The Anxiety-Inducing Thing That Makes Eugene Levy Reluctant To Travel

Eugene Levy may be best known as the actor and comedian in titles like "American Pie" and "Schitt's Creek," but more recently, he took on a different kind of role in the Apple TV+ original "The Reluctant Traveler." The series follows Levy as he cautiously travels to faraway destinations such as South Africa, Tokyo, and Lisbon, notably lacking the adventurous spirit of most travel TV hosts.

However, that reluctance is also what makes the comedian relatable. After all, not every aspect of travel is fun and exciting. In an interview with USA Today, Levy shared one part of travel that makes him especially hesitant to leave his comfort zone. Talking about why he doesn't fully enjoy traveling, he explained, "It's the whole experience, starting with: I hate airports."

In particular, Levy feels anxious when TSA security checkpoints are long and complicated. "Taking off my shoes and belt, putting my laptop and phone in separate bins. And then security goes through my bag. And the worst that happened recently: At the gate, I realized I forgot my laptop in the bin, but you can't just go back, because you already went through security. Well, just let me go home then."

Airport security doesn't have to be scary

Going through airport security can be tedious and even stressful at times. After all, there are all the rules, the intimidating officers, and the risk of being flagged when you know you've done nothing wrong. Even an involuntary reflex could be considered a warning behavior by TSA.

However, those security checkpoints don't have to be a reason to avoid air travel. If you're like Eugene Levy and you're scared of getting stuck in long lines, consider scheduling your flight during a less crowded time. Keep in mind, however, that this can vary depending on the airport, so research your local hub first before booking your tickets.

If you're a frequent flier, consider investing in an expedited security program, such as TSA PreCheck or Clear. These programs allow eligible travelers to pass through some identity and security checks more quickly than those who aren't enrolled. If customs and immigration lines make you just as squeamish as the security checkpoints, Global Entry is another offering worth considering.

Other ways to make getting through security less intimidating

If you're most scared of the actual security check, where you put your belongings on the belt and have to walk barefoot through the body scanner, know that it doesn't have to be as complicated as it seems. Prepare before your trip by reading through TSA's carry-on guidelines and giving yourself a refresher on the liquids rules.

Depending on your airport, you may not have to take your laptop out at the TSA checkpoint, making the process less of a hassle compared to previous years. As for clothing, you'll likely still have to remove your jacket, shoes, and belt (unless you were approved for TSA PreCheck), so keep your outfit simple to speed things up.

Still feel scared of airport security? Your feelings are valid and far from unusual: In 2019, 47% of respondents in a Priority Pass survey said that passing security was one of the most stressful parts of visiting an airport. Remember that others in the security line likely feel the same way you do. Take a deep breath, listen to agents' instructions carefully, and remind yourself that you'll soon be on your way to your destination.