Let me save you a little trouble

Did you know?

Happy Thursday!  I have had a fantastic week celebrating my youngest turning 6.  I can hardly believe she is 6. Her birthday wish was go to go skiing, my initial thought was this is amazing until below freezing temperatures entered the forecast.  I could not let her down after we had already cancelled all her other birthday plans due to her being sick. So we bundled up and headed to a local resort for a frigid and fun day skiing. I love seeing my girls learn to ski.  I am worried that the next time we go skiing my oldest will be better than me.

If you have been paying attention to the news you know the government has been shut down which has drastically impacted airport travel. As a result, the lines to get through TSA checkpoints have been insane.  TSA workers are government employees who are among the unpaid right now, many not showing up to work. So today my friends, you are going to learn another reason why getting Global Entry will save you time, no matter where you are going.  

Why you should get Global Entry

Do you love to travel but the thought of the TSA security lines and the long waits at US Immigration and Customs are holding you back? I have a great tip to simplify your life – and it’s called Global Entry.

I recently enrolled myself and was amazed at how simple and efficient the process was. Ironically, I got approved for Global Entry the day the government shut down.  Currently, Global Entry application is shut down….my husband is waiting patiently to get his approved. When the government is up and running you need to jump on it. Now, whenever I travel by air, I can use the TSA PreCheck lines at security which moves so much quicker because you are not required to strip (belts, jewelry and even shoes can stay where they belong!) or remove your laptop and toiletry bag from your carry-on luggage. Then, if I am traveling Internationally, I can bypass the long lines at Passport control upon my return to the U.S. and simply scan my passport at a Global Entry kiosk, which also checks my fingerprints and takes a very flattering “selfie”. If I am cleared, a receipt prints and I can simply flash it to an immigration officer as I walk briskly to claim my luggage and head home.

The application process is very easy and fast. I filled out the online application, paid the $100 fee (good for 5 years and reimbursed by some high-level credit cards) and within days, I received an email telling me I was approved and invited to set up an appointment at the closest participating airport. I did have to wait a few weeks for a convenient appointment time at Dulles International Airport, but I hear that other airports have shorter waits. I know the Richmond airport is relatively tricky to get into but if you have time before you travel it may work.  On the day of the appointment, you take your Passport, Driver’s License and approval letter to the Global Entry office and have a 10-minute interview with an agent. He asked me a few questions about my past travels and fingerprinted me and then told me that I was approved. I received my official card in the mail within 5 days. EASY-PEASEY!

I can’t wait to use it now, especially when traveling with my husband who already has TSA precheck.  The poor man has kindly skipped TSA precheck to help me with the kids. Speaking of kids, you must also get your child(ren) approved in order to take advantage of the program.  They need their own global entry card regardless of age. However, when not traveling through global entry children 12 and under can go through TSA precheck with an TSA precheck adult.

PS...it's worth it to get Global Entry over just TSA precheck.  You only pay $15 more for Global Entry and it includes TSA precheck.  I wish I would've known about this lovely feature when I traveled home from Italy.  I had just gotten a very tired baby to sleep in the Ergo when customs decided to do a FULL pat down on me.  Oh I was not a happy mama!

The worst way to start or end your trip is waiting in a line...

Are you ready to simplify YOUR life and become a member of the Global Entry elite? The link to get started is: http://www.globalentry.gov/howtoapply.html