TSA PreCheck & Global Entry Programs

August 9th, 2015 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Transportation Security Administration TSA, Travel Tips, Value of Using a Travel Professional

Intriguing Travels

Bridal Show Downtown Indy

Bridal Show Downtown Indy

Hello Everyone,

Happy Summer!  A few weeks ago, we  had a booth at the 317 Bridal Show downtown in the Fountain Square Theatre.  It was a small, intimate show.  The venue was spectacular!  I felt like I was in an Italian Village.

I have to confess that I was dreading giving up a Sunday in the middle of Summer.  It was difficult to tear myself away from the outdoors.

As the day became increasingly  hot & humid, I began to enjoy the surroundings of the Theatre Venue.  It turned out to be a gift. I especially enjoyed having a little more time to get to know some lovely Brides to be!  There were a few brave Grooms who attended as well as a lot of  the proud Moms of both.

Whether I have the privilege to help them all plan their Destination Wedding or Honeymoon in the future, I did have the privilege of meeting some wonderful people.  That allowed me a little peak into the excitement of what their future holds.

For that experience, I am grateful.

Tina

With all of the additional security measures, frequent travelers are looking for ways to decrease their wait time going through the check points at airports.  Did you know that the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has multiple programs that are designed to help you get through customs and airport security lines.

2014-03-13 17.37.52Some are more limited in scope.  For example, Nexus and Sentry are applicable for travel between the US and Canada and Mexico.  If you travel with some frequency, it might be worth your while to look into some of these programs. The Transportation and Security Administration uses their  TSA PreCheck  program  https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck .  This format was designed to help expedite the security check process at airports for qualifying participants.

Participants have to apply and receive a KTN (Known Traveler Number).  They will still be reviewed on a case by case basis. The KTN can also be known as the Trusted Traveler Number.   According the the tsa.gov website, “Eleven carriers participate in TSA Pre✓®: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways and Virgin America. TSA Pre✓® operations are available at more than 120 U.S. airports.”

As a broad overview, the TSA PreCheck program can be used for domestic travel as well as departures for International Flights.  The review process by TSA occurs every time you fly.  An approval code is incorporated into the traveler’s bar code of their boarding pass.  They may proceed to the TSA PreCheck after their boarding pass has been scanned and approved.

The Global Entry program helps speed up the process upon re-entry into the United States through Customs.  Participants are able to use Global Entry Kiosks set up at the airport which allows them to skip the lines going through Customs.  It is my understanding that Global Entry participants are part of the pre-check program based on their Global Entry status.  They are eligible for TSA PreCheck benefits.  However, it is best to confirm this when applying for the program.

The Global Entry program seems to have a much more in depth application process which requires a background check as well as personal interview before possibility of approval.  Members will be asked to present their passport as well as scan their fingerprints at the Global Entry Kiosk at the airport.  Global Entry helps navigate the Customs process while TSA PreCheck helps with security lines.

To obtain more information regarding this and other trusted traveler programs, check out http://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry.

The extra security measures have been implemented for the safety of all travelers.  Indeed, it does take more time and can be inconvenient to fly these days.  Programs such as these are designed to help us navigate the security maze as quickly as possible.  Hopefully, we will get better with the overall process.  Somehow I don’t seen to mind the inconvenience as much when I think of the alternative.

Safe Travels!

If you would like help in planning your next trip, please contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com  or call her at 317-660-2080.

Vacations, How Important Are they?

July 23rd, 2015 by Tina Weiss | Posted in Packing Tips, Value of Using a Travel Professional, Value of Vacations

Intriguing Travels

Sunset at the Lake

Sunset at the Lake

Hello Everyone!

I am feeling refreshed and ready to go.  We recently returned from two get-a-ways.  One was our annual trip to Connecticut to be on the lake with family and friends.  The other was a weekend away with friends.  This inspired me to write about the importance of vacationing.  It goes way beyond getting away.

There are actually benefits from our vacation  that linger with us long after we return. Taking a vacation with our adult children is cherished time.  It is ironic that children typically spend their high school years trying to get away from their parents.  Slowly through college and beyond, they come back.

A lake house vacation is completely different than going to a resort, eating out every night and being pampered by the staff.  At a lake house, you most likely are the staff.   This is where managing expectations comes into play.

We are converting our children from the notion that they are “guests” to the fact that we are all on vacation and everyone’s participation goes a long way!

Gratefully, Tina

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You would think, with all of the technological advances we have made since the Industrial Revolution, that workers in the United States would have more free time to enjoy the fruits of their labor.  Seemingly, this is not the case.  Stress levels seem to be at an all time high! Chronic Stress is dangerous to our health & well being.  Chronic Stress:

  • impacts our ability to have restful sleep
  • lowers our immunity
  • causes irritability, makes us down right cranky
  • negatively impact our health
  • interferes with our decision making skills

When we are well-rested and in a healthy frame of mind, we are much better able to handle what life throws our way.  Americans are under nourished when it comes to taking vacation time.  We are the only industrialized nation that does not have a formal paid vacation policy.  In an article written in 2007, the Center for Policy and Economic Research dubbed the US the “No Vacation Nation.” While we have literally no policy regarding paid vacation time, other developed countries are swimming in paid vacation time.

  • Finland – 30 days off, with 14 paid Holidays
  • 34+ Paid Vacation Days –  Spain, Germany, Denmark, Austria, Iceland, UK, Portugal, France, Sweden, Brazil

IMG_8078There is something in our culture that prevents many of us from even taking the limited time off that we are allowed.  We feel guilty or feel that we can be replaced.  The jury is out regarding the root cause of this mind set.  However, many experts agree that taking time away from the office in the form of a Vacation has many benefits:

  • Improved Relationships
  • Increased Productivity after returning
  • Improved overall quality of Life
  • Better able to manage stress
  • Balance to Health & Lifestyle

The key to maximizing or taking advantage of your time off is two-fold.  Plan ahead and know what you want to get out of your vacation.  The idea is to eliminate or mitigate the stress in your life, not to add to it.  One person’s ideal trip may be fishing at a lake 5 hours away.  Others long for a trip to Europe with all of the site seeing that they can take advantage of.  Some thrive on a ship with 3000 other passengers while others are perfectly content on a small ship that accommodates only 220 passengers.  Many families long for the welcoming beaches and unlimited food & drink of an all-inclusive resort.

Whatever vacation allows you to relax and enjoy your family or significant other is the right one; as long as you are on the same page with fellow travelers of course 🙂  Issue yourself a mandate to enjoy life outside of work or the household duties.  A well-planned vacation will reward you exponentially.  It is the gift that keeps on giving!

If  you would like help in planning your next vacation experience, please contact Tina at tweiss@intriguetravel.com or 317-660-2080.