Guys, I’m kinda freaking out a little bit. My flight to Europe leaves in exactly two weeks, and I feel like I’m not even close to being ready.
OK, that’s a lie. I bought a larger-than-necessary backpack (fight me, Ryanair), dug my outlet converters out from underneath my bed… and was approved for the U.S. Customs and Border Control’s Global Entry program! (Woo!)
I’d never really considered Global Entry before, but after my passport was stolen during a trip in and out of Heathrow a few years ago, a friend suggested I look into it to expedite the customs process. I’m now stuck with a passport marked “-THIS PASSPORT IS A REPLACEMENT FOR A STOLEN PASSPORT-” for the next literal decade, and my friend — who has the same problem — said Global Entry approval made entering the U.S. a lot easier for him since he hasn’t once been pulled aside for “additional questioning” since joining the program.
I’d also been on the fence about TSA PreCheck since I’ve started flying enough over the past few years to consider it, and since PreCheck is $85 and Global Entry is $100, I figured the extra $15 for the peace of mind when traveling with my replacement passport was totally worth it — especially since I’m planning to go overseas more than once during the five-year validity of the program.
Plus, considering I’m only bringing a backpack (gulp) to Europe in two weeks, it’ll be SO nice to not have to unpack my laptop/ liquids/ etc. for security since I don’t have a personal item I can just slide them in and out of.
Anyway, a coworker was asking me about the program, so I figured I’d talk a little bit about my experience with it!