Posts Tagged ‘Travel’

Discovering the World of Global Entry

By Amanda Klimak CTIE   Monday, September 10th, 2012

In the world of luxury travel, there are many things I have learned.  First, my job as a travel advisor is to give advice based on my first-hand experiences so I know what works and what doesn’t.  Next, that well-traveled individuals HATE, and I mean HATE, to stand in line.  Most hotels and cruise lines make a conscious effort to help travelers avoid lines, however, US Customs and Immigration was different.  Traditionally travelers could spend a small eternity (anywhere from 30 – 90 minutes or more) waiting on line to be welcomed home after long international flights.  This was a sad fact because as advisors, we would spend hours planning the perfect trip, carefully selecting the itinerary, choosing the hotels and arranging flights on the airline with the best on-board experience.  Only to have our precious travelers left holding their bags in an endless line when re-entering the US.  Traditionally, this was out of our control to advisors, however, now, with the new Global Entry program, we can make those lines disappear and the trip home seamless.  So, as all good travel advisors do, I took the two hour ride to JFK Airport to complete my Global Entry application, so I can test the system and make a recommendation.

The Global Entry membership allows travelers to walk past the long lines at immigrations and customs, breeze up to a kiosk, insert their passport and have their fingerprints scanned.  They then bypass the immigration agent, for they have already been pre-qualified as a Global Entry traveler.  For those of you who travel internationally and are unfamiliar with Global Entry, you need to pay attention because this information will change your traveling life forever.

The Global Entry membership program allows travelers to go through an application and screening process in order to bypass immigration and customs lines when you re-enter the US from abroad.  The application is quite simple and only takes a few minutes online and the interview, which is scheduled in advance with the Global Entry Officer, is only about 15 minutes long. Once the interview is complete, you are photographed and fingerprinted, which allows you to use the kiosk in the airport when re-entering the US.  The membership fee is $100 and lasts for 5 years AND, as if that wasn’t good enough, you are automatically qualified for TSA PreCheck clearance, which allows you to keep your shoes on and laptop in your bag at certain domestic airports when you travel domestically.  Also, anyone paying with an American Express Platinum card will receive reimbursement for the charges.

There are a few qualifications for Global Entry, however, as long as you haven’t broken any laws, smuggled snails in to the country or lied on your application, you should be all set.  For more information on Global Entry, you can CLICK HERE for a Global Entry brochure or go online to

Later this year Largay Travel will host a Global Entry Day in our headquarters in Waterbury, Connecticut, where Global Entry Officers will be on site to perform interviews.  If you are interested in participating, please email me at and I will let you know the details when they are available. 

So, this October when I return from hosting a Voyager Club group on the Silver Spirit, I will test the system once and for all.  And maybe I won’t skip past all the weary travelers waiting in the endless line at the airport like I imagined during my long drive to JFK.  Maybe, instead, I will just smile and walk on by knowing that all of MY travelerswill do the same.  Safe journies my friends!

The Virtuoso Traveler Photography Contest 2012

By Amanda Klimak CTIE   Monday, June 11th, 2012
Now accepting entries for the 2012 Virtuoso Traveler Photo Contest!ENTER HERE

Round up your best photographs from your worldwide travels, and submit them today. Four lucky Virtuoso travelers will earn cash prizes and may even have their photo featured in VIRTUOSO LIFE magazine or other Virtuoso materials!

The deadline to enter is Sunday, July 1, 2012.

As some of the most well-traveled people on the planet, our clients, we invite and encourage you to submit your original travel photographs that best reflect the contest theme — Your Virtuoso Travel Moments.

Judges will be looking for images that show you, your family, and/or your friends enjoying moments captured during vacations planned by your professional travel advisor. You’ll have a chance to title each image, to indicate where and when it was taken, and to tell us a little about what made it a special Virtuoso moment for you.

Virtuoso will award cash prizes to four lucky Virtuoso Travelers — one Grand Prize ($1,000), one first prize ($500), one second prize ($300), and one third prize ($200). Additionally, entries may be featured in VIRTUOSO LIFE magazine or other Virtuoso materials.

Just imagine how great it would it be to have one of your vacation photos published in an award-winning travel magazine?! Submit your entry, and you’re one step closer to fame, fortune, and cash!

The contest entry form is exclusively online. To enter (and for complete image requirements, contest details, and official rules), visit the Virtuoso Traveler Photo Contest website today. Good luck!

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