Why Global Entry Will Rock Your Traveling World in Your Thirties

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: If you fly a good amount (more than 4 or 5 times a year) and don’t yet have Global Entry, apply right now!! It’s amazing, and will save you so much time and hassle at the airport. I promise you will love it.

I use my Global Entry everywhere I go, including domestic locations! It’s not just for global travel- having Global Entry INCLUDES having TSA Precheck!

Once again, because this is a major selling point for everyone, including myself- Global Entry INCLUDES TSA Precheck!!! This inclusion is a wonderful feature. TSA Precheck is $85 for 5 years, and Global Entry is $100 for 5 years. Here’s why Global Entry is a WAY better option than TSA precheck:

For $15 more TOTAL over the span of 5 years, with Global Entry you:

  • Will be able to go through the very fast and easy precheck line at security NINETY FIVE PERCENT of the time, versus sixty to seventy five percent of the time if you only have TSA Precheck.
  • Breeze through customs at almost any international airport on a special super short Global Entry line versus waiting forever in the customs line with TSA Precheck (because you don’t get any international perks with Precheck).
  • Get a government issued Global Entry ID card with your photo that you can use as your ID anywhere, especially at the airport. (It’s always nice to have an extra piece of government issued photo ID, plus, in my opinion, they treat you better at the airport when they see you have that special VIP card.)

When you have Global Entry and you go through the TSA precheck line, you:

  • Breeze through a faster security line and get to your gate faster!
  • Avoid those stupid millimeter wave machines where you have to put your arms up!(We don’t know what that radiation really does and I like avoiding it).
  • Leave your shoes on!
  • Leave your liquids in your bag!
  • Leave your computer in your bag!
  • Go without those silly plastic bins that are always missing! (at most airports)

Here’s how to apply for Global Entry. It’s very easy.

I swear I don’t work for them and am getting no ad money out of this. I wish. I just love my Global Entry so much.

Also, here’s another blogpost I wrote last year about Global Entry, in case you want more info: Why You Should Get Global Entry In Your Thirties.

Enjoy traveling like the rockstar that you are! And have fun!

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Line next to me in Vancouver airport without Global Entry

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My line in Vancouver airport. No one ahead of me and I waited only one minute 🙂

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Unwinding During the Busiest Times In Your Thirties

I’m just coming off of the busiest and most hectic time of year in my line of work. The auto show season has come to a close and many tradeshows I work with are popping up and winding down. Yet my mind still whirls. It’s hard to come down from both the highs and the lows of being extremely busy and mildly crazed.

I remember one tactic I used to have to handle work stress when I felt like I had no time to calm down was to try to find a small amount of time in the middle of the day- sometimes just 10 minutes- and let my mind go completely blank and peaceful. This wasn’t part of the standard meditations I do- it was a separate time or two during the day sometimes during a quick work break. I’d just take a “vacation” in the midst of the busyness. My mind would let go.

This practice has been too long forgotten from my days, but I thought of it again when I was having an anxious moment at the airport yesterday. I was thinking about all the tasks I had yet to do, even though there were less than usual. I hadn’t gotten enough sleep, and an annoying negative loop was playing in my head. And then I suddenly remembered my 10 minute “vacation” practice of thinking about nothing in the midst of stressful times. So I stared around the airport and said ‘screw all these tasks i’m thinking about. Screw them all.’ And I simply smiled and observed the terminal.

Nothing happened. The world didn’t end. I slept on the flight. The tasks happened later and it was no big deal. When you find yourself needing to feel tense and busy out of habit, try taking a ‘vacation’ from wherever you are. Say ‘screw it’ to all the tasks and worries in your mind for at least a few minutes and try to smile and simply go blank. Just observe.

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Don’t let the habit of feeling busy become a need. You never need to feel tense. Just let go.  It’ll get easier every time.

Why You Should Get Global Entry In Your Thirties

I was always that weirdo who opted out of the airport scanner machines. I never liked them, and I knew that the jury was out on their safety and health risks (even though TSA always claimed they were safe).

If you opt out of the scanner machines, you’ll be subjected to a patdown. I never minded much (free massage!), except that waiting for a patdown always takes awhile, and you’re subjected to gawking stares from fellow passengers who think you’ve been pulled aside because you’re a terrorist.

It was actually a TSA agent patting me down a few years ago who recommended getting Global Entry. I’m amazed that I didn’t really know much about the program even though I fly over 2 or 3 dozen times a year for work.

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If you travel at all outside the country, and hopefully in your thirties you’re doing a bit more of that, I highly recommend Global Entry.

You’ve probably heard of TSA Pre-check– this allows you to bypass the sometimes crazy lines and go straight through security in your own line.

Global Entry is basically TSA Pre-Check PLUS. You get all the benefits of Pre-Check, PLUS you’re able to bypass Customs when you return from most travel abroad…plus other awesome benefits. You get:

-To bypass the long security line at most airports!

-To leave your shoes on when you go through security (soo nice!)

– To never have to go through the airport scanner (known as a millimeter wave device). You always get to simply go through the metal detector as long as the PreCheck line is open.

-You don’t have to take your laptop out of your bag

-You don’t have to take off your light jacket

-You get more respect when you travel (when gate agents or security agents see my Global Entry card, things always seem to go extra smoothly.

– With Global Entry, your chances of getting PreCheck on your boarding pass are way higher than when you just havePreCheck. I get PreCheck on my boarding pass almost 100% of the time, but a lot of my friends who just have PreCheck (vs Global Entry) get it on their boarding pass around 60%-75% of the time.

It’s easy to apply for Global Entry- just follow the directions here. It’s $100 for 5 years, so only $20 a year- very affordable and super worth it!

TSA Precheck is $85 for 5 years, but you get none of the international and extra benefits that Global Entry gets you. So pay the 15 extra dollars and get Global Entry. It’s been the best thing I’ve done for myself regarding travel.

Throw Money at the Problem

Right now I’m working an auto show in Detroit.

The day I left to fly to Detroit, I woke up later than I’d wanted to. I’d packed the night before and was mildly exhausted.  After I’d already walked 3 blocks away from my apartment towards the bus to the airport, dragging two heavy suitcases behind me, I realized I’d forgotten my Global Entry card and had to drag the suitcases all the way back home. I live a 15 minute bus ride away from LaGuardia airport, but because of all my delays, I ended up just getting an Uber (these are cabs called from an app, in case you’re unfamiliar with Uber in your city).

I felt sort of guilty about spending $17 on an Uber cab instead of $2.50 on a bus, but the cost of being late and missing the flight would have been much much more. The time, stress, and possibly money spent on a new flight would have been much costlier than just throwing money at the lateness problem.

A much as I love saving money, I’m a big fan of picking your battles and using money when you need to. We have money in order to make our lives easier. Sometimes you need to take that hard earned money and throw it at problems that’ll quickly go away when hit.

Don’t get me wrong- I’m not at all rich…not yet 🙂 If you read some of my other articles you’d know I’m still paying off my student loan debt and definitely am not swimming in money. But a little bit of saving goes a long way toward solving some small problems. Now that I’m thirty, I’ve had a few good years of not desperately eating ramen noodles every day…and I have a slight bit more money to put into my ‘throw money at the problem’ account…which is basically my normal checking account.

Jane touched upon this in her post How Much of Your Life Do You Outsource? She was mentioning how much she hated doing laundry at a laundromat when she had to carry heavy bags. Before I lived in a building that had washers and dryers, I used to pay extra for drop off service at the laundromat a few blocks away. I’d just have the people who worked there clean and fold it. I hated having to go back and forth multiple times to the laundromat…I just wanted to drop my laundry off and pick it up all finished. I used this laundry drop off solution for years- it was worth it to me. I saved money elsewhere…like on taking buses to and from airports mostly. I spent my extra money on laundry problems. And I had no regrets.

Recently, I used another paid service Jane mentioned in her same post– this service is a food delivery program called Blue Apron. Blue Apron basically delivers 3 meals a week to your doorstep- only it doesn’t deliver them cooked and put together. The meals are in the form of ingredients and recipes and you cook the meals yourself. Blue Apron is pretty brilliant in a lot of ways. For one, it basically teaches you how to cook. Secondly, the time consuming act of buying ingredients is out of the picture. Thirdly, you know exactly what’s going into your (fancy) meals.

photo 2 (4)I actually managed to finagle a week of Blue Apron for free. A friend of mine ordered it for herself and loved it. She invited me to try a week of it as a free trial (a special promotion Blue Apron offers which I recommend you look around for 🙂 ). Everyone I know who’s tried Blue Apron loves it. In fact, all the married and engaged couples I met at a BBQ I mentioned in my How To Be A Third Wheel  post were buzzing about using it to cook for their significant others instead of ordering out all the time.

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I enjoyed the 3 meals I received from Blue Apron, and was super impressed with their beautiful delivery and presentation. I learned how to cook three new dishes, and the ingredients were delicious and fresh. However, the cost of 3 meals a week (with 2 servings each) would be $60 a week, which was a bit steep for my tastes. So I canceled the service before I had to pay for it. For me, cooking dinner every night is a problem I’d rather solve with time than money. I know I can cook 3 dinners a week for way less money than $60 and didn’t need to pay for Blue Apron’s services. Still, I think Blue Apron is a great and worthwhile service for certain types of people, the same way laundromat drop off was a great and worthwhile service for me.

Sometimes you just need to throw money at a problem….and sometimes you don’t. Know yourself and your budget. Then choose wisely which one it’ll be.

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