Clear Is Worth It For Me

Clear.png

If you are a frequent traveler, you have probably noticed that TSA Precheck line is not as fast as it used to be. Now, every Tom, Dick and Harry is using Precheck which is clogging the lines with more people (and with people that don't travel frequently so they slow the lines down). 

So I started using a new strategy:  Clear.  With my Tripit Pro annual subscription (for $49), I had a 4 month free trial to use Clear.  Rack rate is $179 but Delta Sky Miles has a deal with them.  Depending on your status, you can get it for significantly less than full cost. 

Sign up was easy.  Fill out a few questions online and then the next time I was at the airport, I arrived a few minutes earlier so I could finish the sign up process.  After getting some biometrics (a retina scan and fingerprints), I was moved to the front of the Precheck line. 

This morning (Saturday) in Detroit (DTW), I was shocked at not only how long the regular TSA line was but was frustrated that the Precheck line was long and slow.  I spotted my new friends at Clear and 45 seconds later, I was at the front of the Precheck line.  Loved that!

While Clear is not inexpensive, I can say if you travel enough, it will be worth it from the time you can save since it works to get you to the front of the Precheck line. 

Securing Your Internet Connection

A brief explanation of how a VPN works

A brief explanation of how a VPN works

I have been reading a lot about how our internet connections are not safe.  Governments, thieves, criminals, and hackers are targeting business travelers more and more.  Your need to take protection of your own data and that of your company seriously.  To that end, a while back I started researching actions that I can take to for protection.  Instead of abandoning hotel and other WiFi connections that I (along with many other road warriors depend on), I decided to start my research machine.  I will "bottom line" my findings for you.

Travelers should get try to access the WiFi connections through a Virtual Private Network (VPN).  The picture above gives a brief explanation of how one accesses the internet with and without a VPN.  Essentially, your data being transmitted has the potential to be interceptedand that chance is lessened using a VPN.  

There are free VPN options and paid.  My research shows you get what you pay for in this arena.  I decided to purchase a subscription to Private Internet Access.  It is about $40 per year and provides you apps for your smartphone and tablets and easily installed programs on your Mac and PC.  One subcription will cover your phones/tablets and computer.  I highly recommend that you get a VPN right away.