I have been posting that Real ID's will be required for a while now. But 2020 always seemed so far away! Well, 2020 is here and October is the deadline to get a Real ID in order to fly domestically without a passport.
What's the Buzz about REAL ID?
The 9/11 Commission recommended that the government set security standards for state drivers licenses. In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID ACT, setting standards requiring anyone wishing to:
Although the Act was passed in 2005, the government put this into action in phases, with the final phases that affect the most people just coming up now.
In OCTOBER of 2020, everyone will need to have a compliant Real ID to fly domestically aboard a commercial plane.
If you don't want this type of drivers license, you may fly domestically with your passport. (note: a passport is still required for international travel)
How Do I Get A Real ID?
In order to obtain a Real ID you must go to your DMV with proof of the following information:
Sounds simple, right? Not so fast… especially if you live in New York (or MI, MN, VT, or WA)
Ok, so you know you need a Real ID, you live in NY and visit the DMV and they ask you, "Would you like the Real ID or the Enhanced ID"?
Wait, Enhanced?!? I just got caught up with Real ID!
According to dhs.gov, "State-issued Enhanced Drivers Licenses (EDLs) provide proof of identity and U.S. citizenship, are issued in a secure process, and include technology that makes travel easier." LOL, easier they say, ha!
What is an Enhanced Drivers License?
An Enhanced Drivers License is offered in 5 states: Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont and Washington The purpose of this type of ID was to make border crossings in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean by land or sea easier. This ID provides proof of identity and citizenship when exiting and re-entering the United States borders.
Enhanced ID's are also Real ID compliant.
So essentially, it includes the Real ID requirements, plus some. I got one because I travel frequently by land, air and sea and I wanted to cover all bases.
Here's where the problems arise:
TSA workers are given a sheet with pictures of compliant ID's. The information they are looking for is the picture of a star in the upper right corner of the license. They even launched a campaign #checkforthestar. This is great, EXCEPT if you have an Enhanced ID, where there is NO STAR. Instead, the Enhanced ID's have an American flag (see photo below). The important thing to remember is that the Enhanced ID IS INDEED REAL ID COMPLIANT,
I frequently travel to Florida with my Enhanced license and for the past year, every time I've travelled, the TSA lady at the airport tells me I only have until October to get the right ID or I won't be permitted to fly. I have tried to explain to her that I have a NY State Enhanced license, it doesn't have a star but is, in fact, compliant - but she says, "no star, no fly" and she is the one who can deny me the right to proceed!
Hey Enhanced license holders - our hashtag needs to be #checkforthestarORFLAG!
Do you have the REAL ID or the ENHANCED ID? What has your experience been?
Holidays can be stressful, but travel doesn't have to be!
It's a popular time of year to be on the road, the rail or in the air to get to a celebration with friends and family.
I am sharing some helpful tips (and reminders) to reduce stress and increase happiness during a busy travel holiday season!
Leave yourself TIME
Being late and worrying about missing a plane, train or bus can be very stressful. It causes us to rush which leads to forgetfulness and clumsiness (yup, my headphone case spilled from my bag on my last trip and I was in too much of a hurry to look down and notice!) If you leave yourself plenty of time, you can travel more calmly and avoid a headache later.
If you are traveling by plane, consider taking a car service to the airport. Leave the driving to someone else so you can begin your vacation the minute you leave your home! (Perfect Limo is my go to and they offer my clients a discount, simply use the code SunlitTravel)
If you prefer to drive yourself to the airport, try a parking lot with a shuttle, such as The Parking Spot or Purchase Park 2 Fly. You can leave your car in good hands and shuttle directly to the terminal.
Bring an extra battery bar.
Phones are useful for directions, keeping track of travel plans, emergency phone calls or just simply passing the time. I don't care how old you are, you are probably going to use your phone at some point during your travels and you don't want to be caught with a dead battery.
We all know to pack medicine in a carry on bag but as a reminder - it is worth repeating! Also helpful is a small, laminated card listing your medical needs. I use the FARE (Food Allergy Research Education) chef card template to make cards for myself and my clients with allergies. It is especially helpful for translating to other languages.
My absolute favorite way to pack for ANY trip but especially to help keep organized for the holidays. These bags are understated by themselves, but use them once and you will be amazed! The compartmentalization can organize any type of traveler!
Don't Wrap Gifts
If you need to go through any type of security, they will likely want to know what you have hidden beneath the pretty wrapping and bows. Do yourself a favor and pack presents without the wrapping, bring the paper and ribbon for later, believe me, it's not worth the scrutiny. (yup, I once had to unwrap all my presents in the airport - wasted tons of time and left me an unorganized mess)
Bring your sense of humor (well isn't this just great advice for just about everything!)
Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season with great travel stories!
The honeymoon is the perfect time to shower your loved one with romance, especially if he/she doesn't know it's coming! The brain finds unexpected pleasure more rewarding that expected ones says Dr. Gregory Berns, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Emory and Dr. Read Montague, associate professor of neuroscience at Baylor.
So go on and SURPRISE your spouse on your honeymoon - here are seven suggestions to get you started!
1. Arrange for a limo or private transfer to the airport.
It's great not to have to worry about traffic, parking, or driving plus you can snuggle and enjoy the last bit of anticipation of the honeymoon.
2. Plan a romantic dinner for 2.
On the beach, in a small café or a roof top bar - have a special meal where you can feel like the only couple in the room.
3. Schedule room service.
With a little planning champagne and strawberries can show up at just the right time!
4. Wake up early and leave a note for your wife to meet you somewhere special… for breakfast, a stroll or a swing in a hammock.
5. Dedicate a song to your wife - on the radio, at the piano bar or even during karaoke!
6. Ask a stranger to take your picture and when you're both smiling - turn and give her a kiss on the cheek. Spontaneous, romantic and it will be captured in a photo!
7. Unplanned moments - planning is often involved for a romantic scavenger hunt or candlelit dinner - but don't forget to take advantage of the unplanned moments that can lead to great surprises too!
Hi! My name is Buffy and I am the owner of Sunlit Travel! I love to plan special occasions like GROUP VACATIONS and MULTI-GENERATIONAL FAMILY VACATIONS! My favorite part is adding special touches to make the trip especially memorable!