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Holy Cow, TSA PreCheck has gone International

New Airlines Announce TSA PreCheck Participation   The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced 11 new airlines are participating in the PreCheck program. What does that mean? It means eleven more chances to skip the security line and breeze through the airport. Many of these new airlines are international, which alleviates concerns that many travelers […]

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New Airlines Announce TSA PreCheck Participation

 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced 11 new airlines are participating in the PreCheck program. What does that mean? It means eleven more chances to skip the security line and breeze through the airport. Many of these new airlines are international, which alleviates concerns that many travelers had. Before, all participating airlines were domestic and this was a huge hurdle that the TSA overcame today. 

The TSA PreCheck program was launched a few years ago in response to the popularity of their random selection process. Predating Pre Check, the TSA would select passengers they believed were low risk, usually the elderly and frequent flyers. This program caused some controversy and is slowly being phased out, especially with the popularity of the PreCheck.

The PreCheck program started off slowly with only a few participating airlines and airports, but now 30 airlines and over 150 airports are on board. See what I did there, that’s a plane pun, oh boy.

This is a huge win for the TSA, who since their inception after 9/11, they haven’t had the best reputation. Many frequent flyers were reluctant to join the PreCheck program without international transporters. The new influx of international carriers should boost the program to new heights.

The new airlines are Aruba Airlines, Avianca, Boutique Airlines, Emirates, Key Lime Air, Miami Air International, Southern Airways Express, Spirit Airlines, Sunwing, Virgin Atlantic, and Xtra Airways. I had to double check because I thought someone was playing a trick on me, like some of these airlines sound made up. I mean, Xtra Airlines sounds like a bad celebrity news show and Key Line Airlines sounds like a tasty pie, but oh well, cheap flights are cheap flights.

Here are all the TSA PreCheck Participants

 

American Airlines

Delta Airlines

United Airlines

Frontier Airlines

Allegiant Airlines

Southwest Airlines

OneJet

JetBlue Airlines

Virgin America

Lufthansa

Etihad Airways

CapeAir

Hawaiian Airlines

Alaska Airlines

Air Canada

Aeromexico

WestJet

Emirates (New)

Virgin Atlantic (New)

Aruba Airlines (New)

Avianca (New)

Key Lime Air (New)

Sunwing Airlines (New)

Xtra Airlines (New)

Southern Airways Express (New)

Spirit Airlines (New)

Miami Air International (New)

Boutique Airlines (New)

Seaborne Airlines

Sun Country Airlines

Overview

TSA PreCheck is a program that allows passengers to avoid the hassle of security lines by being vetted ahead of time. This is extremely valuable in saving time and lessening frustrations. The program only costs $85 and is good for 5 years. Simple signup process, all you need to do is fill out this application. https://www.tsa.gov/precheck

Then just schedule an appointment here

Once you have done these two easy steps, your background will be checked and then you will receive a Known Flyer Number, this is your pass to freedom. Gone are the days of taking your shoes off, belts off and laptops out. Again, the fee is only $85 and lasts for 5v whole years. So even if you only fly once a year, the $85 will be well worth it. You aren’t only helping yourself out; you are helping out every other passenger and TSA employee.

I can’t recommend TSA PreCheck more.

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Destinations

Best Time to Vacation in Vietnam

Asia’s not so little secret, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and cheap places to visit. There are definitely better seasons than others, so here is a simple guide to Vietnam.

 

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Asia’s not so little secret, Vietnam is one of the most beautiful and cheap places to visit. Land of exotic beaches, dense and plentiful jungles and vast vistas, Vietnam has it all. With good weather almost all year round, you can visit this Southeast Asian country anytime. Vietnam is a long country ranging from north to south, so the weather can be very different in separate sections. There are definitely better seasons than others, so here is a simple guide to Vietnam.

 

Winter

Visit in the winter to beat the incredible summer heat. Also, you want to check out the Vietnamese New Year, Tet, and the country’s biggest party. The best time to visit is the dry season, ranging from October to March. The wet season can be crazy with typhoons wreaking havoc.   The temps range from 60s to 70s (Fahrenheit) so its great for backpackers and explorers.

Central Vietnam is monsoon season until December, so steer clear until then. No one wants to be wet their entire vacation, unless you are snorkeling. The temperatures will drop into the 60s so make sure you have a light jacket. The warm weather is there by February, so pack a swimsuit.

The southern tip of Vietnam is beach central, so bring sunscreen, SPF 30 or higher. Temps down south will sour to the upper 80s in the winter.

 

Spring

 

March through April in the north is dry and cool, great for venturing into the vast rice patties. Lower humidity makes the jungles accessible..

Central Vietnam is rainy in the spring, so pack a jacket and good shoes. Keep the materials light, as it is humid in the central parts.

You will see locals wearing thin plastic ponchos, which are great. Pick one up for cheap and save you gear from being damp. Down South, the weather is perfect, beach babes galore and beach parties into the night.

Summer

 

Think humidity is fun, try summer in southern Vietnam. You will sweat through any article of clothing, so tank tops, shorts and flip-flops are recommended. May to June is the most consistent weather in the North and Central regions. Rains constantly up north, so steer clear and the central areas are dry as a bone. You can visit the amazing cave systems in this area. Home to the largest caves in the world. Spelunkers unite here to explore and team up for safety.

 

Fall

This is the perfect time to visit all parts of Vietnam. It’s not to dry and not to wet, you get a little of everything in the fall.

Check out the Mid-Autumn Festival where thousands of lanterns are released into the air and paper lions dance in the streets. Best time to eat traditional Vietnamese food is at this festival.. dates change every year so check that out when planning.

 

Vietnam has a little something for everyone. The weather changes a lot so map out your trip accordingly. The food is incredible, people are all so nice and the scenery is exquisite.

 

Photos courtesy of ap.org, beautiful, vivid, travel and living

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Travel

5 Ways to Make Your Band’s Tour A Success

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Heading out on the road is always a fun and exciting time for a band. You get to visit new cities, discover new artists and play to new audiences all over the country. While it may be fun and new for the most part, there are some stressful events that could occur while being on the road.

Below are 5 tips to remember when you hit the road for your next tour.

Have Plenty of Merch Printed Beforehand

One of the most important things to do before hitting the road is to have plenty of merch. Your band merch is what will help you make money while on tour. Be sure to print shirts, hats, stickers and anything else that your fans may want.

If you don’t have much merchandise, be sure to create a few designs that will be popular among your fans. You can also sell LPs, flags and other unique items that showgoers will want to take home.

Create a Setlist Ahead of Time

It’s always important to have a setlist ready before each show. This will ensure that you know what songs you’re going to play and in what order. Having a setlist will also help with the flow of your show.

If you’re not sure what songs to play, consider your audience and the venue. You want to make sure that you’re playing songs that everyone will enjoy.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Before heading out on tour, it’s important to practice as a band. This will help ensure that you’re tight as a unit and ready to take on any challenges that may come your way.

Practicing also gives you a chance to work out any kinks in your songs and have a smooth set. You don’t want to be caught off guard by a song that doesn’t sound right. Seasoned audience members will be quick to know when something is off, so practice as much as you can before hitting the road.

Know Where You’re Going

You never want to be the band that shows up to the gig late. For this reason,  it’s important to know where you’re going ahead of time. Be sure to map out the route and plan for any traffic or construction delays. You’ll probably come across some long stretches of road, so leave each city with plenty of time for driving and stops along the way.

It’s also a good idea to have a backup plan in case something happens and you can’t make it to the gig on time. Have an alternate route mapped out and be sure to communicate with the venue ahead of time. They’ll appreciate the effort and may even give you a chance to play a longer set.

Be Professional

When you’re out on tour, it’s important to remember that you’re representing your band. Be sure to be professional at all times, both on and off stage. This means being respectful to your fans, the venue staff and everyone you come in contact with.

You want people to remember your band in a positive light, so be sure to leave a good impression. People will be more likely to come see you play again if they had a good time the first time around.

By following these tips, you’re sure to have a successful tour. Be sure to enjoy the time on the road and make the most of it. These memories will last a lifetime.

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Travel

Top 8 Hikes to Free Your Soul in the U.S.

Hiking is a great way to see nature and get a workout, but don’t forget to hike while on vacation. Many people travel to beautiful locations only to sit in a resort or stay in the confines of a city. Not me, I enjoy being…

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Hiking is a great way to see nature and get a workout, but don’t forget to hike while on vacation. Many people travel to beautiful locations only to sit in a resort or stay in the confines of a city. Not me, I enjoy being in nature and seeing parts of our great country not on the beaten path and instead forge my own trail. If you are like me then this list of the top 5 hikes to travel to in the U.S is just up your alley. I scoured the internet and used my personal experiences to figure out which spots are the best and worth your trip.

 

Kalalau Trail, Kauai, Hawaii

Beginning with the most spectacular hike I’ve ever been on is an obvious jumping off point. The Kalalau trail in Kauai is just spectacular and divine. The 2-mile hike ends at a beautiful beach, which is only accessible by boat or the hike. Pack lots of water as this hike ventures up mountains, through a rain forest and finishes off at a pristine beach. The trail blazes through boulders and across a river multiple times, so be prepared to get wet.

 

Grand Canyon North Rim, Arizona

One of the eight wonders of the world, the grand canyon is grandiose in every aspect of the word. The North Rim is harder to access and more difficult of a hike, but the views and sunset/sunrises are worth the trouble. No list of best hikes can be written without including the Grand Canyon, well worth any trip.

 

Pacific Crest Trail, Western Coast of US

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Mexico all the way to Canada, along the Western Coast of the US. The entire hike is 2,650 miles long and ventures through three states. Traverse through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains while exploring the beautiful scenery. The entire trail is ridiculously long, so pick a small portion a try it out.

 

Paint Mines, Colorado

This 3.6-mile loop trail is one of Colorado’s prettiest and a hidden gem in the Rockies. The beautifully highlighted clay set this hike apart from others, as I’ve never seen a collection of colors in nature. There are also human made mines that date back over 9,00 years.

 

Angels Landing, Utah

Getting its name from the 1,500 ft rock formation in Zion National Park, this hike is incredible. Only a 2.5-mile trek to the top of the Angels Landing, gives you outstanding views of Zion Canyon and its entirely carved out of solid rock.

 

John Muir Trail – California

Named after famed naturalist, John Muir, this hiker’s heaven is the ultimate trek. A 210-mile hike that takes adventurers weeks to accomplish is the bar that all hikes are measured on. Starting out in Yosemite National Park, this trail takes you to Mount Whitney, Continental United States, tallest peak. Not for the weary or novice, this hike is intense but completely worth the trouble.

 

Mt Heavenly Overlook Trek, Alaska

This is one of Alaska’s easiest mountains to summit and great for hikers of all levels. The Overlook trail begins in thick forest and traverses tundra and finally comes out on top. The views of Alaska are huge and vast, making this one of my favorite hikes of all time.

 

Many Glacier Area, Montana

Located in the center of Montana’s Glacier National Park, Many Glacier is a hike to see the ancient world. Active glacier and beautiful mountain lakes dot this hike and make it a dream come true. Check out the way the world looked in the ice ages with this spectacular glacier hike.

 

Explore our world one step at a time with these wonderful hikes that vary in difficulty and will leave you speechless. Our world is bigger and more beautiful than you could ever imagine.

 

Photos Courtesy of NewYorkTimes, Hawaii-Guides, electricreflections, squamlakes.org

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