Here's how to pack your carry-on so you don't have any problems checking in at airport security

It’s no secret that one of the most stressful parts of traveling is dealing with the airport, especially if you’re not a frequent flyer. If you haven't followed all of TSA's rules and you're about to travel, you need to know how to pack your carry-on bag to avoid getting flagged by airport security. Even if you check your luggage, you may still have a carry-on bag that includes your personal belongings and items like your computer. Depending on which airport you're departing from, the simple act of getting to your gate can take more than an hour.

Being prepared in advance so you don't get pulled out of the queue for inspection will help ensure your trip starts off smoothly. In addition to rules such as taking off shoes, no laptops, and bags of liquids, the Transportation Security Administration is rolling out more protective measures. If you haven't flown in a while, go to the TSA website where you can use the "Can I bring my _______?" feature. While the ultimate goal is to keep you safe, that doesn't mean going through airport security isn't a pain.

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Even the most patient person can get irritated when they're stuck behind a group of people who don't know what they're doing and are holding the line. Don't be one of these people. Earlier this year, I stood in line for more than two hours in Tahiti because no one seemed to understand TSA regulations. Keep in mind that if you are returning to the U.S. from another country, it will take longer because people visiting the U.S. are not as familiar with TSA rules as people who live here. Make sure you get to the airport early.

Once you arrive at a TSA checkpoint: "Be prepared when entering the checkpoint line: have an acceptable ID and boarding pass out of your wallet and have it ready to hand to the TSA officer," the TSA said in a press release. "Upon arrival at the stripping station, remove your laptop, any electronics larger than a cell phone, and 3-1-1 compliant liquid bags from your carry-on bag and place these items in the checkpoint bin."

If you carry a main bag, make sure it is neatly packed and not overfilled. If you have to sit on it to close it, it's probably too full. Reader's Digest notes that overpackaged bags can make it difficult for TSA X-ray machines to see the contents. This may result in your bag being searched. If this does happen and your luggage bursts at the seams, you'll have to repack it before heading to the gate.

Make sure all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes you bring through TSA checkpoints are in quart-sized plastic bags that contain no more than 3.4 ounces each. Most pharmacies sell kits in the travel aisle, taking the guesswork out of packing your liquids. When deciding what to bring through TSA security checkpoints, remember that less is more.

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"Consider minimizing the items you wear at the airport, such as bulky jewelry, scarves, hair accessories, large belts and other bulky items, as these items may require additional inspection," the TSA advises. "Remove all items from your pockets and place them Put them in your carry-on bag so they don’t get lost.”

Also, it's a good idea to remove items that could be misunderstood and place them in a clear plastic bag. I was stopped once because I had an amethyst the size of an arrow in my bag. Since TSA was backed up, it took over half an hour for someone to search my bag and I almost missed my flight.

Remember to check your purse or backpack before going through security to make sure you are not carrying a bottle of water or any other large liquid. Overall, knowing what to expect ahead of time can go a long way toward making your experience less stressful. Even if you do everything right, there's still a chance you'll be picked out for random screening. If you want to avoid a lengthy security ordeal entirely, consider getting TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry approved. Once you have this status, you can breeze through security in a special queue without having to take off your shoes or open your bag. #The more you know