Airports will soon be buzzing with thousands of travellers getting ready to visit family and friends or simply to escape the cold weather. Regardless of your destination, you will have to go through security and you will appreciate these winter travel tips.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) has 10 tips to help you and your family breeze through the checkpoint.

1. Pack liquids, aerosols and gels properly
Only liquids, aerosols and gels that are 100ml or less are permitted in your carry-on. Place these items in a single 1L clear, resealable plastic bag so the screening officer can easily see the contents. Any containers over 100ml should be placed in your checked baggage.travel1

2. Know the age restrictions for baby food
Beverages and food (e.g. breast milk, formula, juice, purées) for children under the age of two are exempted from the liquid, aerosol and gel restrictions. These items should be packed so that they can easily be removed from your carry-on baggage for inspection.

3. Bring solid snacks for the family
While you can’t bring yogurt or peanut butter, you can carry solid food items, such as sandwiches, granola bars and fruit through security when travelling within Canada. You can also bring an empty refillable drink container to refill once you pass through security.

4. Have medications ready for inspection
Prescription and essential non-prescription medications (e.g. cough syrup, decongestant spray, contact lens solution) are allowed. You can bring them in quantities greater than 100 ml in your carry-on but must show these items to the screening officer for inspection.

5. Leave gifts unwrapped
If you’re bringing gifts, leave them unwrapped as their contents may need to be inspected. During the holidays, some airports offer post-security gift wrapping service.

6. Keep small electronics in your carry-on
Bringing your children’s electronic games is a good way to keep them busy at the airport. Small electronic items, including MP3 players (e.g. iPod) and tablets, can remain in your carry-on bag.

7. Dress comfortably
Make sure you and the little ones can easily remove any bulky outwear including winter jackets and boots with large buckles. These items must be placed in bins provided at the checkpoint for screening.


8. Use the Family/Special Needs lane
Check if the Family/Special Needs lane is available when you arrive at the checkpoint. It’s designed to accommodate larger items (e.g. strollers, car seats) and is best for passengers needing more time or help at the checkpoint.

9. Have your boarding passes ready
Remember to have all family members’ boarding passes ready to present to the screening officer for verification.

10. Contact CATSA if you have questions
If you need more information, CATSA can be contacted directly at 1-888-294-2202 or via:
– Website:
– Twitter: @catsa_gc
– Pinterest: CATSAGC

9 Replies to “Winter Travel Tips to Help Families Through Security”

  1. Yes I made the mistake of wrapping gifts before! LOL … we learn from these don’t we? ha ha… Won’t make that mistake again. Good to share these tips – might save someone a lot of hassle at the airport. Travelling is stressful enough, especially with kids!

  2. I was watching one of those boarder crossing shows on TV last night. Just amazed at the stuff people will try and get through security!!

  3. good tips. I noticed that some places don’t provide clear bags for your liquids, luckily most Canadian airports do

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