The New York Times had a highly trafficked feature a few days ago highlighting travel tips from tech-world sophisticates. Two I agree with:
if you have work to do or a stack of magazines to pore over, try it [one tech whiz's] way: Go [to the airport] early. Absurdly early.
Yes. Almost no "savings" in time is worth the surplus stress of wondering if you're going to miss the plane. This is a lesson someone told me when I was in my 20s, and I have only learned to appreciate it more with the passing years. And, regarding our friends at the TSA:
As you approach the X-ray belt, put your shoes in the first bin, your laptop and liquids in the second bin, and your carry-on bag in the last bin. This way, when you're waiting for them on the other side of the metal detector, you'll be able to put your shoes back on first, then grab your laptop and liquids and, finally, return them to your bag.
Yes, yes, yes! Anyone who has not been doing it this way is a chump.
But mysteriously the article left out an important travel tip: how to bring back, safely, bottles of Three Sheets Pale Ale, from the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, long renowned as the best brewpub in Australia. The Lord Nelson home base in Sydney, as it looked last week. [Note the trees and the long shadows. It is dead of winter in Australia.]
Second best -- probably more protective, but overall less stylish -- is to put bottles in your shoes.
You'll thank me on your next trip.