There’s nothing quite like the rush of jetting off for vacation. Loading up the car with all your luggage, double-checking that you haven’t forgotten anything, running back inside to make sure you remembered to turn the AC off, then setting off for the airport, ready to fly! What a thrill!
The only thing that puts a bit of a damper on the whole thing is the inevitable hassle at airport security…
The mile-long line is the reason you had to leave the house 3 hours early and waiting feels like forever (especially if you have cranky kids).
Get the laptops and devices out of the bags. Dig out the little baggy with the liquids in it.
Go through the scanner, only once if you’re lucky.
Then it’s the whole process in reverse on the other side. Shove everything back into the bags, get your shoes (and the kids’ shoes) back on, and get out of the way so others can exit.
Not exactly the most relaxing start to your vacation, right? And we haven’t even discussed waiting in a long line at customs when you return – when really all you want to do is get home and get to bed.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were ways to streamline this whole process? Well, guess what. There is.
With just a few online forms, small fees, and quick interviews, you can use shorter lines AND keep your shoes on. What is this magic, you ask? We’re talking about TSA Precheck, CLEAR, and Global Entry. Let’s break it down:
TSA Pre-Check – You know how first-class passengers get on the plane before everyone else? Think of this as the first-class section of security. According to the TSA website, “In February 2023, 90% of TSA PreCheck® passengers waited less than 5 min.” To get this VIP treatment, fill out the application online and pay a fee. Once you’re approved, you’re in! Shorter line, and you get to keep your belongings in your bag and your shoes on!
CLEAR – This is an expedited way to check you’re who you say you are. Like Precheck, you apply online and then finish the application at the airport with a CLEAR agent. They’ll add your biometrics to your account, and then you’re good to go. Any time you spot a CLEAR kiosk at an airport, you can use them to quickly verify your identity and move to the front of the screening line. And word on the street is that TSA will be using CLEAR as part of Precheck – so the process may go even faster soon!
Global Entry – Dreading the long Customs line when you land after your vacation? With Global Entry, you can kiss that long line goodbye and be home in bed faster than you can say “nothing to declare.” Sign up online then complete the interview and background check. After you’re approved, upon landing all you have to do is head to the Global Entry kiosk where there are NO LINES, scan your fingerprints and passport, fill out the declaration form, take the ticket that the kiosk prints out and that’s it! Go collect your luggage and load up the car to head home!
Doesn’t a stress-free beginning and end to your vacation sound lovely? Sign up for these three services and make that dream come true. (How the vacation itself goes is all up to you, but I can help you there!)
Now that you're all set for a remarkable vacation why not book one in Cancun, Dubai or on the Virgin Voyages? Book your Girls' Trip Getaway, Dubai Takeover or Couple's Cruise with Mactravel Services for 2024. We wish you safe, hassle free travels and unforgettable moments!
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