The Efficient Traveler

2015 May 14
by Grace Boyle

I love to travel. I travel for work, and I’ve always lived far from home, so a plane ride away to friends and family is common. I’m big on experiential gifts, so I would way rather have an experience or trip booked than receiving a physical item. I love to see the world, and the adventure that awaits is so exciting.

Grace

Last year, with the help of my Southwest credit card and my (too) frequent work travel, I landed A-list premiere status. I was delighted at my early boarding, and premiere lines I would pop into at airports. Status, finally. Then I shortly realized, this wasn’t enough.

I needed TSA Pre and Global Entry. The travelers apex.

And I’m happy to say, now I have all three. Traveling is much more of a breeze, and besides things being more efficient you can find improved quality of life. I don’t have to get to the airports as early and I don’t deal with the other traveler shenanigans that totally get on your nerves.

That said, I’ve been preaching the good word about TSA Pre. I have friends that travel a good amount, and still don’t have it or don’t realize that it’s not that difficult to obtain.

Here’s what you need to know.

TSA Pre:

  • What is it? TSA Pre allows “low-risk travelers to experience expedited, more efficient security screening at participating U.S. airport checkpoints for domestic and international travel.” You do have to be a U.S. citizen and not been convicted of certain crimes to apply. Here are more details on their eligibility requirements.
  • How much does it cost? Here’s the kicker. It’s only $85 and it’s valid for five years! This in itself, is worth everything. What a price. If you travel even just four to five times a year, I think it’s worth it.
  • What are the required documents for TSA Pre? Right here, you can find a list of the required documentation. It’s not that bad. Not that much red tape. Things like ID, and proof of citizenship.
  • What’s the application center interview like? Mine was five minutes, I was approved, and given a known traveler number in the mail 2-3 weeks after my visit. It was official, but efficient (the meeting) and they actually didn’t even look at all the paperwork I brought.

Now, I hop right into the TSA Pre line at every airport. I never take off my shoes, I don’t have to remove my laptop or liquids, and I’m typically through security in five minutes tops. When I travel with others who don’t have it, it might shave up to 20-35 minutes off your wait time. Breezy.

Global Entry:

  • What is it? Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited cleared for pre-approved, low risk travelers, upon arrival in the United States. There are essentially automated kisoks at select airports, and you head to baggage claim and exit. Read: If you travel internationally, why not.
  • How much does it cost? The cost is $100, and I actually went with Global Entry because in addition to getting this I also got TSA pre bundled in. Not too much more, but two benefits for that length of time.
  • What are the required documents for Global Entry? Here is how you apply. The process was the same as TSA pre essentially.

So hit the trails. Happy traveling, and let me know if you have any questions. I definitely haven’t looked back.

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  • http://www.ItalyRetreatforWomen.com/ Lenora Boyle

    I’m committing to applying within the next two weeks! Thanks for the wonderful post and reminder.

  • Cameron Bargerstock

    Really great idea Grace! I travel a lot and find myself dreading it these days because of the inconveniences. I can’t wait to join the club.

  • TOPolk

    $85?!?! That’s it? I don’t need the Global check, but the TSA Pre is money. Thanks for sharing this. The wife and I fly enough for work and pleasure to where this would be worthwhile.

  • Ilbert

    I personally believe that women can do everything. There is yes a lot much to explore around the world and i’m proud of being a traveler, and most of the all a solo traveler. I’m taking the bus from providence to washington dc, and I’m sure that this will be an awesome kind of experience for me as always.

  • http://graceboyle.com/ Grace Boyle

    I know, it’s literally nothing for the time and relief you get back. Highly recommended!

  • http://graceboyle.com/ Grace Boyle

    Get it, Cam!

  • http://graceboyle.com/ Grace Boyle

    Go for it momma! I keep telling you and dad, you frequent travelers you.

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