Travel Tips

Why You Should Consider Getting CLEAR

If you follow me on social media (hint, hint), you know I'm Global Entry's biggest fan. It's the fastest way to re-enter the country and breeze your way through customs. It's seriously one of the best ideas Homeland Security's ever had. But what about saving time on the front end of your trip?

TSA Pre-check was all the rage some years ago. But since everyone has gotten it through their credit cards and Global Entry, lines for PreCheck can be as long as they are for regular security. That's where CLEAR comes in.


I first signed up for CLEAR when I was flying to Atlanta last year and saw that the PreCheck line was around the corner. Patience has never been a virtue of mine and the rep for CLEAR just so happened to be standing there. She asked if I'd like to give it a try and I thought why the hell not. Sign up was simple and right there on the spot.

The rep told me that the cost was $179 for the year but I had two months to cancel. $179 sounded really steep to me in the moment but I made a mental note to cancel before the 30 day trial period was over. After the quick finger print scan and sign up with my information, the rep escorted me to the front of the TSA PreCheck line and BAM! I went through security quicker than ever before. With CLEAR, you're able to essentially bypass the entire security line, whether you have PreCheck or not. You don't even need ID! The kiosk uses your fingerprints or eye scan to determine your identity. It's awesome.


I've used CLEAR every time I've gone to the airport since then and each time, it's truly refreshing to skip the line and silently one-up everyone still standing in line. The downside? It's $179 per year. I'm not gonna lie. My feelings were hurt when I saw my account debited for what seemed like an unnecessary purchase at the time. I wondered to myself if I'd really use it. I've used it every time I've gone to the airport since enrolling so it's a small price to pay for someone who travels often. I love skipping lines wherever possible and this just made boarding my flight that much easier. Since the price is a little high, I highly recommend CLEAR for frequent travelers. If you don't travel often, PreCheck may still be an okay, less costly option for you. 

You can also use CLEAR at stadiums and arenas. I've never seen it at a stadium but hey, they say it's there. So what do you think? Would you give CLEAR a try?

4 Ways to Incorporate Mindfulness into Travel

If you searched Instagram, you'd be hard pressed not to find people boasting about their travels - how many countries they've been to, how their life of travel is awesome, and how you should do it too. Instead of designer handbags and fancy cars, travel has become the new "it" thing to showcase status. People are in search of over-the-top experiences, stories to tell to share with their (Instagram) audiences and low-key bragging rights. There's nothing wrong with those things (well bragging rights, maybe), but it has to make you travel for the sake of travel just another form of consumption?

According to, mindfulness is defined as "a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique." Mindfulness has been practiced for thousands of years in religions like Buddhism and Hinduism. However, it has become popular in recent years as people are living increasingly busy lives and meditation has become a popular coping tactic. So how can you incorporate mindfulness into your travels?

1. Set your intentions.

Before your travels begin, think about what you want to accomplish through your trip. Do you want to use your vacation to relax and reset? Or to party like there's no tomorrow? Whatever the case may be, setting your intention before you travel will help you to remain true to the purpose of your trip.

2. Absorb your surroundings.

I specifically remember being in South Africa and being so excited to share with my audience everything I was experiencing. Good food, good people, good vibes. But I was missing it all because I was too busy on my phone instead of taking in everything happening around me. I caught myself, put my phone down, and completely took South Africa and all of its awesomeness in. While it is important to document your travels, don't forget to take a minute to internalize the moment you're in and express thankfulness for it.

3. Write in a journal.

Before your day begins or ends, take a moment to reflect on how you're feeling and what you're thinking about where you are. You'll be able to look back on those thoughts and feelings and remember the time and place for better or for worse. Either way is a learning lesson.

4. Be still.

Have you ever just taken a moment to sit and be still in the moment? Sometimes the ins and outs of travel can happen so quickly that we can forget to just take a moment to ourselves. Sit. Be still. People watch. Whatever it takes to just be in the moment.

The more I travel, the more I've felt it is important to travel with travel more mindfully. In the age of mass social media consumption, it can be hard to remember that travel is a privilege and a gift. Don't squander it trying to front for the 'gram.