Home Again, Home Again…

Longchamp nylon bag with crossbody strap

Bags are unpacked, laundry is (mostly) done. I’m a little jet-lagged, which manifests in disrupted sleep patterns and having periods of grogginess during the day. I’ve noticed that as we’ve traveled more, it’s become easier to adjust to time differences, and the jet lag is less severe. I’ve also learned to manage it a bit better by getting outside and moving around as much as possible upon arrival, eating light and staying hydrated.

I’ll be working on my travel wardrobe recap and should have it posted soon, but wanted to share a couple of notes while I’m thinking of them:

  • My casual travel day bag choice for this trip worked out well. I used the small nylon “le Pliage” bag with the cross-body strap and a purse organizer insert. The insert didn’t add much weight but made a huge difference in keeping contents organized and prevented me having to rummage to find specific items. (Mine’s a few years old and no longer available, other options HERE.)
  • If you’re a U.S. citizen, travel periodically outside of the US, and haven’t yet done so, consider signing up for the Global Entry program! We had applied in the spring, but there was a backlog to get interview appointments nearby; we got approved just a couple of days before we left for Japan. No difference in process going out, but coming back into the U.S….OMG! We probably saved ourselves at least an hour of standing in lines going through Immigration and Customs upon our return. I think we did the entire process, from arrival gate to exiting the airport (including claiming bags), in less than 20 minutes. Especially after a long flight when you’re a bit weary and bleary, it’s SO worth it.

More soon…

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15 Comments

  1. October 5, 2016 / 3:22 am

    So Global Entry speeds things up when you land back in the U.S.? It doesn’t affect when you’re going through the foreign airports, right?

    • October 5, 2016 / 7:45 am

      If you get the Nexus option it helps when entering Canada

  2. Meg
    October 5, 2016 / 4:14 am

    We love Global Entry- though my hubby had trouble the first 2 times he tried to re-enter. Until we figured out that the kiosk has a camera set to ‘average height’ , and while his fingerprints were checking out ok his photo was not, since the machine was taking of his neck. LOL .. Now when he comes back to the US, he knows to stoop until he can see his face in the little reflecting plate on the screen.
    I will have to look into the purse organizer. I got a Longchamp bag ( on your recommendation, thank you!) and would like to be a little more sure of where my things are inside. But it is the best travel bag BY FAR. The cross body strap is nice and wide which makes if comfy for sight seeing and the small handles make the bag a little dressier for other events.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery from Jet Lag!

  3. October 5, 2016 / 4:15 am

    Global Entry is genius! O’Hare NEVER seems to have enough people checking passports, and being able to avoid that mess after a long flight is well worth the fees.

    So glad you’re back in 1 piece, and that you had a beautiful time!
    hugs,
    Janice

  4. HopeSprings
    October 5, 2016 / 4:37 am

    We travel back and forth to Canada a lot, and the NEXUS cards have been a godsend. Now I’m wishing we had done the Global Entry at the same time, since the application process was very similar. Maybe we’ll upgrade it when it renews, although we don’t do a ton of international travel. But one quick customs entry after a long flight seems worth it.

  5. October 5, 2016 / 6:21 am

    Mobile Passport is a free app that is officially authorized by US Customs & Border Protection. Works like Global Entry but without the fees, interview, etc. Airport participation is limited for now, but ATL, LAX and other major US entry points are using this app.

    • Susan B
      October 5, 2016 / 7:07 am

      We checked this out over the summer, but it isn’t available in LAX. Quel dommage!

  6. DTK
    October 5, 2016 / 6:35 am

    Global entry saved us at least an hour at SFO the last time. It also means you get TSA precheck on all domestic flights. A godsend when flying out of Newark last week. The regular line was horrendous!

  7. Kristen
    October 5, 2016 / 9:13 am

    Welcome home! Love that bag – I have the lambskin version, and it is a workhorse while traveling and I carry almost every day. Highly recommend.

    • October 5, 2016 / 12:37 pm

      I love that too, especially the colour. I use only nylon or other synthetic fibre bags, as they are so light, and washable, though I wash them by hand in a basin and scrub them if necessary with a very gentle nail brush from Lee Valley.

  8. October 5, 2016 / 11:00 am

    Thank you for the tip about Global Entry. We have the TSA precheck already for domestic flights, but didn’t know about Global Entry. My last trip abroad in August ended with me dealing with the effects of food poisoning during the last couple of hours of my flight and the entire customs process. Thank God I had my daughter with me, as I could hardly stand. Global Entry would have really helped a lot, and my whole family is going to apply now!

  9. October 6, 2016 / 2:50 pm

    More praise for Global Entry. We travel back and forth to France once a year and it was so easy when we returned to Newark. Newark, by the way, is a very challenging airport — which we hope to avoid from now on. Global Entry made a big difference. Big lines on one side and us, all alone, entering our fingerprints and breezing through on the other. Just great. And I recommend it to my traveling clients

  10. GingerR
    October 6, 2016 / 6:32 pm

    I got a Global Entry when I did my TSA pre-check. I’m not planning on committing any crimes, my ID and fingerprints have been taken so many times they’d nab me in a heartbeat.

  11. Joyce
    October 6, 2016 / 8:17 pm

    A tip on Global Entry – several credit cards (e.g., AMEX platinum )will reimburse you for the application fee. So, check before you charge.

    • Susan B
      October 6, 2016 / 8:24 pm

      Hi Joyce, that’s true, and thanks for mentioning! We did use an Amex that reimbursed the charges.

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