Stress-Free​ Travel

I don’t want to sell you a false dream. I don’t think traveling will ever truly be stress-free, but since I have traveled so much in the past year, I have some tips to make the experience a little easier.

Avoid checking bags

Every now and then you have to check a bag. For longer trips it might be necessary, but if you can avoid it, do so at all costs. The lines at airline kiosks are too long and if you’re at a major airport like Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, LaGuardia or JFK in New York, or LAX in Los Angeles, the precious minutes you spend waiting to check your bag in can be the difference between you making your flight or not. Also, waiting for your bag post flight can be annoying. It always seems like it takes forever for your bags to finally show up on the belt. Avoid the inconvenience and travel light.

Send your boarding pass to your phone

Again, why stand in line to print your boarding pass at the airport when you can have it emailed to your phone when you check in? It will save you time and it’s one less thing to carry around. Just make sure your phone is charged or carry a portable charger if it tends to die quickly.

TSA Pre-Check

If you’re like me, going through security is your least favorite part about traveling. It just takes forever! This past September I signed up for Global Entry, which allows me to use TSA Pre-Check when going through security. It is a much shorter line and it moves a lot quicker because you don’t have to take your laptop and liquids out or take off your shoes. TSA Pre-Check is $85 and lasts 5 years, so if you travel even semi-regularly I would highly recommend it. Also, for $15 more, you can get Global Entry, which has the same benefits as TSA Pre-Check. The only difference is that it allows you to skip the line at customs as well when traveling to or from America.

ClearMe

This is a new form of security that airports and sporting events are using to ensure the identity and security of those who use it at participating locations. To use ClearMe at the airport, all you have to do is find a ClearMe kiosk, tap your finger or blink an eye for the sensor and have a ClearMe representative take you to the front of your security line whether that is general security or TSA Pre-Check. Prior to this you should fill out the online application and visit a ClearMe location to submit your information into the system. The application process generally takes no more than 5-10 minutes and the actual experience of using ClearMe at the airport takes even less time. ClearMe costs $179 per year and costs an additional $50 for other family members to join. Children under 18 receive free access when accompanied by members. As a disclaimer, ClearMe is not at every airport. They have select locations, so visit their website and see if ClearMe would be a helpful resource for you and your travel. Also, ClearMe is not solely an airport security system, different stadiums and arenas use it as well. Since I have TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry, I haven’t found it necessary to invest in ClearMe, but as they expand I might do so in the future.

Away suitcases

You’re in the airport, you have a layover, and your phone is dying. Finding an open outlet is just as hard as finding reasonably priced bottled water. Well, you won’t need to fight over outlets if you have this suitcase. It can charge your electronics for you. Finally, travel made easy! Away suitcases come in all suitcase sizes, have TSA Approved padlocks, and of course charging ports. Also, Away suitcase’s color selection is great and makes finding a functional suitcase that fits your style easy.

Priority Pass Airport Lounge

Have you even had a long layover and just wanted to get a reasonably priced meal? Maybe you wanted to find a place to take a quick nap, but you didn’t want to do so in public. Maybe you had some work to get done but the airport Wi-Fi wasn’t fast enough. Or you just wanted to relax in seats more comfortable than the airport chairs at your gate. If any of these scenarios applied to you, then Priority Pass Airport Lounges might be for you. While not all lounges have the same amenities, the perks of becoming a member are that you get access to free and fast Wi-Fi, food, alcohol, and whatever amenities are present (some lounges have workout areas, spas, pools, etc.). Each airport is different so it’s important that you check what is available at your airport’s lounge prior to booking your flight. To join, it costs $249 and you receive 10 free visits after which you will be charged $27 per entry. The cost of bringing in a guest is $27. If you pay $399 you can have unlimited access to Priority Pass Airport Lounges for a year. I know, the pricing is kind of steep. Personally, I do not have a membership to Priority Pass Airport Lounges, but for those of you who travel often, this might be worth the investment.

Traveling can be stressful. Hopefully, these tips will make it bearable next time you decide to jet off.

Where do you plan on traveling to this year?

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