Want to Avoid Those Long Airport Lines?


Everyone who is a traveler at one time or another has gotten stuck in a long TSA security line. As you stand there waiting your turn, you start to wonder “what are they going to take out of my carry-on this time because it’s not within regulation.

You start stressing wondering if you arrived at the airport early enough to go through security to make your flight without rushing (hoping your deodorant holds). You begin looking around asking yourself “where are all these people going”. Well, there are two different means in which to get quickly through security – not avoid security – but to move swiftly through security.

One is TSA Pre (Transportation Security Administration) which is part of the Department of Homeland Security. The second, Global Entry Program, U.S Customs and Border Protection, which is also part of the Department of Homeland Security.

Have you considered getting either a TSA Pre number or a Global Entry card because there is a difference between the two? Have you ever noticed there are two security check points at the airport? At one station, there is a long line but if you look down the hallway a security guard is looking at tickets and/or a card; these travelers have either a TSA Pre number or Global Entry card – expediting their security screening.

If you travel “only” within the confines of the United States, all you need is the TSA PreBut, if you are someone who travels both in and outside the United States, you should consider the Global Entry card which is also your TSA Pre. To obtain either is easy. The TSA Pre number is valid for five (5) years and the cost is eighty-five ($85.00) dollars. To apply, go to www.tsa.gov and complete the application form.

After completing and submitting the application form, if you qualify, you will receive a TSA Pre eligibility notice via email advising the next step. The Global Entry card is also valid for five (5) years and the cost is one hundred ($100.00) dollars. To apply go to www.cbp.gov  complete and submit the application form. If you qualify, you will receive a notice via email advising of the next step. If you have a TSA Pre number, the Global Entry number will supersede that number (TSA number will be voided).

I just completed the process for a Global Entry card and found it not difficult. The worse part was the length of time waiting for the interview date.

I received notification of preapproval in August and was surprise to find the earliest appointment date was in the month of December- a wait of four (4) months.

Whichever one you choose, TSA Pre or Global Entry card, is totally your choice. But think about how you travel or plan to travel in the future. If you plan to stay within the confines of the United States, I would suggest a TSA Pre.  But if traveling both in and outside the United States, think about a Global Entry card.  Two things – (1) The Global Entry card will not eliminate random searching of luggage.  (2) If you violate any rules or regulations, this privilege will be revoked.

Whatever you do, don’t think either of these cards will keep you from a “random search”.  Wrong; no one knows who they will stop at baggage claim and do a random search of your luggage.  No one knows – that’s why it called “random search”.  What you decide is entirely your decision but think about incorporating either a TSA Pre number or Global Entry card as part of your travel information or documents.    Courtesy of B. Hayes




5 Tips from a Travel Insider


As you know in this day and time, there are a lot of you who like to take charge and plan your own travel or pretty much do things for yourself. So we took a moment to list 5 Tips from a Travel Insider that will point you in the right direction.

1. Keep in mind that engines like Orbitz and HotWire are at the mercy of the airlines and hotels that put the deals on their website but if you don’t see what you want you can always call a travel professional. They have access to different systems than your online engines most of the times.

2. Speaking of traveling, when purchasing airfare it’s always best to look for rates either on Monday evening or Tuesday. This is when the airlines release their discounts after the weekend sales were unfavorable. So make sure you check back if you had a long weekend of searching and nothing seem appealing.

3. Another little tidbit. The best time to fly would be Saturday to Tuesday or Wednesday to Saturday you’ll find cheaper fares instead of Thursday to Sunday or Friday to Monday.

4. Our all time favorite is the new TSA Prescreening check-in. You don’t have to stand in those long lines when returning from your vacation. This has made it so easy to come back and slide you card to avoid the headache of going through customs. Make sure you apply before your next vacation.

5. Last but not least, forgot your charger at home. No problem. Most hotels or resorts are able to help. Normally they have a variety of chargers on hand from previous travelers leaving them behind. Hotels like Sheraton’s Ballantyne would lend you curling irons – also other items that clients may have left behind.

Hope these insider tips has given you some informed information to a smooth travel experience on next vacation.

#travel-insider #cater2utravels.com



Great Wine Destinations Around The World


Europe is the biggest producer of wine, making it one of the finest wine destinations on the planet. In fact, European wine production accounts for more than two thirds of all of the wine production in the world today. However, just because they produce the most, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other great places to consider. Below is a list of 5 great wine destinations all across the globe.

  1. Napa Valley, California

For an amazing grape getaway, visit the California wine country, Napa Valley. Filled with comfortable caverns, picturesque wineries and more than 50 kinds of grapes, this picturesque getaway, which is only 66 miles north of San Francisco, remain a great wine destination. California wineries have since grown to the degree of their European predecessors.

  1. Barossa Valley in Australia

Barossa has been a large player on record for Australian wine regions. This area is famous for its tasteful and elegant Shiraz wines; Mataro and Grenache grapes also find themselves on the vines of this great region. The Mediterranean mixture of cool, moist winters, and dry and hot summers contribute to the rich and full-bodied wines of this region. Make it a point to visit!

  1. Germany’s Baden Baden

Baden, the warmest and sunniest area in Germany, offers wines to suit a wide range of tastes. The mix of Swiss and French flavors creates a number of intriguing wines. From the spectacular landscape of the wineries here as well as the distinguished cuisine of the area, the eclectic nature of the food and drink will have you planning a trip back before you have even finished your first trip.

  1. Mendoza, Argentina

Found 700 miles west of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mendoza, is immediately identifiable by the dramatic peaks that rise over 20,000 feet in altitude, carpeted by tens of thousands of vineyard acres. The region has always been known for its asado, the Argentine barbecued meat, but over the last 15 years, this desert has cultivated the best of wonderful grapes and wine. Mendoza’s substantial grapes like Cab Sauv, Bonarda, Syrah, Pinot Noir and Merlots constitute the red wines, while the white ones are made from Torrontes, Sauv Blancs as well as aromatic Chardonnay.

  1. Tuscany, Italy

Chianti is the initial word that comes to mind -pleasing red wine that match so flawlessly with pastas and meats. Amid the gradually sloping hills of Tuscany, full of medieval houses and fortresses, are acres of grape vines with wineries open for tastings and tours. This really, is Old World wine culture at its finest; wine-maker’s wines are kept in very long, vaulted cellar basements carved out of the stone. Even if you cross-off a few other great wine destinations, never cross Tuscany off!

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Those are just five of our favorite wine hot spots, but where is your favorite destination for the drink of the gods?

Romantic Destinations Worldwide


Whether you are planning an exciting couple’s escapade or a honeymoon, there are many romantic destinations worldwide to suit your taste. If you and your lover are seeking somewhere with that perfect ambiance for your next vacation, read on because we found some of the most romantic destinations in the world:


    • Venice – A ride in the gondola truly symbolizes the magic and romance of this city. Ride down the canals with your lover and enjoy the sites of Venice. Dine in stylish Italian restaurants by the canals and get lost in old brick passages while you stumble upon Italian squares and churches. Venice is definitely the place that can make you fall in love again.
    • Seychelles – These Indian Ocean islands located off the coast of Africa were home for some of the most amazing people in the world. It’s extraordinary, out of the way location makes it an incredible place to spend time with your loved one. There are many spas, golf courses, tropical drinks, and fishing trips ready to make your romantic trip unforgettable. Honeymoon here and you may never want to leave.
    • Maldives – These 23 small coral islands are barely above ocean water and the reefs in the area are teeming with life. And yet, even though they bustle with ocean life, they are quiet and secluded.
    • Tuscany – Villas, vineyards, and historic Italian towns, this entire place billows with a sense of adventure and love. Stay in cozy villas, eat the finest food, and bike through the amazing vineyards to drink the top class wine.
    • Bruges – This medieval city in Brussels may not jump to the front of your mind as a romantic destination, but the setting of the place will take you back to a simpler time that feels just right to reconnect with that special someone. The town has certainly protected its history to our benefit allowing visitors to walk through the ancient city lanes hand in hand and relax at sweet cafes filled to the brim with charm and love. A step back in time- perhaps this is the way every romantic getaway should feel.


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Are Other Subway Systems Better Than New York Subways?


When you think of the public transportation system in New York you likely think of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, better known as the Subway. How does the New York Subway system compare to some of the others around the world? Since there are several transportation systems worldwide, for today’s purposes we will focus on the most popular ones in the world including those in Chicago, Los Angeles, London (aka London Tube), Tokyo, Paris and Mexico City.*

In terms of cost, London’s single cost rides have the highest fares with New York coming in as the second highest fare. The cheapest fares are in Mexico City. New York wins the race in terms of the number of lines running at any given time with 24 whereas the least number of lines running are in Los Angeles with just 6 lines. London has 11, Paris 16, and Tokyo has 13. Not surprisingly New York also wins in the number of stations with 468. Paris has the second highest number of stations at 384.

Interestingly enough, although New York has the highest number of lines and stations, they are not the most frequently used subway system. The winner there is Tokyo with approximately 3.1 billion riders per year compared with New York’s 1.65 billion. London has 1.2 billion annually and the lowest number of riders is in Los Angeles at 113 million.

London’s Tube is said to be cleaner and has a better design than New York’s according to Business Insider. However, what New York lacks in cleanliness and design they make up for with more room for more passengers as “the tube’s compact design makes it hard to squeeze onto some trains during rush hour.”

Still, regardless of looks and features, many tourists visiting other cities find themselves longing for their own system back home. Perhaps this is because there is “no place like home,” or maybe it’s just a simple matter of once you get used to one line’s schedule and policies you simply don’t want to learn how to use someone else’s.

Now, we want to hear from you. Have you been on the various Subway systems of the world? What was your favorite one to ride on? Tell us about it in the comments below!


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*Source for stats in post

Fifty Shades of Travel


The movie and the book that caused many couples worldwide to consider trying out some new things in the bedroom may very well seem like yesterday’s news, but the movement for naughty and experimental play is still thriving as those who continue to get their hands on the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy can’t seem to shake Christian and Anastasia’s erotic tale from their minds. If you are like those looking for some sexy and kinky destinations to play out your fantasies here are three hotels you might want to consider for your next lusty, or should I say lover’s getaway:

The Don Q Inn– Located in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, this boutique hotel has rooms themed to cater to your wildest fantasies including the cave room complete with prehistoric setting, Caesar’s Court rooms 1 and 2 with Ancient Roman décor and Roman columns, Jungle Safari with a thatched jungle hut over the bed and the Northern Lights room with a full-size igloo built around the bed. Of course, the room that those seeking S&M and/or bondage might enjoy is the Mid-Evil room complete with a heart-shaped bed donned in shackles!

Cove Haven Entertainment Resorts – Located in the heart of the Poconos in Lakeville, Pennsylvania you can enjoy baths in a heart-shaped jacuzzi tub or a champagne glass tub. Drinking bubbles while you bathe in bubbles. Semi-romatic and semi-naughty, no? When you head to Cove Haven there is definitely love to be made!

Propeller Island City Lodge – To visit this hotel you will need your passport as it’s located in Berlin, Germany. Propeller Island City Lodge has often been reported as one of the most unusual hotels in the world, but it also has some rooms that scream kink. For example, their “Two Lions” room. This room features two cages in the middle of the room hoisted in the air on stilts and for the truly voyeuristic there is even a window you can open up for your own personal peep show.


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We’ve not even scratched the surface of the number of places you can tap into your inner most fantasies while on vacation. Want to know about more sexy and kinky hotels for your fifty shades of travel getaway? Give Cater 2U Travels a call today!

Is it Safe to Travel to Greece Yet? An Economic Update


Because it feels like a world away, it’s easy to forget that Greece has been in a significant amount of economic turmoil over the last several years. This turmoil came to a head earlier this year when the country had no choice but to seek a bailout. Still, for most of the major tourist hot spots, tourism is still moving along with business as usual. There were moments of panic where demand for travel fell, but nonetheless Greece has remained a top destination for honeymoons, destination weddings, family escapes and more.

If you were among the many who feared traveling to Greece due to its economic conditions that is understandable. In times of uncertainty it’s a scary thing to leave the known safety of home and head into the unknown. However, traveling to Greece is still safe to do as long as you are cautious. Like with any country that is having any troubles the number one way to keep yourself safe is to stay away from that trouble.

For example, let’s say you were planning a visit to a museum and learned that there would be a protest going on at that museum. Odds are you would avoid that museum during the protest simply because of the risk that the protest could turn violent. You don’t abandon all museums completely, just the one where there is the potential for trouble.

It’s the same with Greece- So can you go? Yes! Just avoid the spots where the protests are happening. Don’t worry, there are plenty of places you can still visit and now might just be the best time to go because the Euro is closer in value to the dollar than it has been in a long time and because there is a significant push to get your travel dollars many places are lowering their rates in hopes of increasing bookings. Some restaurateurs are asking customers to pay in cash, but for the most part everything is still working the same way it did before the hammer came down.


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The Wi-Fi Craze and Why Some Hotels Stopped Charging



If you have done any traveling in 2015 you may or may not have noticed that some hotels have stopped charging for Wi-Fi access. There are still several hotels charging for the use of the internet, so why have some stopped charging while others are still adding a fee for it?

Some hotels have simply added the internet fees into their standard room rates. No one likes to think about being nickel and dimed and adding an internet fee to a bill feels like just that. To offset this concern instead of charging $5-$15 per night for use of the internet it is actually hidden in your hotel fees.

You can trade “loyalty” for free Wi-Fi in some properties. You know those programs that hotels offer where you can get extra perks for frequently staying on their properties? Free internet is one of those perks.

The hotels that are charging you might not have an option about implementing the fee. Condé Nast Traveler did an article on this very subject in summer of 2014 that basically said owners and operators sometimes have a dispute over this issue leaving the operators to merely do as their told by the owners. “Most hotel brands don’t actually own the physical property where the hotel is located. Instead, they sign a management contract with the hotel’s owners, and then run the operations under the brand name. The owner has to commit to some of the hotel brands’ standards and programming (services, amenities, decor, etc.) but free Wi-Fi isn’t always on that list.”

In the most basic terms hotels that are still charging for Wi-Fi are doing so because they can. As long as people continue to pay the fees without bucking too wildly hotels will keep charging for it. The more people complain about it on customer services surveys, however, the more hotels are stepping up and either offering it for free or simply hiding it in their standard fees. In the end, Wi-Fi will never actually be free, but it always feels nice when it at least seems like it is.


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When is the Best Time to Plan Your Travel?


Ready, set, go! Wouldn’t it be great if traveling for vacations really worked that way? You pick a spot on the map and you just pack and go! Sadly, that privilege seems to only remain with the rich. So, the question is how can the average traveler decide on the best times to plan their trips?

First, you will need to decide on the details of the trip, i.e. the destination, whether you want cold temps or warm temps, when you can get time off from work and your budget. Once you have these ideas in mind the real research begins. The good news is that if you are working with a reputable travel agent you can bring your travel wishes to them and they can give you ideas for your vacation, but ultimately the final decisions will lie with you.

Once you have the logistics figured out of destination, budget, timing etc… it’s time to book the trip. Still, a question of when to book remains. In most cases your best bet is to book as soon as you nail down your trip goals. The sooner the better because you will have the best options on rooms, flights and transportation to name a few.

In the event you are choosing to visit a destination during its busy or peak season booking quickly becomes even more imperative as the cheaper accommodations can sometimes get snapped up so fast you will be left with either the priciest options or none at all. The same thing often goes for holiday traveling- the sooner you book the more options you will have!

With all of that said if you can book six months in advance great, but up to a year is even better! Besides, the sooner you book the sooner you can start making additional arrangements if needed such as canceling your mail, booking a pet sitter, putting in for the vacation time at work- you get the idea.