In the next few weeks I’ll be in Boston (home!), Minneapolis, NY, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Ohio (a couple places), Nebraska (I forget exactly wherein), and maybe Chicago.
The key to traveling this much without going insane or burning out is to have a system to make it comfortable, productive, and sustainable. Which, for me, mostly means eliminating things that are going to annoy me.
I have a whole travel system including wrinkle-free clothes, every connector possible for hooking my laptop up to screens, portable exercise routine, etc., but by far the best travel investment I’ve ever made is getting Global Entry.
Travel Victories due to TSA Precheck
Here are 3 anecdotes from a single 2-day customer roadtrip last year I took with some colleagues:
- Day 1 morning: my alarm went off. 37 minutes later I was showered, dressed, and at the gate for my flight. At. The. Gate. Many people spent 37 minutes just in the security line.
- Day 1 evening: we left our customer’s office for the airport. Jared’s flight was an hour earlier than mine. Halfway to the airport we get stuck in horrible traffic. The cars in the accident we passed had clearly exploded and burned for hours (no joke). Jared was at risk of missing his flight entirely, and he’s sitting there sweating because he would have to be that guy that pushed through a security line saying, “MOVE! I’M GONNA MISS MY FLIGHT!!!” You don’t want to be that guy. I wasn’t at risk of being that guy because I don’t wait in lines. I dropped him off at departures, went to return the rental car, and STILL beat him through security.
- Day 2 morning: we arrive at O’Hare. Ashley & I were through security in 2 minutes. Liron was almost an hour standing in line. That’s like a whole hour Ashley & I had to do anything other than waiting in a line.
HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???? You might ask.
TSA Precheck. It’s probably the best government program ever. It makes dealing with the TSA almost pleasant. I swear, the precheck staff are even in a better mood than the regular staff because they’re mostly dealing with frequent travelers, who are easy.
But wait, there’s more precheck!
Now, some suckers apply for just the precheck. However, in today’s global world it’s not just security lines that suck, it’s immigration lines as well.
If you travel abroad in peak seasons you can expect to spect as much as 2 hours in line between immigration and customs when arriving back at Boston Logan (it can be worse in bigger hubs like Miami or JFK, the worst international airport in North America). And that’s AFTER your exhausting 7 hour flight from wherever.
With Global Entry, you’re through immigration and customs in no time.
Global Entry is $100 for 5 years (precheck alone is like $85…you’re foolish to not spend the extra $15). It takes no time to fill out an application, but you do have to do a quick 15-minute interview at your local airport at some point. The time it takes you to go to the airport, have the interview, and return to work is just a little longer than Liron spent in security on this one flight I mentioned above.
Know who has global entry? People that hate f’ing lines, and people that travel a lot.
Obligatory Customer Referral
Don’t just take my word on it, take Ashley’s:
“It’s the best $100 I ever spent.”
She gets up at some ungodly hour every morning to Crossfit. She doesn’t F around. She loves Global Entry and TSA Precheck.
The time it took you to read this? Less than I spend in security for any flight in America.