Fast Track Through the Airport

YVR (Vancouver) airport at 10:00 PM. The Nexus lane is closed at 10 PM and everyone goes through the same line. Don’t even bother expecting to be expedited here.  Your Nexus status doesn’t apply after 10 PM.

Frequent travelers heading to the U.S. have the option to apply for a Global Entry card to speed through the customs and immigration.  Before being approved to obtain this status, you must pay and then go through a full screening process and an interview.  The whole point of getting this status is to fast track your way through security after you check in or upon arrival at the airport, depending on your port of entry into the U.S.  With this status my husband and I have shaved at least 30 minutes each time.

For U.S. and Canadian residents, you also have the option to apply for a NEXUS card.

The following statement is taken directly from the CBP website:


The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. Program members use dedicated processing lanes at designated northern border ports of entry, NEXUS kiosks when entering Canada by air and Global Entry kiosks when entering the United States via Canadian Preclearance airports. NEXUS members also receive expedited processing at marine reporting locations.

The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. 

Unfortunately, if you arrive at YVR after 10pm at a time when you absolutely need to speed through…you will run into the madness you see in the above photo.

I have been to more than 25 airports and as much as I love YVR, I have to say I was recently disappointed with when I was ready to go through the Nexus line only to be told that it is closed.  It is only open from 8AM-10PM.  What kind of foolishness is this?   The whole point of having this Nexus card is to avoid these sort of lines. Shame on you YVR Customs.


How to Pack Light For Any Trip

For the past two years I have traveled with one carry on and one personal handbag.  So many people have asked me how I do it.  For this post I want to share how you can pack light, get through security quickly and travel safe.

Most of my trips are short and sweet and I don’t need to pack a ton of things.  So take this into consideration, if you are going somewhere for 3 or more weeks, this may not be right for you.

Here is what I have in my suitcase as I adventure through Australia for 2 weeks:

4 mini tanks (undershirts)

10 undies and 3 bras

8 pairs of socks

3 t-shirts

1 blouse

2 pants

2 skirts

1 pair of shorts

1 cardigan

1 dress

2 belts

1 hat

1 swimsuit

toiletries (all less than 100 ml)

1 mini first aid kit

1 pair of sneakers

1 pair of flip flops

1 scarf

I wore an ankle boot on the day of travel and carried a jacket suitable for the expected temperature.  It’s summer in Australia and with 30 degrees Celsius temperatures everyday, it was easier to pack light.  My personal handbag is an over the shoulder canvas bag that fits my computer, books, and another mini knapsack.

I always pack everything I might possibly need for health and beauty. From toothpaste to lotions to tweezers, bandaids, and scissors.  Going through security at the airport, I have noticed that all airports have their requirements for what they allow and don’t allow to pass through.  All airports have a zero tolerance for bottled water.  I packed scissors in my bag many months ago and it was confiscated at the airport in Bogota, Colombia.  I had to replace that scissors and have since traveled many times after that incident with my new scissors and was faced with no challenges.  Today I was departing Cairns, Australia en route to Melbourne and my bag was put aside to check the scissors that showed on their x-ray machine.  Good news. They allowed me to keep the scissors because they are round edged.  So note to you…do not carry pointy scissors, even if they are tiny and just for shaping your brows or clipping unwanted nose hairs.

I find that most of the time, the amount of stuff I pack I don’t even use half of the items anyway.  If something gets really smelly, it’s easy to hand wash and hang it up in your bathroom.

What tips do you have for traveling light?





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