Everyone has their favorite foods from certain places, whether it’s bratwurst from Wisconsin, kielbasi from New Jersey or Aunt Mary’s famous lasagna. They taste great while you’re visiting, but bringing them home with you on a plane could be difficult because of the need for refrigeration for all those hours. For Joe and I, a perfect example is when we bring home meat from our favorite barbecue place in Texas, The Salt Lick. For the first several years we did this, we always worried if how we packed it would keep the food cold enough for several hours to still be safe to eventually eat. But by now we’ve pretty much perfected our technique, and we’re happy to share it with you.
The last few times we flew out of Orlando, the TSA lines have been unbelievably long. The regular security line stretched all the way back towards the food court. It looked exactly like this:
We had to work our way through the crowds to make it to the TSA PreCheck lanes. Once we got to the PreCheck line, it was still a 10 minute wait to get our ID’s approved while we waited for the people who weren’t supposed to be in the line to be told they needed to go and wait in the 45 minute line going down the hall. But there was one line that was empty – the one for CLEAR.
Hi friends! Happy Easter, happy 2nd day of Passover, happy April Fools’ Day and happy Sunday! Most of the travel blogosphere this week seemed to be obsessed with getting the IHG card before it went away (I did), and the American Express Mercedes Benz Platinum card before it went away (I didn’t). Going through a bunch of gift card offers and reviews of flights to places I’ll never go or hotels I’ll never stay at, here are the rest of the best for the week:
Global Entry is a program of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service that allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers to receive expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States. In my opinion, it’s a no-brainer decision for any frequent traveler to sign up for this program. The $100 non-refundable application fee is a small price to pay in order to blow past the long immigration lines when returning to the United States. Your Global Entry status is then good for five years. So that’s $20 a year. Where else can you buy VIP treatment for twenty bucks?
What makes this an even better deal is that when you’re approved for Global Entry, you also get a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that gives you access to TSA Pre✓® lanes at domestic airports. This program charges an $85 membership fee if you apply for it separately, so it only costs an extra $15 to get expedited entry when entering the U.S. on international flights (and also some cruise ports and land crossings).
The MyTSA app has been around for about 7 years but it took a while for it to become, well, useful. But finally…FINALLY…it’s something you may want to consider downloading (if you hadn’t already), and actually start using. Here’s why:
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If you have travels coming up, I sure hope you have TSA Pre✓®. If you don’t, why not? It’s one of the easiest ways to help make travel less stressful. I’ve written about the ways you can enroll in the program in this post. I just ask one favor, when you apply, PLEASE DON’T USE POINTS TO PAY FOR THE APPLICATION FEE.