Before The Airport
Don't take prohibited items to the airport. See the list of prohibited items for more details. Place expensive items like jewelry, money, and electronics in carry-on baggage only. Attach your business card or some form of identifcation to the bottom of your valuables in case they are lost. To avoid the hassle at the metal detectors, don't wear clothing, jewelry, or other apparel containing metal. Shoes, boots, sandals etc have to be taken off and placed through the x-ray devices.
To keep your luggage secured, use a TSA approved lock . Keep lighters and prohibited matches at home. Don't pack wrapped gifts because the TSA may open them. Wrap them instead when you reach your destination.
At The Airport
You should keep your boarding pass and ID ready until you pass the security checkpoint. If you don't have valid identification you will be screened longer.
Before you get to the screening checkpoint, put mobile phones, keys, loose change, money clips, PDAs, etc in your carry-on bag. This way you're prepared to go through smoothly and you won't hold up the line.
When it's your turn to pass, remove laptops and video cameras and put them in a bin. Take off all coats, including suit coats, jackets and blazers. Parents, get additional advice if you are traveling with children or have children flying alone.
Tips for traveling abroad:
Sign your passport and fill in the emergency information. Make sure you have a current, valid passport and a visa if required. Leave copies of itinerary with family or friends, so they can contact you in case of an emergency. Ask your health insurance company if you are covered overseas, and if they cover emergency expenses. If you're not covered, look into supplemental insurance.
Familiarize yourself with local conditions and laws: While in a foreign country, you are subject to its laws. The State Department web site has useful safety information about the countries you will visit. Read up a bit on the local culture and customs so you know what to expect and don't accidently insult someone.
Take care to avoid being a target of crime: Don't wear conspicuous clothing or eye-catching jewelry and don't carry large amounts of money on you. Consider purchasing a hidden money belt or travel wallet. Also, do not leave unattended luggage in public areas.