So about 4 months ago I asked on Facebook and Twitter if people thought TSA PreCheck was worth it. Not so much the money (it’s $85 for 5 years), but worth the time, hassle, etc. Does it pay off? Does it save time etc. So basically everyone said OH MY GOD DO IT NOW! So I did. I want to share our experience with TSA PreCheck and whether or not it’s worth it.
Is TSA PreCheck worth it?
Short answer is yes. But I am going to break it down as to why.
Saves Time: I think this is a DUH, but it saves a ton of time. My first time using it was in August going to Ohio for work. I was wearing a long sweater (airports are cold) and shoes that I would normally need to take off. I had my laptop, iPad, makeup, and carry-on full of stuff. All things that would usually require many bins and a lot of time with airport security going through my bags. From the minute I got in line it took me 7 minutes to get to the other side. No taking shoes off, no unpacking my laptop and iPad, no going through my makeup. None of it. So instead of budgeting two hours for security I can budget a LOT less.
The cost/time to do it isn’t as bad as you think: So it costs $85 but lasts 5 years. So you are spending less than $20 a year to save an insane amount of time. The online application takes less than 10 minutes, and for both Andrew and myself to get our fingerprints done etc we spent less than 15 minutes. We went to two different places and both got in and out super fast.
Worth it if you have kids: This was a HUGE deciding factor at least for us. We have a toddler and hope to have another baby in the next few years. Just with us and Liam the amount of stuff (carry-ons, diaper bag, stroller, car seat, and a giant toddler) we have to get through security is crazy. We usually leave security sweaty, anxious, and disheveled. So having TSA PreCheck to travel with Liam was a bonus. He automatically gets it with us.
All in all, yes it’s worth it and I highly suggest doing it. Make sure you have an updated passport and copy of your birth certificate.
Please let me know if you have any questions about our experience!