slices of avocado toast. The “Flaming Dawg Hot Sauce” headband is just icing on the cake … er, hot sauce on the toast.

Buy it:Petco

11. King Purrington

Get the best cat halloween costumes of 2019.
Bootique

Your cat doesn't need to dress like royalty to know they’re in charge, so let this king costume serve as a reminder to everyone else in the house. Just don't be surprised if your cat starts acting haughtier than usual after sporting a cape and crown for a few hours.

Buy it:vPetco

12. Lion Mane

Lion mane cat costume.
Pet Krewe

Halloween is a chance for your pet to look as ferocious as they feel all year long. But be warned: This lion mane costume will probably illicit more "awws" than screams.

Buy it: Petco

13. "Witch, Please!" Dog Hat

Witch hat dog Halloween costume.
Bootique

Spookiness, sassiness: This witch hat for dogs—complete with a lime-green wig and the words "Witch, please!" emblazoned on the band—has it all.

Buy it: Petco

14. Teddy Bear Dog Costume

Teddy bear dog costume for Halloween 2019.
Bootique

Your dog can become a bit more squeezable when you dress it up like a plush teddy bear—complete with little arms, legs, and ears.

Buy it: Petco

15. Dog & Cat Sombrero

Cat and dog sombreros for Halloween 2019.
Frisco

The best part about this sombrero for your cat or dog is that there’s no reason why you can’t strap it on their head even after Halloween is over. They may hate you for it, but the look on their face will make a great photo op (see above).

Buy it: Chewy

16. Cat Devil Costume

Cat devil costume for Halloween 2019.
Frisco

Every cat has a touch of evil in them, so indulge them this Halloween with the set of horns they've earned throughout the year.

Buy it: Chewy

17. Cat & Dog Vampire Cape

A dog dressed in a vampire Halloween costume.
Frisco

Simple but effective—turn your pet into an elegant count this Halloween with this red-lined black cape.

Buy it: Chewy

18. Taco Dog & Cat Costume

Taco dog Halloween costume for 2019.
Frisco

Your favorite pet dressed as your favorite food. Best of all, the entire taco costume comes in one piece, so you don’t have to worry about assembly being a hassle.

Buy it: Chewy

19. Dog or Cat Business Suit

Business suit dog costume.
Rubie's Costume Company

Chances are your pet will never have a high-powered office job, but that doesn’t mean they can’t dress the part. And don’t worry, the tie is attached to the costume, so your pup won't have to learn the Half-Windsor.

Buy it: Chewy

20. Skeleton Hoodie

Skeleton hoodie Halloween costume for dogs.
Hyde & EEK! Boutique

You really can’t go wrong with a classic like this skeleton hoodie. And with the ear holes in the hood, your pup will be comfy all Halloween long.

Buy it: Target

21. Ewok Dog Costume

Star Wars Halloween costumes for pets.
Rubie's Costume Company

Even the most jaded of Star Wars fans won’t be able to resist this simple costume that turns your dog into a fierce and fuzzy protector of Endor.

Buy it: Target

22. Jedi Robe

Star Wars Jedi Halloween costume for dogs.
Rubie's Costume Company.

A costume for a more civilized age, this Jedi pet robe is easy to slip on and adds a graceful elegance to any dog’s life. Just keep an eye on their paws—you don’t want to fall for that mind trick nonsense.

Buy it: Target

23. Jurassic World T. rex

Dinosaur Halloween Costume for Dogs.
Rubie's Costume Company

Cue the John Williams, because this T. rex costume is perfect for any dino-lovin’ Halloween freak out there. The kicker? The tiny arms, of course.

Buy it: Walmart

24. Yoda

Yoda Halloween costume for pets.
Rubie's Costume Company

You already know your pet is wise beyond its years, so slapping a Yoda costume on it is only natural. If you can’t fathom getting your cat or dog into the robe, you can opt for just the Yoda ears, too.

Buy it: Walmart

25. Blue Monster

Best dog and cat Halloween costumes.
Rubie's Costume Company

This Halloween, turn your pet into a furry beast—more so than usual. And if you don’t like the shock of bright blue hair, you can go for the pink version. It’s your money; embarrass your pup as you please.

Buy it: Walmart

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Groupon Is Offering a Costco Gold Membership and Goodies Worth $150 for Just $60

Scott Olson/Getty Images
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Costco members have access to a long list of surprising perks, like bulk movie tickets, pre-negotiated car deals, and even cheap funeral accessories. If you've been looking for an excuse to commit to a Costco membership, now's the time: According to 9to5Toys, Groupon is bundling a Gold Star Costco membership with discounts and products from the bulk retail outlet—a total value of $150—for just $60.

The main draw of the promotion is a standard membership card—plus a household card you can share with someone who lives at your address—that's valid at all Costco locations for one year. Groupon is charging the regular rate for the membership, $60, but it's also also adding several bonus items to the deal that more than double its value.

With the $60 purchase, you'll get free Kirkland Signature laundry detergent packs, free Kirkland Signature Create-a-Size paper towels, $10 off fresh meat, and a $20 gift card. And when you're ready to test out your new membership, you can use the coupon to take $25 off an order of $250 or more from Costco.com. That's $90 worth of free perks included with the regular $60 membership fee. The same deal is also available through LivingSocial.

The offer does come with a few caveats: You have to sign up for auto-renewal of your annual Costco membership to receive the extra gifts, and you can't sign up if you're already a member or if your membership expired after May 1, 2019. The gift cards and coupons included in the promotion are valid now through December 31.

If you miss out on this deal, there are plenty of opportunities to save money at Costco. Here are some tips for mastering the art of shopping there.

[h/t 9to5Toys]

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